Canadian Forces Decoration

Canadian Forces Decoration

Infobox Military Award
name=Canadian Forces Decoration

caption=Obverse and Reverse
type= Long service and good conduct medal
for= Military service
status= Currently awarded
established=15 December 1949
first_award=01 September 1951


The Canadian Forces Decoration is a Canadian award bestowed upon members of the Canadian Forces who have completed twelve years of military service, with certain conditions. By convention, it is also given to the Governor General of Canada upon his or her appointment as viceroy, which includes the title of Commander-in-Chief in and over Canada. The first Governor General to receive the CD was Field Marshal, Viscount Alexander of Tunis in 1951.The decoration is awarded to all ranks, who must have a good record of conduct during the final eight years of claimed service. The decoration is awarded to officers and members of the regular and reserve forces, and to members of the Cadet Instructors Cadre (CIC). Service in the regular and reserve or auxiliary forces of the Commonwealth of Nations will be counted towards the decoration if the final five years have been with the Canadian Forces and no other long service, good conduct or efficiency medal has been awarded for the same service. The medal may be awarded to persons in possession of any long service, good conduct or efficiency decoration or medal clasps, provided that the individual has completed the full qualifying periods of service for each award and that no service qualifying towards one award is permitted to count towards any other. The service need not be continuous. This award supersedes all other long service, good conduct or efficiency awards for members joining the Canadian Forces after September 1, 1939.

The medal is a decagonal (ten-sided, representing the ten provinces), 1.4375 inches across the flats, with raised busts. The King George VI medal is .800 fine silver, finished in silver gilt. The Queen Elizabeth II medal is tombac (a copper-zinc alloy). Both medals are gilt (gold) in colour with the Queen Elizabeth II medal being brighter than King George VI. The King George VI medal has the uncrowned coinage head of King George VI, facing left, with the inscription: GEORGIVS VI D : G : BRITT : OMN : REX FID : DEF : around the edge. The Queen Elizabeth II medal has the uncrowned coinage head of Queen Elizabeth II, facing right, with the inscription around the edge: ELIZABETH II DEI · GRATIA REGINA · CANADA · with the word CANADA being at the bottom. The backside of the medal has a crown, three maple leaves and an eagle representing the navy, army and air force from top to bottom. The word SERVICE is on a scroll at the base and a fleur-de-lis is on each side of the crown. The Royal Cypher is superimposed on the centre of the King George VI medal, but is omitted from the Queen Elizabeth II medal. The King George VI medal has the name and rank of the person to whom the medal was awarded too engraved on the reverse of the solid bar while the Queen Elizabeth II medal has the name and rank stamped on bottom edge.

A bar is awarded for every 10 years of subsequent service. The only member of the Canadian military to have earned five bars for his Canadian Forces Decoration was Leonard Birchall, for 62 years service with the air force. The only other person with five bars was Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. The bar is tombac and is 0.25 inches (6 mm) high, has the Canadian coat of arms in the centre surmounted by a crown, and is gold in colour. The bar for this medal is commonly called a clasp.

Recipients of the Canadian Forces Decoration are entitled to use the post nominal letters "CD".


* cite book
last = Blatherwick
first = Francis John
authorlink = Francis John Blatherwick
title = Canadian Orders, Decorations and Medals
publisher = Toronto: Unitrade Press
date = 2003
isbn = 978-0-91980-1103

* cite book
last = McCreery
first = Christopher
authorlink = Christopher McCreery
title = The Canadian Honours System
publisher = Toronto: Dundurn Press
date = 2005
isbn = 078-1-55002-554-5

* cite book
last = McCreery
first = Christopher
authorlink = Christopher McCreery
title = The Beginner's Guide to Canadian Honours
publisher = Toronto: Dundurn Press
date = 2008
isbn = 978-1-55002-748-8

External links

* [ Decoration]
* [ Canadian Forces Administrative Order 18-4 Recommendations for Canadian Orders, Decorations and Military Honours]

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