France has been dealing with unofficial orders and decorations since the early 19th. century, with a final scandal in 1822 concerning a member of the French War Department. This scandal finally led on April 16th 1824 to a royal decree, stating : “ All decorations and orders, of whatever designation or form, which have not been awarded by us or by foreign souvereigns are declared illegaly or abusively obtained, and those who wear them are ordered to relinguish them immediately”. An imperial decree of 10th. June 1853 repeated the same exact wording and specified that foreign decorations and orders could only be worn with official approval by the French government. Until recently, the wearing of awards and orders which were awarded unofficialy, was punished severely, from solitary confinement to heavy fines.
It is laid down that French subjects as well as officers in French service shall wear their orders, decorations and medals in a certain sequence on their left breast. This sequence is as follows:
1. Legion d’Honneur.
2. French Orders.
3. French Decorations.
4. French Medals.
5. Foreign Orders, Decorations and Medals in the same sequence as French.
Orders, decorations and medals are either awarded automatically or by recommendation. Automatically awarded awards will be issued by the headquarters, automatically a short period after the requirements for the award have been met. Officers are expected to assist and report to headquarters if the above isn’t being carried out within a certain time. Awards given on recommendations will be issued at the beginning of each month in the monthly reports by headquarters. Awarding ceremonies will be held once a month at headquarters, shortly after the monthly dispatch from headquarters has been published. A honour parade will be held consisting of one selected platoon from each Corps, before the award is bestowed on the officers. An unofficial celebration will be held afterwards, where a member of the headquarters will give the first round.