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Order of Military Merit
Орден „За Военна Заслуга“ I степен (без шарф и без звезда).jpg
Order of Military Merit III grade with brilliants, Kingdom of Bulgaria
Awarded by The president of Bulgaria
Type Order
Eligibility Military personnel.
Awarded for Awarded for great contributions for the development and the consolidation of the Bulgarian Army, for participation in peacekeeping, peacemaking and humanitarian operations, for long and immaculate service and contribution for the national security and civil order in Bulgaria.
Status Currently awarded
Established 18 May 1900
Next (higher) Order of St St Cyril and Methodius
Equivalent Order of Civil Merit
Next (lower) None
Пластина на „Орден за Военна Заслуга“.jpg

The Order of Military Merit (Bulgarian language: Орден за Военна Заслуга ) is a Bulgarian order during the Kingdom of Bulgaria and the Republic of Bulgaria. In is the third highest order in the Republic of Bulgaria along with the Order of Civil Merit and the Order of the Madara Rider.


The order was established with a decree of the Knyaz on 19 May 1900 as a sign of the benevolence of the Monarch to the bravery of the Bulgarian army. It was similar to the Order of Civil Merit but made for military personnel. The order was given to military figures for immaculate service and special merit. It was established with six grades and in 1933 the Grand Cross was added.

The order had a shape of Pisan cross with shoulder covered in red enamel. There were two swords between them with edges pointing to the top. In the centre of the averse was placed the monogram of the founder Knyaz Ferdinand, surrounded by a ring in green enamel with inscription ЗА ВОЕННА ЗАСЛУГА (For Military Merit). The averse resembled that of the Order of Civil Merit but with green ring. It had a royal crown on the top.

During war the order had slightly different resemblance with laurel wreath on the shoulders of the cross and white ring.

The Grand Cross was worn on a wide yellow ribbon with black and white edges - the colours of the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha dynasty. The fourth, fifth and sixth grade were worn on a small triangle ribbon on the chest.

After 9 September 1944 the ribbon was substituted with the one of the Order of Civil Merit, the monogram of Ferdinand was removed and replaced with the Bulgaria tricolour flag. In the 1950s the order was abolished. It was restored in two grades in 2004.

Grade in the Kingdom of Bulgaria

  • I grade, Grand Cross. Awarded to senior state officers and military personnel. It was worn with a sash over the shoulder.
  • II grade, Grand Officer Cross. Awarded only to generals. It is similar to the cross of I grade but had a size of 63 mm. It was worn with a ribbon around the neck.
  • III grade, Commander Cross. Awarded to commanders of regiments (colonels and lieutenant colonels). The size of the cross was between 54 and 63 mm. It had no stars and was worn with a ribbon around the neck.
  • IV grade, Officer Cross. Awarded to majors and captains who commanded companies. It was similar to the cross of III grade but smaller - between 48 and 51 mm.
  • V grade, Cavalier Cross. Awarded to commanders with rank up to captain, Opalchentsi, volunteers in the Serbo-Bulgarian War, the Balkan Wars and others. The size was between 48 and 51 mm.
  • VI grade, Silver Cross. Awarded to sergeants, Opalchentsi, volunteers in the wars and others. The diameter of the cross was 46 mm.

Republic of Bulgaria

The Order of Military Merit is the third highest order in Bulgaria. It was reestablished with the Law for the Orders and Medals of the Republic of Bulgaria on 13 June 2004. It is awarded by the president of the nation.


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