NEWS RELEASE from the United States Department of Defense

No. 121-03
(703) 697-5131(media)
March 15, 2003
(703) 428-0711(public/industry)


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

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.

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