Conspicuous Gallantry Cross (CGC)

Created in 1993 and first awarded in 1995 the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross (CGC) is a second level military decoration of the British Armed Forces which could be awarded posthumously for “recognition of an act or acts of conspicuous gallantry during active operations against the enemy”. All ranks of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, British Army, and Royal Air Force may be awarded the CGC in recognition of qualifying acts of gallantry. Personnel who perform a further act of such gallantry which would have merited a second award of the CGC would be issued with a silver bar.

The Victoria Cross is the only higher combat gallantry award presented by the United Kingdom.

After a review in 1993 of the British honours system and part of a drive to remove distinctions of rank in awards for bravery, the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross (CGC) replaced both the Distinguished Conduct Medal (Army) and the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (Air and Naval) as second level awards to Other Ranks and ratings. The Conspicuous Gallantry Cross (CGC) also replaced the Distinguished Service Order (DSO), in its role as an award to officers for gallantry. The DSO was retained as an award for outstanding leadership. The CGC now serves as the second level award for gallantry for all ranks across the whole armed forces.


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 – White with blue edges and a red central stripe.

Conspicuous Gallantry Cross ribbon
Conspicuous Gallantry Cross ribbon

 Suspender - Straight

Type – Military decoration

Eligibility – British and allied forces

Awarded for – an act or acts of conspicuous gallantry during active operations against the enemy.

Established – 1993

Post nominals - Recipients are entitled to the post nominal letters CGC

Total Awarded – 53

Clasps – Bars are awarded to the CGC in recognition of the performance of further acts of gallantry meriting the award.

Description – 36mm maximum width; silver cross Patèe imposed on a wreath of laurel, with the Royal Crown in a circular panel in the centre. Suspended by a ring from a plain (straight) suspension bar.

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



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