Medal of Valor - CalHR

​Medal of Valor

The Governor's State Employee Medal of Valor is the highest honor California bestows upon its employees. Since the program began in 1958, 523 medals have been awarded.


In a public ceremony the Governor awards Gold or Silver medals to State employees who risked their lives to save others or State property.


Medal of Valor awardees

Special Service Award (Silver Medal)

For an act of heroism by a State employee extending above and beyond the normal call of duty or service performed at personal risk to his or her safety to save human life or State property.

Special Act Award (Gold Medal)

For an extraordinary act of heroism by a State employee extending far above and beyond the normal call of duty or service, performed at great risk to his or her own life in an effort to save human life.

Nomination process

  • Download and complete the the CalHR-012 Nomination Form (PDF).
  • Review the Medal of Valor Nomination webpage.
  • Submit the completed form to your departmental Merit Award Administrator.
  • The Merit Award Administrator reviews and verifies the nomination.
  • The nominee's department director approves the nomination.
  • The Merit Award Administrator forwards the nomination to CalHR's Medal of Valor Awards Program.
  • CalHR reviews and approves the nomination and notifies the Merit Award Administrator.
  • The parties make arrangements for the awards ceremony.
The review process and preparing for the awards ceremony takes time, so departments should submit nominations promptly.

For more information

Please contact your departmental Merit Award Administrator or the CalHR Merit Award Coordinator, (916) 324-0522, if you have questions.

Updated 4/1/2015