Established on March 30, 1929, the Florida National Guard Cross honors Florida National Guard members who carry out acts of exceptional heroism or otherwise distinguish themselves from their peers through feats of valor in excess of expectations.
The Florida National Guard is composed of the Florida Army National Guard and the Florida Air National Guard. An estimated 12,000 soldiers serve the Army component, which traces its roots back to a Spanish militia that defended the territory against French settlers in 1565 and took on its official form when the 1903 Militia Act incorporated existing state militias into the National Guard. The Air component is based in St. Augustine’s St. Francis Barracks and became official in September of 1947, coinciding with the formation of the Air Force as a distinct branch of the United States military.
The medal is bronze and in the shape of a Greek cross. An image of the Florida State Seal appears in the center with an eagle atop it; inscriptions read “FLORIDA CROSS” and “FOR DISTINGUISHED SERVICE.” The ribbon is red and features four evenly spaced thin vertical white stripes.
Subsequent awards may be indicated by silver oak leaf clusters.