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Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 1949-Present From West Germany through to the modern reunified German Republic.

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Are These Military or Civil Awards
Old 02-20-2020, 03:17 PM   #1
Ron P
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Default Are These Military or Civil Awards

I saw these for sale at a military shop recently. Are they military or civil or both? Thanks, Ron.
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Old 02-20-2020, 05:22 PM   #2
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Civilian (or perhaps better described as a general award, as it is also awarded to military personnel):

This is the Verdienstorden der Bundesrepublik Deutschland [Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany].

More specifically, the grades seen here are: Großes Verdienstkreuz, Verdienstkreuz am Bande, Verdienstkreuz I. Klasse, Verdienstmedaille.

For some more information on background and grades, see:

http://www.bundespraesident.de/EN/Ro...erit-node.html

https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/blob...tufen-data.pdf

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Old 02-20-2020, 05:45 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by HPL2008 View Post
Civilian (although also awarded to military personnel).

This is the Verdienstorden der Bundesrepublik Deutschland [Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany].

More specifically, the grades seen here are: Großes Verdienstkreuz, Verdienstkreuz am Bande, Verdienstkreuz I. Klasse, Verdienstmedaille.

For some more information on background and grades, see:

http://www.bundespraesident.de/EN/Ro...erit-node.html

https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/blob...tufen-data.pdf

Thank you for the information! They appear to be not awarded for military achievements at all but rather political, scientific, philanthropy, diplomatic, etc. acts. Regards, Ron.
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Old 02-20-2020, 06:11 PM   #4
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Thank you for the information! They appear to be not awarded for military achievements at all but rather political, scientific, philanthropy, diplomatic, etc. acts. Regards, Ron.
It's a general-purpose award for a wide range of meritorious achievements and service in the interest of the republic.

The vast majority of recipients are civilian, but they include military personnel as well, especially senior figures like Inspector General Schneiderhan:

http://www.bundespraesident.de/Share...0429_Rede.html

An example for a non-German military recipient is General John William Nicholson Jr., who was honored for his achievements in the interest of the North Atlantic Treaty:

https://www.bmvg.de/de/aktuelles/bun...lson-jr--45026

Less typical is Staff Sergeant Trevor Donald Brewer, who was decorated for bravery in a terrorist act in Frankfurt:

https://m.zimbio.com/photos/Lamar+Jo...ck/SctDY42T1Z0

(These are just completely random examples.)

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Old 02-20-2020, 08:24 PM   #5
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Thank you!!!
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Old 02-20-2020, 09:43 PM   #6
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I know of two civilians that got the second award pictured. Something about sending a few hookers over to the German embassy in DC. Helluva party according to those that attended.
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Old 02-21-2020, 12:37 PM   #7
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Hi,

during my military service I applied for the "Medal of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany" for my Kompaniefeldwebel (Spieß > CSM), citing both outstanding military and civilian merit. A few months later it was awarded to him.

Uwe
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Old 02-21-2020, 01:05 PM   #8
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My Grandfather got the 1st Class awarded.
I was at the ceremony where the guy who lead the ceremony broke the Pin and I repaired it later.
He was also a Knight of the Order of St. Johns. Back then only possible for Nobles, I think today they also award the Knighthood to others too.
My Nephew is a Knight too.
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Old 02-21-2020, 03:47 PM   #9
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Thanks guys. Very interesting! I can assume these would never be combat awards for bravery or rescuing wounded, or leadership under fire, etc.?
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Old 02-21-2020, 05:16 PM   #10
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Thanks guys. Very interesting! I can assume these would never be combat awards for bravery or rescuing wounded, or leadership under fire, etc.?
There are other specifically military awards for that.

On the occasion of the 25th founding anniversary of the Bundeswehr in 1980, the Ehrenzeichen der Bundeswehr [Decoration of the Bundeswehr] was instituted. Originally, it came in four classes. All were and are awarded for faithful service and above-average performance, with each grade requiring a successively longer minimum time in service. (Note that they are not automatic long service awards; the time in service is just an additional requirement.) These are:
  • Ehrenmedaille der Bundeswehr [Honor Medal of the Bundeswehr] (minimum time in service: 7 months)
  • Ehrenkreuz der Bundeswehr in Bronze [Honor Cross of the Bundeswehr in Bronze] (minimum time in service: 5 years)
  • Ehrenkreuz der Bundeswehr in Silber [Honor Cross of the Bundeswehr in Silver] (minimum time in service: 10 years)
  • Ehrenkreuz der Bundeswehr in Gold [Honor Cross of the Bundeswehr in Gold] (minimum time in service: 20 years)

Due to the changing role of the German military from territorial defense to an ever-increasing number of foreign deployments - with all the dangers and hardships that come with it - the need for additional decorations was recognized and eventually met by the 2008 institution of two new special versions and an additional grade of the Honor Cross (none of which require a minimum time in service). These are:
  • Ehrenkreuz der Bundeswehr in Silber in besonderer Ausführung [Special Version of the Honor Cross of the Bundeswehr in Silver] (for particularly outstanding achievements, especially outstanding individual acts of soldierly fulfilment of duty, at no risk to one's own life or physical safety)
  • Ehrenkreuz der Bundeswehr in Gold in besonderer Ausführung [Special Version of the Honor Cross of the Bundeswehr in Gold] (for particularly outstanding achievements, especially outstanding individual acts of soldierly fulfilment of duty, at risk to one's own life or physical safety)
  • Ehrenkreuz der Bundeswehr für Tapferkeit [Honor Cross of the Bundeswehr for Bravery] (for exceptional acts of valor)

(The special version silver and gold crosses differ from the regular ones in that the arms of the crosses have a red border; the bravery cross differs from the regular gold grade in that it has a cluster of oak leaves on the ribbon.)

For pictures, award numbers and background information (German language), see the Bundeswehr's own brochure:

https://www.bundeswehr.de/resource/b...illen-data.pdf

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Old 02-21-2020, 08:29 PM   #11
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Great information. Thank you!
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Old 02-21-2020, 10:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedytop View Post
Hi,

during my military service I applied for the "Medal of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany" for my Kompaniefeldwebel (Spieß > CSM), citing both outstanding military and civilian merit. A few months later it was awarded to him.

Uwe
I thought I was the only one that this happened too. My Training NCO got one of my medals; it was some accomplishment for him having done nothing, so he displayed it proudly on his office wall. Well, he's dead, so I guess I still win.
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Old 02-22-2020, 01:36 PM   #13
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Hi 101combatvet,

I have a problem with your comment.

The Hauptfeldwebel (CSM) in my company got this award for exceptional military and civilian performances; not for "done nothing".

My application went first the military and then the civilian way, with a series of statements until the decision.
It was and is not possible, to get the German "Verdienstorden" for "done nothing".

I have given an outstandingly good "Kompaniefeldwebel" a well-deserved tribute.

Uwe
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Old 02-22-2020, 10:02 PM   #14
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i remember some schandals in the 80's I think where they awarded them, to fill the quota, even to Cleaners in the Government Buildings adn a big one was Franz Josef Strauß, a bavarian Politician who gave one to his daughter.
Many people said that they want to give theirs back if anybody gets them for nothing.
No doubt that the KFW really deserved it, but it's right that sometimes in Germany Awards were given to people who didn't, just to please them.
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