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Meritorious Service Cross
The Meritorious Service Cross
Awarded by the
Canadian Coat of Arms Shield.svg
Queen of Canada
Type Medal
Awarded for An action performed in an outstanding manner that brings great benefit or honour to the Canadian Forces or to Canada.
Status Currently awarded
Post-nominals MSC (English)
CSM (French)
Established 11 June 1984 (military division)
6 June 1991 (civil division)
Total awarded 186
Next (higher) Star of Courage
Next (lower) Medal of Military Valour
MSC ribbon-military.png

MSC ribbon-civil.png
Ribbon of the Meritorious Service Cross, military division at top, civil division at bottom

The Meritorious Service Cross (French language: Croix du service méritoire) is a decoration that is, within the Canadian system of honours, one of the two Meritorious Service Decorations gifted by the Canadian monarch, generally through his or her viceroy-in-Council. Created in 1984, the medal is intended to recognize individuals—both Canadian and foreign—who have carried out meritorious acts bringing benefit and honour in either of two categories: military and civilian.[1][2] Award of the medal grants recipients the ability to use post-nominal letters; in English: MSC, and in French: CSM.[2]

Design[edit | edit source]

The Meritorious Service Cross, for both divisions, is in the form of a Greek cross with the arms 38 millimetres (1.5 in) across, the ends splayed and rounded, a laurel wreath visible between them, and a St. Edward's Crown, as a symbol of the Canadian monarch's role as the fount of honour,[3] capping the top arm. At the cross' centre, on the obverse, is a roundel bearing a maple leaf, and on the reverse is two concentric circles, the inner one containing an etched Royal Cypher of the reigning monarch, and the outer one engraved with the words MERITORIOUS SERVICE MÉRITOIRE.[2]

This medallion is worn on the left chest, on a 31.8 millimetres (1.25 in) wide, blue and white ribbon; however, that for the military division has only two white stripes, each 6mm wide and centred on the outer third of each side of the ribbon, while that for the civilian division has an additional 1mm wide white stripe centred between the other two. For men, the cross is hung from a bar, and for women, on a ribbon bow, both pinned to the left chest.[2] Should an individual already possessing a Meritorious Service Cross be awarded the medal again, he or she is granted a medal bar, in silver and bearing a central maple leaf, for wear on the ribbon from which the original medal is suspended.[2]

Eligibility and receipt[edit | edit source]

On 11 June 1984,[2] Queen Elizabeth II, on the advice of her under Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, created the Meritorious Service Cross to recognize highly professional acts that are of considerable benefit to the Canadian Forces; the civilian division was then added on 6 June 1991 (though applicable retroactively to 1984), honouring similar acts—whether in athletics, diplomatic relations, humanitarian activities, etc.—that benefit the nation.[1] Any person, living or deceased, may be nominated for the medal: the military division is awarded to members of the Canadian Forces, or of any foreign military allied with Canada, and nominations come from commanding officers; the civilian division is open to both Canadians and foreigners, and nominations may be submitted by any person.[4] In all cases, however, the event being recognized must have taken place in Canada or involved Canadian citizens.

An award permits recipients to use the post-nominal letters MSC (in French: CSM). As of August 2009, the Meritorious Service Cross has been presented to 170 people—138 in the military division and 32 in the civilian[5][6]—though only one bar has ever been awarded, on 1 July 1993.[2]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Office of the Governor General of Canada. "Honours > Decorations > Meritorious Service Decorations". Queen's Printer for Canada. http://archive.gg.ca/honours/decorations/msd/index_e.asp. Retrieved 27 August 2009. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Veterans Affairs Canada. "Canada Remembers > Records & Collections > Canadian Orders, Medals and Decorations > Canadian Military Medals and Decorations > Modern Honours of Canada > Meritorious Service Decorations (Civil and Military)". Queen's Printer for Canada. http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/remembers/sub.cfm?source=collections/cmdp/mainmenu/group02/msc. Retrieved 27 August 2009. 
  3. Royal Canadian Mounted Police. "Honours and Recognition Programs > Canadian National Honours". Queen's Printer for Canada. http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/hon/nat-honour-honneur/index-eng.htm. Retrieved 20 May 2009. 
  4. Office of the Governor General of Canada. "Honours > Decorations > Meritorious Service Decorations > Eligibility and Nominations". Queen's Printer for Canada. http://archive.gg.ca/honours/decorations/msd/msd-info_e.asp. Retrieved 28 August 2009. 
  5. Office of the Governor General of Canada. "Honours > Decorations > Decorations for Bravery > Search: Meritorious Service Decorations Recipients List > Division: Military, Level: Cross". Queen's Printer for Canada. http://archive.gg.ca/honours/search-recherche/index_e.asp?results=1&Firstname=&Middlename=&Lastname=&City=&Province=&TypeID=msd&Division=mil&Honours=Cross&AwardStart=&AwardEnd=&npp=25. Retrieved 27 August 2009. 
  6. Office of the Governor General of Canada. "Honours > Decorations > Decorations for Bravery > Search: Meritorious Service Decorations Recipients List > Division: Civilian, Level: Cross". Queen's Printer for Canada. http://archive.gg.ca/honours/search-recherche/index_e.asp?results=1&Firstname=&Middlename=&Lastname=&City=&Province=&TypeID=msd&Division=civ&Honours=Cross&AwardStart=&AwardEnd=&npp=25. Retrieved 27 August 2009. 

External links[edit | edit source]

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