The MEDAL OF AERONAUTICAL MERIT (Medalha de Mérito Aeronáutico), created in October, 11th, 1985, awards military and civilian personnel, national or foreign, who reveal, technically and professionally, high competence, extraordinary performance and relevant personal qualities, significantly contributing to the efficiency, prestige and fulfilment of the mission of the Portuguese Air Force.
The following criteria apply for each of the classes:
1st CLASS: Generals/Admirals, Colonels/Captains
2nd CLASS: Commander/Lieutenant-Colonel or Lieutenant-Commander/Major
3rd CLASS: other officers and Sargent-Major
4th CLASS: other NCO and Enlisted
OBVERSE: aeronautical merit cross, formed by a cross of Christ, of equal length, colored red, with the Air Force eagle in the center on blue, encircled by a golden laurel with the legend: «MÉRITO AERONÁUTICO» (AERONAUTICAL MERIT)
REVERSE: Same form as the obverse, but in the center, over blue, the golden “passarola” of Father Bartolomeu de Gusmão, and legend “EX MERO MOTU”.
The distinction between classes is as it follows:
1st CLASS – gold; neck ribbon; or rosette over ribbon with 0,018 m;
2nd CLASS – silver; rosette over ribbon with 0,015 m;
3rd CLASS – silver; rosette over ribbon with 0,013 m;
4th CLASS – silver; no rosette.
It’s one of the first five private decorations, one for each branch of the Armed Forces, created in 1985, and that precede the Medal of the Cross of St. George, in 2000, and the National Defence Medal, in 2002.
– Decreto-Lei n.º 316/2002 de 27 de Dezembro – Regulamento da Medalha Militar e das Medalhas Comemorativas das Forças Armadas.