|Meritorious Service Medal|
|Awarded for||Meritorious service by those military members who are of irreproachable character with at least 20 years of service and already hold the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal of their service|
|Presented by||The United Kingdom|
|Eligibility||Warrant officers and non-commissioned officers above the rank of corporal, or equivalent, who have served in the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Regular Army or Royal Air Force.|
Air Force 1918
Ribbon bar of the Army, Navy, Marine and RAF (current) medal
Ribbon bar of the Air Force medal (1918–1928)
|Next (higher)||Royal Household Long and Faithful Service Medal|
|Next (lower)||Accumulated Campaign Service Medal|
The Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) is a British medal awarded to sergeants and warrant officers of the British armed forces for long and meritorious service. From 1916 to 1928, eligibility was extended to cover both valuable services by selected other ranks irrespective of length of service, and for gallantry not in the face of the enemy.
Eligbility was widened in December 1977, with the medal now awarded on the same basis to all arms of the British armed forces.
The Meritorious Service Medal was instituted on 19 December 1845 for the British Army, to recognise long and meritorious service by warrant officers and non-commissioned officers of the rank of sergeant and above, with a small number of early awards bestowed for gallantry.Recipients were granted an annuity, the amount of which was based on rank.
The first woman to be awarded the medal was Warrant Officer Marion Dickson Mackay, Women's Royal Army Corps, in 1966.
During the First World War, as approved by Royal Warrant on 4 October 1916, non-commissioned officers below the rank of Sergeant and men became eligible for the immediate award of the Meritorious Service Medal, without annuity, for valuable services. A further amending warrant on 3 January 1917 confirmed that the medal could be awarded for acts of gallantry in the performance of military duty, not necessarily on active service, or in saving or attempting to save the life of an officer or soldier. For acts of gallantry, however, only the Meritorious Service Medal (United Kingdom) was awarded, irrespective of the recipient's nationality, and not one of the various versions awarded by the Dominions. A clasp to the Meritorious Service Medal was instituted by Royal Warrant on 23 November 1916, that could be awarded to holders of the medal for subsequent acts of gallantry, but not for further long or other valuable service.Seven clasps were awarded.
Five members of the Chinese Labour Corps received the medal for their service during the war,including First Class Ganger Yen Teng Feng who, after an explosion at a depot, spent four hours drenching unexploded stacks of ammunition with water.
Awards for gallantry ceased after 7 September 1928, as they were honoured by the Empire Gallantry Medal,with the medal reverting to its original purpose of rewarding long and meritorious service in the army.
The medal for Royal Marines was instituted in 1849, and awarded on the same basis as the army medal. As a gallantry medal, it was awarded six times, until superseded by the Naval Conspicuous Gallantry Medal in 1874. As with the Army, from 1916 NCOs of the Royal Marines could receive the medal for valuable service in the field. Awards were discontinued in 1928.
The Royal Navy's medal was instituted in 1919, for gallantry not in the face of the enemy and for meritorious service by petty officers and senior naval ratings. It was not awarded after 1928 and was superseded by the Empire Gallantry Medal and the British Empire Medal.
For awards up to 1928, Royal Navy and Marine recipients were, by custom, allowed to use the letters MSM after their name.
Since 1977, the medal has resumed as an award for long and meritorious service by senior petty officers and NCOs in the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and the Queen Alexandra's Royal Naval Nursing Service.
The Royal Air Force version of the medal was instituted in 1918, for meritorious service not involving flight.It was superseded in 1928 by the Empire Gallantry Medal and the British Empire Medal. Awards of the medal began again in 1977 using the same criteria as the Army.
Meritorious Service Medals were previously awarded by a number of the Dominions, on a similar basis as the British award. These include Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand and South Africa.
Following historic variations between the medals awarded in each of the armed forces, including slight differences in design and in the criteria for the award, the same medal has, since 1977, been issued for all of the services. To be awarded the MSM, an individual must have "good, faithful, valuable and meritorious service, with conduct judged to be irreproachable throughout". Other ranks must have at least twenty years service, must already hold Long Service and Good Conduct Medals, and for the Army and the Royal Air Force must have reached the equivalent rank of sergeant. Officers of any service can also be considered for the medal immediately after being commissioned, provided they meet the other criteria.
The number of MSMs awarded is limited: no more than fifty-one a year may be awarded in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines combined, eighty-nine in the Army and sixty in the Royal Air Force, and in practice these numbers are not reached.
The medal is silver and has the sovereign's profile on the obverse, on the reverse a small crown and a wreath surrounding the inscription For Meritorious Service. The recipient's name, rank and unit are inscribed on the rim. If a sovereign is shown in naval uniform, then the medal was awarded for service at sea or with a Naval or Royal Marines unit on land. The obverse design varied by monarch, with George V having at least three effigy variations, while George VI had variations in legend.
The medal's ribbon has had various colours:
The George Medal (GM), instituted on 24 September 1940 by King George VI, is a decoration of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth, awarded for gallantry "not in the face of the enemy" where the services were not so outstanding as to merit the George Cross.
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The Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) is a military award presented to members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguished themselves by outstanding meritorious achievement or service to the United States subsequent to January 16, 1969.
The New Zealand War Service Medal (NZWSM) was a New Zealand campaign medal for service in World War II.
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The Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct (Military) is a medal awarded to regular members of the armed forces. It was instituted by King George V in 1930 and replaced the Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal as well as the Permanent Forces of the Empire Beyond the Seas Medal. The medal was originally awarded to Regular Army warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and men of the UK Armed Forces. It also had a number of territorial versions for the Permanent Forces of the British Dominions. The eligibility criteria were relaxed in 1947 to also allow the award of the medal to officers who had served a minimum period in the ranks before being commissioned. Since 2016, the eligibility was widened to include officers who had never served in the ranks, and so the medal can now be awarded to all regular members of the British Army who meet the required length of service.
The Efficiency Medal was instituted in 1930 for award to part-time warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and men after twelve years of efficient service on the active list of the Citizen Force of the Union of South Africa. At the same time, a clasp was instituted for award to holders of the medal upon completion of further periods of six years of efficient service. The medal superseded the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal.
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The Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, initially designated the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Long Service Medal, was instituted in 1908. It could be awarded to part-time ratings in the United Kingdom's Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve after twelve years of service and good conduct. The medal was a Naval version of the Volunteer Long Service Medal and its successor, the Territorial Force Efficiency Medal.
The Permanent Forces of the Empire Beyond the Seas Medal is a long service and good conduct medal, instituted for award to other ranks of the Permanent Forces of the Dominions and Colonies of the British Empire. The medal, also known as the Permanent Overseas Forces Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, was established in 1910 as a single common award to supersede the several local versions of the Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal which were being awarded by the various territories.
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In May 1895, Queen Victoria authorised Colonial governments to adopt various British military medals and to award them to members of their local permanent military forces. The Cape of Good Hope introduced this system in September 1895 and, in 1896, instituted the Meritorious Service Medal .
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The Special Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal was a long service medal awarded by the United Kingdom. The medal was awarded for service in the Army Special Reserve, or a combination of service in the Special Reserve and other part-time military forces. Awarded between 1908 and 1930, the medal was only awarded 1,078 times.
In May 1895, Queen Victoria authorised Colonial governments to adopt various British military medals and to award them to their local permanent military forces. The Cape of Good Hope and Colony of Natal instituted their own territorial versions of the Meritorious Service Medal in terms of this authority. These two medals remained in use in the respective territories until after the establishment of the Union of South Africa in 1910.
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