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Vietnam Gallantry Cross

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Vietnam Gallantry Cross

Gallantry Cross

Vietnamese (South) Gallantry Cross (anodized)
Awarded by  South Vietnam
Type Military medal (Four class decoration)
Four degrees:
Gallantry Cross with Palm
Gallantry Cross with Gold Star
Gallantry Cross with Silver Star
Gallantry Cross with Bronze Star
Eligibility Awarded to military individuals, corps, divisions, regiments, and brigades
Awarded for accomplishing deeds of valor or displaying heroic conduct while fighting the enemy.
Status No longer awarded
Established 15 August 1950[1]
Next (higher) Special Service Medal[2]
Next (lower) Air Gallantry Cross[2]

Gallantry Cross Ribbon with Palm

Gallantry Cross Ribbon with Gold Star

Gallantry Cross Ribbon with Silver Star

Gallantry Cross Ribbon with Bronze Star

Gallantry Cross Unit Citation Emblem with Palm
(in the colors of the Gallantry Cross with Palm)


The Gallantry Cross (Vietnamese: Anh Dũng Bội Tinh) is a military decoration of the former Government of South Vietnam (Republic of Vietnam). The medal was established on 15 August 1950. The decoration was awarded to military personnel, civilians, and Armed Forces units and organizations in recognition of deeds of valor or heroic conduct while in combat with the enemy. Recipients were cited at the Armed Forces, Corps, Division, Brigade or Regiment level.[1]


The medal is gold in color, 35 mm wide. It consists of a Maltese cross with two crossed swords between the arms. The cross is superimposed over a wreath. The center of the cross contains a disc with the outline of the country of Vietnam between two palm branches joined at the bottom. A scroll is on top of the map and is inscribed "QUOC-GIA LAO-TUONG" (Reward of the State). The medal is suspended by a ribbon 35 mm wide and is made up of the following stripes: 9 mm of Old Glory Red; 17 mm center stripe in Golden Yellow. The center stripe has sixteen strands of Old Glory Red; and 9 mm of Old Glory Red.[3]

Medal degrees

The Gallantry Cross was awarded in four degrees, with a basic medal followed by higher degrees which were the equivalent of personal citations on an organizational level (also known as having been "mentioned in dispatches"). The degrees of the Gallantry Cross are as follows:

  • Gallantry Cross with Palm for: cited at the Armed Forces level[1]
  • Gallantry Cross with Gold Star: cited at the Corps level[1]
  • Gallantry Cross with Silver Star: cited at the Division level[1]
  • Gallantry Cross with Bronze Star: cited at the Regiment or Brigade level[1]

The Gallantry Cross with Palm was awarded in three degrees: golden palm, silver palm and bronze palm (see for example photos of Hal Moore (two golden and one silver palm), Robert H. Barrow (two silver palms), Patrick Henry Brady (one golden palm and one bronze star), H. Norman Schwarzkopf (two bronze palms and one bronze star) or William J. Crowe.

The devices to the Gallantry Cross are not worn simultaneously but instead are upgradeable to the next higher device which would replace the previous device for wear on the decoration.

For U.S. Navy personnel, uniform regulations state the recipient should wear only one Gallantry Cross award (medal or ribbon bar) regardless of the number received. For multiple awards, wear as many authorized devices as will fit on one medal or ribbon bar. Wear the devices for subsequent awards in order of seniority from the wearer's right.

Service Versions

The Gallantry Cross was awarded to members of all military branches, as well as service members of foreign and allied militaries. The similarly named decorations were the Air Gallantry Cross and Navy Gallantry Cross. These decorations were awarded under a different authority, with different criteria and were considered separate decorations.[1]

Unit Award

The Unit Citation Emblem of the colors of the Gallantry Cross is awarded to military personnel in the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces and Allied units that have been cited and presented a decoration which is prescribed to be awarded on a collective basis.

Known as the Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm (Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm and Frame Unit Citation), the Unit Citation Emblem in the colors of the Gallantry Cross with Palm, was created on January 20, 1968 and was issued with the Gallantry Cross ribbon bar with a bronze palm and gold frame. The former Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) Armed Forces awarded the Gallantry Cross individually to certain military units that distinguished themselves to the same level as would be required for the individual award. Regulations for the issuance of the Vietnam Gallantry Cross permit the wearing of both the individual and unit award simultaneously since both are considered separate awards. The Vietnamese Fourragere in the colors of the Gallantry Cross represented represented a military unit cited two times. It was a brilliant golden-yellow, with red intermixed. Department of the Army message 111030Z from April 1974, established the policy that only one emblem for a unit award was authorized to be worn at a time. This change resulted in the fourragere being no longer authorized for wear, as it was representative of multiple awards.[4] The Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm was awarded to every Allied nation which provided military support to South Vietnam. The unit decoration thus became the most commonly awarded Vietnamese decoration to foreigners, second only to the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

United States acceptance

The United States military began authorizing the Vietnam Gallantry Cross in March 1968 with retroactive presentation of the decoration to 1961. In 1974, Army General Order Number 8 confirmed eligibility for the Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation to every military unit of the United States Army which had served under the Military Assistance Command from 1961 to 1974, however, orders, specific as to dates and units, do exist for specific Army commands as well as for members of other services not affected by the Army General Order.

The National Personnel Records Center is the agency which responds to retroactive award requests, from U.S. Army veterans, updating military records to show the Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation, either per Army General Order 8 or per unit specific awards. The decoration itself, both full medal and unit citation, are considered foreign military decorations and are not provided to Vietnam veterans by any of the United States military services. The decoration is available for purchase at most Military Installations military clothing sales. But if they are unable to access a military installation, private military insignia dealers have them on hand. The decoration may also be found for sale on the Internet.

Notable recipients

See also


External links

  • Military Orders, Decorations, and Medals of the Republic of Vietnam
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