Long Service Medal

Medal Obverse Medal Reverse
Bronze Clasp
Silver Clasp Gold Clasp
Gold and Silver Clasp

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Long Service Medal is the oldest piece in the Canadian system of awards and is unique in that it flows directly from the Sovereign. Of particular significance is the fact that Queen Elizabeth II is the Honourary Commissioner of the RCMP.

Although conceived during the mid-1920's, the RCMP Long Service Medal was authorized by Order-In-Council on January 14, 1933 and was approved by King George V on March 6, 1934. The award was authorized for officers, non-commissioned officers, constables and special constables after completing not less than twenty years service.

Of note is the fact that service in the Mounted Police at any time since the inception of the Force qualified and a member did not have to serve with the RCMP per se to qualify. The Force was known as the North West Mounted Police from 1873-1904 and the Royal North West Mounted Police from 1904-1920. In addition, service in any federal, provincial or municipal police force, absorbed into the RCMP, also counted as qualifying service.

The first awards of medals to members and retired members were contained in the January 12, 1935-edition of the Canada Gazette. The first presentation of medals took place in Ottawa, Ontario, on March 12, 1935, when the Governor General of Canada presented 71medals.

Manufactured by the Royal Canadian Mint, the circular, silver medal is one and one half inches in diameter, with the Royal Effigy on the obverse, while on the reverse, the badge of the RCMP, surrounded by the nomenclature "FOR LONG SERVICE AND GOOD CONDUCT." Impressed on the rim were the initials and name of the recipient - the regimental number and/or rank were not included. Originally, the medals were struck from 100% sterling silver but over the years, the metal composition has varied slightly, albeit the primary component remained sterling silver.

The riband is Royal Blue with two yellow stripes, one-eighth of an inch wide and one-half inch apart.

On February 18, 1954, clasps and stars for additional service were approved. Members who had been awarded the medal were eligible for the following : for 25 years - bronze clasp with one star; 30 years - silver clasp with two stars; 35 years - gold clasp with three stars and 40 years - gold and silver clasp with four stars. The latter clasp was approved on January 26, 2004. Clasps were also awarded for the undress ribbon however, in all cases, only the latest award was worn.

As of December 1956, a certificate was awarded with the medal. In the late 1970's or early 1980's, a French version of the medal was approved. On the reverse it had the nomenclature "POUR ANCIENNETTE ET BONNE CONDUIT."

Medal recipients were eligible to purchase a miniature medal and appropriate clasps. Miniature medals were intended for evening wear at formal functions, such as a Regimental Ball or a Mess Dinner.

The medal was presented officially at an occasion of some importance. For many years, it was supplied to the member in the small cardboard box in which it had been shipped from the mint. As of August 1975, the medal was supplied in a red and white lined, blue leatherette case with a small, metal badge of the RCMP on top. All members serving with the RCMP as of August 1, 1974 were entitled to the new case.

Regimental details


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by Stephen Luscombe