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Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) Service Medal

Definition

The Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) Service Medal is a military award given to U.S. Armed Forces personnel for their participation in operations related to the global war on terrorism, such as deployment, direct support, or significant service. It was established by Executive Order 13289 on March 12, 2003. The medal recognizes service members who have contributed to the war on terrorism, both domestically and abroad, since September 11, 2001.

Key Takeaways

  1. The Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) Service Medal is a military award given to U.S. military personnel who have served in direct support of efforts in the global war on terror since September 11, 2001.
  2. This medal recognizes service in various operations and support roles, including homeland defense, humanitarian assistance, security, and counter-terrorism missions. The service must be performed in a designated anti-terrorism operation area and for at least 30 consecutive or 60 non-consecutive days.
  3. The GWOT Service Medal is worn after the Kosovo Campaign Medal and before the Afghanistan Campaign Medal in order of precedence. It features an eagle with folded wings, a laurel wreath, and a terrestrial globe, symbolizing defense against international terrorism.

Importance

The VA benefits term: Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) Service Medal is important because it recognizes the dedicated and courageous service of military personnel in the U.S.

Armed Forces who have directly participated in the efforts to combat global terrorism after the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

The medal serves as an acknowledgement of their sacrifices, commitment, and bravery in the fight against terrorism, and entitles them to various benefits and support through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These benefits include health care, education and training programs, home loans, and other financial assistance that helps to improve the lives of veterans and their families as they transition to civilian life.

By acknowledging their service through the GWOT Service Medal, the United States honors and supports these heroes while providing tangible resources to ensure their well-being.

Explanation

The Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) Service Medal serves as a recognition for the military personnel who have actively participated in the global efforts to combat terrorism since September 11, 2001. Its purpose is to honor and pay tribute to the men and women who have bravely served in various locations and operations under the umbrella of the Global War on Terrorism.

Essentially, this medal is a tangible symbol of appreciation for their unwavering commitment, tremendous sacrifices, and steadfast service to the nation in the pursuit of peace and security worldwide. In order to qualify for the GWOT Service Medal, service members must have been engaged in particular operations, on or near specific geographical locations, as specified by the Department of Defense.

These include areas such as domestic airports, military installations, and other critical infrastructure facilities. The medal underscores the importance of their contributions to the broader mission of safeguarding the nation from potential threats and defending its values.

Receiving the GWOT Service Medal not only adds prestige to a service member’s military career but also demonstrates their essential role in the collective fight against terrorism and its destructive impact on societies around the globe.

Examples of Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) Service Medal

The Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) Service Medal is a military award given to members of the U.S. Armed Forces who have served in support of the Global War on Terrorism from September 11, 2001, to a present date to be determined. Here are three real-world examples of service members who participated in missions that qualified them for the GWOT Service Medal:

Operation Enduring Freedom: Service members who deployed to Afghanistan between October 7, 2001, and December 28, 2014, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, were eligible for the GWOT Service Medal. This includes soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines who conducted counter-insurgency operations, trained Afghan security forces, and provided medical and logistical support.

Operation Iraqi Freedom: Service members who were deployed to Iraq between March 19, 2003, and August 31, 2010, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, qualified for the GWOT Service Medal. This includes those who participated in combat operations, trained and mentored Iraqi security forces, and provided reconstruction and humanitarian efforts.

Operation Inherent Resolve: U.S. military personnel who have deployed to Iraq, Syria, or surrounding areas in support of Operation Inherent Resolve since August 2014 are eligible for the GWOT Service Medal. This operation is aimed at eliminating the terrorist group known as ISIS and providing support to local forces in both Iraq and Syria. Service members involved in this operation are engaged in a wide range of tasks, from direct combat to advisory and training roles.These examples represent only a few of the many missions and operations that have qualified service members for the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. It is important to note that this medal is awarded for participation in support of global anti-terrorism efforts and not just for participation in combat operations.

FAQ: Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) Service Medal

What is the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal (GWOTSM)?

The Global War on Terrorism Service Medal (GWOTSM) is a military award given to service members who served in active duty during operations related to the global War on Terrorism. This medal recognizes the significant role and contributions of military personnel directly supporting the U.S.’s efforts in the fight against terrorism.

Who is eligible for the GWOT Service Medal?

Active duty military members of the United States Armed Forces are eligible for the medal if they have served in direct support of Global War on Terrorism operations. This includes reserve component service members called to active duty if their service meets the eligibility criteria. The qualifying time period began on September 11th, 2001, and is still ongoing.

What are the requirements to receive the GWOTSM?

To receive the GWOTSM, service members must have participated in or supported the global War on Terrorism for a period of either 30 consecutive or 60 non-consecutive days of service, provided they haven’t received the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal for the same service. Exceptions may apply for those who were engaged in combat, injured in the line of duty, or participated in certain specific operations or campaigns.

Can a service member receive both the GWOT Service Medal and the GWOT Expeditionary Medal?

A service member can be awarded both the GWOT Service Medal and the GWOT Expeditionary Medal but not for the same period or act. The GWOTSM recognizes service within the United States, while the GWOTEM recognizes service outside of the United States. A service member must meet the eligibility requirements of each medal separately.

How do I apply for the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal?

If you believe you are eligible for the GWOT Service Medal, you can request it through your chain of command. The responsibility for ensuring service members have met the eligibility criteria and recommending them for the award rests with the unit commander. The award will then be added to the service member’s military record and the medal will be issued accordingly.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)
  • Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)
  • Operation New Dawn (OND)
  • Authorized military operations
  • Expeditionary Medal

Sources for More Information