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Mentioned in Dispatches

Mentioned in Dispatches

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A soldier Mentioned in Despatches (or Dispatches) (MID) is one whose name appears in an official report written by a superior officer and sent to the high command, in which is described the soldier's gallant or meritorious action in the face of the enemy.

In a number of countries, a soldier's name must be mentioned in despatches as a condition for him to receive certain decorations.

United Kingdom, British Empire, and Commonwealth of Nations


In the British Armed Forces
British Armed Forces
The British Armed Forces are the armed forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.Also known as Her Majesty's Armed Forces and sometimes legally the Armed Forces of the Crown, the British Armed Forces encompasses three professional uniformed services, the Royal Navy, the...

, the despatch is published in the London Gazette
London Gazette
The London Gazette is one of the official journals of record of the British government, and the most important among such official journals in the United Kingdom, in which certain statutory notices are required to be published...

.
Soldiers of the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 or the Commonwealth of Nations
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...

 who are mentioned in despatches but do not receive a medal for their action are nonetheless entitled to receive a certificate and wear a decoration. For 1914-18 and up to 10th August 1920, the decoration consisted of a spray of oakleaves in bronze. This decoration was only established in 1919, but it had retroactive effect. From 1920 to 1993, the decoration consisted of a single bronze oakleaf, and in the Canadian Forces still does. Even if the soldier is mentioned in despatches more than once, only a single such decoration is worn. In Britain, since 1993, the decoration is a single silver oakleaf. In each case the decoration is pinned or sewn diagonally on to the appropriate campaign medal ribbon. If no campaign medal is awarded, the oak leaf is worn on the left breast of the dress uniform.

Prior to 1979, a Mention in Despatches was one of the few awards that could be made posthumously, the others being the Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of the armed forces of various Commonwealth countries, and previous British Empire territories....

 and George Cross
George Cross
The George Cross is the highest civil decoration of the United Kingdom, and also holds, or has held, that status in many of the other countries of the Commonwealth of Nations...

.

Soldiers can be mentioned multiple times. The British World War I Victoria Cross recipient John Vereker
John Vereker, 6th Viscount Gort
Field Marshal John Standish Surtees Prendergast Vereker, 6th Viscount Gort, VC, GCB, CBE, DSO & Two Bars, MVO, MC , was a British and Anglo-Irish soldier. As a young officer in World War I he won the Victoria Cross at the Battle of the Canal du Nord. During the 1930s he served as Chief of the...

, later Field Marshal Viscount Gort, was mentioned in despatches nine times, as was the Canadian general Sir Arthur Currie
Arthur Currie
Sir Arthur William Currie GCMG, KCB , was a Canadian general during World War I. He had the unique distinction of starting his military career on the very bottom rung as a pre-war militia gunner before rising through the ranks to become the first Canadian commander of the four divisions of the...

. The Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

n general H.G. Bennett was mentioned in despatches a total of eight times during the First World War, as was John Dill
John Dill
Field Marshal Sir John Greer Dill, GCB, CMG, DSO was a British commander in World War I and World War II. From May 1940 to December 1941 he was the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, the professional head of the British Army, and subsequently in Washington, as Chief of the British Joint Staff...

.

Australia


Australian service personnel are no longer eligible to be Mentioned in Despatches. Since 15 January 1991, when the Australian Honours System
Australian Honours System
-History:The Commonwealth of Australia, until 1975, used the Imperial or British honours system. Only a handful of peerages were created for Australians, some in recognition of public services rendered in Britain rather than Australia. Some hereditary peers and baronets whose titles derive from...

 was established, the MID was replaced by two Australian decorations—the Commendation for Gallantry
Commendation for Gallantry
The Commendation for Gallantry is a military decoration awarded to personnel of the Australian Defence Force, it recognises acts of gallantry in action considered worthy of recognition. The award was introduced on 15 January 1991, replacing the Imperial equivalent of the Mentioned in Despatches. It...

, a fourth level gallantry decoration, and the Commendation for Distinguished Service
Commendation for Distinguished Service
The Commendation for Distinguished Service is a military decoration awarded to personnel of the Australian Defence Force, it is awarded for the distinguished performance of duties in warlike operations. The Commendation for Distinguished Service was introduced in 1991 and replaced the Imperial...

, a third level distinguished service decoration.

Canada


A Mention in Dispatches (in French, Citation à l'ordre du jour) is an award to recognize a mention in dispatches from a senior commander for brave or meritorious service, normally in the field. Mentions in Dispatches are among the list of awards presented by the Governor General of Canada.

Pakistan


Under the current Pakistani military honours system, the Imtiazi Sanad
Imtiazi Sanad
Imtiazi Sanad is the fifth highest Pakistani military award for gallantry or distinguished service in combat. It can be conferred upon any member of the Pakistani Armed Forces or paramilitary forces who is mentioned in the dispatches of a senior commander for actions that do not warrant a gallantry...

 is conferred upon any member of the Pakistani Armed Forces who are mentioned in dispatches for an act of gallantry that does not qualify for a gallantry award.

South Africa


In 1920 the Minister of Defence
Minister of Defence and Military Veterans (South Africa)
The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans is a Minister in the Government of South Africa, who is responsible for overseeing the Department of Defence and the South African National Defence Force...

 of the Union of South Africa
Union of South Africa
The Union of South Africa is the historic predecessor to the present-day Republic of South Africa. It came into being on 31 May 1910 with the unification of the previously separate colonies of the Cape, Natal, Transvaal and the Orange Free State...

 was empowered to award a multiple-leaved bronze oak leaf emblem
Oak leaf cluster
An oak leaf cluster is a common device which is placed on U.S. Army and Air Force awards and decorations to denote those who have received more than one bestowal of a particular decoration. The number of oak leaf clusters typically indicates the number of subsequent awards of the decoration...

 to all servicemen and servicewomen mentioned in despatches during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 for valuable services in action. The emblem, which was regarded as a decoration, was worn on the ribbon of the Victory Medal (Union of South Africa)
Victory Medal (United Kingdom)
The Victory Medal is a campaign medal - of which the basic design and ribbon was adopted by Belgium, Brazil, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Siam, Union of South Africa and the USA in accordance with decisions as taken at the Inter-Allied Peace Conference at...

. Only one emblem was worn, irrespective of the number of times a recipient had been mentioned.

The Afrikaans
Afrikaans
Afrikaans is a West Germanic language, spoken natively in South Africa and Namibia. It is a daughter language of Dutch, originating in its 17th century dialects, collectively referred to as Cape Dutch .Afrikaans is a daughter language of Dutch; see , , , , , .Afrikaans was historically called Cape...

 rendition of Mentioned in Despatches is Eervolle Vermelding in Berigte.

In 1943, the Union Defence Force
Union Defence Force
The Union Defence Force may refer to a former or current military organization:* the South African Army from 1912 to 1957* the military of the United Arab Emirates...

 confirmed the availability of the British award, the bronze oak leaf, for acts of bravery, in contact with the enemy, which fell just short of the standard required for the granting of a decoration, or for valuable services not necessarily in immediate contact with the enemy.

The Mention in Despatches (MID) was one of only four awards which could be made posthumously. The others were the Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of the armed forces of various Commonwealth countries, and previous British Empire territories....

, the George Cross
George Cross
The George Cross is the highest civil decoration of the United Kingdom, and also holds, or has held, that status in many of the other countries of the Commonwealth of Nations...

, and the King's Commendation
Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct
Instituted in 1939 by King George VI as the King's Commendation for Brave Conduct, the Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct acknowledged brave acts by civilians and members of the military in non-warlike circumstances during a time of war or in peacetime where the action would not otherwise be...

 (South Africa). The oak leaf emblem was worn on the ribbon of the War Medal, 1939-45. The MID and the King's Commendation (SA) were the only decorations that could be approved by the South African Minister of Defence without reference to the King.

The King's Commendation (South Africa) (1939-45) was denoted by a bronze King Protea flower emblem worn on the ribbon of the Africa Service Medal
Africa Service Medal
The Africa Service Medal was a South African campaign medal for service in World War II. It was instituted by King George VI, in his capacity as South African head of state, on 23 December 1943, and was awarded in addition to the British stars and medals issued for the war...

, for valuable services in connection with the World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. It could be awarded posthumously and was the equivalent of a Mention in Despatches for services rendered away from the battlefield.

France



In the French military, mentions in Despatches—or more precisely, mention in Orders (citation dans les ordres)—are made by senior commanders, from the position of regimental commanding officer to General-in-Chief, in the Orders they give to their unit, recognizing the gallantry of an action performed some time before. The mentions are awarded for gallantry to any member of the French military or its allies and are, depending on the degree, roughly the equivalent for U.S. Bronze Star
Bronze Star Medal
The Bronze Star Medal is a United States Armed Forces individual military decoration that may be awarded for bravery, acts of merit, or meritorious service. As a medal it is awarded for merit, and with the "V" for valor device it is awarded for heroism. It is the fourth-highest combat award of the...

  and Silver Star
Silver Star
The Silver Star is the third-highest combat military decoration that can be awarded to a member of any branch of the United States armed forces for valor in the face of the enemy....

 or UK Military Cross
Military Cross
The Military Cross is the third-level military decoration awarded to officers and other ranks of the British Armed Forces; and formerly also to officers of other Commonwealth countries....

 and Military Medal
Military Medal
The Military Medal was a military decoration awarded to personnel of the British Army and other services, and formerly also to personnel of other Commonwealth countries, below commissioned rank, for bravery in battle on land....

.

Mentions made during World War I, World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 or colonial conflicts were accompanied with awards of a Croix de guerre
Croix de guerre
The Croix de guerre is a military decoration of France. It was first created in 1915 and consists of a square-cross medal on two crossed swords, hanging from a ribbon with various degree pins. The decoration was awarded during World War I, again in World War II, and in other conflicts...

or a Croix de la Valeur Militaire
Croix de la Valeur Militaire
The Croix de la Valeur Militaire is a military decoration of France that recognizes individual holding a mention in Dispatches earned in theaters of operations which are not subject to the award of the Croix de guerre....

, with attachments on the ribbon depending on the mention's degree : the lowest degree is represented by a bronze star while the highest degree is represented by a bronze palm
  • a bronze star for those who had been mentioned at the regiment
    Regiment
    A regiment is a major tactical military unit, composed of variable numbers of batteries, squadrons or battalions, commanded by a colonel or lieutenant colonel...

     or brigade
    Brigade
    A brigade is a major tactical military formation that is typically composed of two to five battalions, plus supporting elements depending on the era and nationality of a given army and could be perceived as an enlarged/reinforced regiment...

     level.
  • a silver star, for those who had been mentioned at the division
    Division (military)
    A division is a large military unit or formation usually consisting of between 10,000 and 20,000 soldiers. In most armies, a division is composed of several regiments or brigades, and in turn several divisions typically make up a corps...

     level.
  • a silver gilt star for those who had been mentioned at the corps level.
  • a bronze palm for those who had been mentioned at the army
    Army
    An army An army An army (from Latin arma "arms, weapons" via Old French armée, "armed" (feminine), in the broadest sense, is the land-based military of a nation or state. It may also include other branches of the military such as the air force via means of aviation corps...

     level.
  • a silver palm represents five bronze ones.
  • a silver gilt palm for those who had been mentioned at the Free French Forces
    Free French Forces
    The Free French Forces were French partisans in World War II who decided to continue fighting against the forces of the Axis powers after the surrender of France and subsequent German occupation and, in the case of Vichy France, collaboration with the Germans.-Definition:In many sources, Free...

     level (World War II only).


Nowadays, a mention with award of the Croix de la valeur militaire (the Croix de guerre is no longer awarded) is rare, and most mentions are awarded with a gold Médaille de la Défense nationale and the same attachments as the Croix de guerre.

A unit can be mentioned in Despatches. Its flag is then decorated with the corresponding Croix. After two mentions, the men of the unit are entitled to wear a fourragère
Fourragère
The fourragère is a military award, distinguishing military units as a whole, that is shaped as a braided cord. The award has been firstly adopted by France, followed by other nations such as the Netherlands, Belgium and Portugal.- History :...

.

United States of America


In the early U.S. Army no awards or medals were given with the exception of a Purple Heart
Purple Heart
The Purple Heart is a United States military decoration awarded in the name of the President to those who have been wounded or killed while serving on or after April 5, 1917 with the U.S. military. The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is located in New Windsor, New York...

 then known as the Badge of Military Merit, though this award fell into disuse shortly after the Revolution. Being noted in dispatches or official reports was the common manner in which to recognize heroic action and gallantry of individuals and units.

On July 12, 1862, the Medal of Honor
Medal of Honor
The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. It is bestowed by the President, in the name of Congress, upon members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves through "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her...

 was created, thus instituting a system of awards in the U.S. Armed Forces. In the years leading up to World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, citations for bravery, very similar to the Commonwealth practice of MID, evolved into Citation Stars, and eventually the Bronze
Bronze Star Medal
The Bronze Star Medal is a United States Armed Forces individual military decoration that may be awarded for bravery, acts of merit, or meritorious service. As a medal it is awarded for merit, and with the "V" for valor device it is awarded for heroism. It is the fourth-highest combat award of the...

 and Silver Star
Silver Star
The Silver Star is the third-highest combat military decoration that can be awarded to a member of any branch of the United States armed forces for valor in the face of the enemy....

 Medals.

Confederate States of America


On October 3, 1863, The Adjutant and Inspector-General's Office at Richmond, Va., published General Orders No. 131 establishing The Roll of Honor. Names published were to be read at the head of every regiment at the first dress parade after its receipt and published in at least one newspaper in each State.

Germany



During World War II, the Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht
The Wehrmacht – from , to defend and , the might/power) were the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the Heer , the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe .-Origin and use of the term:...

 sometimes mentioned individual soldiers in its daily radio report to the public. This was known as the Wehrmachtbericht
Wehrmachtbericht
The Wehrmachtbericht was a daily radio report on the Großdeutscher Rundfunk of Nazi Germany, published by the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht regarding the military situation on all fronts of World War II....

 and a mention in this report was held in high esteem by German soldiers. In mid 1941 mentions in Wehrmachtbericht were awarded by the soldier's name being included on the Honour Roll of the German Army. Later, after January 1944, inclusion on this list was also sometimes awarded with an honour clasp, known as the Honour Roll Clasp of the Army
Honour Roll Clasp of the Army
The Honour Roll Clasp of the Army or Ehrenblatt des Heeres was a Decoration of Nazi Germany during World War II. The total number awarded was 4,556. -History:...

.

External links