Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Ribbon

Global War on Terrorism Service Ribbon
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Ribbon

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

History - Established 2003

Established on March 12, 2003, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal honors United States military personnel who have carried out service in the Global War on Terror beginning on September 11, 2001 and ongoing as of 2016. Eligible service must be for a term of at least 30 days consecutively or 60 days non-consecutively; this term requirement may be waived for individuals who engaged in combat or were injured or killed while serving.

Qualifying operations for all service branches except the Coast Guard include the following:
-Airport Security Operations, between September 27, 2001 and May 31, 2002
-Operation Enduring Freedom, beginning September 11, 2001 and ongoing
-Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, beginning January 1, 2015 and ongoing
-Operation Inherent Resolve, beginning June 15, 2014 and ongoing
-Operation Iraqi Freedom, between March 19, 2003 and August 31, 2010
-Operation New Dawn, between September 1, 2010 and December 31, 2011
-Operation Noble Eagle, beginning September 11, 2011 and ongoing

Qualifying operations for Coast Guard members include Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Liberty Shield, Neptune Shield, Port Shield, and others as designated by the appropriate commanders.

Army, Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps members who carry out service in a training capacity are not eligible; Air Force members who are not deployed may still qualify for support service such as weapons loading, command post or crisis action service, personnel processing, or other anti-terror duties.


The medal features an eagle grasping an olive branch and three arrows superimposed over the globe. An inscription on the upper portion reads “WAR ON TERRORISM SERVICE,” and the reverse of the medal features a laurel wreath. The ribbon is dark blue with one thin vertical stripe each of white, dark blue, red, and yellow proceeding outward on each side.

Battle stars may be issued for awards granted in recognition of combat engagement.