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What is High Altitude Medal – Who Can Earn It?

Greeting future officers, we all aim for the olive green but don’t know much about the various medals serving personnel wear on the uniform. Today we will discuss one such medal the ‘Uchh Tunga Medal’ also known as the ‘High Altitude Medal’.


  • The medal was instituted in 1986 to reward service at extremely high altitudes on India’s Himalayan border where blizzards may rage for weeks at a time and temperatures may fall below -50 centigrade.
  • The medal’s official name is ‘Uchh Tunga Medal’.

Conditions of Eligibility

The conditions of eligibility for the award shall be as follows:-

(a) Personnel who have been detailed for duties connected with the defence of the borders and who have completed an aggregate service of 180 days during the first spell of tenure on the active strength of a unit/formation in the areas where high altitude allowance is admissible commencing from 1st April 1984.

(b) Aircrew personnel and personnel of ejection crew of Air maintenance units who carried out a minimum of 10 sorties or 40 hours of flying on transport support roles from 1st April 1984.

(c) All personnel who died or sustained wounds leading to premature evacuation irrespective of time limit to stay. This will take effect from the date of issue.

Eligible categories

The categories of personnel eligible for the award shall be:-

(a) Commissioned Officers, Juniors Commissioned Officers, Other Ranks, and Non-Combatants (enrolled) of the Regular Army embodied Auxiliary and Reserve Forces or any other lawfully constituted Armed Forces.

(b) Nursing Officers and other members of Nursing Services in the Armed Forces.

Design of the Medal and Ribbon

  • Medal: The medal shall be circular in shape, made of cupro-nickel, 35 millimeters in diameter, and fitted to a plain horizontal bar. the face with the Ashokan Lions(State Emblem of India) above the national motto ‘सत्यमेव जयते’ (Satyameva Jayate = Truth Alone Prevails) in Hindi characters, circumscribed ‘Ucchh Tunga Medal’ in Hindi and ‘UCCHH TUNGA MEDAL’; the reverse with a representation of the Himalayan Mountains.
  • Ribbon: The medal shall be worn suspended from the left breast by a silk ribbon which shall be 32 mm in width of Azura Blue color background with white diagonal reverse V Shape stripes of 2 millimeters in width with a distance of 5 millimeters between the two stripes.


  • Cabinet Minister of Defence Shri Rajnath Singh officiating as chief guest of the 55th Raising Day(Oct 24) celebrations of ITBP announced High Altitude Medals will now also be awarded to personnel of ITBP, BSF, and SSB who serve at posts located above 9,000 feet.

Also Read: Wartime And Peacetime Gallantry Awards [Full List]

To join the Indian Armed Forces as an Officer and crack the SSB interview, You can join our SSB interview live classes batch and we recommend you to Enroll SSB INTERVIEW ONLINE COURSE. Trusted by thousands of defence aspirants.

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