Commendation for Gallantry


The Commendation for Gallantry is awarded to military personnel for acts of gallantry in action considered worthy of recognition.


Heroic courage by members of a country’s armed forces in action or under fire has long been rewarded with a decoration or award.

Australia’s highest-ranking military award is the Victoria Cross for Australia.

The Gallantry decorations were introduced into the Australian honours system on 15 January 1991 by Letters Patent.

The Commendation for Gallantry ranks third in the Gallantry Decorations:

Past recipients

Able Seaman, Justin Brown, is one of seven Australians (as at 30 June 2008) to be awarded the Commendation for Gallantry. He was recognised for his courage during a reconnaissance of an amphibious landing site in East Timor on 21 October.

Search the Australian Honours List for past recipients of the Commendation for Gallantry.

How it is awarded

The Governor-General makes the award on the recommendation of the Minister for Defence. The Governor-General may also delegate his/her power to make immediate awards to military commanders in the field.

If the same person receives a further Commendation for Gallantry it is recognised by warrant. No additional insignia is received or worn.

The Commendation for Gallantry is announced on Australia Day (26 January) and the Queen’s Birthday (June) of each year.

There are no post-nominals for the Commendation for Gallantry.

The Commendation for Gallantry may be awarded posthumously.

Medal design

Commendation for Gallantry  - front

Commendation for Gallantry

The insignia of the Commendation for Gallantry is a Federation Star superimposed centrally on a gold-plated silver row of flames.

Commendation ribbon

The insignia of the Commendation for Gallantry is attached to a plain orange ribbon. The centre of the Federation Star is 19 millimetres from the bottom of the ribbon and 16 millimetres from either edge.

Print fact sheet

The information on this page is available as a printable fact sheet.

Last Updated: 22 September, 2008