Jump to content

France Awards National Defence Gold Medal to US ParaRescue


Recommended Posts

Found this interesting article:


French forces awarded three 83rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron Airmen the National Defense Gold Medal with bronze star. French Brig. Gen. Emmanuel Maurin, Task Force La Fayette IV commander, presented Capt. John Mosier, HH-60G Pave Hawk pilot, Tech. Sgt. Kristopher Burridge and Senior Airman Jackson Rogers, both pararescue jumpers, the medals for their heroic actions for rescuing two French Gazelle helicopter pilots June 11. Read the complete article: http://www.bagram.afcent.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123263719


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found it quite odd that a service medal for longevity and efficiency would be awarded in such a way but I just found the June 25, 2004 decree that completely rewrote the book on this one... As Veteran mentions, an immediate award of the gold medal is quite something.

Edited by TacHel
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's in French only, so I roughly translated it very quickly:

Decree No. 2004-4 of 2 January 2004, completed in Instruction No. 3250 of 1 March 2004 and Decree No. 2004-624 of 25 June 2004, in-depth reform of the conditions for award of this medal. Thus, in the words of Article I of this Order, "the Medal of National Defence is intended to reward particularly honorable service rendered by military personnel of the regular force and operational reserves at the time of their participation in or operational readiness of the armed forces, including maneuvers, exercises, field services and interventions for the benefit of people." Activities always give rise to the allocation of "points" recorded on individual scales (see below). These "points" are awarded for activities conducted from 1 January 2004 for regular military and from 1 July 2002 for members of the operational reserve. Only activities conducted from 1 September 1981 for regular military and from 1 July 1998 for members of the operational reserve are considered for the award of the medal.


The medal is awarded nowadays as normal, to military personnel, regular and operational reserve for the following conditions:

-the bronze medal for a minimum of one year's service and a minimum of 90 points;

-Silver medal for a minimum of five years' service and a minimum of 600 points (2 years minimum period in the Bronze level);

-Gold Medal for a minimum of ten years of service and a minimum of 800 points (2 years minimum period in the Silver level).

No one may be promoted to a higher level if he/she doesn't already hold the level immediately below. For military personnel on active duty and operational reserve, service and "points" are at 31 December of the year preceding the year of the proposal. The proposals are set by the authorities having direct knowledge of the activities performed by the personnel, under the responsibility of the military top-level or equivalent or appropriate authority and following:

-the common scale for the Bronze level;

-common scales specific to each army to Silver and Gold levels

Silver and Gold levels are awarded within a quota set by the Minister of Defence.

DECISION No 3783/DEF/CAB/SDBC/DECO/A5/B5 of 30 March 2011, setting the quota for the year 2011, levels of "Gold" and "Silver"

- For the active Army, Step Gold: Silver level and 11 082: 14 691.

- To reserve, Gold level: 172 and Silver level: 344.

Allocation decisions as normal to take effect from 1 January of the proposal.


The Medal of National Defence may also be awarded exceptionally in any of its three levels for:

-a single time, exceptionally, to personel of the active and reserve that demonstrate a dynamism, dedication and effectiveness in remarkable performance of their duties. It may also be awarded for deeds requiring special qualities of courage and selflessness, or for missions that involve risks of an exceptional nature. The military force and operational reserve that receive an award of the medal, in exceptional circumstances, retain half of the previous points, actually acquired, to compete as normal on the next level.

- to active personnel, the operational reserve and citizens killed or injured in the line of duty within one month from the date of the events (provided that their responsibility is not engaged in accident caused the injury or death).

- a single time, exceptionally, to French civilians who have rendered honorable services particularly to the defense of France and its armies.

-to foreign military and civilians who have served honorably to defend France and its armies.

For staff killed or injured in the performance of duty, the proposal is established automatically within eight days after the death or hospitalization of personnel involved. A full report, with supporting documents (Bulletin of hospitalization or death) is necessarily attached.

Edited by TacHel
Link to comment
Share on other sites


The implementation of Decree No. 2004-624 of 25 June 2004, stipulate that "The Gold Medal of National Defence can be attributed directly, irrespective of age and points of active military personnel and Reserve who have distinguished themselves in the course of an action with an increased risk and have been rewarded with a single quote without a cross, issued by the Minister of Defense, or delegated by the Chief of Joint Chiefs of Staff, the chiefs of staff of army or general managers.

The quotation without cross mentioned above is marked on the ribbon of the Gold Medal of National Defence by:

¨ a Bronze Star (Regiment or Brigade);

¨ Silver Star (Division);

¨ a red star (corps);

¨ a bronze palm (army).

The designations of these levels are appropriate for the language-specific training weapon or attached.

A palm or a star is given for each quotation obtained, and their number is not limiting.

The Gold Medal of National Defence accompanying the citation without a cross is juxtaposed above the rank and precedence, the Medal of National Defence, levels Bronze, Silver or Gold Medal and awarded has no clip and IT has not issued a diploma; award of this decoration is only mentioned in the wording of the quote without the cross individually.

This medal can be either a suspension or a withdrawal for disciplinary reasons.

The Chief of Defence Staff, the Joint Chiefs of Staff of Army and Director General (Directorate General of the Gendarmerie and National Security Branch external) receive delegation of the Minister of Defence for the award the Gold Medal of National Defence cross without accompanying citation issued an order lower than the palm of bronze, this delegation does not apply for the award posthumously.

For operations and operations under their authority, the Chief of Defence Staff, the Joint Chiefs of Staff of Army and Director General (Directorate General of the National Gendarmerie and General Directorate of External Security) can delegate their signing for the award of the Gold Medal of National Defence without citation that accompanies the cross with bronze star, silver or vermeil.

The generals, officers, noncommissioned officers, petty officers and other ranks, already holding a degree or dignity in one of the National Orders and the Military Medal, may be given a Gold Medal of the National Defence accompanying a quote without a cross.

Edited by TacHel
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello all

This is a very interesting post. Exceptionnal awards of the National Defense Medal have gradually become a necessity, as an adjunct to the Cross of Military Valour which is rather given for actions in combat.

Jean-Paul : the word "quotas" may be misleading. I would rather think the true french wotd is "citation" which can, indeed mean a "quote" as in a written text when an extract of an other text is mentioned.

When it comes to awards, the french word "citation" means a "mention" such as the british "mention in despaches"

In other words, a special mention of a man/woman's conduct has to be made in order to justify the award. Originally, the Croix de guerre and the Croix de la Valeur militaire were given to show that a "citation" had been given. They still are always so awarded.

I hope I made this point clear. There are no "quotas" for exceptionnal award, but always a "citation". Which indeed makes each of them special.

Best regards


Edited by Veteran
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Very Well done... The gold french national defense service medal with citation star is a very big deal ... but I am very happy with my little bronze one. At my awards ceremony there was three silver French National Defense Service Medals... and little ole me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hope I made this point clear. There are no "quotas" for exceptional award, but always a "citation". Which indeed makes each of them special.


Hi Veteran,

Thank you for clearing this up.

The word "quota" was used by Frank (TacHel) in his translation of the revised regulations for this medal. After reading his post again, he does state that this was a quick translation and the proper terminology may have been missed. In any case, we do appreciate the posting of the regulations by Frank which has greatly added to our knowledge on this interesting medal.

Also nice to see the image of the bronze medal awarded to Doc Wilson. Well Done!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...