Victoria Cross for Australia
The Victoria Cross for Australia is the highest award in the Australian Honours System, superseding the British Victoria Cross for issue to Australians. The Victoria Cross for Australia is the "decoration for according recognition to persons who in the presence of the enemy, perform acts of the most conspicuous gallantry, or daring or pre-eminent acts of valour or self-sacrifice or display extreme devotion to duty."The Victoria Cross for Australia was created by letters patent signed by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, on 15 January 1991. It is listed equal first with the British Victoria Cross on the Australian Order of Wear with precedence in Australia over all orders and medals; the decoration may be awarded to members of the Australian Defence Force and to other persons determined by the Australian Minister for Defence. A person to whom the Victoria Cross for Australia has been awarded is entitled to the post nominals VC placed after the person's name; the Governor-General of Australia awards the Victoria Cross for Australia, with the approval of the Sovereign, on the recommendation of the Minister for Defence.
The first medal was awarded on 16 January 2009 to Trooper Mark Donaldson, for the rescue of a coalition forces interpreter from heavy fire in Oruzgan Province in Afghanistan. Donaldson's award came 40 years after Warrant Officer Keith Payne became the last Australian to be awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry on 24 May 1969 during the Vietnam War. Unlike the original Victoria Cross where the announcement of the award is followed some time by the presentation of the award, the announcement and presentation of all awards of the VC for Australia have occurred on the same occasion with the presentation being made by the Governor-General in the presence of the Prime Minister. Both VC for Australia and original Victoria Cross recipients are entitled to the Victoria Cross allowance under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986. On 29 January 1856, Queen Victoria signed the Royal Warrant that instituted the Victoria Cross; the Warrant was backdated to 1854 to recognise acts of valour committed during the Crimean War.
It was intended that the Victoria Crosses would be cast from the bronze cascabels of two cannon that were captured from the Russians at the Siege of Sevastopol. However, historian John Glanfield has proven, through the use of X-rays of older Victoria Crosses, that the metal used for the Victoria Crosses is in fact from antique Chinese guns, not of Russian origin; the barrels of the cannon used to cast the medals are stationed outside the Officers' Mess, at the Royal Artillery Barracks at Woolwich. The remaining portion of the only remaining cascabel, weighing 10 kilograms, is stored in a vault maintained by 15 Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps at MoD Donnington, can be removed only under armed guard, it is estimated. A single company of jewellers, Hancocks of London, established in 1849, has been responsible for the production of every medal since its inception. Both the Australian and New Zealand Victoria Crosses are made from the same gunmetal as the originals; the original medal was awarded to 96 Australians.
Sixty-four awards were for action in the First World War, nine of them for action during the Gallipoli Campaign. Twenty medals were awarded for action in the Second World War, the other medals were for action in the Second Boer War, Russian Civil War and in the Vietnam War; the last recipient was Warrant Officer Keith Payne, for gallantry on 24 May 1969 during the Vietnam War. Payne was awarded the medal for instigating a rescue of more than 40 men. In the past 70 years several Commonwealth countries have introduced their own honours systems separate from the British Honours System. Australia and New Zealand have each introduced their own decorations for gallantry and bravery, replacing British decorations such as the Military Cross with their own awards. Most Commonwealth realms still recognise some form of the Victoria Cross as their highest decoration for valour. With the issuing of letters patent by the Queen of Australia on 15 January 1991, Australia became the first Commonwealth realm to institute a separate Victoria Cross award in its own honours system.
Although it is a separate award, the Victoria Cross for Australia's appearance is identical to its British counterpart. Canada followed suit when in 1993, Queen Elizabeth II as Queen of Canada signed Letters Patent creating the Canadian Victoria Cross; the Canadian version has a different inscription, as well as being created from a different unspecified metal. The legend has been changed from FOR VALOUR to the Latin PRO VALORE. Although one Canadian VC has been cast, none has been awarded. In 1999, New Zealand created the Victoria Cross for New Zealand, identical to the Australian and British Victoria Crosses, this has been awarded once, on 2 July 2007 to Corporal Willie Apiata; the Victoria Cross for Australia is identical to the original design. It is a "cross pattée 36 millimetres wide; the arms of the Cross have raised edges. The obverse bears a Crowned Lion standing on the Royal Crown with the words'FOR VALOUR' inscribed on a semi-circular scroll below the Crown; the reverse bears raised edges on the arms of the cross and the date of the act for which the Cross is awarded is engraved within the circle in the centre.
The inscription was to have been FOR BRAVERY, until it was changed on the recommendation of Queen Victoria, who thought some might erroneously consider that only the recipients of the Victoria Cross were bra
South Vietnam the Republic of Vietnam, was a country that existed from 1955 to 1975, the period when the southern portion of Vietnam was a member of the Western Bloc during part of the Cold War. It received international recognition in 1949 as the "State of Vietnam", a constitutional monarchy; this became the "Republic of Vietnam" in 1955. Its capital was Saigon. South Vietnam was bordered by North Vietnam to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, Thailand across the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia across the South China Sea to the east and southeast; the Republic of Vietnam was proclaimed on 26 October 1955, with Ngô Đình Diệm as its first president, after having served as premier under Emperor Bao Dai, exiled. Its sovereignty was recognized by the United States and 87 other nations, it had membership in several special committees of the United Nations, but its application for full membership was rejected in 1957 because of a Soviet veto.
South Vietnam's origins can be traced to the French colony of Cochinchina, which consisted of the southern third of Vietnam, Cochinchina, a subdivision of French Indochina, the southern half of Central Vietnam or Annam, a French protectorate. After the Second World War, the anti-Japanese Viet Minh guerrilla forces, led by Ho Chi Minh, proclaimed the establishment of a Democratic Republic of Vietnam in Hanoi in September 1945, issuing a Declaration of Independence modeled on the U. S. one from 1776. In 1949, anti-communist Vietnamese politicians formed a rival government in Saigon led by former emperor Bảo Đại. Bảo Đại was deposed by Prime Minister Ngô Đình Diệm in 1955, who proclaimed himself president after a referendum. Diệm was killed in a military coup led by general Dương Văn Minh in 1963, a series of short-lived military governments followed. General Nguyễn Văn Thiệu led the country after a U. S.-encouraged civilian presidential election from 1967 until 1975. The beginnings of the Vietnam War occurred in 1959 with an uprising by the newly organized National Liberation Front for South Vietnam and supported by the northern Democratic Republic of Vietnam, with other assistance rendered by the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact communist satellites, along with neighboring People's Republic of China and North Korea.
Larger escalation of the insurgency occurred in 1965 with the landing of United States regular forces of Marines, followed by Army units to supplement the cadre of military advisors guiding ARVN southern forces. A regular bombing campaign over North Vietnam was conducted by offshore U. S. Navy airplanes and aircraft carriers joined by Air Force squadrons through 1966 and 1967. Fighting peaked up to that point during the Tet Offensive of February 1968, when there were over a million South Vietnamese soldiers and 500,000 U. S. soldiers in South Vietnam. On the war turned into a more conventional fight as the balance of power became equalized. An larger, armored invasion commenced during the Easter Offensive following US ground-forces withdrawal, had nearly overran some major northern cities until beaten back. Despite a truce agreement under the Paris Peace Accords, concluded in January 1973, after a torturous five years of on and off negotiations, fighting continued immediately afterwards; the North Vietnamese regular army and Viet Cong launched a major second combined-arms invasion in 1975, termed the Spring Offensive.
Communist forces overran Saigon on 30 April 1975. On the day President Duong Van Minh declared RVN cease to exist, five ARVN generals, one Saigon police chief, numbers of ARVN soldiers and officers commit suicide to avoid being humiliated surrender. On July 2, 1976, the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam merged to form the Socialist Republic of Vietnam; the official name of the South Vietnamese state was Việt Nam Cộng hòa and the French name was referred to as République du Viêt Nam. The North was known as the "Democratic Republic of Vietnam". Việt Nam was the name adopted by Emperor Gia Long in 1804, it is a name used in ancient times. In 1839, Emperor Minh Mạng renamed the country Đại Nam. In 1945, the nation's official name was changed back to "Vietnam"; the name is sometimes rendered as "Viet Nam" in English. The term "South Vietnam" became common usage in 1954, when the Geneva Conference provisionally partitioned Vietnam into communist and non-communist parts.
Other names of this state were used during its existence such as Free Vietnam and the Government of Viet Nam. Before World War II, the southern third of Vietnam was the concession of Cochinchina, administered as part of French Indochina. A French governor-general in Hanoi administered all the five parts of Indochina while Cochinchina was under a French governor, but the difference from the other parts was that most indigenous intellensia and wealthy were naturalized French The northern third of Vietnam (then the colony of Tonkin was under
Australian honours system
The Australian honours system consists of a number of orders and medals through which the country's sovereign awards its citizens for actions or deeds that benefit the nation. Established in 1975 with the creation of the Order of Australia, the system's scope has grown since and over time has replaced the Imperial/British honours system that applied to Australians; the system includes an array of awards, both civil and military, for gallantry, distinguished service, meritorious service, long service. Various campaign and commemorative medals have been struck. New honours can be awarded at any time, but conventionally most new honours are awarded on Australia Day and on the Queen's Birthday every year, when lists of new honours are published; the Australian states and the Commonwealth of Australia used the Imperial honours system known as the British honours system. The creation in 1975 of the Australian Honours System saw Australian recommendations for the Imperial awards decline, with the last awards being gazetted in 1989.
The Commonwealth of Australia ceased making recommendations for Imperial awards in 1983, with the last Queen's Birthday Australian Honours list submitted by Queensland and Tasmania in 1989. The Queen still confers upon Australians honours that emanate from her such as the Royal Victorian Order, apart from the Order of Australia. Only a handful of peerages and baronetcies were created for Australians; some were in recognition of public services rendered in Britain rather than Australia. Hereditary peerages and baronetcies derive from Britain. There have never been Australian baronetcies created under the Australian Crown. Individual Australian states, as well the Commonwealth Government, were full participants in the Imperial honours system. There was bipartisan support, but Australian Labor Party governments, both national and state, ceased making recommendations for Imperial awards – in particular, appointments to the Order of the British Empire after 1972. During the Second World War, the Governor-General, on the advice of wartime Labor governments, made recommendations for gallantry awards, including eleven for the Victoria Cross.
Appointments to the Order of the British Empire were for officers and men engaged in operational areas. In 1975, the ALP created the Australian Honours System. Recommendations were processed centrally, but state governors still had the power, on the advice of their governments, to submit recommendations for Imperial awards. From 1975 until 1983, the Liberal Party was in power federally, under Malcolm Fraser and, although it retained the Australian Honours System, it reintroduced recommendations for meritorious Imperial awards, but not for Imperial awards for gallantry, bravery or distinguished service. Recommendations for Imperial awards by the federal government ceased with the election of the Hawke Labor Government in 1983. In 1989, the last two states to make Imperial recommendations were Tasmania; the defeat of both governments at the polls that year marked the end of Australian recommendations for Imperial awards. Following the UK New Year Honours List in 1990, which contained no Australian nominations for British honours, the Queen's Private Secretary, Sir William Heseltine, wrote to the Governor-General, saying "this seems a good moment to consider whether the time has not arrived for Australia, like Canada, to honour its citizens within its own system".
There followed more than two years of negotiations with state governments before the Prime Minister, Paul Keating, made the announcement on 5 October 1992 that Australia would make no further recommendations for British honours. The Australian Order of Wear states that "all imperial British awards made to Australian citizens after 5 October 1992 are foreign awards and should be worn accordingly"; the Australian Honours System has followed United States rather than British practice in allowing for late awards years after an action, being commended. More than one hundred late awards for the Second World War and Vietnam have been gazetted. In the British system, no Victoria Cross has been awarded more than six years after the action commended; the longest period between action and award of the US Medal of Honor is 137 years, when in January 2001 President Bill Clinton presented the Medal of Honor to descendants of a Civil War soldier. Although'The Report of the inquiry into unresolved recognition for past acts of naval and military gallantry and valour' released in March 2013 did not recommend any belated Victoria Cross for Australia awards, it did recommend a Unit Citation for Gallantry to HMAS Yarra for February and March 1942.
Australian Bravery Awards have been gazetted years after the action being commended, including a Commendation for Brave Conduct awarded in 1987 to Robert Anderson for his courage in rescuing a child from a burning car at Kalgoorlie eight years earlier in 1979. Australians become recipients of each of the 55 different types of Australian awards and honours through one of two separate processes. Nomination: Individual nominations may be made by members of the public or a community group for the Order of Australia and Australian Bravery Decorations. Nominations for Meritorious Service Awards are based on nominations from each specific organisation; the Department of Defence nominates individuals for a range of service decorations. Non-Australians can be given honorary awards for "extraordinary service to Australia or humanity at large". Nomination forms for the Order of Australia are available through the Australian Honours
The Vietnam War known as the Second Indochina War, in Vietnam as the Resistance War Against America or the American War, was an undeclared war in Vietnam and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. It was the second of the Indochina Wars and was fought between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. North Vietnam was supported by the Soviet Union and other communist allies; the war is considered a Cold War-era proxy war from some US perspectives. It lasted some 19 years with direct U. S. involvement ending in 1973 following the Paris Peace Accords, included the Laotian Civil War and the Cambodian Civil War, resulting in all three countries becoming communist states in 1975. American military advisors began arriving in what was French Indochina in 1950 to support the French in the First Indochina War against the communist-led Viet Minh. Most of the funding for the French war effort was provided by the U. S. After the French quit Indochina in 1954, the US assumed financial and military responsibility for the South Vietnamese state.
The Việt Cộng known as Front national de libération du Sud-Viêt Nam or NLF, a South Vietnamese communist common front aided by the North, initiated a guerrilla war against the South Vietnamese government in 1959. U. S. involvement escalated in 1960, continued in 1961 under President John F. Kennedy, with troop levels surging under the MAAG program from just under a thousand in 1959 to 16,000 in 1963. By 1964, there were 23,000 U. S. troops in Vietnam, but this escalated further following the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, in which a U. S. destroyer was alleged to have clashed with North Vietnamese fast attack craft. In response, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution gave President Lyndon B. Johnson broad authorization to increase U. S. military presence, deploying ground combat units for the first time and increasing troop levels to 184,000. Past this point, the People's Army of Vietnam known as the North Vietnamese Army engaged in more conventional warfare with US and South Vietnamese forces; every year onward there was significant build-up of US forces despite little progress, with Robert McNamara, one of the principal architects of the war, beginning to express doubts of victory by the end of 1966.
U. S. and South Vietnamese forces relied on air superiority and overwhelming firepower to conduct search and destroy operations, involving ground forces and airstrikes. The U. S. conducted a large-scale strategic bombing campaign against North Vietnam. The Tet Offensive of 1968, proved to be the turning point of the war; the Tet Offensive showed that the end of US involvement was not in sight, increasing domestic skepticism of the war. The unconventional and conventional capabilities of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam increased following a period of neglect and became modeled on heavy firepower-focused doctrines like US forces. Operations crossed international borders. S. forces. Gradual withdrawal of U. S. ground forces began as part of "Vietnamization", which aimed to end American involvement in the war while transferring the task of fighting the communists to the South Vietnamese themselves and began the task of modernizing their armed forces. Direct U. S. military involvement ended on 15 August 1973 as a result of the Case–Church Amendment passed by the U.
S. Congress; the capture of Saigon by the NVA in April 1975 marked the end of the war, North and South Vietnam were reunified the following year. The war exacted a huge human cost in terms of fatalities. Estimates of the number of Vietnamese soldiers and civilians killed vary from 966,000 to 3.8 million. Some 275,000–310,000 Cambodians, 20,000–62,000 Laotians, 58,220 U. S. service members died in the conflict, a further 1,626 remain missing in action. The Sino-Soviet split re-emerged following the lull during the Vietnam War and confllict between North Vietnam and its Cambodian allies in the Royal Government of the National Union of Kampuchea, the newly-formed Democratic Kampuchea begun immediately in a series of border raids by the Khmer Rouge and erupted into the Cambodian–Vietnamese War, with Chinese forces directly intervening in the Sino-Vietnamese War; the end of the war and resumption of the Third Indochina War would precipitate the Vietnamese boat people and the bigger Indochina refugee crisis, which saw an estimated 250,000 people perish at sea.
Within the US the war gave rise to what was referred to as Vietnam Syndrome, a public aversion to American overseas military involvements, which together with Watergate contributed to the crisis of confidence that affected America throughout the 1970s. Various names have been applied to the conflict. Vietnam War is the most used name in English, it has been called the Second Indochina War and the Vietnam Conflict. As there have been several conflicts in Indochina, this particular conflict is known by the names of its primary protagonists to distinguish it from others. In Vietnamese, the war is known as Kháng chiến chống Mỹ, but less formally as'Cuộc chiến tranh Mỹ', it is called Chiến tranh Việt Nam. The primary military organizations involved in the war were as follows: One side consisted of th
Order of the Thistle
The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle is an order of chivalry associated with Scotland. The current version of the Order was founded in 1687 by King James VII of Scotland who asserted that he was reviving an earlier Order; the Order consists of the Sovereign and sixteen Knights and Ladies, as well as certain "extra" knights. The Sovereign alone grants membership of the Order; the Order's primary emblem is the national flower of Scotland. The motto is Nemo me impune lacessit; the same motto appears on the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom for use in Scotland and some pound coins, is the motto of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, Scots Guards, The Black Watch of Canada and Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. The patron saint of the Order is St Andrew. Most British orders of chivalry cover the whole United Kingdom, but the three most exalted ones each pertain to one constituent country only; the Order of the Thistle, which pertains to Scotland, is the second-most senior in precedence. Its equivalent in England, The Most Noble Order of the Garter, is the oldest documented order of chivalry in the United Kingdom, dating to the middle fourteenth century.
In 1783 an Irish equivalent, The Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick, was founded, but has now fallen dormant. The claim that James VII was reviving an earlier Order is not supported by the evidence; the 1687 warrant states that during the 786 battle of Athelstaneford with Æthelstan of East Anglia, the cross of St Andrew appeared in the sky to Achaius, King of Scots. This seems unlikely. An alternative version is that the Order was founded in 809 to commemorate an alliance between Achaius and Emperor Charlemagne, yet another is Robert the Bruce instituted the order after his victory at Bannockburn in 1314. Most historians consider the earliest credible claim to be the founding of the Order by James III, during the fifteenth century, he adopted the thistle as the royal badge, issued coins depicting thistles and conferred membership of the "Order of the Burr or Thissil" on Francis I of France. However, there is no conclusive evidence for this. Writing around 1578, John Lesley refers to the three foreign orders of chivalry carved on the gate of Linlithgow Palace, with James V's ornaments of St Andrew, proper to this nation.
Some Scottish order of chivalry may have existed during the sixteenth century founded by James V and called the Order of St. Andrew, but lapsed by the end of that century. James VII issued letters patent "reviving and restoring the Order of the Thistle to its full glory and magnificency" on 29 May 1687, his intention was to reward Scottish Catholics for their loyalty but the initiative came from John, 1st Earl and 1st Jacobite Duke of Melfort Secretary of State for Scotland. Only eight members out of a possible twelve were appointed. After James was deposed by the 1688 Glorious Revolution and no further appointments were made until his younger daughter Anne did so in 1703, it remains in existence and is used to recognise Scots'who have held public office or contributed to national life.' James, Earl of Perth. When James VII revived the Order, the statutes stated that the Order would continue the ancient number of Knights, described in the preceding warrant as "the Sovereign and twelve Knights-Brethren in allusion to the Blessed Saviour and his Twelve Apostles".
In 1827, George IV augmented the Order to sixteen members. Women were excluded from the Order. From time to time, individuals may be admitted to the Order by special statutes; such members do not count towards the sixteen-member limit. Members of the British Royal Family are admitted through this procedure. King Olav V of Norway, the first foreigner to be admitted to the Order, was admitted
Vietnam Campaign Medal
The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal known as the Vietnam Campaign Medal is a military campaign medal, created in 1949, awarded to French military personnel during the First Indochina War. During the Vietnam War, the South Vietnamese government awarded the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device to members of the South Vietnamese military for wartime service and on March 24, 1966, to members of the U. S. military for support of operations in Vietnam. In May 1966, other allied; the medal was awarded for two different periods of service in Vietnam. The first period for the award was from 8 March 1949 to 20 July 1954; the second period was from 1 January 1960 to the end of the Vietnam War. On 30 April 1975, Saigon was captured by South Vietnam surrendered; the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal was manufactured in France. The medal was awarded to French military personnel. During the Vietnam War, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device was manufactured in the United States and governed by Republic of Vietnam Decrees No.
149/SL/CT of 12 May 1964 and No 205/CT/LDQG/SL of 2 December 1965. The medal was established by the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Order No. 48, 24 March 1966. The medal is awarded to military personnel, both South Vietnamese for twelve months wartime service in the field, allied foreign military who have directly participated for six months in "a large-scale military campaign during certain periods of time". All RVN and foreign personnel who served less than six months must meet the following requirements: were wounded by a hostile force. Awarded in a single class, the medal was awarded under the authority of the Chief of the Joint General Staff, Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces. Public Law 88–257 permits U. S. military personnel to accept the medal for service performed in Vietnam from 1 March 1961 to 28 March 1973, inclusive. Since March 1966, the medal may be awarded to any service member who, while serving outside the geographical limits of the Republic of Vietnam, contributed direct combat support to the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces for six months.
This stipulation most applies to members who performed Vietnam War support from the 7th Fleet and Guam, Japan. In such cases, a U. S. service member must meet the criteria established for the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal or Vietnam Service Medal during the period of service required to qualify for the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. Personnel assigned in the Republic of Vietnam on 28 January 1973 must meet one of the following: served a minimum of 60 days in the Republic of Vietnam as of that date; the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal was awarded to Australian military personnel for service in South Vietnam during the period 31 July 1962 to 28 March 1973. The requirements for the award are: at least 181 days service, either continuous or aggregated, unless killed on active service; the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal was referred to as the "New Zealand Vietnamese Campaign Medal". The medal was awarded to New Zealand Forces for service in Vietnam for six months between 1964 and 1973.
The medal was approved for wear in 1966. The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal is made of a gold colored metal in the shape of a 36 mm wide six-pointed white enameled star with six pointed gold rays between the arms of the star. In the center of the star is an 18 mm green colored disc bearing a gold colored map of Vietnam with three painted flames in red between North and South Vietnam, signifying the three regions of Vietnam. On the reverse of the medal is a circle bearing the inscription Chiến Dịch above and Bội Tinh below the word VIET-NAM in the center; the suspension ribbon and service ribbon of the medal is green with three vertical white stripes. Ribbon devicesThe Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Memorandum 2655 authorized two sets of two silver-plated devices for the suspension ribbon of the medal, service ribbon of the medal and the miniature medal suspension ribbon, to indicate two separate periods of struggle against communism in South Vietnam. Both sets of the devices if authorized, could be worn on the ribbons.
Period 1: 8 March 1949 – 20 July 1954: The 1949–54 device is worn on the medal suspension ribbon and the 49–54 device is worn on the service ribbon of the medal and the miniature medal suspension ribbon. These devices are not authorized for wear by American military personnel. Period 2: 1 January 1960 – the end of the war: The 1960– device is worn on the medal suspension ribbon and the 60– device is worn on the service ribbon of the medal and the miniature medal suspension ribbon; the unusual appearance was caused by the Republic of Vietnam government stating that the 1960– and 60– devices would show the dates of the Vietn
Mentioned in dispatches
A member of the armed forces mentioned in dispatches is one whose name appears in an official report written by a superior officer and sent to the high command, in which his or her gallant or meritorious action in the face of the enemy is described. In some countries, a service member's name must be mentioned in dispatches as a condition for receiving certain decorations. Service men and women of the British Empire or the Commonwealth who are mentioned in despatches are not awarded a medal for their action, but receive a certificate and wear an oak leaf device on the ribbon of the appropriate campaign medal. A smaller version of the oak leaf device is attached to the ribbon. Prior to 2014 only one device could be worn on a ribbon, irrespective of the number of times the recipient was mentioned in despatches. Where no campaign medal is awarded, the oak leaf is worn directly on the coat after any medal ribbons. In the British Armed Forces, the despatch is published in the London Gazette. Before 1914 nothing was worn in uniform to signify a mention in despatches, although sometimes a gallantry medal was awarded.
For 1914–1918 and up to 10 August 1920, the device consisted of a spray of oak leaves in bronze worn on the ribbon of the Victory Medal. Those who did not receive the Victory Medal wore the device on the British War Medal. Established in 1919, it was retrospective to August 1914, it was not a common honour with, for example, only twenty-five members of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment in the First World War mentioned in despatches. In all, 141,082 mentions were recorded in the London Gazette between 1914 and 1920. From 1920 to 1993, the device consisted of a single bronze oak leaf, worn on the ribbon of the appropriate campaign medal, including the War Medal for a mention during the Second World War; the Canadian Armed Forces still use the bronze oak leaf device. Since 1993 a number of changes have been made in respect of United Kingdom armed forces: For awards made from September 1993, the oak leaf has been in silver; the criteria were made more specific, it now being defined as an operational gallantry award for acts of bravery during active operations.
From 2003, in addition to British campaign medals, the MiD device can be worn on United Nations, NATO and EU medals. In a change introduced in 2014, up to three MiD devices may be worn on a single campaign medal and ribbon bar for those with multiple mentions, backdated to 1962. Prior to this change if the serviceman was mentioned in despatches more than once, only a single such device was worn. Prior to 1979, a mention in despatches was one of three awards that could be made posthumously, the others being the Victoria Cross and George Cross; the 1979 reform allowed. Soldiers can be mentioned multiple times; the British First World War Victoria Cross recipient John Vereker Field Marshal Viscount Gort, was mentioned in despatches nine times, as was the Canadian general Sir Arthur Currie. The Australian general Gordon Bennett was mentioned in despatches a total of eight times during the First World War, as was Field Marshal Sir John Dill. Below are illustrations of the MiD device being worn on a variety of campaign medal ribbons: Australian service personnel are no longer eligible to be mentioned in dispatches.
Since 15 January 1991, when the Australian Honours System was established, the MiD has been replaced by the Australian decorations: the Commendation for Gallantry and the Commendation for Distinguished Service. The equivalents of the MiD for acts of bravery by civilians and by soldiers not engaged with the enemy have been reformed; the reformed and comprehensive system is now as follows: The Commendation for Gallantry is now the fourth level decoration for gallantry. The Commendation for Brave Conduct recognises acts of bravery carried by soldiers not directly fighting the enemy and by civilians in war or peace; the Commendation for Distinguished Service, a third level distinguished service decoration, recognises distinguished general service, for exemplary performance in fields such as training and administration. A mention in dispatches – in French, Citation à l'ordre du jour – gives recognition from a senior commander for acts of brave or meritorious service in the field; the Mention in dispatches is among the list of awards presented by the Governor General of Canada.
Mention in dispatches has been used since 1947, in order to recognize distinguished and meritorious service in operational areas and acts of gallantry which are not of a sufficiently high order to warrant the grant of gallantry awards. Eligible personnel include all Army and Air Force personnel including personnel of the Reserve Forces, Territorial Army and other lawfully constituted armed forces, members of the Nursing Service and civilians working under or with the armed forces. Personnel can be mentioned in dispatches posthumously and multiple awards are possible. A recipient of a mention in a dispatch is entitled to wear an emblem, in the form of a lotus leaf on the ribbon of the relevant campaign medal, they are issued with an official certificate from the Ministry of Defence. Under the current Pakistani military honours system, the Imtiazi Sanad is conferred upon any member of the Pakistani Armed Forces, mentioned in dispatches for an act of gallantry that does not qualify for a formal gallantry award.
In 1920 the Minister of Defence of the Union of South Africa was empowered to award a multiple-leaved bronze oak leaf emblem to all servicemen and servicewomen mentioned in dispatches during the First World War for valuable services in action. The emblem, regarded as a decoration, was worn on the ribbon of the Victory Medal. Only one emblem was