Comparisons and similarities between Australian, British and USA Gallantry Awards

Because Australia has it's own Honours and Awards system since 1991 there is a need to understand  and compare the differences and similarities of  previous Honours, Awards and Decorations. 

Most nations have four levels of Gallantry awards for war-like operations. There is also awards for conspicuous service during non war-like duty, These are Conspicuous Service awards that replace the Commonwealth awards used prior to 1991 

Interestingly,  in 1991Australia implemented Distinguished Service awards for command and leadership during war like operations. The Commonwealth system has similar awards however the Australian Distinguished Service Awards seem to be unique amongst English speaking nations as these are specific military awards. The Commonwealth system has the Member of the British Empire (MBE) and British Empire Medal (BEM) etc, but there is a civil as well as a military list. 

In Viet Nam the Distinguished Service Orders (DSO) was awarded for distinguished service although the original intention for this award was for gallantry, command and leadership under enemy fire. The DSO to officers was second to the Victoria Cross as the Distinguished Conduct Medal is to non-officers.


Australian Gallantry

British Commonwealth Gallantry

United States of America

Vitoria Cross (VC)

Victoria Cross (VC) Honor Medal

Star of Gallantry (SG)

Distinguished Service Order (DSO) Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)

Medal of Gallantry (MG)

Military Cross ()MC) Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) Military Medal (MM) Silver Star (SS)

Commendation for Gallantry

Mention in Dispatches  Bronze Star (BS)

Australian Service Awards including the British Commonwealth Awards pre 1991

 Distinguished Service Awards seem to be unique to Australia

Conspicuous Service Awards for recognition of non-war like duty Commonwealth Military and Civil Awards were used until 1991

Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)

Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC)

Order British Empire (OBE)

Distinguished Service Medal (DSM)

Member British Empire (MBE)

Commendation for Distinguished Service

Conspicuous Service Medal (CSM)

British Empire Medal (BEM)