Department of Defense Authorizes Service Stars on the GWOT

February 09, 2015

 Department of Defense Authorizes Service Stars on the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal 

The Department of Defense announced today that effective immediately, service members are authorized to wear Service Stars on their Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medals (GWOT-EM) to represent deployments in support of approved GWOT operations.

Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Jessica Wright signed a memorandum authorizing the new policy change retroactive to Sept. 11, 2001.


Only one GWOT-EM is awarded for each approved operation. For example, a service member who was awarded the medal for an Operation Enduring Freedom deployment, and is subsequently authorized a second award for an Operation Inherent Resolve deployment would wear a single Service Star on the GWOT-EM to denote both awards.

The five GWOT-EM approved operations are:

 Operation                                      Inclusive Dates 


IRAQI FREEDOM (OIF)               Mar 19, 2003  Aug 31, 2010

NOMAD SHADOW (ONS)          Nov 5, 2007  TBD

NEW DAWN (OND)                     Sep 1, 2010  Dec 31, 2011

INHERENT RESOLVE (OIR)     June 15, 2014  TBD

The list of associated areas of eligibility for each approved GWOT-EM operation is available at: [ ].

This policy change does not adjust criteria for award of the Afghanistan Campaign Medal or the Iraq Campaign Medal (ICM). 

Full eligibility criteria for the GWOT-EM are contained in Department of Defense Manual 1348.33, Volume 2, Manual of Military Decorations and Awards: DoD Service Awards  Campaign, Expeditionary, and Service Medals. Additionally, each military department will prescribe procedures for service members' requests for award of GWOT-EM Service Stars.

The Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal is positioned above the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal in precedence, and directly follows the Kosovo Campaign Medal.

To learn more, please view the department's memorandum [ ].