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Star of Military Valour
The Star of Military Valour
Awarded by the
Canadian Coat of Arms Shield.svg
Queen of Canada
Type Medal
Eligibility Any person enrolled in the Canadian Forces.
Awarded for Distinguished and valiant service in the presence of the enemy.
Status Currently awarded
Post-nominals SMV
Established 2 February 1993
First awarded 25 October 2006
Total awarded 18
Next (higher) Order of Newfoundland and Labrador
Next (lower) Star of Courage
SMV ribbon.png
Ribbon of the Star of Military Valour

The Star of Military Valour (French language: Étoile de la vaillance militaire) is a decoration that is, within the Canadian system of honours, the second highest award for military valour,[1] and one of three honours for military valour gifted by the Canadian monarch, generally through his or her viceroy-in-Council. Created in 1993, the medal is presented to both living and deceased members of the Canadian Forces deemed to have demonstrated "distinguished and valiant service in the presence of the enemy,"[2] and grants recipients the ability to use the post-nominal letters SMV.


On 2 February 1993,[1] three decorations, including the Star of Military Valour, were created by Queen Elizabeth II as a family of Canadian military valour decorations.[3] The first awarding of the star was by Governor General Michaëlle Jean, on 27 October 2006; only with Canada's participation in the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan did there emerge, for the first time since 1993, circumstances wherein one could carry out actions deserving of the Star of Military Valour.[4]


The Star of Military Valour is in the form of a silver-gilt compass star Celeste with a maple leaf in each angle. On the obverse is a roundel at the centre of the star, bearing a gold maple leaf on a red enamel background and surrounded by a silver laurel wreath. The reverse bears on the upper arm the Royal Cypher of the reigning monarch beneath a St. Edward's Crown—symbolizing the Canadian monarch's roles as both fount of honour and Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Forces[5][6]—and the inscription PRO VALORE. Below this is engraved the name and rank of the recipient.[1]

This medallion is worn on the left chest, on a 38 millimetres (1.5 in) wide crimson ribbon with two vertical white stripes: for men, hung from a bar, and for women, on a ribbon bow, both pinned to the left chest.[1] Should an individual already possessing a Star of Military Valour be awarded the medal again for subsequent valourous acts, he or she is granted a simple gold medal bar, bearing a maple leaf at its centre, for wear on the ribbon from which the original medal is suspended;[1]

Eligibility and receipt

The star is awarded only to members of the Canadian Forces, or members of allied armed forces serving alongside the Canadian Forces,[3] who have shown conspicuous acts of valour in the face of enemy hostility.[2] Should a person meet these criteria, nominations are made through his or her chain of command to the Military Valour Decorations Advisory Committee[3]—a part of the Chancellery of Honours at Government House—which then makes its recommendations to the Governor General of Canada, via the Chief of the Defence Staff.[3] Once they have been decorated with the Star of Military Valour, recipients are granted the right to use the post-nominal letters SMV. The Star of Military Valour can be awarded posthumously, as well as multiple times.[1]


In chronological order, the recipients have been:

  • Sergeant Patrick Tower SMV CD, awarded 25 October 2006
  • Major William Hilton Fletcher SMV CD, awarded 18 December 2006
  • Private Jess Randall Larochelle SMV, awarded 14 March 2007
  • Corporal Sean Teal SMV, awarded 14 March 2007
  • Major David Quick SMV, awarded 8 January 2008
  • Sergeant William Kenneth MacDonald SMV CD, awarded 4 April 2008
  • Master-Corporal J. Donovan Ball SMV, awarded 26 June 2008
  • Captain Jonathan Snyder SMV, awarded posthumously 26 June 2008
  • Warrant Officer David Shultz SMV, awarded 13 November 2009
  • Master Corporal Jeremy Pinchin SMV, awarded 4 June 2010
  • 3 unnamed members of the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command, awarded 11 March 2011[7]
  • Captain Gabriel Chasse-Jean SMV CD, awarded 11 June 2011
  • Master Warrant Officer Richard Stacey SMV CD, awarded 11 June 2011
  • Corporal Jean-François Belzil SMV, awarded 18 September 2012
  • Private Taumy St-Hilaire SMV, awarded 15 November 2012 [8]
  • Senior Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Thomas Arthur Ratzlaff USN [9]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Veterans Affairs Canada. "Canada Remembers > Records & Collections > Canadian Orders, Medals and Decorations > Canadian Military Medals and Decorations > Modern Honours of Canada > Star of Military Valour". Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved 26 August 2009. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Office of the Governor General of Canada. "It's an Honour > Canadian Honours System > Decorations > Military Valour Decorations". Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved 14 November 2009. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Governor General to present 48 Military Decorations at Rideau Hall". Queen's Printer for Canada. 9 February 2009. Retrieved 26 August 2009. 
  4. "Governor General announces the first-ever awarding of Military Valour Decorations". Queen's Printer for Canada. 27 October 2006. Retrieved 26 August 2009. 
  5. Royal Canadian Mounted Police. "Honours and Recognition Programs > Canadian National Honours". Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved 20 May 2009. 
  6. Department of National Defence. "DH&R Home > Canadian Honours Chart > Sacrifice Medal (SM)". Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved 2 September 2009. 
  7. Office of the Governor General of Canada (11 March 2011). "Governor General Presents Military Decorations". Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved 14 November 2011. 
  8. Kirkup, Kristy (15 November 2012). "Canadian and Allied soldiers honoured for military valour". Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  9. "Memorial Tribute for Senior Chief Petty Officer Special Warfare Operator Thomas Arthur Ratzlaff". Washington: United States Government Printing Office. 8 September 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 

External links

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