Armed Forces

Explained: Types of medals in Indian armed forces

Gallantry 

For exceptional bravery in the face of the enemy.

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In war:

Param Vir Chakra

The Param Vir Chakra is India’s top military decoration awarded for the highest degree of valour or self–sacrifice in the presence of the enemy.

Awarded for: Most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice, in the presence of the enemy, whether on land, at sea or in the air.

Mahavir Chakra

The Maha Vir Chakra is the second highest military decoration in India, after the Param Vir Chakra, and is awarded for acts of conspicuous gallantry in the presence of the enemy, whether on land, at sea or in the air.

Awarded for: Acts of gallantry in the presence of the enemy on land, at sea or in the air.

Vir Chakra

Vir Chakra is an Indian gallantry award presented for acts of bravery in the battlefield. It replaced the British Distinguished Service Cross, Military Cross and Distinguished Flying Cross.

Awarded for: Acts of gallantry in the presence of the enemy, whether on land, at sea or in the air.

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In Peacetime:

Ashok Chakra

The Ashoka Chakra is India’s highest peacetime military decoration awarded for valour, courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the battlefield.

Awarded for: Most conspicuous bravery, or some act of daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice otherwise than in the face of the enemy.

Kirti Chakra

The Kirti Chakra is an Indian military decoration awarded for valour, courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the field of battle. It may be awarded to civilians as well as military personnel, including posthumous awards.

Awarded for: Awarded for conspicuous gallantry otherwise than in the face of the enemy

Shaurya Chakra

The Shaurya Chakra is an Indian military decoration awarded for valour, courageous action or self-sacrifice while not engaged in direct action with the enemy. It may be awarded to civilians as well as military personnel, sometimes posthumously.

Awarded for: Gallantry otherwise than in the face of the enemy.

Sena Medal

SM’ redirects here The Sena Medal is awarded to members of the Indian army, of all ranks, “for such individual acts of exceptional devotion to duty or courage as have special significance for the Army.”

Awarded for: Individual acts of exceptional devotion to duty or courage as have special significance for the Army.

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Distinguished Service

For distinguished services

Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM)

Param Vishisht Seva Medal is a military award of India. It was constituted in 1960 and since then till date, it is awarded in recognition to peace-time service of the most exceptional order and may be awarded posthumously.

Awarded for: Recognition to peace-time service of the most exceptional order.

Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM)

Ati Vishisht Seva Medal is a military award of India given to recognize “distinguished service of an exceptional order” to all ranks of the armed forces. The award can also be granted posthumously.

Awarded for: Distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM)

Vishisht Seva Medal is a decoration of the Indian Armed forces. It is awarded to recognize “distinguished service of an exceptional order” to all ranks of the Indian armed forces.

Awarded for: Distinguished service of an exceptional order.

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Service

Length of service, tenure in particular theatre

Siachen Glacier Medal  

The Siachen Glacier Medal is awarded for combat service on the Siachen Glacier along India’s northern border with Pakistan.

High Altitude Medal 

Border-guarding troops deployed on posts above 9,000 feet will are decorated with a new ‘high altitude medal‘ to recognise their services.

Sainya Seva Medal 

Awarded in recognition of non-operational service under conditions of hardship and severe climate in specified areas

Special Service Medal 

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