|Royal and Military Order of Saint Ferdinand|
Arms of the Order of Saint Ferdinand
|Type||Military Order of Merit|
|Established||31 August 1811|
Ribbon of the order
|Next (lower)||Military Medal|
The Royal and Military Order of Saint Ferdinand (Spanish: Real y Militar Orden de San Fernando), is a Spanish military order whose decoration, known as Laureate Cross of Saint Ferdinand (Spanish: Cruz Laureada de San Fernando), is Spain's highest military decoration for gallantry. It is awarded in recognition of action, either individual or collective, to protect the nation, its citizens, or the peace and security of the international community in the face of immediate risk to the bearer. Those eligible are current and former members of the Spanish Armed Forces.
The Sovereign of the Order of San Fernando is the monarch of Spain, who presides over the biennial chapter held in the Royal Monastery of El Escorial. The sovereign's representative in the Order is the Grand Master, who governs it and is aided by the Maestranza.
Among the conditions laid out by the Royal Military Order of Saint Ferdinand for the granting of the award are:
The Royal Military Order of Saint Ferdinand was set up in 1811 by the Cortes of Cádiz – which served as a parliamentary Regency after Ferdinand VII was deposed – to honour heroic feats of arms. Its awardees include Marcelo Azcárraga Palmero, Juan Prim, Juan de la Cruz Mourgeón, Francisco de Albear, José Enrique Varela Iglesias (twice awarded, in 1920, and 1921), Francisco Serrano y Domínguez, Frederick Thomas Pelham, Henry Kelly (VC), Martín Cerezo,Francisco Franco Bahamonde, and Mohamed Meziane.
Loosely adapted from the Spanish popflock.com resource article on the same topic.