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Governor General of Canada / Gouverneur général du Canadaa




Governor General announces the creation of a new military medal

August 29, 2008

OTTAWA –– Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, is pleased to announce that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II approved the creation of the Sacrifice Medal. The medal will be awarded to military personnel, members of allied forces or Canadian civilians working under the authority of the Canadian Forces, who suffered wounds or death caused by hostile action, on or after October 7, 2001.

“Our soldiers deserve our utmost respect and deepest gratitude,” said the Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada. “This medal recognizes the valued contribution of those who sacrificed their health or their lives while serving Canada.”

Applications will be processed through the usual military chain of command.

An inaugural presentation ceremony will take place at Rideau Hall at a later date.

For the artistic rendering of the Medal created by the Chancellery of Honours, please click on the following site for a small format: http://www.gg.ca/honours/medals/hon04-sm_e.asp  or on this link http://www.gg.ca/images/sacrifice_lg.jpg for a large format. For more information on military honours, please see the Department of National Defence Web site for Canadian Forces Honours and Awards:

For further information on the Sacrifice Medal and on the creation of new honours, please refer to the attached backgrounders (Annex A and Annex B) or visit www.gg.ca or visit www.forces.gc.ca/hr/dhr-ddhr


Media Information:

Rideau Hall Press Office
Marie-Paule Thorn 
613- 993-2569

Media Liaison Office
Department of National Defence
613-996-2353 or 613‑996‑2354

Annex A

The Sacrifice Medal

The Sacrifice Medal
was created to recognize a member of the Canadian Forces, a member of an allied force, or a Canadian civilian under the authority of the Canadian Forces who, as of October 7, 2001, died or was wounded under honourable circumstances as a direct result of hostile action.

A commanding officer will submit an application through the usual military chain of command for eligible members of their unit.

Artistic rendering, with permission of the Chancellery of Honours

Description of the Medal
The Medal consists of a silver circular medal that is 36 mm across, has a claw at the top of it in the form of the Royal Crown, and is attached to a straight slotted bar.

On the obverse of the Medal appears a contemporary effigy of Her Majesty the Queen of Canada, facing right, wearing a Canadian diadem composed alternately of maple leaves and snow flakes, and circumscribed with the inscriptions “ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA” and “CANADA”, separated by small maple leaves.

On the reverse of the Medal appears a representation of the statue named “Canada” –that forms part of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial – facing right, overlooking the horizon. The inscription “SACRIFICE” appears in the lower right half of the Medal.

The Medal is suspended from a watered ribbon that is 32 mm in width, consisting of a 10-mm black stripe in the middle that is flanked by 11-mm red stripes, on which are centred 1-mm white stripes.

The bar to the Medal is in silver with raised edges and shall bear a centred, single silver maple leaf overall. The Medal shall be engraved on the edge with the service number, rank, forename initials and surname of any military recipient or with the forenames and surname of any civilian recipient.

Wearing: The Medal shall be worn following the Royal Victorian Medal (R.V.M.), in the order of precedence in the Canadian Honours System (http://www.gg.ca/honours/wear/index_e.asp

Related Information:
For more information on military honours, please see the Department of National Defence Web site for Canadian Forces Honours and Awards: www.forces.gc.ca/hr/dhr-ddhr  

Annex B

The Creation of a New Canadian Honour

The Canadian Honours System was instituted in 1967 with the creation of the Order of Canada. Canadian honours recognize significant achievement, bravery and exceptional service to Canada or to humanity at large. Their creation follows a legal approval process, which may take several months or more, and which concludes with the approval of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, as the Sovereign of Canada.

Who is involved in the creation of a new honour?

  • The Sovereign of Canada is the authority for the creation of all official honours. Honours are created by Letters Patent issued by the Sovereign on the advice of the Prime Minister.

·  The governor general is responsible for the administration of honours in Canada.

  • The Chancellery of Honours, as part of the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General, is responsible for administering the Canadian Honours System on behalf of the governor general, and provides support to the Honours Policy Committee.
  • The Honours Policy Committee, chaired by the Privy Council Office, is made up of a group of senior public servants from various government departments who assist in the administration of Canadian honours.
  • The Prime Minister is responsible for the Canadian Honours System. In 1980, the Prime Minister of Canada created the Canadian Honours Policy Committee in order to provide the prime minister with advice and assistance on the exercise of prerogatives with respect to honours and awards in Canada.
  • Proposals for new honours can originate from different sources: officials in various federal and provincial departments, individuals in established organizations that serve the public, and private citizens.

The Creation of a New Canadian Honour
Process for the Creation of a New Honour

  • Proposals are sent to the Chancellery of Honours for review and to ensure that the new honour is compatible with the national honours policy and that it does not duplicate any existing honours.
  • The proposal is presented for discussion and approval by the Honours Policy Committee.
  • The Chancellery drafts the regulations, in consultation with interested parties, and prepares the Letters Patent for signature by The Queen.
  • The Chancellery also develops the design of the new insignia.
  • If approved by the committee, the creation of a new honour is recommended to the prime minister via the Order-in-Council process through the Privy Council Office.
  • On the recommendation of the Prime Minister of Canada via the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General, the Letters Patent and design paintings are sent to Buckingham Palace for approval by Her Majesty The Queen. When The Queen signs the Letters Patent, the honour is considered officially created.
  • The Office of the Registrar General of Canada affixes the Great Seal of Canada to the signed Letters Patent.

The new honour is announced in a press release by the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General and the information is published in the Canada Gazette.

Updated: 2008-08-29
Important Notices
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