The Order of the Red Star was a military decoration of the Soviet Union. It was established by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of 6 April 1930 but its statute was only defined in decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of 5 May 1930. That statute was amended by decrees of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of 7 May 1936, of 19 June 1943, of 26 February 1946, of 15 October 1947, of 16 December 1947 and by decree No 1803-X of 28 March 1980.
The Order of the Red Star was awarded to soldiers of the Soviet Army, Navy, border and internal security forces, employees of the State Security Committee of the USSR, as well as NCOs and officers of the bodies of internal affairs; to units, warships, associations, enterprises, institutions and organizations; as well as to military personnel of foreign countries:
- for personal courage and bravery in battle, for the excellent organization and leadership in combat that contributed to the success of our troops;
- for successful operations of military units and formations which resulted in the enemy suffering considerable casualties or damage;
- for outstanding service in ensuring public safety and the security of the State Border of the USSR;
- for courage and valour displayed during the performance of military duties, or, in circumstances involving a risk to life;
- for exemplary performance of special command tasks and other outstanding deeds committed in peacetime;
- for great contribution in maintaining the high combat readiness of troops, excellent performance in combat and political training, in the mastery of new combat equipment and other services associated with strengthening the defensive might of the USSR;
- for merit in the development of military science and technologies used in training of the Armed Forces of the USSR;
- for merit in strengthening the defence capabilities of the socialist community.
The Order of the Red Star is worn on the right side of the chest and when in the presence of other orders of the USSR, placed immediately after the Order of the Patriotic War 2nd class. If worn in the presence of Orders or medals of the Russian Federation, the latter have precedence.
Long service award
The Order of the Red Star was also used as a long service award from 1944 to 1958 to mark fifteen years of service in the military, state security, or police. Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of 14 September 1957 emphasised the devaluation of certain Soviet high military Orders used as long service awards instead of their originally intended criteria. This led to the joint 25 January 1958 decree of the Ministers of Defence, of Internal Affairs and of the Chairman of the Committee on State Security of the USSR establishing the Medal “For Impeccable Service” putting an end to the practice.
The Order of the Red Star is a red enamelled 47mm to 50mm wide (depending on the variant) silver five pointed star. In the center of the obverse, an oxydised silver shield bearing the image of an erect soldier wearing an overcoat and carrying a rifle, along the shield’s entire circumference, a narrow band bearing the Communist motto in relief, “Workers of the world, unite!”, the band below the soldier bore the relief inscription “USSR”. Below the shield, the hammer and sickle also of oxydised silver. The otherwise plain reverse bore the maker’s mark and the award serial number. The Order was attached to clothing by a threaded stud and screw attachment.
When the order wasn’t worn, a ribbon could be worn in its stead on the ribbon bar on the left side of the chest. The ribbon of the Order of the red Star was a 24mm wide silk moiré dark red with a 5mm wide central silver stripe.
Noteworthy recipients (partial list)
The Order of the Red Star was awarded 6 times to about 5 people, 5 times to more than 15 people, four times to more than 150 people, three times to more than 1,000 people. Below is a short partial list of such multiple recipients:
- Colonel Philip Petrovich Onoprienko
- Colonel Peter Petrovich Panchenko
- Lieutenant Colonel Vasily Vasilevich Silantyev
- Colonel Konstantin Ivanovich Malkhasyan
- Major General Ivan Nikiforovich Stepanenko
- Colonel Alexey Petrovich Yakimov
- Lieutenant General Galaktion Alpaidze
- Colonel General Georgy Baydukov
- Colonel General Alexander Ivanovich Babaev
- Colonel Valentin Gavrilov
- Изотова М. А., Царёва Т.Б. Глава 5. Советская наградная система // Ордена и медали России и СССР / редакторы к.и.н. Хомутова Е., Рублёв С.. — 1. — Ростов-на-Дону: Владис, 2010. — С. 393. — 736 с. — 2500 экз. — ISBN 978-5-9567-0960-3.