List of highest military decorations

CountryImageNameDate first awardedNumber awardedNotes
ArgentinaCross to the Heroic Valour in Combat18Last awarded in 1982
AustraliaThe Victoria Cross for Australia16 January 2009[1]4Replaced The Victoria Cross
AustriaThe Military Merit Decoration
BangladeshBir Sreshtho15 December 1973 7
Brazil Order of Military Merit (Brazil) 1934 820
Bulgaria Order of Bravery 1 January 1880 Date established.
CanadaThe Victoria Cross of Canada2 February 19930Date established.
Replaced The Victoria Cross
ChinaOrder of August First12 June 201710
ColombiaOrder of San Mateo
DenmarkThe Valour Cross18 November 2011[2]1
EstoniaThe Cross of Liberty24 February 19193,156None has been awarded since 1925
FinlandMannerheim Cross22 July 1941197Last awarded 7 May 1945
FranceThe Legion of Honour15 July 1804Conferred in five classes for military or civilian merit.
GermanyThe Cross of Honour for Valour6 July 200928Replaced the Iron Cross due to its association with the Nazi regime.
GreeceMedal for Gallantry

Cross of Valour

The Medal for Gallantry formally replaced the Cross of Valour as the top military award in 1974, but it has never been conferred.
IndiaParam Vir Chakra3 November 194721
IsraelMedal of Valor19 January 194840[3]Replacement for the Hero of Israel.
None has been awarded since 1975.[3]
ItalyGold Medal of Military Valour21 May 1793
LuxembourgMilitary Medal3 August 1945[4]
MyanmarAung San Thiriya19486
NetherlandsMilitary William Order30 April 18155,875
New ZealandThe Victoria Cross for New Zealand26 July 2007[5]1Replaced The Victoria Cross.
NorwayThe War Cross with Sword28 November 1941285A new sword is awarded each time a person, who already has the War Cross, distinguishes him- or herself in battle.[6]
Pakistan Nishan-e-Haider (Left) Hilal-e-Kashmir (Right)16 March 195711On 30 November 1995, the Government of Pakistan initiated the gazette notification to declare its Hilal-e-Kashmir equivalent to Nishan-e-Haider.

All awards have been made posthumously.

PolandOrder of Virtuti Militari22 June 1792Conferred in five classes. A wartime-only award.
Portugal Order of the Tower and Sword 1459 The Order of the Tower and Sword, as awarded by the Portuguese government today, comes in six classes
RussiaHero of the Russian FederationHonorific title for service to the Russian state and nation, usually connected with a heroic feat of valor; precedes all other Russian military and civil orders and medals.
RussiaOrder of St. GeorgeHighest military decoration of the Russian Federation.
SpainLaureate Cross of Saint Ferdinand1 January 1812336
ThailandOrder of Rama22 July 1918Date established.
Conferred in six classes for military merit.
United KingdomThe Victoria Cross26 June 1857[7]1357[nb 1]
1354[nb 2]
United StatesMedal of Honor26 March 18633468[nb 1][8]
3449[nb 2]
Different types from each of the branches of the US military.

In the image, from left to right: The Army, the Coast Guard/Navy/Marine Corps, and the Air Force.

ZimbabweThe Gold Cross of Zimbabwe3Replaced the Grand Cross of Valour


  1. Total medals awarded.
  2. Total recipients of the medal.


  1. "Australian SAS soldier Mark Donaldson awarded Victoria Cross". The Australian. News Limited. 16 January 2009. Archived from the original on 5 March 2009. Retrieved 7 August 2009.
  2. "Dronningen overrækker nyt Tapperhedskors til hjemvendt soldat". Archived from the original on 2012-01-21. Retrieved 2013-07-15.
  3. Shoval, Lilach. "'Heroes' from Independence War mostly gone, but not forgotten". Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  4. "Actualités - Lëtzebuerger Arméi" (in French). Archived from the original on 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2011-12-31.
  5. "Willie Apiata receives his VC". The New Zealand Herald. 26 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-03.
  6. "Direktiv for bruk og bæring av dekorasjoner, ordener og medaljer i Forsvaret Archived 2013-09-25 at the Wayback Machine". Retrieved 2013-08-16
  7. Herold, Stephen. "The First Presentation of the Victoria Cross". Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  8. "Medal of Honor Statistics". Retrieved 15 July 2013.
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