Portuguese Military and Commemorative Medals

The Portuguese military orders, decorations and medals are presented acordingly to order of precedence. We focus here only on the military relevant military orders, excluding some of the military orders, national & merit orders. You can know more on all these in the website of the Presidency of  the Portuguese Republic for ODMs. The ribbons in the following chart are simple, with no devices on them, even if one is required for use.

The Portuguese Military ODM system is divided into Ancient Military Orders (Tower and Sword, Aviz and Cristo), Military Medals and Commemorative Medals. The distinction between the last two is made in the current legislation (2002), and stems from the way the Military Medal was created in 5 October, 1863, then, just in 3 classes (Vlour, Good Services and Exemplary Behaviour).

The creation of new military medals (War Cross and Military Merit) as well as numerous commemorative ones (Campaigns, Wounded, Promotion for distinction, POWs, etc), most during and just after the World War I, led to the distinction, in 1946, between military and commemorative medals, all under the Military Medal ‘umbrella’, which is still used.

Eventually, the creation of five merit medals between 1985 and 2002 has led to a very rich and comprehensive honour system available to reward the military service of the Portuguese Armed Forces and all its soldiers, seamen and airmen.


Military Order of the Tower and the Sword

Military Valour medal

War Cross medal

Military Order of Christ

Military Order of Aviz

Distinguished Services medal

Military Merit medal

National Defence medal

St. George’s Cross medal

Naval Cross medal
D. Afonso Henriques medal

Aeronautical Merit medal

Exemplary Behaviour medal


Promoted for Distinguished Feats in Campaign medal

Wounded in Campaign medal

Recognition medal (POW)

Campaigns Commemorative medal

Special Comissions of Service Commemorative medal


Granada & Peça do Rossilhão (1793)

Medalha da Tomada de Caiena (1809)

Medalha de Distinção de Comando

Guerra Peninsular War Cross (Officers)

Guerra Peninsular War Cross (Enlisted and NCO)

Guerra Peninsular War Cross (Civilian and militarised personnel)

Cross and Star of Montevideo

Medal of Fidelity TO King and Fatherland (popularly known as Dust Medal)

D. Pedro e D. Maria Medal – Liberty Campaigns/Civilian Services

Auxiliary Division Spain Medal (1835-1837)

D. Pedro V Medal: Angola 1860

Queen D. Amélia Medal (GSM)

Medalha da Vitória