South African Military Decorations - South African Defence Force - 1975–2003

1975–2003

A new system was introduced in 1975. It retained seven of the existing decorations and medals. Innovations included a hierarchy of merit awards, cumulative long service medals, and colour-coded ribbons. As the South African Defence Force was engaged in military operations in South West Africa and Angola throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the number of awards granted each year increased significantly. Additional decorations were instituted between 1987 and 1991.

Decoration Name Post Nominals Period current Number awarded Awarded for Ribbon
Castle of Good Hope Decoration CGH 1952–2003 Never awarded Most conspicuous bravery
Honoris Crux Diamond HCD 1975–93 Never awarded Death-defying heroic deeds of outstanding valour
Honoris Crux Gold HCG 1975–93 6 Outstanding bravery in extreme danger
Order of the Star of South Africa SSA/SSAS 1975–2003 meritorious military service.
Honoris Crux Silver HCS 1975–2003 27 Exceptional bravery in great danger
Honoris Crux — 2nd Type HC 1975–2003 201 Bravery while in danger
Pro Virtute Decoration PVD 1987–2003 Distinguished conduct and exceptional combat leadership (officers)
Southern Cross Decoration SD 1975–2003 Outstanding service of the highest order, and utmost devotion to duty (Officers)
Pro Merito Decoration PMD 1975–2003 Outstanding service of the highest order, and utmost devotion to duty (other ranks)
Pro Virtute Medal PVM 1987–2003 Distinguished conduct and exceptional combat leadership (other ranks)
Ad Astra Decoration AAD 1987–2003 Excellent flying skill or ingenuity by SA Air Force aircrew in emergencies or unusual situations
Army Cross CM 1991–2003 Exceptional courage, leadership, skill or ingenuity in dangerous or critical situations (army personnel)
Air Force Cross CA 1991–2003 Exceptional courage, leadership, skill or ingenuity in dangerous or critical situations (air force personnel)
Navy Cross CN 1991–2003 Exceptional courage, leadership, skill or ingenuity in dangerous or critical situations (naval personnel)
South African Medical Service Cross CC 1991–2003 Exceptional courage, leadership, skill or ingenuity in dangerous or critical situations (military health service personnel)
Southern Cross Medal — 2nd Type SM 1975–2003 Exceptionally meritorious service and particular devotion to duty (officers)
Pro Merito Medal — 2nd Type PMM 1975–2003 Exceptionally meritorious service and particular devotion to duty (other ranks)
Danie Theron Medal DTM 1970–2003 Exceptionally diligent and outstanding service in the Commandos
Military Merit Medal MMM 1974–2003 Service of a high order
Campaign medals
Pro Patria Medal 1974- 1989 Operational service in combating terrorism or in defence of South Africa
Southern Africa Medal 1989 Service in military operations outside South Africa and South West Africa between 1976 and 1989
General Service Medal 1989 Operational service inside South Africa from 1983
Commemorative Medals
Unitas Medal 1994 To commemorate the amalgamation of the SADF, APLA, MK and the homeland defence forces to form the SA National Defence Force
Long Service Medals
Medal for Distinguished Conduct & Loyal Service 1987-2003 40 years service in the Defence Force
Good Service Medal (Gold) 1975-2003 30 years service in the Permanent Force
Good Service Medal (Silver) 1975-2003 20 years service in the Permanent Force
John Chard Decoration JCD 1952–2003 20 years service in the Citizen Force
De Wet Decoration DWD 1952–2003 20 years service in the Commandos
John Chard Medal 1952–2003 12 (from 1986, 10) years service in the Citizen Force
Good Service Medal (Silver) 1975-2003 10 years service in the Permanent Force
De Wet Medal 1987–2003 10 years service in the Commandos
Shooting Medals
Commandant-General's Medal 1965-2003
Cadet Corps Champion Shot Medal 1987-2003
Emblems
Mentioned in Despatches 1967-2003

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