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Iraq Campaign Medal - What does it symbolize? 0
The Iraq Campaign Medal is a U.S. Military award, which was created by Executive Order 13363 of U.S. President George W. Bush on November 29th, 2004.
The Iraq Campaign Medal/Ribbon was awarded to U.S. service members who performed duty within the borders of Iraq or on its territorial waters for the period of 30 consecutive days or 60 non-consecutive days.
However, service members 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, service members that were “regularly assigned air crew-members” established a single day of eligibility when participating in an aerial mission, into, out of, within or over Iraq in support of military operations. When these personnel reached the required minimum days of eligibility the medal was awarded.
The medal was awarded retroactively back to March 19, 2003 until the end of Operation New Dawn on December 31, 2011.
There are a total of 7 campaign phases for which the Iraq Campaign Medal will be awarded, they are:
Phase 1: Liberation of Iraq - March 19, 2003 to May 1, 2003,
Phase 2: Transition of Iraq - May 2, 2003 to June 28, 2004,
Phase 3: Iraqi Governance – June 29, 2004 to December 15, 2005,
Phase 4: National Resolution – December 16, 2005 to January 9, 2007,
Phase 5: Iraqi Surge – January 10, 2007 to December 31, 2008,
Phase 6: Iraqi Sovereignty – January 1, 2009 to August 31, 2010,
Phase 7: New Dawn – September 1, 2010 to December 31, 2011.
Service stars’ are used to identify each phase the service member has participated; a single bronze service star on the ribbon is indicative of one phase.
A sliver service star is worn on the ribbon in lieu of five bronze stars. If the service member wore one sliver and two bronze service stars this would depict all seven phases.
Service members participating in the 2014 Iraq conflict are awarded the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and not the Iraq Campaign Medal because at this time it is not designated a Military Campaign.
The Iraq Campaign Medal and Ribbon are very recognizable. They can be seen on bumper stickers, t-shirts, mugs, posters, lapel pins, tie designs and now pocket squares. See our version here.
The Iraq Campaign Medal was designed by the U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry.
- The medal is bronze colored.
- The front depicts a relief of the map of Iraq identifying the area of operations,
- The map of Iraq has two lines inscribed representing the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, Iraq is the land of two rivers,
- The map sits over a palm wreath that represents peace and honor,
- Above the inscription reads "IRAQ CAMPAIGN."
- On the back of the medal is the Statue of Freedom which represents the ideals and goals of the United States Army to bring stability and improve the way of life for Iraq,
- The State of Freedom rest on a sunburst which symbolizes hope and success,
- Encircled by two scimitars pointing down with blades crossing recall the swords erected by Sadam Hussein during his reign;
- Pointing down is to symbolize the goal for freedom of the Iraqi people, after the fall of Hussein,
- Below this reads the inscription "FOR SERVICE IN IRAQ."
- The ribbon reflects the colors of the Iraq flag.
- Green is the traditional color for Islam.
- Red honors the fighting courage for the pursuit of freedom.
- White denotes generosity and;
- Black exemplifies Islam’s success.
- Chamois (tan color) is believed to recognize the terrain.
Check out our version of the Iraq Campaign Medal & other Veteran Pocket Square Heroes™ designs, by clicking on the below image.
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What is the oldest U.S. Military Award? 0
What is the oldest military award?
The oldest military award is the Purple Heart.
Established on August 7, 1782 by General George Washington as a "Badge of Military Merit" awarded for "any singular meritorious action."
The Badge of Military Merit (pictured above) was issued to only three Revolutionary War soldiers and was not seen again until the end of WWI.
On January 7, 1931, General Douglas MacArthur, confidentially reopened work on a new design with the Washington Commission of Fine Arts. Elizabeth Will, an Army heraldic specialist redesign the newly revived medal, her design sketch became known as the Purple Heart.
Shortly thereafter, plaster models from three of the leading sculptors competed based on the medal design. In May 1931, John R. Sinnock of the Philadelphia Mint was selected.
Mr. John R. Sinnock (pictured above) was also credited with the design of the Roosevelt dime and the Franklin half-dollar. His initials "JS" on the dime can be found at the base of the Roosevelt bust.
On February 22, 1932, the Purple Heart was revived on the 200th Anniversary of George Washington's birth, out of respect to his memory and military achievements.
General Orders No. 3, authorized the Purple Heart to be awarded to soldiers, who had been awarded the Meritorious Service Citation Certificate, Army Wound Ribbon, or were authorized to wear Wound Chevrons subsequent to April 5, 1917, the day before the United States entered World War I.
The first Purple Heart was awarded to General MacArthur during the early period of American involvement in World War II (December 7, 1941 – September 22, 1943). The Purple Heart was awarded both for wounds received in action against the enemy and for meritorious performance of duty.
On December 3, 1942 the practice of awarding the Purple Heart for meritorious service was discontinued and authorized only for wounds received.
On June 13, 1985, an amendment to the 1985 Defense Authorization Bill changed the order of precedence from above the Good Conduct Medal to immediately above the Meritorious Service Medals.
In 1998, the National Defense Authorization Act removed authorization for award of the to any civilian national of the United States.
The November 2009 an edition of National Geographic magazine estimated the number of Purple Hearts issued during the below War periods:
World War I: 320,518
World War II: 1,076,245
Korean War: 118,650
Vietnam War: 351,794
Persian Golf War: 607
Afghanistan War: 7,027*
Iraq war 35,321*
*As of June 5, 2010
An individual is not "recommended" for the Purple Heart. He or she is entitled to it if meeting the strict criteria. Each subsequent award is denoted by an oak leaf cluster and one award is based on one wound or injury received at the same instant.
The Purple Heart medal and ribbon are very recognizable. They can be seen on bumper stickers, t-shirts, mugs, posters, lapel pins, tie designs and now pocket squares. See our version here.
What makes the Purple Heart unique is the award is a heart-shaped medal with a gold border and in the center General George Washington’s profile. At the top of the heart appears the shield of the coat of arms of George Washington resting upon sprays of green leaves on the medals face.
The back of the medal consists of a raised bronze heart with the words “FOR MILITARY MERIT” below an additional coat of arms and leaves.
The Army and the Air Force recognize additional awards denoted by Oak leaf clusters. While the Marine Corps and navy denote them with a star.
The ribbon is purple and flanked on both the right and left in white lines.
The most Purple Hearts awarded to a single individual is nine. Marine Sgt. Albert L. Ireland (February 25, 1918 - November 16, 1997) holds that distinction, being awarded five Purple Heart Medals in World War II and four more in the Korean War.
Here is what the Pocket Square Heroes® inspired Purple Heart Design looks like.
Clean and elegant for any setting. Designed to fit in at networking functions. Click image to get one.
Check out our version of other Veteran Pocket Square Heroes™ designs, by clicking on the below image.
- Christopher Costa
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