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Wehrmacht Long Service Awards - Army & Luftwaffe

Army (Heer) and Luftwaffe Long Service Awards were military service decorations of Nazi Germany issued for satisfactory completion of a number of years in military service. On March 16, 1936, Adolf Hitler ordered the institution of service awards for the first four classes. On March 10, 1939, the 40 years service award was introduced. Each branch of the Wehrmacht (army, navy, and air force) maintained their own version of the Long Service Award and the decoration was issued for four years (fourth class), 12 years (third class), 18 years (second class), 25 years (first class), and 40 years (1939 special class). The Long Service Award was retroactive throughout a service member's career, encompassing Reichswehr service as well as service dating during and before World War I. As such, there were a handful of 40 year awards presented, even though the Third Reich itself existed for only 12 years (since 1933).