The Canadian Forces Decoration
Post-nominal letters, also called post-nominal initials, post-nominal titles or designatory letters, are letters placed after the name of a person to indicate that the individual holds a position, educational degree, accreditation, office, or honour. An individual may use several different sets of...
"CD") is a Canadian award
An award is something given to a person or a group of people to recognize excellence in a certain field; a certificate of excellence. Awards are often signifiedby trophies, titles, certificates, commemorative plaques, medals, badges, pins, or ribbons...
bestowed upon members of the Canadian Forces
The Canadian Forces , officially the Canadian Armed Forces , are the unified armed forces of Canada, as constituted by the National Defence Act, which states: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces."...
who have completed twelve years of military service, with certain conditions. By convention, it is also given to the Governor General of Canada
The Governor General of Canada is the federal viceregal representative of the Canadian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II...
upon his or her appointment as viceroy
A viceroy is a royal official who runs a country, colony, or province in the name of and as representative of the monarch. The term derives from the Latin prefix vice-, meaning "in the place of" and the French word roi, meaning king. A viceroy's province or larger territory is called a viceroyalty...
, which includes the title of Commander-in-Chief in and over Canada. The decoration is awarded to all ranks, who must have a good record of conduct during the final eight years of claimed service.
The first Governor General to receive the CD was Viscount Alexander of Tunis
Field Marshal Harold Rupert Leofric George Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis was a British military commander and field marshal of Anglo-Irish descent who served with distinction in both world wars and, afterwards, as Governor General of Canada, the 17th since Canadian...
in 1951. The medal was initially awarded to all members of the Royal Family who served in the Canadian Forces, even without completion of twelve years of service; this has, however, not been automatic since 1953.
The decoration is awarded to officers and non-commissioned members of the Regular Force, The Reserve Force subcomponents; The Primary Reserve, the Cadet Organizations Administration and Training Service
The Cadet Organizations Administration and Training Service is a sub-component of the Canadian Forces Reserve Force whose members have undertaken as their primary duty the supervision, administration and training of cadets and Junior Canadian Rangers....
(COATS), The Cadet Instructors Cadre (CIC), and the Canadian Rangers
The Canadian Rangers are a sub-component of the Canadian Forces reserve that provide a military presence in Canada's sparsely settled northern, coastal, and isolated areas. Formally established on May 23, 1947, a primary role of this part-time force is to conduct surveillance or sovereignty...
and honorary appointments in the Canadian Forces. Time on the Supplementary Reserve List does not apply.
Service in the regular and reserve or auxiliary forces of the Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...
will be counted towards the decoration if the final five years have been with the Canadian Forces and no other long service, good conduct or efficiency medal has been awarded for the same service.
The medal may be awarded to persons in possession of any long service, good conduct or efficiency decoration or medal clasps, provided that the individual has completed the full qualifying periods of service for each award and that no service qualifying towards one award is permitted to count towards any other.
The service need not be continuous.
This award supersedes all other long service, good conduct or efficiency awards for members joining the Canadian Forces after 1 September 1939.
The medal is decagonal (ten-sided, representing the ten provinces), 36 millimetres across the flats, with raised busts. The King George VI medal is .800 fine silver and gilded. The Queen Elizabeth II medal is tombac (a copper-zinc alloy) A gilded copper version was introduced in 2008. The King George VI medal has the uncrowned coinage head of King George VI, facing left, with the inscription GEORGIVS VI D: G: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF around the edge. The Queen Elizabeth II medal has the uncrowned coinage head of Queen Elizabeth II, facing right, with the inscription around the edge ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA with the word CANADA at the bottom. The backside of the medal has a crown, three maple leaves and an eagle representing the navy, army and air force from top to bottom. The word SERVICE is on a scroll at the base and a fleur-de-lis is on each side of the crown. The Royal Cypher
In modern heraldry, a royal cypher is a monogram-like device of a country's reigning sovereign, typically consisting of the initials of the monarch's name and title, sometimes interwoven and often surmounted by a crown. In the case where such a cypher is used by an emperor or empress, it is called...
is superimposed on the centre of the King George VI medal, but is omitted from the Queen Elizabeth II medal. The King George VI medal has the name and rank of the person to whom the medal was awarded too engraved on the reverse of the solid bar while the Queen Elizabeth II medal has the name and rank engraved around the edge of the medal. Early Queen Elizabeth II medals had the letters stamped rather than engraved.
A clasp, also known as a bar, is awarded for every 10 years of subsequent service. The bar is tombac
Tombac, as spelled in French, or Tombak is a brass alloy with high copper content and 5-20% zinc content. Tin, lead or arsenic may be added for colouration.It is a cheap malleable alloy mainly used for medals, ornament, decoration and some munitions....
and is 0.25 inches (6.4 mm) high, has the Canadian coat of arms in the centre surmounted by a crown, and is gold in colour. This is indicated on the undress ribbon bar by a rosette.
Recipients of the Canadian Forces Decoration are entitled to use the post nominal letters
"CD". This post-nominal is not affected by the awarding of clasps.