Canadian Forces Decoration

Instituted on the 15th December 1949 the Canadian Forces Decoration was awarded to officers, and to the men and women of the Canadian Forces who have completed twelve years of military service, with certain conditions. The decoration is awarded to all ranks, who must have a good record of conduct during the final eight years of claimed service. The medal is awarded to the regular forces, reserve forces and to officers to the Cadet Instructors List. Service in the regular and reserve of auxiliary forces of the British Commonwealth of Nations will be counted towards the medal 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.


Materials:   The majority of the British medals and clasps are made of solid silver, though some were issue in bronze versions, mainly to Indian non-combatants.  The majority of the British campaign awards are circular, usually 36mm in diameter.

Ribbons:    Medals are worn suspended from their own specific ribbons. These were first made of silk but cotton was increasingly used as the nineteenth century developed.  Their own colours often have a symbolic significance: the equal stripes of the ‘1939 to 1945 Star,’ for example, are dark blue to represent the service of the Royal and Merchant Navies, red, to represent that of the Armies and light blue to represent that of Air Forces.

Ribbon width can vary slightly though it is generally 32mm wide.

Ribbon – Orange red divided into four equal parts by three thin white stripes

Canadian Forces Decoration ribbon
Canadian Forces Decoration ribbon

Suspender - Ornate

Type – Long service and good conduct medal

Eligibility – Members of the Canadian Forces

Awarded for – 12 years’ service with the Regular or Reserve forces

Established – 15th December 1949

Naming – King George VI version - Name and rank are engraved on the reverse of the solid bar. Queen Elizabeth II version - Name and rank are stamped on bottom edge

Post Nominals - Recipients of the Canadian Forces Decoration are entitled to use the post nominal letters ‘CD’

Bars / Clasps - A clasp/bar, is awarded for every 10 years of subsequent service

Description – Gold gilt coloured decagonal (ten-sided, representing the ten provinces) medal, height 35mm, max width 37mm. The medal obverse shows the reigning monarch, while the reverse shows a   crown, three maple leaves and an eagle in flight 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.


This guide will help you through all the parts and descriptions of military medals



Bigbury Mint


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