Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Service: All Services
Instituted: 2004 Dates 2001 to Present
Criteria: Active participation in, or service in support of Global War on Terrorism operations on or after 11 September, 2001.
Devices: All Services: Bronze Star
Awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces who participated in, or served in support of operations relating to the Global War on Terrorism between September 11, 2001 and a date to be determined at a later date. The medal was established by an executive order signed by President George W. Bush on Oct. 28, 2003. Initial award of the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal will be limited to Airport Security Operations from September 27, 2001 until May 31, 2002 and to Service members who supported Operations ENDURING FREEDOM, NOBLE EAGLE and IRAQI FREEDOM. Further approved operations will be designated by the Secretary of Defense in consultation with the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff on a case-by-case basis when requested by Combatant Commanders.
Qualifying Service members must be assigned, attached or mobilized to a unit participating in, or service in direct support of designated for 30 consecutive days or 60 nonconsecutive days. It is to be noted that eligibility for the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal is defined as support for the War on Terrorism in a non-deployed status, whether stationed at home or overseas. By contrast, service in an operationally deployed status abroad within a designated area of eligibility merits primary eligibility for the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal. Personnel may receive both the Global War on Terrorism Service and Expeditionary Medals if they meet the requirements of both awards. However, the qualifying period for one cannot be used to justify eligibility for the other.
Although qualifying circumstances would be extremely rare, Battle Stars may be applicable for personnel who were engaged in actual combat against the enemy under circumstances involving grave danger of death or serious bodily injury from enemy action. Only a Combat Commander can initiate a request for a Battle Star.
The Global War on Terrorism Service Medal was designed by the Institute of Heraldry. The medal is a circular bronze disc which displays an eagle, wings displayed, with a stylized shield of thirteen vertical bars on its breast and holding in dexter claw an olive branch and in sinister claw three arrows, all in front of a terrestrial globe with the inscription above, “WAR ON TERRORISM SERVICE MEDAL.” The reverse of the medal displays a laurel wreath on a plain field. The ribbon is scarlet, white and blue representing the United States; gold denoting excellence.
Performance of duty in a designated anti-terrorism operation. Also awarded to personnel who perform support duty of an anti-terrorism operation but do not directly participate. The phrase 'support' is defined as any administrative, logistics, planning, operational, technical, or readiness activity which provides support to an operation of the Global War on Terrorism. As of 2005, this blanket term has effectively awarded the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal to most personnel of the United States armed forces who performed service after September of 2001.
Both the GWOT Service and GWOTEM may be authorized, however both medals cannot be awarded for participation in the same operation.