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Service stars authorized for Global War on Terrorism Medals

The Army has spelled out policy details for the wear and display of service stars with the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.

The service star policy approved by the Defense Department Feb. 9 only applies to soldiers who:

  • Elected to keep the GWOT Expeditionary Medal in lieu of the Afghanistan Campaign Medal or the Iraq Campaign Medal for service in those locations before April 30, 2005.
  • Received the GWOT-EM for service outside the areas of eligibility for the Afghanistan and Iraq Campaign Medals in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation New Dawn.
  • Received the GWOT-EM for Operation Nomad Shadow.
  • Are deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

The service star policy is retroactive to Sept. 11, 2001, but does not adjust the criteria for the award of the Afghanistan and Iraq Campaign Medals, nor does it change the criteria and procedures for the award of the GWOT-EM addressed in Army Regulation 600-8-22 (Military Awards).

Also, the Defense Department's Feb. 9 policy adjustment does not allow soldiers to change their original election for one of the campaign medals in lieu of the GWOT-EM.

Soldiers are authorized to wear a service star on the GWOT-EM suspension and service ribbon to denote soldier participation in each of the operations designated below.

For example, a soldier who initially is awarded the GWOT-EM for participation in Enduring Freedom, and who subsequently is deployed in support of Iraqi Freedom, would wear a single service star on the suspension or service ribbon to denote the subsequent award.

Only one award is authorized for each of the approved GWOT-EM operations listed below:

Enduring Freedom (Sept. 11, 2001- to be determined)

Iraqi Freedom (March 19, 2003-Aug. 31, 2010)

Nomad Shadow (Nov. 5, 2007–- to be determined)

New Dawn (Sept. 1, 2010 – Dec. 31, 2011)

Inherent Resolve (June 15, 2014 – to be determined)

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