Carter Announces Operation Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal
By Jim Garamone DoD News, Defense Media Activity
WASHINGTON, March 30, 2016 — Service members who serve or have served in Iraq or Syria as part of Operation Inherent Resolve will receive the Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced in Tampa, Florida, today.
Carter announced the new award during the U.S. Central Command change-of-command ceremony. Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III transferred the command’s flag to Army Gen. Joe Votel.
“It is fitting then, that as we mark the change of command between these two leaders, that we introduce the Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal,” Carter said. “I am pleased to announce today, by the president’s order and upon the chairman’s and my recommendation, that our sailors, soldiers, airmen, and Marines serving in Iraq and Syria as part of Operation Inherent Resolve are now eligible for this medal and distinction.”
The award is retroactive to June 15, 2014, and is for service members based in Iraq or Syria, those who flew missions over those countries, and those who served in contiguous waters for 30 consecutive days or 60 nonconsecutive days, officials said.
The award distinctly recognizes service members battling terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria. Service members who were killed or were medically evacuated from those countries due to wounds or injuries immediately qualify for the award, as do members who engaged in combat.
Previously, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal recognized service in Iraq and Syria, and service members in neighboring countries such as Turkey will continue to receive that award.
The president establishes campaign medals for large-scale and long-duration combat actions or operations. Inherent Resolve meets the criteria, officials said. The entire operational area has been subject to lethal combat operations. U.S. forces are executing an extensive air campaign in the region. A U.S. division-plus force is providing command and control, intelligence, and other advisory services.
The award is separate from the Iraq Campaign Medal awarded for service during operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn, officials said.
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New Iraq, Syria medal features sword stabbing a scorpion
The Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal depicts an armored hand thrusting a short sword or dagger through the head of a scorpion, its stinging tail curled as if striking. On the back an eagle perches atop a banner that reads “For Service.”
“The scorpion represents a predator arachnid that is often found in arid desert climates. The sword or dagger is a defensive weapon used to guard and protect from dangerous elements,” Pentagon spokesman Matthew Allen wrote in an email to Stars and Stripes. “When combining these two symbols into the design of a military campaign they represent the defense of freedom, liberty, and justice from those predators who infringe on these values consider sacred to a free and orderly society.”
Past medals awarded for service in Iraq and Afghanistan featured maps, eagles and Arab scimitars – symbols of solidarity and local national unity. But the brutality of the Islamic State has created new challenges. Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s go-to analogy for the group has been “parent tumor,” a term he coined at the beginning of the war – but not the kind of imagery that works on a medal.
credit: Wikipedia, the Free Encylopedia
According to the United States Army Institute of Heraldry's website, the medal's mailed fist and dagger represent "strength and courage in the defense of liberty and freedom". The scorpion being impaled was chosen because, "The scorpion, symbolic for treachery and destruction, is found on most major land masses."
credit: References (from Wikipedia)
- United States Army Institute of Heraldry (2016). "Ribbons--Order Of Precedence". The Institute of Heraldry. United States of America: United States Department of the Army. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
- Obama, Barack Hussein, II (30 March 2016). "Executive Order Establishing Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal". Office of the Press Secretary. Washington, D.C.: Executive Office of the President of the United States of America. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
- "The New Anti-ISIS Medal: A Bit Too Crusadery?". The Atlantic. March 2016.
- United States Army Institute of Heraldry (2016). "Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal". Campaign and Service Medals. United States of America: United States Department of the Army. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
- Gilkes, Paul (8 April 2016). "Inherent Resolve Campaign medal available to military service personnel". Coin World. p. 2. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
- Garamone, Jim (30 March 2016). "Carter Announces Operation Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal". DoD News. Washington, D.C.: Defense Media Activity. Retrieved 13 April 2016.