Military Wiki
Canadian Forces Decoration
File:CD Medal.jpg
Obverse and Reverse
Awarded by Canada
Type Long service and good conduct medal
Eligibility Members of the Canadian Forces
Awarded for Military service
Status Currently awarded
Post-nominals CD
Established 15 December 1949
First awarded 7 June 1951
Next (higher) Royal Canadian Mounted Police Long Service Medal
Next (lower) Police Exemplary Service Medal

The Canadian Forces Decoration (post-nominal letters "CD") is a Canadian award bestowed upon members of the Canadian Forces who have completed twelve years of military service, with certain conditions.[1] By convention, it is also given to the Governor General of Canada upon his or her appointment as viceroy, which includes the title of Commander-in-Chief in and over Canada.[2] The decoration is awarded to all ranks, who must have a good record of conduct during the final eight years of claimed service.[1]

The first Governor General to receive the CD was Viscount Alexander of Tunis in 1951.[3] The medal was initially awarded to all members of the Royal Family who served in the Canadian Forces, even without completion of twelve years of service; this has, however, not been automatic since 1953.[3]


The decoration is awarded to officers and non-commissioned members of the Regular Force, The Reserve Force subcomponents; The Primary Reserve, the Cadet Organizations Administration and Training Service (COATS), and the Canadian Rangers and honorary appointments in the Canadian Forces. Time on the Supplementary Reserve List does not apply.

Service in the regular and reserve or auxiliary forces of the Commonwealth of Nations will be counted towards the decoration if the final five years have been with the Canadian Forces and no other long service, good conduct or efficiency medal has been awarded for the same service.

The medal may be awarded to persons in possession of any long service, good conduct or efficiency decoration or medal clasps, provided that the individual has completed the full qualifying periods of service for each award and that no service qualifying towards one award is permitted to count towards any other.

The service need not be continuous.

This award supersedes all other long service, good conduct or efficiency awards for members joining the Canadian Forces after 1 September 1939.[1]


The medal is decagonal (ten-sided, representing the ten provinces), 36 millimetres across the flats, with raised busts.[1] The King George VI medal is .800 fine silver and gilded. The Queen Elizabeth II medal is tombac (a copper-zinc alloy) A gilded copper version was introduced in 2008. The King George VI medal has the uncrowned coinage head of King George VI, facing left, with the inscription GEORGIVS VI D: G: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF around the edge. The Queen Elizabeth II medal has the uncrowned coinage head of Queen Elizabeth II, facing right, with the inscription around the edge ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA with the word CANADA at the bottom. The reverse of the medal has a crown, three maple leaves and an eagle representing the navy, army and air force from top to bottom. The word SERVICE is on a scroll at the base and a fleur-de-lis is on each side of the crown. The Royal Cypher is superimposed on the centre of the King George VI medal, but is omitted from the Queen Elizabeth II medal.[3] The King George VI medal has the name and rank of the person to whom the medal was awarded to engraved on the reverse of the solid bar while the Queen Elizabeth II medal has the name and rank engraved around the edge of the medal. Early Queen Elizabeth II medals had the letters stamped rather than engraved.[3]

A clasp, also known as a bar, is awarded for every 10 years of subsequent service.[1] The bar is tombac and is 0.25 inches (6.4 mm) high, has the Canadian coat of arms in the centre surmounted by a crown, and is gold in colour. This is indicated on the undress ribbon bar by a rosette.[1]

Recipients of the Canadian Forces Decoration are entitled to use the post nominal letters "CD". This post-nominal is not affected by the awarding of clasps.[1]


External links

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