The Army has laid out of the eligibility requirements for the award of the new Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal to soldiers who have served in Iraq and Syria since June 15, 2014.

Inherent Resolve is the U. S. and allied campaign that targets military operations against the Islamic State terrorist organization.

The area of eligibility, or AOE, for the campaign encompasses the land areas of Iraq and Syria, and the contiguous waters of each of those countries extending out to 12 nautical miles, and the airspace above those land areas and water.

The new medal was established by an executive order and secretary of defense memo on March 30, 2016, and in the Defense Department military decorations manual on May 15.

Army policies will be reflected in a future update to AR 600-8-22 (Military Awards).

Soldiers qualify for the medal if they were permanently assigned, attached or detailed to a unit operating in the AOE for 30 consecutive days, or 60 non-consecutive days, and who meet one of the following criteria, regardless of time spent in the AOE:

• Was engaged in combat during an armed engagement in the AOE.

• Was wounded, injured or killed, and medically evacuated from the AOE, while engaged in an operation or on official duties.

Soldiers serving as air crew members are credited for one day of eligibility for each day they fly into, out of, or within or over the AOE.

Soldiers who are assigned to a unit operating in Iraq, but who are supporting the unit from a location in Kuwait, are not eligible for the Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal unless they are physically in Iraq for 30 consecutive days, or 60 non-consecutive days.

Here are some other policies that apply to the award of the new campaign medal:

Dual awards not authorized

Soldiers who have been awarded the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal for qualifying service in Iraq and Syria during June 15, 2014-March 30, 2016 remain qualified for that medal.

If they want to replace the GWOTEM with the new Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal they may do so by applying to the Army.  However, soldiers are not authorized to wear both medals at the same time.

Under a long-standing Army awards and decorations policy, soldiers are not entitled to dual medals for the same act, achievement or period of service in the same operating area.

The GWOTEM is not authorized for service in Iraq and Syria that occurred after March 30, 2016. Soldiers only are authorized the Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal for service after that date.

Order of precedence and other rules

The Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal should be worn after the Iraq Campaign Medal and before other campaign medals related to the Global War on Terrorism, such as the GWOTEM and Afghanistan Campaign Medal.

The Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal may be awarded posthumously, but is not authorized for award to foreign personnel.

Soldiers only are presented the Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal upon the initial award.  Separate bronze campaign stars should be worn on the IRCM suspension and campaign ribbon to recognize subsequent campaign phases.

To date, there are two IRCM campaign phases:

• Abeyance (June 15, 2014-Nov. 24, 2015)

• Intensification (Nov. 25, 2015- date to be determined)

Field commands and supporting personnel sections have been directed by the Human Resources Command to update the personnel qualification records of soldiers who are authorized the IRCM.

Veterans, retirees and primary next of kin can request approval of the IRCM and bronze campaign stars by sending a letter, along with a copy of their DD Form 214/215, and supporting documents, to the Command, Army Human Resources Command, Awards and Decorations Branch (AHRC-PDP-A), 1600 Spearhead Division Ave., Fort Knox, KY 40122-5408.

Supporting documents include, but are not limited to, DD Form 1610 (Travel Order), officer and noncommissioned officer evaluation reports, a memo signed by the former battalion commander, deployment and redeployment orders and certificates of appreciation and similar-type documents.

Army officials expect that the Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal will be available commercially for purchase through military clothing sales stores in the June-July timeframe.

At press time officials could not determine when the new medal would be available through normal military supply channels.

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