Awards and decorations of the Indian Armed Forces

The Armed Forces of India are eligible for a myriad of military decorations. Decorations are awarded for extraordinary bravery and courage, as well as distinguished service during times of war and peace. Service and campaign medals have been awarded throughout the history of India as an independent state.


Decorations in the order of precedence:

Wartime gallantry awards
  Param Vir Chakra (PVC)
  Maha Vir Chakra (MVC)
  Vir Chakra (VrC)
Peacetime gallantry awards
  Ashok Chakra (AC)
  Kirti Chakra (KC)
  Shaurya Chakra (SC)
Wartime distinguished service medals
  Sarvottam Yudh Seva Medal (SYSM)
  Uttam Yudh Seva Medal (UYSM)
  Yudh Seva Medal (YSM)
Peacetime distinguished service medals
  Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM)
  Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM)
  Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM)
Distinguished Service & Gallantry medals
  Sena Medal (Army) (SM)
  Nausena Medal (Navy) (NM)
  Vayusena Medal (Air Force) (VM)

Service and campaign medalsEdit

  Wound Medal (Parakram Padak)
  General Service Medal 1947
  Samanya Seva Medal
  Special Service Medal
  Samar Seva Star
  Poorvi Star
  Paschimi Star
  Operation Vijay Star
  Siachen Glacier Medal
  Raksha Medal
  Sangram Medal
  Operation Vijay Medal
  Operation Parakram Medal
  Sainya Seva Medal
  High Altitude Service Medal
  Antrik Suraksha Padak
  Videsh Seva Medal

Long service awardsEdit

  Meritorious Service Medal
  Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
  30 Years Long Service Medal
  20 Years Long Service Medal
  9 Years Long Service Medal
  Territorial Army Decoration
  Territorial Army Medal

Independence medalsEdit

  Indian Independence Medal
  50th Independence Anniversary Medal
  25th Independence Anniversary Medal

Mention in DispatchesEdit

Mention in Dispatches has been used since 1947, in order to recognize distinguished and meritorious service in operational areas and acts of gallantry which are not of a sufficiently high order to warrant the grant of gallantry awards.[1]

Eligible personnel include all Army, Navy and Air Force personnel including personnel of the Reserve Forces, Territorial Army, Militia and other lawfully constituted Armed Forces, members of the Nursing Service and Civilians working under or with the Armed Forces.[1]

Personnel can be mentioned in dispatches posthumously and multiple awards are also possible. A recipient of a Mention in a Despatch is entitled to wear an emblem, in the form of a lotus leaf on the ribbon of the relevant Campaign Medal. They are also issued with an official certificate from the Ministry of Defence.[1]

Commendation CardEdit

Chief of Army Staff Commendation Card

All three branches of the military issue Commendation Cards, which are badges awarded for "individual acts of gallantry or distinguished service or devotion to duty performed either in operation or non-operational areas. It is a type of gallantry award.The award will be for a specific act of bravery or distinguished service or special service. The award will not be made posthumously."

All three branches issue Commendations Cards at the level of the highest officer (Chief of the Army Staff, Chief of the Naval Staff and Chief of the Air Staff). The awards at lower levels seem to vary between services.[2][3][4]

Order of wearEdit

The various decorations and medals are worn in the following order:[5][6]

Precedence Award Name Ribbon
1 Bharat Ratna  
2 Param Vir Chakra  
3 Ashoka Chakra  
4 Padma Vibhushan  
5 Padma Bhushan  
6 Sarvottam Yudh Seva Medal  
7 Param Vishisht Seva Medal  
8 Maha Vir Chakra  
9 Kirti Chakra  
10 Padma Shri  
11 Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak  
12 Uttam Yudh Seva Medal  
13 Ati Vishisht Seva Medal  
14 Vir Chakra  
15 Shaurya Chakra  
16 President's Police and Fire Services Medal for Gallantry
17 President's Police Medal for Gallantry  
18 President's Fire Services Medal for Gallantry
19 President's Correctional Service Medal for Gallantry
20 President's Home Guards and Civil Defence Medal for Gallantry
21 Yudh Seva Medal  
22 Sena Medal  
Nau Sena Medal  
Vayu Sena Medal  
23 Vishisht Seva Medal  
24 Police Medal for Gallantry  
25 Fire Services Medal for Gallantry
26 Correctional Service Medal for Gallantry
27 Home Guards and Civil Defence Medal for Gallantry
28 Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak  
29 Parakram Padak (Wound Medal)  
30 General Service Medal - 1947  
31 Samanya Seva Medal - 1965  
32 Special Service Medal  
33 Samar Seva Star-1965  
34 Poorvi Star  
35 Paschimi Star  
36 Operation Vijay Star Medal  
37 Siachen Glacier Medal  
38 Raksha Medal – 1965  
39 Sangram Medal  
40 Operation Vijay Medal  
41 Operation Parakram Medal  
42 Sainya Seva Medal  
43 High Altitude Medal  
44 Police (Special Duty) Medal - 1962
45 Videsh Seva Medal  
46 President's Police and Fire Services Medal for Distinguished Service
47 President's Police Medal for Distinguished Service  
48 President's Fire Services Medal for Distinguished Service
49 President's Correctional Service Medal for Distinguished Service
50 President's Home Guards and Civil Defence for Distinguished Service
51 Meritorious Service Medal  
52 Long Service and Good Conduct Medal  
53 Police Medal for Meritorious Service  
54 Fire Services Medal for Meritorious Service
55 Correction Service Medal for Meritorious Service
56 Home Guards and Civil Defence Medal for Meritorious Service
57 Jeevan Raksha Padak
58 Territorial Army Decoration  
59 Territorial Army Medal  
60 Indian Independence Medal-1947  
61 Independence Medal - 1950
62 50th Anniversary of Independence Medal  
63 25th Independence Anniversary Medal  
64 30 Years Long Service Medal  
65 20 Years Long Service Medal  
66 9 Years Long Service Medal  
67 Commonwealth Awards
68 Other Awards

Wearing medals by the next of kinsEdit

An order issued on 11 July 2019 by the Indian Army's "Ceremonial and Welfare Adjutant General's Branch" made it permissible for the close relatives of the deceased military personnel to wear their medals on the right side of chest while attending homage ceremonies at war memorials, cemeteries and funerals. These gallantry or service awards of deceased can be worn by their family members, such as spouses, children, parents, forefathers while wearing civil clothes.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Mention in Dispatches". Indian Army. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Precedence Of Medals". Official Website of the Indian Army. Indian Army. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  6. ^ "Order of Precedence | Indian Navy". Official Website of the Indian Navy. Retrieved 25 December 2016.
  7. ^ Indian Army allows next of kin to wear medals of late ex-servicemen during homage ceremonies, India Today, 23 July 2019.

External linksEdit