The small Military Merit Medal was established on 12 March 1890 in two classes. On 1 April 1916, Franz Joseph added a third, higher class: the large Military Merit Medal.
Gold (large medal), Silver and Bronze (small medal)
The Military Merit Medal was awarded for outstanding services to the Austro-Hungarian Empire in war and peace.
Crossed gold swords were attached to the medal's ribbon for meritorious acts in the face of the enemy. In February 1917, Karl I authorized silver bars for additional awards of the small medal and gold bars for additional awards of the large medal.