The medal of the Order of Merit for the Fatherland was established by presidential decree of March 2 of 1994. The medal has two degrees, which are awarded successively - first the medal of the Order for Services to the Fatherland, II degree, then the medal of the Order for Services to the Fatherland, I degree. The presence of the medal of the Order of the I degree gives the right for new services to the country to be awarded the Order for Services to the Fatherland of the IV degree. The medal of the order can be awarded to both civilians and military personnel.
According to the statute, the medal of the Order for Services to the Fatherland is awarded to citizens: 1) for the implementation of specific and useful for Russia affairs in industry and agriculture, transport and construction, in education and science, in culture and health, as well as in other areas of work; 2) for a great contribution to the defense of the Fatherland, for the progress achieved in maintaining high combat readiness of formations, subunits and units, for excellent indicators of combat training, as well as other merit during military service. Also, the medal of the Order is awarded to citizens for ensuring state security and strengthening law and order.
This award is worn on the left side of the chest and is located after the orders (if any). In this case, the medal of the II degree in the presence of the awarded medal of the I degree is not worn. (With the exception of medals with images of swords.) It is worth noting that, as in the case of the order, the soldier is awarded the medal “For services to the Fatherland” with the image of swords for distinguishing in military operations. The length of each sword is 28 mm, the width is 3 mm. Two swords intersecting each other are attached to the ring between the reward itself and the shoe. When wearing a ribbon on a medal plate, if a citizen has medals of I and II degree, only a tape of a medal of I degree is worn.
The medal of the Order of Merit for the Fatherland is made of pure silver. The medal has the shape of a circle, its diameter is 32 mm. On both sides of the award there is a bulging side. On the front side of the award is the image of the badge of the Order of Merit for the Fatherland. On the reverse side of the medal is the award motto: “Benefit, Honor and Glory”, the words are arranged in a circle, all the letters are capitalized. Also on the reverse side in the center of the medal is the year of its establishment 1994, and in the lower part there is an image of laurel branches (relief) and the serial number of the award. The difference between the Order of Merit for the Fatherland I grade is that it is gilded. With the help of the ring and the ear, the medal is attached to a standard pentagonal block, which is covered with a dark red silk ribbon, having a width of - 24 mm. On the medal tape of the I degree in the middle, a strip of yellow color 1 mm thick is applied, on the ribbon of the II degree award a stripe of gray color of the same thickness.
Currently, the medal of the Order of Merit for the Fatherland has been awarded to more than a thousand people. In the open access there is information about 199 awarded with the medal of the Order of the I degree and about 954 awarded with the medal of the Order of the II degree. At the same time, the actual number of awards can significantly exceed these figures. However, in modern Russia it is quite difficult to track who and for what awards were presented.
Among the first to be awarded the Order of Merit for the Fatherland medal was a group of domestic athletes and coaches who showed excellent results during their performance at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer. Among the awards that are in the public domain, a significant number of Russian athletes. For example, the Russian biathlete Olga Zaitseva was twice awarded the medal of the Order for Services to the Fatherland, II degree. Apparently, this is the only case so far in the Russian award system. She also has a medal of the I degree, which was awarded to her 24 February 2014 of the year for high sporting achievements, a great contribution to the development of physical culture and sports during the Olympic Games in Sochi. Also, for the success in the Olympics were awarded officials and heads of sports organizations. One of the last awards with the medal of the Order For Services to the Fatherland, I degree is the awarding of the head of the Russian Biathlon Union, MD Prokhorov.
Based on open source materials.