Soldiers in Operation Inherent Resolve eligible for GWOT Expeditionary Medal

By Compiled from DOD news releasesNovember 5, 2014

Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
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WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Nov. 3, 2014) -- Service members overseas serving in support of Operation Inherent Resolve are eligible for the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Pentagon officials announced Friday.

The medal is retroactive to June 15, when President Barack Obama ordered U.S. forces to the region in response to offensives by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL. At the invitation of the Iraqi government, American troops went to the country to assess Iraqi forces and the ISIL threat.

Jessica Wright, the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, signed a memorandum authorizing the award.

The medal provides immediate recognition to U.S. service members supporting efforts to eliminate the terrorist group ISIL and the threat it poses to Iraq, the region and the wider international community, Pentagon officials said.

In addition to Iraq, service members deployed to Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates are eligible. Those serving in the Red Sea, the Mediterranean Sea east of the 25th meridian and in the Persian Gulf also can receive the award.

Service members who already have received the award for prior service do not receive another award or a battle star, officials said. About 8,400 service members are in the qualifying Operation Inherent Resolve area today.


U.S. fighter and bomber aircraft continue striking targets in Iraq and Syria.

Besides the U.S., other coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Iraq are France, the United Kingdom, Australia, Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands. Coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Syria include the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Bahrain.

The strategy against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is working, but degrading and destroying the terror group will require "strategic patience," Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III said recently. Austin, the commander of U.S. Central Command, told reporters at the Pentagon that Iraq remains the focus of operations for his command and the airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq are having an effect.

"The things that we're doing right now in Syria are being done primarily to shape the conditions in Iraq," Austin said. "Once the Iraqis are able to get a better handle on the situation inside of their country and regain control of their border, that will help to localize the problems a bit more."

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