Canadian Forces Decoration (CD)
1949 - Present
Long serving soldiers of the Calgary Highlanders are
recognized by the award of the Canadian Forces Decoration. This medal was created in
December 1949 and first issued in 1951, replacing a wide array of previous decorations
that were specific to certain branches or rank groups only. The CD has always been
available to any member of the Canadian Forces regardless of rank, service or
branch. The requirement for award of the medal is 12 years of service, the last
eight of which must be marked by an unblemished record of good conduct.
The Calgary Highlanders generally award this decoration at
important functions at which the majority of the Regiment is in attendance, so the
recipient may be rewarded in front of his peers. The medal is awarded with a
presentation case, and the soldier's name and rank are engraved on the edge of the medal.
On average approximately 7,500 presentations of the CD are
made per year within the Canadian Armed Forces as a whole.
Additional periods of 10 years are marked by the addition of
a bar to the medal; when the full medal is worn, this metal bar (called a
"clasp" in reference to this particular decoration) is worn on the ribbon.
In "undress", when only the ribbon is worn, the clasp actually takes the
form of a metal rosette.
||Chief Warrant Officer Martin McCumber, MMM, CD,
is notable for having been awarded three clasps to his CD for his service as a Calgary
An unofficial practice has been taken up in some quarters in using the postnominal
"CD1" to refer to a holder of the Canadian Forces Decoration with Clasp,
"CD2" to represent a CD holder with 2 clasps, etc. This is not correct and
is not permitted by regulation. The only approved and recognized post-nominal is
"CD" regardless of the number of clasps held.
Efficiency Decoration (ED)
1931 - 1949
This medal was awarded for twenty years of
"meritorious service" in the Non-Permanent Active Militia (as the Reserve Army
was known before 1940). Only officers of the NPAM (or RCAF Auxiliary and Reserve)
were eligible for this award. Wartime service counted as double towards the award
criteria. For officers commissioned from the ranks, half the time they spent as a
non-commissioned soldier could counted towards this award. This medal was
issued between 1931 and 1949, when it was replaced with the CD described above.
Bars would be awarded for each additional 20 years of service.
Approximately 3,700 awards were made.
Canadian Efficiency Medal
1931 - 1949
The non-commissioned soldier's counterpart
to the ED was the Canadian Efficiency Medal, award for 12 years service to Warrant
Officers, NCOs and Men serving in the reserve services (sea, land and air) of
Canada. The medal was awarded from 23 September 1931 until replaced by the Canadian
Forces Decoration in 1949. Every six additional years of service was recognized by a
bar to the medal. There was no post-nominal associated with the award.
During the reign of King George V, some 1,600
awards of the medal were made; 10,600 under King George VI, and 450 during the reign of
Queen Elizabeth II (the Canadian Forces Decoration was not awarded to those enlisting
before 1 September 1939). Additionally, in total there were some 3,200 first bars
awarded (recognizing 18 years of service), 845 second bars (24 years), 140 third bars (30
years), 18 fourth bars (36 years) and 3 soldiers were recognized for 42 years service by
the award of a fifth Bar to their Efficiency Medal.
Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officers' Decoration (VD)
1901 - 1931
The predecessor of the ED was the Colonial Auxiliary
Forces Officers' Decoration (carrying with it the now ominous-sounding post-nominal
This medal was issued to officers (only) of the Non-Permanent Active Militia, for
twenty years of "meritorious service." The medal was awarded from 4
February 1901 to 31 December 1931, after which time it was replaced by the Efficiency
Decoration. A bar would be awarded for twenty additional years of service.
During the reign of Queen Victoria, 850 awards were made to
Canadians; 250 during the reign of King Edward VII and 1,660 awards during the reign of
King George V.
Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal
1902 - 1931
The non-commissioned soldier's counterpart to the VD
was the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal. This award did not come with a
post-nominal. Non-commissioned reservists in the land, air and naval forces of
Canada were entitled to this award, issued from 4 February 1902 to 23 September 1931, for
20 years service (with war service counting double). There was no provision for
additional awards after twenty years (ie no Bar to this medal).
During the reign of Queen Victoria, 1,350 awards were made to
Canadians; 750 during the reign of King Edward VII, and over 4,300 awards during the reign
of King George V.
This award was superceded by Canadian Efficiency Medal.