Military orders and decorations
Emblem Description Postnom Established Eligibility Period Remarks
Level 1 Decorations
VC Victoria Cross VC 5 Feb 1856 Jan 1856 – present For valour in combat.
GC George Cross GC 24 September 1940 1940 – present For valour other than in combat.
Orders – First Class
GCB Knight/Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath(Military Division) GCB(Mil) 27 May 1725 27 May 1725 – present Prior to 2 Jan 1815, this grade was known as a Knight Companion of the Order of the Bath.
OM Order of Merit(Military Division) OM(Mil) 23 June 1902 23 Jun 1902 – present
GBE Knight/Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire(Military Division) GBE(Mil) 24 August 1917 4 Jun 1917 – present
Orders – Second Class
KCB/DCB Knight/Dame of the Order of the Bath(Military Division) KCB(Mil) 2 Jan 1815 2 Jan 1815 – present
DCB(Mil)
KBE/DBE Knight/Dame of the Order of the British Empire(Military Division) KBE(Mil) 24 August 1917 4 Jun 1917 – present
DBE(Mil)
Orders – Third Class
CB Companion of the Order of the Bath(Military Division) CB(Mil) 2 Jan 1815 1815 – present
CBE Commander of the Order of the British Empire(Military Division) CBE(Mil) 24 August 1917 4 Jun 1917 – present
Level 2A Decoration (Order)
DSO Distinguished Service Order DSO 09 Nov 1886 1885 – present From Oct 1993 awarded for leadership only. Replaced for gallantry in Oct 1993 by the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross.
Orders – Fourth Class
OBE Officer of the Order of the British Empire(Military Division) OBE(Mil) 24 August 1917 4 Jun 1917 – present
Orders – Fifth Class
MBE Member of the Order of the British Empire(Military Division) MBE(Mil) 6446 4 Jun 1917 – present
Level 2A Indian Order (Decoration)
IOM Indian Order of Merit (1st Class) IOM(Mil) 1837–1911 Replaced by the VC in 1911.
IOM Indian Order of Merit (2nd Class) IOM(Mil) 1837–1947
IOM Indian Order of Merit (3rd Class) IOM(Mil) 1837–1947
Level 2A Decorations
CGC Conspicuous Gallantry Cross CGC 01 October 1993 1993 – present
RRC RRC 27 April 1883 1883 – present
Level 3A Decorations
DSC Distinguished Service Cross DSC 01 June 1901 1901 – present Awarded only to officers until 1993.
MC Miltary Cross MC 01 December 1914 1914 – present
DFC Distinguished Flying Cross DFC 01 June 1918 1918 – present
AFC Air Force Cross AFC 03 June 1918 1918 – present
ARRC Royal Red Cross (Class II) ARRC 27 April 1883 1917 – present
OBI Order of British India (first Class) OBI 1837–1947
OBI Order of British India (Second Class) OBI 1837–1947
Level 2B Medals
DCM Distinguished Conduct Medal DCM 27 January 1905 1854–1993 Replaced in Oct 1993 by the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross.
CGM Conspicious Gallantry Medal CGM 1874–1993
CGM Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (Flying) CGM 16 February 1905 1874–1993
GM George Medal GM 01 September 1940 1940 – present
Royal West African Frontier Force Distinguished Conduct Medal 21 March 1905 1907–1942
King's African Rifles Distinguished Conduct Medal 21 March 1905 1907–1942
Level 3B Medals
IDSM Indian Distinguished Service Medal IDSM 01 June 1907 1907–1947
DSM Distinguished Service Medal DSM 01 October 1914 1914–1993 Equivalent awards for ORs to similarly named crosses for officers.
MM Military Medal MM 25 March 1916 1916–1993
DFM Distinguished Flying Medal DFM 01 June 1918 1918–1993
AFM Air Force Medal AFM 03 June 1918 1918–1993
SGM Sea Gallantry Medal SGM 10 August 1854 1854 – present
BGM Burma Gallantry Medal BGM 10 May 1940[13] 1940–1948
QGM Queen's Gallantry Medal QGM 20 June 1974 1974 – present
BEM British Empire Medal(Military Division) BEM 24 August 1917 04 Jun 1917 – 1993
2012–Present
QVRM Queen's Volunteer Reserves Medal QVRM 21 June 1905 1999 – present
Level 4 Commendations
Mentioned in Despatches 03 April 1905 1914 – present Insignia attached to appropriate campaign medal; if no campaign medal awarded, insignia attached to left of dress uniform
King's/Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct 1939–1994
King's/Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air 1939–1994
Queen's Commendation for Bravery 1994 – present
Queen's Commendation for Bravery in the Air 1994 – present
Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service 1993 – present