Order of Military Merit (Bulgaria)



The Order of Military Merit ( bg, Орден за Военна Заслуга) is a Bulgarian order during the Kingdom of Bulgaria and the Republic of Bulgaria. It is the third highest order in the Republic of Bulgaria along with the Order of Civil Merit and the Order of the Madara Rider.

The Royal Order

The order was established with a decree of the
Knyaz , or (Old Church Slavonic: Кнѧзь) is a historical Slavic title, used both as a royal and noble title in different times of history and different ancient Slavic lands. It is usually translated into English as prince or duke, dependin ...
on 19 May 1900 as a sign of the benevolence of the Monarch to the bravery of the Bulgarian army. It was similar to the Order of Civil Merit but made for military personnel. The order was given to military figures for immaculate service and special merit. It was established with six grades and in 1933 the Grand Cross was added. The order had a shape of Pisan cross with shoulder covered in red enamel. There were two swords between them with edges pointing to the top. In the centre of the averse was placed the monogram of the founder Knyaz Ferdinand, surrounded by a ring in green enamel with inscription ЗА ВОЕННА ЗАСЛУГА (For Military Merit). The averse resembled that of the Order of Civil Merit but with green ring. It had a royal crown on the top. During war the order had slightly different resemblance with laurel wreath on the shoulders of the cross and white ring. The Grand Cross was worn on a wide yellow ribbon with black and white edges - the colours of the
Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (german: Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha), or Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (german: Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha, links=no ), was an Ernestine, Thuringian duchy ruled by a branch of the House of Wettin, consisting of territories in the present- ...
dynasty. The fourth, fifth and sixth grade were worn on a small triangle ribbon on the chest. After 9 September 1944 the ribbon was substituted with the one of the Order of Civil Merit, the monogram of Ferdinand was removed and replaced with the Bulgaria tricolour flag. In the 1950s the order was abolished. It was restored in two grades in 2004.


* I grade, Grand Cross. Awarded to senior state officers and military personnel. It was worn with a sash over the shoulder. * II grade, Grand Officer. Awarded only to
general A general officer is an officer of high rank in the armies, and in some nations' air forces, space forces, and marines or naval infantry. In some usages the term "general officer" refers to a rank above colonel."general, adj. and n.". OE ...
s. It is similar to the cross of I grade but had a size of 63 mm. It was worn with a ribbon around the neck. * III grade, Commander. Awarded to commanders of regiments (
colonel Colonel (abbreviated as Col., Col or COL) is a senior military officer rank used in many countries. It is also used in some police forces and paramilitary organizations. In the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, a colonel was typically in charge o ...
s and
lieutenant colonel Lieutenant colonel ( , ) is a rank of commissioned officers in the armies, most marine forces and some air forces of the world, above a major and below a colonel. Several police forces in the United States use the rank of lieutenant colone ...
s). The size of the cross was between 54 and 63 mm. It had no stars and was worn with a ribbon around the neck. * IV grade, Officer. Awarded to
major Major (commandant in certain jurisdictions) is a military rank of commissioned officer status, with corresponding ranks existing in many military forces throughout the world. When used unhyphenated and in conjunction with no other indicators ...
s and captains who commanded companies. It was similar to the cross of III grade but smaller - between 48 and 51 mm. * V grade, Knight. Awarded to commanders with rank up to captain, Opalchentsi, volunteers in the Serbo-Bulgarian War, the
Balkan Wars The Balkan Wars refers to a series of two conflicts that took place in the Balkan States in 1912 and 1913. In the First Balkan War, the four Balkan States of Greece, Serbia, Montenegro and Bulgaria declared war upon the Ottoman Empire and defe ...
and others. The size was between 48 and 51 mm. * VI grade, Silver Cross. Awarded to sergeants, Opalchentsi, volunteers in the wars and others. The diameter of the cross was 46 mm. Image:Орден «За военна заслуга» I степен .jpg, Order of Military Merit I grade Image:Order For Military Merit, 3rd Class.jpg, Order of Military Merit III grade

Republic of Bulgaria

The Order of Military Merit is the third highest order in Bulgaria. It was reestablished with the ''Law for the Orders and Medals of the Republic of Bulgaria'' on 13 June 2004. It is awarded by the president of the nation.


Image:Орден «За военна заслуга» I степен.gif, Order of Military Merit I grade (averse and reverse) Image:Орден «За военна заслуга» I степен (звезда на ордена).gif, Star of the Order of Military Merit I grade (averse) Image:Орден «За военна заслуга» II степен.gif, Order of Military Merit II grade (averse and reverse) Image:Орден «За военна заслуга» III степен.gif, Order of Military Merit III grade (averse and reverse)


{{Reflist Military awards and decorations of Bulgaria Orders of chivalry of Bulgaria Awards established in 1900