Sarvottam Yudh Seva Medal
The Sarvottam Yudh Seva Medal is the highest wartime distinguished service decoration in India. It is presented by the President of India for exceptional service during an operational context, especially during wars or other conflicts when the security of the nation is at stake.
The Sarvottam Yudh Seva Medal is an equivalent of the Param Vishist Seva Medal, except that it is only given for wartime operations. It can be awarded to officers and soldiers of the Indian Army, Air Force and Navy, as well as to all ranks of the Auxiliary and Reserve Forces and Territorial Army Units, or for that matter, members of any lawfully constituted Armed Forces.
The winners of the Sarvottam Yudh Seva Medal have been known to perform exceptional service under great pressure during wars, conflicts and hostilities.
The medal is circular in shape and has a diameter of 35 mm. It is fitted into a horizontal bar and is made from gold gilt. The medal has the State Emblem embossed on it. It has the inscription, “SARVOTTAM YUDH SEVA MEDAL” in English.
The award was instituted on 26 June 1980. After the establishment of the award, it has been given only once – to Air Marshal Vinod Patney of the Indian Air Force in 1999. It was under his command that the air strikes against the Pakistani intruders during the Kargil War in 1999 were carried out. Air Marshall Patney was the AOC-in-C, Western Air Command during Operation Vijay.
Uttam Yudh Seva Medal
The Uttam Yudh Seva Medal is awarded by the President of India for the highest degree of distinguished service during the wartime operational context.
It is the wartime equivalent of the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, which is a Distinguished Service decoration for peacetime operations. The Uttam Yudh Seva Medal ranks next in precedence to the Sarvottam Yudh Seva Medal.
This award can be given to all ranks of the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force, as well as to members of the paramilitary, Territorial Army, or any Armed Forces set up under the Constitution of India. It may be awarded posthumously as well.
The Uttam Yudh Seva Medal was instituted in 1980. As many as four distinguished officers of the Indian Air Force have received the award for their leadership during the Kargil War of 1999.
Lt Gen Anil Kumar Ahuja, Lt Gen Gurmit Singh, and Lt Gen Rakesh Sharma of the Indian Army have been the most recent recipients of this medal. They received it for their exceptional service and leadership in 2015.
The medal itself is circular in shape, with a diameter of 35mm. It is fitted into a horizontal bar and is made of gold gilt. It has the State Emblem of India on its obverse and the words “Uttam Yudh Seva Medal” inscribed on the upper rim. The medal has a five pointed star on the reverse.
Yudh Seva Medal
The Yudh Seva Medal is one of the highest military decorations for distinguished service during wartime. Recipients of the Yudh Seva Medal can be from all ranks of the Indian Army, Air Force and Navy, as well as from the Territorial Army, Paramilitary and any constitutionally set up Armed Forces during wartime.
This award is given for distinguished service in operations during war, conflicts or hostilities. This award can be awarded posthumously as well. The Yudh Seva Medal is a wartime equivalent of the Vishisht Seva Medal, which is a decoration for distinguished service during peacetime.
This award ranks third in the order of precedence below the Sarvottam Yudh Seva Medal and Uttam Yudh Seva Medal. The medal is 35mm in diameter and fitted into a bar. The medal is made of gold gilt and has the State Emblem of India on the obverse. It has the words “Yudh Seva Medal” embossed in Hindi and English on the upper rim. It has a five pointed star on the reverse.
The Yudh Seva Medal was instituted in 1980. Over twenty officers of the Indian Air Force have received this medal for service rendered during operations in the conflict with Pakistan at Siachen and the Kargil War.
Wing Commander Ashim Kumar Banerjee was the first officer of the Indian Air Force to be given this prestigious medal. He was given the medal in 1988 for his leadership and courage under fire at Siachen. The most recent recipient of the medal has been Group Captain Atanu Guru. He received the honor on 26th January, 2008.