Iraq Campaign Medal

Iraq Campaign Medal

The Iraq Campaign Medal, obverse (left), and reverse (right).
Awarded by United States Department of Defense
Type Campaign medal
Status Inactive (31 December 2011)[1]
Established 29 November 2004[2]
Next (higher) Afghanistan Campaign Medal[3]
Next (lower) Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal[3]
Related Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Ribbon & Streamer

The Iraq Campaign Medal (ICM) is a military award of the United States Armed Forces which was created by Executive Order 13363 of U.S. President George W. Bush on 29 November 2004.[2] The Iraq Campaign Medal was designed by the U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry and was awarded from 29 November 2004 to 31 December 2011.[4]


The Iraq Campaign Medal became available for general distribution in June 2005.[5] It was awarded to any member of the U.S. military who performed duty within the borders of Iraq (or its territorial waters) for a period of thirty consecutive days or sixty non-consecutive days. The medal was awarded retroactively from 19 March 2003 until the end of Operation New Dawn on 31 December 2011.[6] Personnel who engaged in combat with an enemy force, or personnel wounded in combat or wounded as a result of a terrorist attack within Iraq received the Iraq Campaign Medal regardless of the number of days spent within the country.

In addition, each day participating in aerial missions as a "regularly assigned air crewmember of an aircraft flying sorties into, out of, within or over Iraq and in direct support of the military operations" established a single day of eligibility, when the required minimum days of eligibility were accrued, the medal was then awarded.[7]

The medal was also awarded posthumously to any service member who died in the line of duty within Iraq, including from non-combat injuries such as accidents and mishaps.[8][9]

On 23 April 2012, an order terminating the award of the campaign medal was issued by the Department of Defense. The order is effective to 31 December 2011, the day Operation New Dawn ended.[1] U.S. military personnel serving inside the borders of Iraq after December 2011 will not be eligible to receive the Iraq Campaign Medal.[10]

Operation Inherent Resolve

U.S. military personnel serving post-2014 in the Iraq conflict were originally awarded the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal (GWOTEM) and not the Iraq Campaign Medal as the latter conflict had ended and the former conflict was nameless at the time and the American government did not designate the fighting to be a military campaign.[11]

However, the U.S. government dubbed their operations in Iraq post-2014 as "Operation Inherent Resolve", and in March 2016, the Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal was created. It is now being awarded to those who have served in missions in Iraq against ISIS from June 2014 to the present. Those who were awarded the GWOTEM for serving in Iraq from June 2014 to March 2016 can put in a request to be awarded the Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal instead.[12][13][14][15]

Campaign phases and devices

The following are the established campaign phases for the Iraq Campaign Medal:[16][17]

Phase From To
Phase 1: Liberation of Iraq March 19, 2003 May 1, 2003
Phase 2: Transition of Iraq May 2, 2003 June 28, 2004
Phase 3: Iraqi Governance June 29, 2004 December 15, 2005
Phase 4: National Resolution December 16, 2005 January 9, 2007
Phase 5: Iraqi Surge January 10, 2007 December 31, 2008
Phase 6: Iraqi Sovereignty January 1, 2009 August 31, 2010
Phase 7: New Dawn September 1, 2010 December 31, 2011

For each campaign phase that an individual participates in, a bronze 3/16" service star is worn on the service ribbon, with a silver service star being worn in lieu of five bronze service stars:[10][18][19][20][21][22][23]

Any one of the seven phases
Bronze star
Two of the seven phases
Bronze star
Bronze star
Three of the seven phases
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Four of the seven phases
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Five of the seven phases
Silver star
Six of the seven phases
Silver star
Bronze star
All seven phases
Silver star
Bronze star
Bronze star

The Iraq Campaign Medal may also be awarded with the combat operation insignia for qualified sailors assigned to Marine Corps units, as well as the arrowhead device for qualified soldiers.


The medal is bronze in appearance, 1.25 inches (32 mm) in diameter. The obverse depicts a relief of the map of Iraq, surmounted by two lines representing the Tigris and Euphrates rivers throughout, superimposed over a palm wreath. Above is the inscription "IRAQ CAMPAIGN." On the reverse, the Statue of Freedom surmounts a sunburst, encircled by two scimitars pointing down with the blades crossing at the tips. Below is the inscription "FOR SERVICE IN IRAQ." The medal is suspended from a ribbon 1.375 inches (34.9 mm) wide. The stripes of the ribbon are : 5/32 inch scarlet at the edges, followed by 1/16 inch white, 1/32 inch green and 1/16 inch white. The white is separated by a 5/32 inch black with a 7/16 inch stripe in chamois in the center.[4]

Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal

The award replaced the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal for service in Iraq from 19 March 2003, through 30 April 2005. Personnel who previously received the GWOTEM for Iraq service were given the option to exchange the medal for the Iraq Campaign Medal. Both medals were not authorized for the same period of service in Iraq and any Iraq service which followed the medal's creation was recognized only with the Iraq Campaign Medal.[1]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 "DoD terminates Iraq Campaign Medal – Army News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq". Army Times. Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  2. 1 2 "Executive Order: Establishing the Afghanistan and Iraq Campaign Medals". Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  3. 1 2 "Army Regulation 600–8–22 Military Awards" (PDF). Army Publishing Directorate. p. 17. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  4. 1 2 "Iraq Campaign Medal". Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  5. 578.30 Iraq Campaign Medal
  6. "MILPER Message 12-148" U.S. Army
  7. Federal Register, Volume 70, Issue 211
  8. "DoD Announces Criteria for Two New Campaign Medals" United States Department of Defense 07 April 2005
  9. Campaign Stars to Adorn Afghanistan and Iraq Campaign Medals United States Department of Defense 07 April 2005
  10. 1 2 "Afghanistan Campaign Medal or Iraq Campaign Medal". Awards and Decorations Branch Article. Army Human Resource Command. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  12. Garamone, Jim (30 March 2016). "Carter Announces Operation Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal". DoD News. Washington, D.C.: Defense Media Activity. Retrieved 30 March 2016.
  13. Gilkes, Paul (8 April 2016). "Inherent Resolve Campaign medal available to military service personnel". Coin World. p. 2. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  14. "The New Anti-ISIS Medal: A Bit Too Crusadery?". The Atlantic. March 2016.
  15. "Navy Awards Precedence Chart". Navy Personnel Command. United States Department of the Navy. 2016. Archived from the original on 9 April 2016. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  16. Additional Phases Identified for Iraq Campaign Medal
  17. "News Release: Additional Phases Identified for Iraq and Afghanistan Campaign Medals". Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  18. "Department of Defense Manual 1348.33, Volume 3" (PDF). Defense Technical Information Center. 23 November 2010. p. 51. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  19. Army Regulation 600-8-22
  20. Air Force Instruction 36-2803
  21. "NAVADMIN 141/08". Retrieved 21 May 2008.
  22. Two Bulls, Richard. "Campaign Stars Established to Recognize Multiple Deployments". Naval Media Center Public Affairs. Retrieved 5 June 2008.
  23. Coast Guard Commandant Instruction 1650.25D


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