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How is a medal instituted?
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Medals Q+A

How is a medal instituted?

British Medals Policy

The procedures which lead to the institution of a British award have been followed for many years,with only minor changes. In the case ofcampaignservice or an emergency situation, the processstartswhen the senior Commander in the field considers that the operational situation is such that it is deserving of medallic recognition. His recommendation is passed to PJHQ for their consideration. If it gains support at this level the submission is passed to the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS). If CDS approves the proposal, the Defence Services Secretary submits the case
to the Committee on the Grant of Honours Decorations and Medals, (known generally as the HD Committee), through the Ceremonial Officer of the Cabinet Office. The HD Committee is a sub committee of the Cabinet. If it also supports the case for a medal the submission is presented Her Majesty The Queen for approval.

The HD Committee

The HD Committee evolved from a pre-war organisation, the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals in Time of War. The Committee ischaired by the Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Home Civil Service. The other senior officials are:
Private Secretary to The Sovereign
Appointments Secretary to the Prime Minister
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence
Defence Services Secretary
Permanent Secretary Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Permanent Secretary, Home Office
Secretary of the Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood
Ceremonial Officer of the Cabinet Office (Secretary)
There is no direct Ministerial involvement with the Committee as it reports directly to The Sovereign. However, PPS/Prime Minister is responsible for reporting to the Prime Minister matters discussed by the Committee. Similarly, PS/The Sovereign represents the Royal Household and in this way The Sovereign can be advised of progress throughout all stages of the Committee's deliberations over medal proposals. The Sovereign maintains a keen interest in the work of the Committee.

Qualifying Periods

Qualifying periods for each award or medal are determined by consideration of the rigours of thecampaign. This is not standardised. In some circumstances, the qualifying period agreed has been as short as one day's service, whereas other medals or clasps require 90 days' continuous service. At least one campaign medal (the General Service Medal 1918-1962 with clasp Cyprus) required 120 days service to qualify. The case for each medal is considered on its own merits.


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