The Military Medal for Valour (Valor Militar) was created 2 October, 1863, by decree of the Secretary of State for the Affairs of War, initially in two degrees – gold and silver, and much later with and additional one– copper. It rewards “heroic acts of bravery and self-sacrifice or of great moral courage and exceptional capacity of decision, be in campaign, be in times of peace, but always in circumstances in which there is a proved or presumed life danger” (2002 Law).
OBVERSE: a cross patée, in a circular fruity crown of laurel, all green, and with a national emblem in the center, encirlcle by the legend «VALOR MILITAR» (Military Valor), in blue, in uppercase golden elzevir font.
REVERSE: plain, with the name and rank engraved, as well as the date of the action.
If won for campaign feats or service, a PALM DEVICE will be added to the ribbon.
The following criteria apply for each of the classes:
GOLD – all the non enamelled features are in gold, and a golden national emblem device is put over the ribbon;
SILVER – all the non enamelled features are in silver, and a silver national emblem device is put over the ribbon;
COPPER – all the non enamelled features are in copper, and there is no device on the ribbon.
A golden palm device is worn on the ribbon, alongside the national emblem device, if the decoration was awarded for feats during a campaign.
Second highest award
After the Tower and the Sword, the Military Valor medal is the second highest ranking decoration in the order of precedence.
Valour in the Ultramar
Decorations awarded during the Colonial War (1961-1975):
Army – 129
Navy – 4
Air Force – 26
– Decreto-Lei n.º 316/2002 de 27 de Dezembro – Regulamento da Medalha Militar e das Medalhas Comemorativas das Forças Armadas;
– Afonso, Aniceto & Matos Gomes, Carlos de, Guerra Colonial, Diário de Notícias, Lisboa: s/d