The Victoria Cross
is a military award for extraordinary valour and devotion to duty while facing a hostile force. It can be awarded to members of the Canadian Forces
of any rank in any service, and to allies serving under or with Canadian military command; it is the highest honour in the Canadian honours system
, placed before all other orders, decorations and medals, including the Order of Canada
, in the Order of Precedence
. Whereas in many other Commonwealth
countries, the Victoria Cross can only be awarded for actions against the enemy in a wartime setting, the Canadian government has a broader definition of the term "enemy," and so the Victoria Cross can be awarded for action against armed mutineers, pirates or other such hostile forces without war being officially declared. The recipient is entitled to an annuity of CAD$
3,000 a year.
The Canadian medal is based on the original Victoria Cross, instituted in 1856, although the Canadian version has several small changes in its appearance. It is presented to the recipient by the Monarch or the Governor General of Canada. It can be awarded more than once, but no one has received the award since its creation in 1993.