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French Croix de la Valeur Militaire.


The Cross for Military Valour (Croix de la Valeur Militaire) is a military decoration of France. It recognises an individual bestowed a Mention in Dispatches earned for showing valour in presence of an enemy, in theatres of operations which are not subject to the award of the Croix de guerre des théâtres d'opérations extérieures (Cross of War for Foreign Theatres of Operations). The Cross for Military Valour is usually awarded for security or peacekeeping operations, always outside the French territory.

It was established in 1956 to reward soldiers, sailors, and airmen serving in Algeria who had committed acts of valour or gallantry in combat. Algeria was a department of France at the time, so it was not considered a declared war but peacekeeping operations on French soil. Therefore, the War Cross for foreign operational theatres, which had been awarded for valiant service in Indochina, was not considered appropriate. Médaille de la Valeur Militaire was created on 11 April 1956 with a four-grade system of distinctions. To put it on the same level as the Croix de guerre, the Medal was replaced by a Cross on 12 October 1956.

The Cross was used extensively to reward soldiers for valour in every French military operations since 1956, except the Gulf War and the Kosovo War, when Overseas War Crosses were awarded in place of Crosses for Military Valour.

The silver stars denote an Air Division (division aérienne) award – two awards of this medal.

Reference 638