Armed Forces News

Last week the Defense Department announced eligibility criteria for the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. Service members can receive both medals if they meet the individual criteria, officials said. “Each military department will prescribe appropriate regulations for processing, awarding and wearing of the medals and ribbons for their service members, to include application procedures for veterans, retirees, and next-of-kin,” stated a DoD official. Eligibility will be based upon the following:

GWOT Expeditionary Medal: The individual must have been deployed outside the United States for Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom for 30 consecutive days or 60 nonconsecutive days. The time requirement is waived if the member engaged in combat, was wounded or killed in action, or was medically evacuated for any reason. The area of eligibility encompasses the U.S. Central Command area (less the lower Horn of Africa); Middle East; eastern Turkey; Philippines; Diego Garcia; and all air spaces above the land and adjacent water areas. Each day aircrew members fly sorties into designated areas counts as one day of deployment toward the 30- or 60-day requirement. Individuals engaged in actual combat may be eligible for battle stars on the expeditionary medal. Battle stars can be requested only by a combatant commander and must be approved by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

GWOT Service Medal: The service member must have participated in or supported global war on terrorism operations on or after Sept.11, 2001, to a date not yet determined. Initial award of the service medal will be limited to airport security operations (from Sept. 27, 2001, until May 31, 2002) and to members who support Operations Enduring Freedom, Noble Eagle and Iraqi Freedom. Individuals must be assigned, attached or mobilized to a unit participating in or serving in support of designated operations for 30 consecutive days or 60 nonconsecutive days. The time requirement is waived if the member was engaged in combat or circumstances similar to combat, or was killed, wounded or injured requiring medical evacuation.