decorations, civil and military

decorations, civil and military

decorations, civil and military, honors bestowed by a government to reward services or achievements, particularly those implying valor. The practice of bestowing such decorations dates back at least to the laurel wreaths of the ancient Greeks and Romans and gained prevalence with the medieval custom of conferring knighthood (see knight).

Orders of knighthood, such as the Order of the Bath and the Order of the Garter, still exist in Great Britain. British orders created in modern times—e.g., the Distinguished Service Order (1886), the Royal Victorian Order (1896), the Order of Merit (1902), and the Order of the British Empire (1917)—are decorations for civil and military service rather than true feudal orders. In the rest of Europe the old orders of knighthood, where they still exist, have also tended to lose their feudal connotations. Among the best known orders of chivalry are the Order of the Golden Fleece, created (1429 or 1430) by Philip the Good of Burgundy and conferred by Austria and by Spain; the Danish orders of the Dannebrog (1219) and Elephant (1462); the Italian orders of Annunziata (1362) and of Saints Maurice and Lazarus (1434); the papal order of the Golden Spur (1559); the Prussian orders of the Black Eagle (1701) and Red Eagle (1734); the Swedish Order of the Seraphim (1748); and the Polish orders of the White Eagle and of Polonia Restituta (1919). The French Legion of Honor, created by Napoleon I in 1802, is composed of an unlimited number of knights and headed by a grand master (the president of France).

In the late 19th and 20th cent., countries in many parts of the world followed the lead of the European nations and instituted elaborate systems of honors. Most European orders are graded in several classes, and the stars, crosses, ribbons, and other insignia corresponding to different classes vary greatly in aspect and value. Major military decorations include the Medaille militaire (France, 1852); the Croix de Guerre (Belgium and France, 1915); the Iron Cross (Germany, 1813; revived in 1939); and the Victoria Cross (Great Britain, 1856).

The highest decoration for exceptional heroism in the United States is the Congressional Medal of Honor, instituted in 1861 for the Navy and 1862 for the Army. Among other decorations awarded by the Congress are the Distinguished Service Cross and Distinguished Service Medal (1917) and the Distinguished Flying Cross (1942). The Purple Heart (created by George Washington, 1782; revived 1932) is awarded for wounds received in action; the silver star and bronze star are awarded, respectively, for heroism and for outstanding service. Each service has its own cross that ranks above the silver star. Oak-leaf clusters (in the Navy, gold or silver stars) are marks of repeated awards of the same decoration. In the United States and Great Britain a ribbon, indicating by its colors the corresponding medal, rather than the medal itself, is worn over the left breast pocket of the uniform. In some other countries, e.g., Russia, the medals themselves are worn suspended on ribbons.

Several countries award decorations to entire units; an example is the Presidential Unit Citation in the United States. Campaign ribbons and battle stars are decorations awarded automatically for presence in certain battles or theaters of operations. Some countries also give awards for civilian service, such as the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the United States.

The following is the listing of Awards and decorations of the military of Sri Lanka. The items are summarised below, with more details available in the detailed article on each one. The decorations are listed in the order of wearing them.

Parama Weera Vibhushanaya

The Parama Weera Vibhushanaya (parama vīra vibhūṣanaya, "Supreme Heroism Decoration") medal and bar are awarded as a reward for individual acts of gallantry and conspicuous bravery of the most exceptional order in the face of the enemy, performed voluntarily whilst on active service, and with no regard to the risks to his own life and security with the objective of safeguarding thereby the lives of his comrades or facilitating the operational aim of his force.

Weerodara Vibhushanaya

The Weerodara Vibhushanaya (vīrōdāra vibhūṣanaya, "Heroic Greatness Decoration") medal and bar are conferred as a reward for individual acts of gallantry and conspicuous bravery of a non military nature of the most exceptional order performed voluntarily with no regard to the risk to his own life and security with the objective of saving or safeguarding thereby the life or lives of a person or persons imperiled by death or for a meritorious act or a series of acts of human nature of an exceptional order displayed in saving life from drowning, fire and rescue operations in mines, floods and similar calamities under circumstances of Grave Bodily Injury or great danger to the life of the rescuer. The degree of courage and promptitude displayed shall be taken into consideration.

Weera Wickrama Vibhushanaya

The Weera Wickrama Vibhushanaya (vīra vikrama vibhūṣanaya, "Heroic Valour Decoration") medal and bar are conferred as a reward for individual acts of gallantry and conspicuous bravery of a military nature of a high order in the face of the enemy, performed voluntarily whilst on active service without regard for his own security with the objective of safeguarding thereby the lives of his comrades or facilitating the operational aim of his force or for a meritorious act or a series of acts of a human nature of high order displayed in saving life from drowning, fire and rescue operations in mines, floods and similar calamities under circumstances of bodily injury or danger to the life of the rescuer. The degree of courage and promptitude displayed shall be taken into consideration.

Rana Wickrama Padakkama

The Rana Wickrama Padakkama (raṇa vikrama padakkama, "Combat Gallantry Medal") medal and bar are awarded as a reward for individual or associated acts of bravery in the face of the enemy and performed voluntarily.

Rana Sura Padakkama

Rana Sura Padakkama (raṇa śūra padakkama, "Combat Excellence Medal") medal and bar are awarded as a reward for individual acts of gallantry,conspicuous and honourable bravery of a military nature of a high order in the face of the enemy, performed voluntarily whilst on active service without regard for his own security with the objective of safeguarding the motherland. The recipient will receive the award only by his/her excellency the President of the Democratic social republic of Sri Lanka.

Vishista Seva Vibhushanaya

Senior officers in the Army, Navy and Air Force provided they count not less than 25 years of service and possess an unblemished record of moral and military conduct shall be eligible for the Vishista Seva Vibhushanaya (viśiṣṭa sēvā vibhūṣanaya, "Distinguished Service Decoration") award. The service requisite to qualify for the decoration should be continuous uninterrupted service. Every recipient of the decoration shall be eligible for second conferment during his life time.

Uttama Seva Padakkama

The Uttama Seva Padakkama (uttama sēvā padakkama, "Meritorious Service Medal") shall be granted to all officers and other ranks of the Regular and Volunteer Forces of the Armed Service of the Republic of Sri Lanka for valuable service and devotion to duty marked by exceptional ability, merit and exemplary conduct provided they count not less than 15 years continuous and uninterrupted service and possess and unblemished record of moral and military conduct. Every recipient of the medal shall be entitled to use the symbol USP after his/her name.

Videsha Seva Padakkama

It is ordained that the Videsha Seva Padakkama (vidēśa sēvā padakkama, "Foreign Service Medal") medal shall be granted to all ranks of the Regular and Volunteer Forces of the Army, Navy and Air Force of the Republic of Sri Lanka for active service outside the territorial limits of the Island provided such service is connected with active service in a Foreign Military Mission or Campaign or in the defence of Sri Lanka or for service connected with military or peace keeping Operations conducted under the auspices of the United Nations Organization as defined in the regulations hereinafter made.

Republic of Sri Lanka Armed Services Medal-1972

It is ordained that the Republic of Sri Lanka Armed Services Medal shall be awarded to all ranks of the Regular and Volunteer Forces of the Armed Service of the Republic of Sri Lanka, including officers but excluding those in the ranks of the Ceylon Cadet Corps, who were in service on the 22nd May 1972 and who are recommended by the Commander of the Army, the Captain of the Navy or the Commander of the Air Force, to receive the award.

Sri Lanka Army 25th Anniversary Medal-1974

The Sri Lanka Army 25th Anniversay Medal shall be awarded to all ranks of Army (Regular/ Volunteer) and Civilians who were on the authorised cadres on 02nd March 1974.

Sri Lanka Army 50th Anniversary Medal-1999

The Sri Lanka Army 50th Anniversay Medal shall be awarded to all ranks of the Sri Lanka Army (Regular/ Volunteer) and the Civilians who were on the authorized carders on 2nd March 1999.

Sri Lanka Navy 50th Anniversary Medal-2000

The Sri Lanka Navy 50th Anniversary Medal shall be awarded to all ranks of the Regular and Volunteer Forces of the Navy and civilians on the authorized establishment of the Navy. Provided that all those to whom the medal is awarded shall have completed a minimum of ten years at any time during the period of 9th December 1999 to 8th December 2000, being the year of the 50th Anniversary of the Sri Lanka Navy.

Sri Lanka Navy 25th Anniversary Medal-1975

The Sri Lanka Navy 25th Anniversary Medal shall be awarded to all ranks of the Regular and Volunteer Forces of the Navy and civilians on the authorized establishment of the Navy. Provided that all those to whom the medal is awarded shall have completed a minimum of ten years at any time during the period of 9th December 1974 to 8th December 1975, being the year of the 25th Anniversary of the Sri Lanka Navy.

Sri Lanka Air Force 50th Anniversay Medal-2001

The Sri Lanka Air Force 50th Anniversay Medal shall be awarded to all ranks of the Sri Lanka Air Force (Regular/ Volunteer) and the Civilians who were on the authorized carders on 2nd March 2001.

Sri Lanka Air Force 25th Anniversary Medal-1976

The Sri Lanka Air Force 50th Anniversay Medal shall be awarded to all ranks of Air Force (Regular/ Volunteer) and civilians who were on the authorised cadres on 02nd March 1976.

Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal-1953

The Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal was a commemorative medal made to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 issued in all commonwealth countries.

Ceylon Armed Services Long Service Medal

It is ordained that the Ceylon Armed Services Long Service Medal shall be granted to all ranks of the Regular Forces of the Armed Services, in the Dominion of Ceylon, who complete 12 years service as defined in the regulations of the respective warrants.

Sri Lanka Armed Services Long Service Medal

The Sri Lanka Armed Services Long Service Medal shall be granted to all ranks/rates of the Regular Force of the Sri Lanka Navy, who complete 12 years continuous service and whose character and conduct have been irreproachable and who are recommended by their Area Commanders/Commanding Officers to receive the award. Periods of desertion or absence without leave and period of detention or imprisonment will not be admissible as qualifying service. It is to be noted that service in the armed services of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka not involving whole time military service, shall not reckon as qualifying service for the medal, except that when such Reserves or Volunteer Force are mobilized, embodied or called out on active service in an emergency, the period during which a member of such Reserves of Volunteer Forces is actually employed on whole-time service, shall reckon as qualifying service.

President's Inauguration Medal-1978

The President's Inauguration Medal shall be awarded to all ranks of the Regular and Volunteer Forces of the Sri Lanka Army, the Sri Lanka Navy and the Sri Lanka Air Force including officers but excluding those in the ranks of the Sri Lanka Cadet Corps, who were in service on the February 4, 1978, and who are recommended by the Commander of Army, Commander of the Navy and the Commander of the Air Force to receive the award.

50th Independence Anniversary Commemoration Medal-1998

The 50th Independence Anniversary Commemoration Medal shall be awarded to all ranks of the Regular and Volunteer Forces of the Army, Navy and Air Force who are in active service as at the February 4, 1998, and who are recommended by the respective Service Commanders.

Desha Putra Sammanaya

It is ordained that the Desha Putra Sammanaya medal shall be granted to all ranks of the Army, Navy and the Air Force of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, who are wounded in action in the face of the enemy and who are recommended by the Commander of the Army, the Commander of the Navy or the Commander of the Air Force or receive the award under the terms and conditions defined in the regulations of the respective warrant.

North and East Operations Medal

The North and East Operations Medal is awarded to personnel who have served in the below mentioned areas and the period required to qualify for the medal shall be for an accumulated period of 3 years since July 23, 1983.

  • Eastern Naval Area
  • Northern Naval Area
  • North Central Naval Area
  • SLNS Vijaya (Time served after January 1, 1997, only will be considered).

Purna Bhumi Padakkama

The Purna Bhumi Padakkama is awarded to personnel who have served in the districts of:

Vadamarachchi Operation Medal

It is ordained that the Vadamarachchi Operation Medal shall be granted to

  • All personnel of the Security Forces who were actively involved in the military operations in the vadamarachchi area.
  • All those logistic and administrative personnel who were involved is operating the troops in the forward areas during the Vadamarachchi operations, whether they were stationed in Vadamarachchi or elsewhere,
  • All security personnel deployed outside the Vadamarachchi operational area in order to assists the Vadamarachchi operations.
  • All those persons both military and civil, who planned the Vadamarachchi operations and were present in the Jaffna Peninsula during the Vadamarachchi Operations.
  • All military and civil hospital personnel who provided medical support and care to the casualties during the Vadamarachchi operation.

Riviresa Campaign Services Medal

It is ordained that the Riviresa Campaign Services Medal shall be awarded to the Deputy Minister of Defence, Service Commanders, Inspector General of Police, all military personnel on active service, along with civilian doctors and their staff, police personnel, civilians who were explode by the service and took part actively in the execution of the Operation Riviresa I during the period of October 17, 1995 to December 5, 1995, subject to the conditions laid down in the regulations in the warrant.

Karyakshama Seva Vibhushanaya

The Karyakshama Seva Vibhushanaya (kāryakṣama sēvā vibhūṣaṇaya, "Efficient Service Decoration") medal award to the commissioned officers is a reward for long, meritorious, loyal and valuable service of proven capacity in the Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force, and, is governed by the proclamation dated January 07, 1986.

Kariyakshama Seva Padakkama

The Karyakshama Seva Padakkama (kāryakṣama sēvā vibhūṣaṇaya, "Efficient Service Medal") medal award to the Warrant Officers and other ranks, is a reward for long, meritorious, loyal and valuable service of proven capacity in the Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force, and, is governed by the proclamation dated January 07, 1986.

Prashansaniya Seva Vibhushanaya

The award of the Prashansaniya Seva Vibhushanaya to Commissioned Officers of are reward for long, meritorious, loyal and valuable service with unblemished conduct in the Sri Lanka Volunteer Naval Force and is governed by the proclamation dated January 31, 2000.

Prashansaniya Seva Padakkama

The award of the Prashansaniya Seva Padakkama to Petty Officers, Leading Seaman and Seaman is a reward for long, meritorious, loyal, valuable, service and unblemished conduct in the Sri Lanka Volunteer Naval Force and is governed by the proclamation dated January 31, 2000.

Ceylon Armed Services Inauguration Medal

The Ceylon Armed Services Inauguration Medal is awarded to members of the Ceylon armed services who served during specified periods in 1949-1951. Established in July, 1955.

Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force Centenary Medal

The Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force Centenary Medal was awarded on the 100th Anniversary of the Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force.

United Nations' Service Medal

The United Nations Medal for participation in UN peace keeping opeartions

See also

References

External links

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