A presidential executive order signed Wednesday authorizes the Department of Defense to create two new military medals for service in the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT).
The GWOT Expeditionary Medal will recognize servicemembers who participate in an expedition to combat terrorism on or after Sept. 11, 2001. This is limited to those who deploy as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. The GWOT Service Medal will recognize service in military operations to combat terrorism on or after Sept. 11, 2001. This is limited to Operation Noble Eagle and to those servicemembers who provide support to Operation Enduring Freedom from outside the area of eligibility designated for the GWOT Expeditionary Medal.
The medals were recommended by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld "in response to our Nation's global efforts to suppress terrorism, and the significant contributions members of the Armed Forces bring to bear on the long-term resolution of this threat."
Specific eligibility for these medals will be established by DoD award policy. The combatant commander has the authority to award the medals for approved operations to units and personnel deployed within his or her theater. Each service department will prescribe the appropriate regulations for processing and wearing of the medals.
Members of the U.S. armed forces and Coast Guard are eligible for the medals to include Reserve and National Guard activated to support approved operations. Civilians, foreign nationals and foreign military are not eligible. It will take up to twelve months to produce and stock the medal in department supply systems.
Future authorization for these medals will be considered and approved by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff if the war on terrorism expands.