The Médaille militaire (Military Medal) is a decoration of the French Republic which was first instituted in 1852.


Médaille militaire


     The creator of the médaille was the emperor Napoléon III, who may have taken his inspiration in a medal issued by his father, Louis Bonaparte, King of Holland. The Military Medal is issued to any non-commissioned officer or enlisted personnel who distinguishes himself by acts of bravery in action against an enemy force. Commissioned officers are not eligible. An interesting feature of the médaille is that it's also the supreme award for leadership, being awarded to generals and admirals who had been commanders-in-chief. This particular médaille is considered superior even to the grand cross of the Légion d'honneur. After the First World War, the Military Medal was also issued for receiving wounds in combat.

The Médaille militaire is one of rarest French decorations to be bestowed upon foreigners, in contrast to such medals as the Croix de guerre.