The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
It's an Honour
  • Print Preview
  • Print: 
  •  Send to Facebook (Opens in a new window)
  •  Send to Twitter (Opens in a new window)
  • Send to E-mail (Opens in a new window)
  • Share: 

Military Valour Decorations

Military Valour Decorations are national honours awarded to recognize acts of valour, self-sacrifice or devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy. The decorations were approved by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1993. They consist of the Victoria Cross, the Star of Military Valour and the Medal of Military Valour.

A person is eligible to be awarded a Military Valour Decoration if that person, on or after January 1, 1993, was a member of the Canadian Forces, or a member of an allied armed force that was serving with or in conjunction with the Canadian Forces. The Decorations may be awarded posthumously.

Victoria Cross (V.C.)

Victoria CrossThe Victoria Cross was created by Queen Victoria in 1856, and was awarded to Canadians in all wars until 1945. The Canadian Victoria Cross retains the same design and the same awarding criteria as the British Victoria Cross.

The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, the governor general of Canada, unveiled the Canadian Victoria Cross at Rideau Hall on Friday, May 16, 2008, in the presence of the Prime Minister of Canada, parliamentarians, members of the Canadian Forces, veterans and other distinguished guests.

The Victoria Cross recognizes the most conspicuous bravery, a daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty, in the presence of the enemy.

The Cross is a bronze straight-armed cross pattée, 38 mm across, with raised edges.

  • on the obverse is a lion guardant standing upon the Royal Crown, and below the Crown, a scroll bearing the inscription PRO VALORE, and 
  • on the reverse, the date of the act for which the decoration is bestowed is engraved in a raised circle.

Star of Military Valour (S.M.V.)

Star of Military ValourThe Star of Military Valour recognizes distinguished and valiant service in the presence of the enemy.

The Star is a gold star with four points with a maple leaf in each of the angles:

  • on the obverse of which, superimposed in the centre, is a gold maple leaf on a sanguine field surrounded by a silver wreath of laurel, and
  • on the reverse of which, the Royal Cipher (EIIR) and Crown and the inscription PRO VALORE appear, below which is engraved the rank and name of the recipient.

Medal of Military Valour (M.M.V.)

Medal of Military ValourThe Medal of Military Valour recognizes an act of valour or devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy.

The Medal is a circular gold medal:

  • On the obverse of which is a maple leaf surrounded by a wreath of laurel.
  • On the reverse of which appears the Royal Cipher and Crown and the inscription PRO VALORE, and on the edge of which is engraved the rank and name of the recipient.
Date modified: October 17, 2013