Order of Military Merit  

Established: By Legislative Decree No. 167 of 4 July 1953.
Awarded to members of the armed forces for bravery in battle or for overall efficiency in combat. It may also be awarded to civic entitles, such as towns or factories, for contributions to military enterprises. Also seen referred to as the "Military Medal", the "Order of the War Crescent" and - very confusingly - as the "Medal of Courage".
Obverse: A 43 mm bronze eight-pointed rayed star, with the star-points the breeches of cannons. The center has a five-pointed star and crescent. The medal is surmounted by a large eagle, with wings fully spread (and a wingspread of 44 mm). Suspended by a loop attached to the back of the eagle''s wings. The same badge is worn for each class and only the ribbon appurtenances differ.
Reverse: Plain.
Ribbon: Basically, 38 mm medium red with two 3 mm white stripes toward each edge and very thin black threads edging the white stripes; 3 mm white, 3 mm red, 3 mm white, 3 mm white, 20 mm red, 3 mm white, 3 mm red, 3 mm white. Different ribbon appurtenances are worn for each class, as outlined below; the medal is, however, often encountered without these ribbon devices.

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