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