The system of Orders, decorations, and medals of South Vietnam came into being with the establishment of the National Order of Vietnam in 1950. Established by Bảo Đại, the head of state of the State of Vietnam, the order was the highest award of the state for both civilians and military personnel. This level of precedence continued under the government of South Vietnam. Lower ranking awards for both the military and civilians were subsequently established. The systems of civilian and military awards had their own order of precedence.
Military awards and decorations
Military awards are worn in the following order:
- Army First Class
- Army Second Class
- Air Force First Class
- Air Force Second Class
- Navy First Class
- Navy Second Class
- Gallantry Cross with Palm (cited at the Armed Forces level)
- Gallantry Cross with Gold Star (cited at the Corps level)
- Gallantry Cross with Silver Star (cited at the Division level)
- Gallantry Cross with Bronze Star (cited at the Regiment or Brigade level)
- Gallantry Cross Unit Award
- Armed Forces level
- Corps level
- Division level
- Brigade level
- Regiment level
- Battalion level
- Company level
Civilian awards and decorations
Civilian awards are worn in the following order:
These awards are not listed in the order of precedence for military or civilian awards:
Many of the South Vietnamese military awards and decorations were awarded to members of foreign military forces fighting with and advising the South Vietnamese military. Some civilian awards were also presented, but their acceptance and wear was limited by the recipients' governments.
- HUY CHUONG AN THUONG TRONG QUAN-LU'C VlET-NAM CONG-HOA (Medals and Decorations of the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces). Government of the Republic of Vietnam. 1967. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
- Martin, Michael, ed. (2001). Warriors of the Sea. Paducah, KY.: Turner Publishing Company. p. 61. ISBN 9781563116636.
- United States Federal Register (1972). The Code of Federal Regulations of the United States of America. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 671.