The Republic of Vietnam (RVN) Gallantry Cross Medal honors members of the military and civilians who carried out feats of valor or heroism in combat with hostile forces. The award was authorized for issuance with different devices at the level of the Armed Forces (palm), Brigade (bronze star), Corps (gold star, Division (silver star), or Regiment (bronze star); there was also a Unit version of the award. It is roughly comparable to the Legion of Merit award.
The former Republic of South Vietnam created a series of awards to honor military members and civilians who carried out service on behalf of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War and related operations between 1949 and 1974. As the nation no longer exists, the awards are considered obsolete.
The medal is gold and in the shape of a Celtic cross superimposed upon a wreath and crossed swords; in the center appear the contours of Vietnam as well as two branches of palm. An inscription over the map reads “QUOC GIA LAO TUONG,” which translates to “REWARD OF THE STATE.” The ribbon features a broad yellow central section decorated with 16 paired thin vertical red lines; a thick vertical red stripe appears on each edge.