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Awards and Decorations

Special thanks to the Cyrus A. Lee's Soldat FHQ and the LSSAH.  The 352.Infanterie Division’s Awards and Decorations Criteria are primarily based off of their models.  

Also, special thanks go to WW2 Awards, WehrmachtLexikon.de, and Lexikon Der Wehrmacht for information and data about each award.


This article is designed to outline the Awards and Decorations and promotion criteria of the 352.Infanterie-Division.

Unlike many of the other major powers during World War II, the German soldier commonly wore their awards and decorations on their uniform into battle.  In our attempt to keep as true to Wehrmacht rules and regulations as possible, the 352.ID authorizes some awards and decorations to be obtainable by our reenactors.  Awards and decorations for valor, in most cases, are not obtainable.  In reenacting, we are not truly putting our lives at risk; therefore, “earning” such awards would not be respectful to those who really did so during the War.  When an individual earns an award, they should know its history and how it was really earned.  This not only honors the German soldiers’ memory, but it allows that individual to teach others what the award is and what it means to earn it.

Individual awards and decorations in the 352.ID are earned based on an ACT/ECP (Actual Combat Time/Earned Credit Points) system.  This system authorizes awards and rank advancement for active participation and attendance at authorized events and/or functions.   

Awards can also be granted at the discretion of the 352.ID Commander.  This document can also be edited and updated in the future as to meet the needs of the 352.ID.

The following criteria clarify what’s required to earn awards and decorations
.

A.    Events/Battles – Any 352.ID approved tactical or non-tactical event for the purposes of furthering the objectives of the 352.ID.  Authorized events are cleared by the 352.ID Commander. 

B.   Actual Combat Time (ACT) – Time actually spent in uniform while conducting tactical maneuvers against an armed opponent.  Time spent in the conduct of guard or sentry duty at authorized functions also counts as ACT credit.  One hour is equal to one ACT.  Cumulative ACTs may also be applied towards ECPs for purposes of event credit.  Personnel participating in authentic camping will be authorized for an additional 5 ACTs per night in the field at authorized events.  ACTs cannot be earned in training events.

C.      Earned Credit Points – Earned Credit Points are a means of keeping track of you activity in the 352.ID.   ECPs are earned by accomplishing the following:

                                 i.            1 ECP awarded for each 25 miles driven to an authorized event up to 500 miles.

a.        For travel over 500 miles, 2 ECPs will be awarded for each 25 miles driven over 500 miles.

                                ii.            1 ECP awarded for each day actually participating in an approved event.

                                iii.            1 ECP awarded for each 4 ACTs at one approved event.

                                iv.            1 ECP awarded for staying and helping takedown equipment and loading up after an event.

                                 v.            Extra ECPs will be awarded at the discretion of the 352.ID Commander and/or the WW2 History Center’s Executive Director. 

                         vi.         ½ ECP awarded for each hour spent at a training event.  The exception to this is if over 500 miles are traveled to attend the event, then the ECPs awarded for the travel over 500 miles will be counted the same.  Only the time spent at a training event will earn ½ ECP per hour. 

D.   Leadership – Recognized demonstration of performance exceptionally above and beyond the call of duty of the Soldat’s peers, that has directly resulted in significantly improving the tactical impression or proficiency or administrative performance of his section or unit will be noted in the Soldat’s dossier, as kept by the 352.ID Commander.  Such leadership shows initiative and thinking, and will be taken into consideration for promotion.  Demonstration of quality supervision and control of subordinates are the two primary areas that will be evaluated for the award of any leadership decorations. 

E.     Service – Service or contributions which, over a period of time, clearly distinguish one Soldat over his peers.  Service can be in the form of volunteer time, providing/publishing information, or providing the unit with equipment/weapons/uniforms, etc...

F.    Achievement – Acts or series of acts well above the expected performance of duty or a contribution so unique or exceptional that it has an impact which significantly improves reenacting or the unit as a whole.  This can include improving morale, enhancing authenticity, or improving performance or proficiency (not related to leadership).

G.      Military Service – Recognition of unit members who have honorably served or are presently serving in the US Armed Forces in any component – Active, Reserve or National Guard.


The topics covered on this webpage are as follows:


MEDALS, BADGES, RIBBON BARS AND AWARD CRITERIA

Definitions

The following are definitions related to the awards and decorations of the Wehrmacht:
Orders – High awards, to include the Iron Cross, War Merit Cross, German Cross, German Eagle and the Gerat German Empire.
Medals for Merit and Bravery – Other awards, not considered Orders, to include the Close Combat Clasp, Honor Badge and Spanish Cross.
Ribbons – A piece of material that comes with a medal.  Some ribbons can be sewn onto the tunic and worn through the second button hole (Iron Cross 2nd Class, War Merit Cross, Ost Front Medal).   The list of ribbons can be seen in the figure below.
Ribbon Bar – A ribbon bar can be worn on dress and walking out uniforms.  It can be worn to represent any medals which are normally of a Second Class nature and not authorized for wear in the second button hole of the tunic.  The Iron Cross 2nd Class, Eastern Front Medal and War Service Cross 2nd Class with Swords are so authorized.   An example of a (highly decorated soldier's) ribbon bar is shown below.
Ribbon Bar 
Medal Bar – A medal bar, also known as a parade bar, is worn on dress uniforms.  It is a bar that displays the full ribbon and medal of the bearer.  All awards can be worn simultaneously on the medal bar.  An example of a medal bar is shown below.
Medal Bar
Medal – A commemorative medallion normally suspended from a ribbon and worn on more formal occasions.  These are normally not for routine wear.
Badge – Normally a badge is an award of Second or First Class nature or of a special qualification, such as the Driver's Badge or the Infantry Assault Badge. 
Without Swords – Achievement or service of an administrative nature, such as a non-combatant military service or in the case of a unit award such as publishing a unit newsletter.
With Swords – Achievement or service of a combat related nature.  This is actual military service or an act such as supplying weapons and/or supplies to the unit for use in tactical battles and public events.
The following figure, as taken from the Handbook on German Military Forces (United States War Department Technical Manual 15 March 1945 TM-E 30-451) lists German ribbons for valor and service, in order of precedence:

German Ribbons




AWARDS AUTHORIZED FOR
INDIVIDUAL PARTICIPATION





Rank of Grenadier

Grenadier

The rank of Grenadier will be awarded once the Rekrut proves all basic required uniform and field gear have been obtained.

The rank of Grenadier is a requirement for all other awards and decorations.



War Merit Cross with Swords
Kriegsverdienst Kreuz mit Schwertern

Kriegsverdienst Kreuz II Klasse     Kriegsverdienst Kreuz I Klasse

The War Merit Cross 2nd and 1st Class With Swords was instituted as an Order on 1 September 1939.

The War Merit Cross 2nd Class with Swords is abbreviated KVK2.
The War Merit Cross 1st Class with Swords is abbreviated KVK1.

The War Merit Crosses were instituted primarily as a civilian  version of the Iron Cross, to recognize acts of bravery not associated with frontline action.
The swords recognize the individuals efforts to support the military.

The War Merit Cross 2nd Class is awarded in a blue, red or buff colored paper envelope, along with a certificate.
The 2nd Class award is normally worn as the ribbon through the second buttonhole or on a ribbon bar.
When in dress uniform, the 2nd Class award is worn either on the ribbon bar (with swords device, as required) or with ribbon and medal on a medal bar.

The ribbon supersedes campaign ribbons, and is superseded by the Iron Cross 2.   However, more often than not, frontline soldiers wore the Ost Front ribbon
ahead of the War Merit Cross ribbon because it held more prestige.  Refer to the Awards and Decorations Precedence Figure.

Approximately 6,134,950 KVK2's were awarded during World War II.  

The War Merit Cross 1st class is awarded in a black award box with a certificate.
The 1st Class medal is worn on the left breast pocket.  
Approximately 483,603 KVK1's were awarded during World War II.  

Requirements are:
•    Acts of bravery and service of a military nature that are above
and beyond the call of duty, not justified for the Iron Cross 2nd Class
   

352.ID requirements, 2nd Class:
•    Non-US Armed Forces member
•    Accumulation of 75 ACTs 
or
•    Non-US Armed Forces member
•    Single act during an approved tactical event that leads to great victory
on the battlefield not justified for the EKII – to be determined by the individual’s
group commander and/or the 352.ID Commander.

352.ID requirements, 1st Class:
•    Current or previous member of a US Armed Force
•    Accumulation of 75 ACTs 
or
•    Current or previous member of a US Armed Force
•    Single act during an approved tactical event that leads to great victory
on the battlefield not justified for the EKII – to be determined by the individual’s
group commander and/or the 352.ID Commander.




Iron Cross
Eisernes Kreuz

Eisernes Kreuz II Kalsse    Eisernes Kreuz I Kalsse

The Iron Cross 2nd and 1st Class was instituted as an Order on 1 Sep 1939. 

The Iron Cross 2nd Class is abbreviated EK2.
The Iron Cross 1st Class is abbreviated EK1.  

The Iron Cross is an old award, dating back to the time of the liberation war against Napoleon in 1813.
The Iron Cross could be awarded for a number of reasons, to include exceptional merit, successful military planning, exceptional leadership
and meritorious work done by members under the command of the recipient.  

The Iron Cross 2nd Class is awarded by pinning the medal to the tunic.   It comes with either an award box or an envelope, and a certificate.
The 2nd Class award is worn as the ribbon through the second buttonhole, and supersedes all other ribbons.  
Refer to the Awards and Decorations Precedence Figure.


Approximately 3,000,000 EK2's were awarded to members of the Wehrmacht, SS, civilians and to members of other axis armies during World War II.  

The Iron Cross 1st Class is awarded in a black award box, along with a certificate.
The 1st Class medal is worn on the left breast pocket, superseding the War Merit Cross and the Infantry Assault Badge.
The 1st Class award can be worn as a medal or as a cloth patch.

On dress uniforms, the Iron Cross (of any class) is worn either as a ribbon on the ribbon bar or as medal and ribbon on the ribbon bar.  

Approximately 450,000 EK1's were awarded
to members of the Wehrmacht, SS, civilians and to members of other axis armies during World War II.  

Unlike most other awards, every level of this award can be worn at once.

2nd Class requirements are:

•    Single act of bravery above and beyond the call of duty

1st Class requirements are:
•    Awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class
•    3-5 acts of bravery above and beyond the call of duty

352.ID requirements, 2nd Class:
•    Accumulation of 100 ACTs
or
•    Single act during an approved tactical event that leads to great victory on the battlefield -
to be determined by the individual's group leader and/or the 352.ID commander

352.ID requirements, 1st Class:
•    Awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class
•    Accumulation of 150 ACTs
or
•    Single act during an approved tactical event that leads to great victory on the battlefield -
to be determined by the individual's group leader and/or the 352.ID commander




German Cross
Kriegsorden den Deutschen Kreuzes

Kriegsorden den Deutschen Kreuzes in Silber     Kriegsorden den Deutschen Kreuzes in Gold

The German Cross in Silver and Gold was instituted as an Order on 28 September 1941.

The German Cross in Gold was designed to bridge the gap between the War Merit Cross 1st Class and the Knight's Cross of the War Merit Cross.
The German Cross in Gold recognizes bravery and outstanding achievements in battle.  

The German Cross in Gold was designed to bridge the gap between the Iron Cross 1st Class and the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.
The German Cross in Silver recognizes honorable military service in the execution of the war effort.  


The German Cross is awarded in an award box, along with a certificate.
It is worn on the right breast pocket, above the Spanish Cross.  It can be worn in the medal form, or in a cloth patch form.

Unlike most other awards, both grades can be worn simultaneously, Gold on top of silver.  

Silver Requirements are:

•     Awarded the War Merit Cross 1st Class
•    Repeated acts above and beyond the call of duty - awarded for service moreso than for valor

Gold Requirements are:
•    Awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class
•    Repeated acts above and beyond the call of duty - awarded for bravery moreso than for merit

352.ID Silver requirements:
•    Awarded the War Merit Cross 1st Class
•    Awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class
•    Action in a tactical event that goes far above the call of duty and separates the individual significantly from his peers

352.ID Gold requirements:
•    (Not achievable)




Close Combat Clasp
Nahkampfspange

Nahkampfspange Bronze
Nahkampfspange Silber
Nahkampfspange Gold

The Close Combat Clasp in Bronze, Silver and Gold was instituted 25 November 1942.
This award, considered to be the highest infantry award, recognizes Soldaten who have fought hand-to-hand or in close combat situations.

When awarded the Bronze or Silver grade, the award came in an envelope accompanied with a certificate.  
The Gold grade of the award came in a black award box with a certificate.

The Close Combat Clasp is worn 1cm above the left breast pocket or 1cm above the ribbon bar (if worn).
Only the highest grade of the clasp is worn.  

Being awarded the Close Combat Clasp in Bronze automatically also awarded the recipeant the Iron Cross 2nd Class (if not already awarded).

Being awarded the Close Combat Clasp in Silver automatically also awarded the recipeant the Iron Cross 1st Class (if not already awarded).

Being awarded the Close Combat Clasp in Gold automatically also awarded the recipeant the German Cross in Gold (if not already awarded).  
The Clasp in Gold was awarded in official ceremonies to the 
recipeant by either Hitler, Himmler or Guderian.  Approximately 635 were awarded in World War II.

Bronze requirements:
•    Participate in 15 days hand-to-hand combat
or
•    Participation in 10 days close combat, if severely wounded

Silver requirements:
•    Participate in 30 days hand-to-hand combat
or
•    Participation in 20 days close combat, if severely wounded

Gold requirements:
•    Participate in 50 days hand-to-hand combat
or
•    Participation in 40 days close combat, if severely wounded

352.ID Bronze requirements:
•    Accumulation of 200 ACTs

352.ID Silver requirements:
•    Accumulation of 300 ACTs

352.ID Gold requirements:
•    (Not achievable)




Infantry Assault Badge
Infanterie Sturmabzeichen

Infanterie Sturmabzeichen in Silber

The Infantry Assault Badge was instituted as a war decoration 20 December 1939 (Silver) and 1 June 1940 (Bronze).

The Infantry Assault Badge in silver was created to recognize non-motorized infantry assaults.

The Badge is awarded in an envelope with a certificate.


The Infantry Assault Badge is worn on the left breast pocket.  It is superseded by the Iron Cross and War Merit Cross, but supersedes the Would Badge, and most other awards worn on the left breast pocket.  


Requirements for Silver:
•    Member of an infantry unit (non-motorized)
•    3 or more infantry assaults
•    3 or more infantry counter attacks
•    3 or more armed reconnaissance
•    3 or more days in restitution of combat positions
•    Hand to hand combat in an assault position

352.ID requirements for Silver:

•    Accumulation of 50 ACTs
•    5 Infantry Assaults




Tank Destruction Badge
Das Sonderabzeichen für das Niederkämpfen von Panzerkampfwagen durch Einzelkämpfer

Panzervernichtungsabzeichen Silber
Panzervernichtungsabzeichen Gold

The tank destruction badge was instituted as a war decoration on 9 March 1942 (Silver) and 18 December 1943 (Gold).

This award was designed to recognize individuals, not a part of an anti-tank crew, that destroy an enemy tank using a Panzerfaust,
Panzershreck, satchel charge, grenade, or by other means.  
It is also known as the Tank Buster Badge (Panzervernichtungsabzeichen).

The badge is awarded and worn on the right sleeve, at the upper breast pocket level. 

The Tank Destruction Badge is awarded for each tank destroyed.  Maximum of 4 badges (any combination) to be worn at once

Approximately 18,541 Silver Tank Destruction Badges were awarded during World War II.
Approximately 451 Gold Tank Destruction Badges were awarded during World War II.

Silver requirements are:
•    Not part of an anti-tank crew
•    Single handedly destroy an enemy tank with a hand held weapon

Gold requirements are:
•    Not part of an anti-tank crew
•    Single handedly destroy 5 enemy tank with a hand held weapon

352.ID Silver requirements are:
•    Single handedly destroy or capture 1 enemy tank
or 3 armored vehicles without being captured or killed. 
Must be verified by two witnesses.  Max = 4 badges

352.ID Gold requirements are:
•    Single handedly destroy or capture 5 enemy tank
or 15 armored vehicles without being captured or killed. 
Must be verified by two witnesses.  Max = 1 badge




Wound Badge
Verwundetenabzeichen

Verwundetenabzeichen Schwarz  Verwundetenabzeichen Silber  Verwundetenabzeichen Gold

The Wound Badge in Black, Silver and Gold was instituted as a wound award on 1 September 1939.

The Wound Badge was originally designed just for military members, but was later designated for civilians injured in air raids as well.  

The Wound Badge was the most highly awarded German decoration in World War II.  

The Black grade was awarded in an envelope with a certificate.  
The Silver and Gold Grade were awarded in either an envelope or an award box, along with a certificate.  

The wound badge is worn on the left breast pocket, and is superseded by all other awards. 

Black requirements are:

•    Wounded 1-2 times in fighting or in an air raid
or
•    Wounded by frostbite in the line of duty

Silver requirements are:
•    Wounded 3-4 times in fighting or in an air raid
or
•    Serious injury in the line of duty

Gold requirements are:
•    Wounded 5 times or more in fighting or in an air raid
or
•    Death in the line of duty

352.ID Black requirements are:
•    1 injury obtained during a tactical event that requires a doctor's treatment

352.ID Silver requirements are:
•    2 injuries obtained during tactical events that requires a doctor's treatment

352.ID Gold requirements are:
•    3 injuries or more obtained during tactical events that requires a doctor's treatment
or
•    Serious injury, as determined by the 352.ID commander




Driver's Service Badge
Kraftfahr-Bewährungsabzeichen

Kraftfahr-Bewährungsabzeichen Bronze     Kraftfahr-Bewährungsabzeichen Silber

The Driver's Service Badge was instituted as a war decoration on 23 October 1942.
It is awarded in a box, with a certificate.
It is worn on the left sleeve, at the lower pocket level.

Requirements are:
•    Driver of a military vehicle in a military campaign after 1 December 1940

352.ID Bronze requirements are:
•    Driver of a military vehicle at three separate, approved tactical events

352.ID Silver requirements are:
•    Provide a usable vehicle/armored vehicle for use to the 352.ID

352.ID Gold requirements are:
•    Provide a usable tank for use to the 352.ID




West Wall Medal
Deutsches Schutzwall-Ehrenzeichen

Deutsches Schutzwall-Ehrenzeichen

The West Wall Medal was instituted 2 August 1939 for West Wall defenses, and reissued 10 October 1944 for work on the Atlantik Wall.

The medal was awarded in an envelope with a certificate. 


This medal is worn either on the ribbon bar of the dress uniform or the medal bar of a parade uniform.

It is superseded by all other awards.
 Refer to the Awards and Decorations Precedence Figure.

Approximately 622,064 West Wall Medals were awarded during World War II.  

Requirements are:
•    Construction workers working on the Siegfried Line for at least 10 weeks
or
•    Military personnel stationed on the Siegfried Line for at least 3 weeks
or

•    Construction workers who had worked on the Siegfried Line after 06 June 1944
or

•    Military personnel stationed on the Siegfried Line after 06 June 1944
or

•    Participation in building the fortifications along the Western Front before May 1940,
and for work on the Atlantik Wall after October 1944


352.ID requirements are:
•    Participation in 20 or more hours of building/construction of permanent structures
on the WWII History Center's Battlefield





Medal for the Winter Campaign in Russia 1941-42
Medaille Winterschlacht im Osten 1941/42

Medaille Winterschlacht im Osten 1941/42

The East Front Medal was instituted as a campaign award on 26 May 1942.

Also known as the Eastern (Ost) Front Medal, or to some Soldaten, the Order of the Frozen Flesh.

The Medal is eligible to both member of the military and civilians working for the military.  

This is one of the highest awarded German decorations of World War II.  

The medal was awarded in a envelope, accompanied by a certificate.  
Normal wear of the Ost Front Medal is worn as the ribbon through the second buttonhole or on the ribbon bar. 

In dress uniform, this award can be worn either on the ribbon bar or on the medal bar.  

The ribbon is superseded by the War Merit Cross and the Iron Cross ribbon, however, many troops had it supersede the War Merit Cross
because service on the Ost Front was considered more prestigious.
 Refer to the Awards and Decorations Precedence Figure.

Requirements are:
•    Participation in 14 days combat
or
•    Serving 60 days in the combat zone
or
•    Serving 30 days in the combat zone for Luftwaffe personnel
or
•    Being wounded on the line between 15 Nov 1941 and 26 Apr 1942 or receiving frostbite

352.ID requirements:
•    Participation in 5 or more battles against Russian Forces.
or
•    Participation in an extremely cold tactical event against Russian Forces –
up to the discretion of the 352.ID Commander





AWARDS AUTHORIZED FOR
ADVANCED PARTICIPATION

This category of awards and decorations recognizes members of the 352.ID for advanced participation – ECPs in excess of 600 points.  Two categories have been set up to allow Category A members (age 39 and under) to wear Third Reich era awards, and to allow Category B veterans (age 40 and over) to wear World War I period awards.

These awards are listed, as follows:



Category A
Czech/Sudetenland Annexation Medal
Die Medaille zur Erinnerung an den 1. Oktober 1938


Die Medaille zur Erinnerung an den 1. Oktober 1938

The Czech/Sudetenland Annexation Medal Instituted as a campaign medal on 18 October 1938.

The translation of the actual name of the medal is "The Medal to Commemorate 1 October 1938".

The Medal was awarded to all German (Sudeten) State officials and members of the Wehrmacht and SS who marched into the Sudetenland on 1 October 1938.  It was also awarded to occupying forces in Czechoslovakia on 15 March 1939.

Awarding of this medal ended on 1 December 1939.  

The medal is awarded in an envelope along with a certificate.  
It can be worn on the ribbon bar, or, when in dress uniform, worn as medal and ribbon on the medal bar.  

Refer to the Awards and Decorations Precedence Figure.

Approximately 1,162,617 medals were awarded.

Requirements are:
•    Marched into the Sudetenland during the Annexation
    or
•    Part of the occupying force in Czechoslovakia on 15 March 1939

352.ID requirements are:
•    600 ECPs
•    Less than 39 years old




Category B
Silesian Eagle
Schleischer Adler


Schleischer Adler

The Silesian Eagle was instituted as an award on 16 June 1919.

This award was designed for post World War I soldiers in the Freikorps, as an alternative to the Iron Cross
It came in two classes, like the Iron Cross, and requirements for both classes closely resembled that of the Iron Cross

The medal can be won on the left breast pocket, superseding all other medals except for the Iron Cross.
In dress uniform, the award can be worn as a medal and ribbon on the ribbon bar.

Requirements are:
•    Participated in the defense of Silesia
•    Act(s) of bravery above and beyond the call of duty

352.ID requirements are:
•    600 ECPs
•    Older than 40 years old



Category A
Memel Medal
Die Medaille zur Erinnerung an die Heimkerhr des Memllandes 22.März 1939


Die Medaille zur Erinnerung an die Heimkerhr des Memllandes 22.März 1939

Instituted on 1 May 1939.

This medal was awarded to approximately 31,322 recipiants who entered the Memel District during its annexation into the Reich.  

The medal is awarded in an envelope along with a certificate.  
It can be worn on the ribbon bar, or, when in dress uniform, worn as medal and ribbon on the medal bar.
Refer to the Awards and Decorations Precedence Figure.

Requirements are:
•    Marched into the District of Memel during the Annexation

352.ID requirements are:
•    800 ECPs
•    Less than 39 years old



Category B
Baltic Cross
Baltisches Kreuz


Baltisches Kreuz

Instituted on 1919.

This medal, from the Freikorps era, is awarded to those who fought in the Baltic area in 1919.  

Approximately 21,839 of these medals were awarded to soldiers of the Freikorps.  
If worn, it is worn on the left breast pocket, superseded by all other medals and awards

Requirements are:
•    Participated in at least 3 months of fighting with the Freikorps in the Baltic area (1919)

352.ID requirements are:
•    800 ECPs
•    Older than 40 years old



Category A
Anschluss Medal
Die Medaille zur Erinnerung an den 13. März 1938


Die Medaille zur Erinnerung an den 13. März 1938

Instituted on 13 Mar 1938.

This medal was awarded to approximately 318,689 recipients who marched into Austria during the annexation and to Austrian forces joining the Wehrmacht.  

The medal is awarded in an envelope along with a certificate.  
It can be worn on the ribbon bar, or, when in dress uniform, worn as medal and ribbon on the medal bar.
Refer to the Awards and Decorations Precedence Figure.

Requirements are:
•    Marched into the Austria during the Annexation
or
•    Austrian forces absorbed into the Wehrmacht

352.ID requirements are:
•    1000 ECPs
•    Less than 39 years old




Category B
Bavarian Military Merit Cross
Militär-Verdienstkreuz

Militär-Verdienstkreuz

Instituted on 19 July 1866.  This is one of the highest awards an enlisted man can receive.  It is on the same level as the Pour le Mérite that officers are eligible for.  This award was last presented during the first World War, and only to about 1760 soldiers.  

This medal, when worn, is worn around the neck.

Requirements are:
•    Enlisted soldier witnessed performing brave acts or military merit

352.ID requirements are:
•    1000 ECPs
•    Older than 40 years old



Category A
Honor Roll Clasp of the Army
Ehrenblatt des Heeres


Ehrenblatt des Heeres

Instituted on 30 Jan 1944.

This award can only be worn on the Iron Cross 2nd Class ribbon (1914 or 1939 version), as worn through the second button hole of the tunic.  

Requirements are:
•    Iron Cross 1st and 2nd Class
or
•    Act of bravery above and beyond the call of duty, not justified by the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross or the German Cross in Gold
or
•    Single appreciation record from the supreme commander of the Heer
or
•    Inclusion in the Honor Roll of the German Army

352.ID requirements are:
•    1400 ECPs
•    Iron Cross 1st and 2nd Class
•    Less than 39 years old



Category B
Honor Cross
Ehrenkreuz für Frontkämpfer


Ehrenkreuz für Frontkämpfer

Instituted on 13 July 1934.

This award, instituted by President Paul von Hindenburg, was created and given to honor those who contributed to the war effort during the First World War.  It is also known as the Hindenburg Cross.  This was the first award to be instituted by the National Socialist Government.  

This award was issued in three versions.  The Ehrenkreuz für Frontkämpfer was issued to troops in battle.  The
Ehrenkreuz für Kriegsteilnehmer was issued to civilians who contributed to the War effort.  The Ehrenkreuz fürWitwen und Eltern gefallener Kriegsteilnehmer was awarded to widows and parents of fallen soldiers.  

This decoration was awarded on a mass scale.  By 15 November 1936, over 8,000,000 had been awarded.  From 1940 on, it was also awarded to eligible inhabitants of the Saar, Danzig, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Memel.  

The award came in an envelope of varying colors with the phrase "Treue um Treue" (
"Loyality for Loyality"), with Hindenburg's signature.  

It can be worn on the ribbon bar, or, when in dress uniform, worn as medal and ribbon on the medal bar.  


Requirements for
Ehrenkreuz für Frontkämpfer are:
•    Participation in combat in the Great War

352.ID requirements for Ehrenkreuz für Frontkämpfer are:
•    1000 ECPs
•   Older than 40 years old




ARMED FORCES LONG SERVICE AWARDS

Wehrmacht Long Service Awards are authorized for all members of the 352.ID.  Active time in the unit as a reenactor, and/or time served in the armed forces goes towards these awards.  These awards will be eligible to 352.ID members who are an active Grenadier (or higher) with the 352.ID for at least a continuous 6 months.
 Refer to the Awards and Decorations Precedence Figure to determine this awards precedence.  The awards are listed, as follows:



Long Service Medal 4th Class
Dienstauszeichnung der Wehrmacht 4.Klasse

Dienstauszeichnung der Wehrmacht 4.Klasse

This award was presented to a member of the Wehrmact for 4 years of service.

It is worn as the blue ribbon on the ribbon bar with the appropriate service device (the Wehrmact Adler), or on the medal bar with the appropriate service device.  





Long Service Medal 3rd Class
Dienstauszeichnung der Wehrmacht 3.Klasse

Dienstauszeichnung der Wehrmacht 3.Klasse

This award was presented to a member of the Wehrmact for 5-12 years of service.

It is worn as the blue ribbon on the ribbon bar with the appropriate service device (the Wehrmact Adler), or on the medal bar with the appropriate service device.  

 

Long Service Medal 2nd Class
Dienstauszeichnung der Wehrmacht 2.Klasse

Dienstauszeichnung der Wehrmacht 2.Klasse

This award was presented to a member of the Wehrmact for 13-18 years of service.

It is worn as the blue ribbon on the ribbon bar with the appropriate service cross, or on the medal bar with the appropriate service cross with the service device, as shown in the figure.    



Long Service Medal 1st Class
Dienstauszeichnung der Wehrmacht 1.Klasse

Dienstauszeichnung der Wehrmacht 1.Klasse

This award was presented to a member of the Wehrmact for 19-25 years of service.

It is worn as the blue ribbon on the ribbon bar with the appropriate service cross, or on the medal bar with the appropriate service cross with the service device.      



Long Service Medal with Oak Leaves
Dienstauszeichnung der Wehrmacht mit Eichenlaub Sonderklasse

Dienstauszeichnung der Wehrmacht mit Eichenlaub Sonderklasse

This award was presented to a member of the Wehrmact for 26-40 years of service.

It is worn as the red and gold ribbon on the ribbon bar with the appropriate service cross, or on the medal bar with the appropriate service cross with the service device.  




U.S. TO GERMAN EQUIVALENCY AWARDS

The following table lists a number of awards and decorations currently being awarded by U.S. Armed Forces and an equivalent award from the German Armed Forces of WW2.



    U.S. ARMED FORCES AWARDS                           GERMAN AWARD                 
Congressional Medal of Honor Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves
Silver Star w/ Device
Distinguished Service Cross
Distinguished Service Medal
Knight's Cross
Distinguished Flying Cross
Legion of Merit
Silver Star
War Order of the German Cross
Bronze Star w/ V Device
Combat Infantryman Badge (x2)
Close Combat Clasp in Silver
Meritorious Service Medal 
Bronze Star 
Soldier Medal
Iron Cross 1st Class
Vietnam Service Medal
Southwest Asia Service Medal
Good Conduct Medal 
Army Achievement Medal 
National Defense Service Medal
War Merit Cross w/ Swords 1st Class
Purple Heart Wound Badge
Expert Infantryman’s Badge 
Ranger Tab 
Amphibious Reconnaissance USMC
Mountain Warfare Leader USMC
Combat Infantryman’s Badge
Infantry Assault Badge in Bronze
or
General Assault Badge
Military Service in Africa, Middle East AFRIKA Cuff Title (Commemorative)
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal Anti-Partisan Guerrilla Warfare 
Badge in Bronze



MISCELLANEOUS AWARDS AND AWARD CRITERIA

Additional civilian or military acquired skills may qualify for a German equivalency award.  Issuance of any other awards not covered in this model must be reviewed and approved by the 352.ID Commander on a case by case basis. 


AWARD AND DECORATION PROCESS

The 352.ID Commander will notify the individual up for an award in person, by means of email, or by phone.  The 352.ID Commander will inform the individual that they are eligible for the award and what action the individual took to become eligible for such an award.  The Commander will then ask if the individual accepts the award.  The individual is free to decline an award.  If the individual accepts, the 352.ID Commander will clear the award through the WWII History Center’s Executive Director, and the award will be noted in the individual’s dossier. 

The individual will then be notified that the award has been recorded, and they are free to find and order the award.  DO NOT order the award before this notification.  Each member of the 352.ID is responsible for finding and purchasing their own awards.  Refer to the Links section of the website as to find vendors who sell original and/or reproduction awards and decorations.  Once they have received the award, if they would like, the 352.ID Commander will present the award to the individual in front of the entire unit at the next unit gathering.


AWARD PRECEDENCE AND METHOD OF WEAR

Awards are worn on the wearer’s left breast pocket with the highest award centered on the pocket.  Lesser awards are worn on the bottom of the pocket with the most prestigious to the wearer’s right (nearest the heart).    Pinback awards are normal worn suspended from small loops, not pushed trough the uniform fabric.  Close Combat Clasps are worn above the left pocket above the bar of awards ribbons.  The Iron Cross, War Merit Cross and Eastern Front Medals ribbons taken directly from the award can be worn without a bar inserted through the second button hole and sewn behind the tunic flap.  The most prestigious is worn most exposed.  The order of precedence is: Iron Cross; War Merit Cross; Eastern Front Medal.

Each member of the 352.ID may earn as many awards as is possible.  However, to avoid looking like a Field Marshall when you are only an Obergrenadier or a Gefreiter, the number of awards to be worn at any one time at any event will be limited to three, not to include ribbons.  Exceptions to this rule must be cleared through the 352.ID Commander.

Also, on the other hand, because you earn an award does not mean that you have to buy and/or wear it if you do not want to. 

Members caught wearing awards that they have not earned will be disciplined, as seen fit by the 352.ID Commander and/or the WWII History Center Executive Director.  Disciplinary action can take the form of the stripping of all previously earned awards and/or demotion in rank. 


PROMOTION CRITERIA

The promotion of rank is a privilege, and not a right.  After a Recruit has obtained all required uniform items and field gear, he will be promoted to the rank of Grenadier.  Further promotions are dependent on the activity level, knowledge, leadership ability, dedication and desire of the Soldat to advance in rank.  Promotion to any rank will be based upon these criteria and a need for their rank within the 352.ID.  The size of the 352.ID will dictate how many of each rank will be needed.  Unit members who show potential for promotion will be evaluated by the following characteristics:

•    ACT/ECP points accumulated
•    Good attendance at tactical/public events
•    Good attendance at unit meetings, loading/unloading sessions and training sessions
•    Acceptable uniform/equipment impression
•    Contributes through projects, extra duties, etc...
•    Good soldering skills
•    Good knowledge of the 352.ID and WWII History
•    Basic knowledge of tactics a commands
•    Basic knowledge of German commands and marching songs
•    Time spent as a member of the 352.ID
•    Recommendation by peers and/or superiors
•    352.ID’s need for a promotion at a given rank

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