List of highest military decorations

Country Image Name Date first awardedNumber awardedNotes
Argentina Cross 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
Bangladesh Bir Sreshtho 15 December 1973 7
Burma Aung San Thiriya19486
Canada The Victoria Cross of Canada 2 February 1993 0 Date established.
Replaced The Victoria Cross
China The Hero's MedalApril 1951
Denmark The Valour Cross18 November 2011[2]1
Estonia The Cross of Liberty 24 February 19193,156None has been awarded since 1925
France The Legion of Honour 15 July 1804 Conferred in five classes for military or civilian merit.
Germany The Cross of Honour for Valour 6 July 200928Replaced the Iron Cross due to its association with the Nazi regime.
Greece Medal 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.
India Param Vir Chakra 3 November 194721
Israel The Medal of Valor 19 January 194840[3]Replacement for the Hero of Israel.
None has been awarded since 1975.[3]
Italy Gold Medal of Military Valour 21 May 1793
Luxembourg Military Medal3 August 1945[4]
Netherlands Military William Order30 April 18155,875
New ZealandThe Victoria Cross for New Zealand26 July 2007[5]1Replaced The Victoria Cross.
Norway The 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.

Poland Order of Virtuti Militari22 June 1792 Conferred in five classes. A wartime-only award.
Russia Order of St. George
Spain Laureate Cross of Saint Ferdinand1 January 1812336
United Kingdom The Victoria Cross 26 June 1857[7]1357[nb 1]
1354[nb 2]
United States The Medal 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.

Zimbabwe The Gold Cross of Zimbabwe 3Replaced the Grand Cross of Valour


  1. 1 2 Total medals awarded.
  2. 1 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". Retrieved 2013-07-15.
  3. 1 2 Shoval, Lilach. "'Heroes' from Independence War mostly gone, but not forgotten". Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  4. "Actualités - Lëtzebuerger Arméi" (in French). 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". 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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