Secretary of Defense Medal for the Global War on Terrorism

image of medal

  1. Background: This medal, commonly known as the GWOT Medal, was approved on August 9, 2007 and unveiled by the Department of Defense (DoD) on February 26, 2008. The GWOT Medal was created to recognize and honor the contributions of DoD civilians in direct support of our military members engaged in operations to combat terrorism.

  2. Description:

    1. Medal
      OBVERSE: The statue of freedom represents the ultimate goal of operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism. The laurel branches symbolize honor and achievement. The five stars allude to the military branches, and the triangle, which is the traditional symbol of civilian service, denotes support. The spears enclose and defend "Freedom" and allude to support for military service.

      REVERSE: The disc represents a globe, with arrowheads suggesting that danger and terrorism may develop anywhere. The polestar is an ancient symbol of navigation denoting direction, preparation and planning.

    2. Ribbon
      Medium blue is the color associated with DoD. Gold represents excellence and achievement. Black and red symbolize the threat and danger of terrorism. Red, white and blue, our National colors, are for patriotism and the love of freedom.

  3. Certificate: DA Form 7647 Click for larger view

  4. Eligibility:
    1. General - Eligibility criteria for the medal are aligned as closely as practicable with that of the GWOT Expeditionary Medal (GWOTEM) awarded to members of the Armed Forces. The medal is awarded to Department of the Army (DA) civilian employees, who on or after September 11, 2001, to a date to be determined, participate abroad in direct support of a US military GWOT operation in a location designated as an area of eligibility for that operation.
    2. Specific - Employees must be engaged in direct support for 30 consecutive days in an area of eligibility in a military operation (or the full period when the operation is of less than 30 days duration), for 60 non-consecutive days in an area of eligibility provided this support involves the employee entering the area of eligibility, or regardless of time, involves the employee being killed or medically evacuated from the area of eligibility while providing direct support in the designated operation. Personnel in the United States do not meet the eligibility criteria; the employee must have actually been deployed to the area of eligibility to qualify for the medal.

      1. Area(s) of Eligibility. The area(s) of eligibility are the same as designated for approved GWOTEM military operations or other similar operation for which a separate military campaign medal was awarded to military personnel, i.e.,
        1. The foreign territory on which military troops have actually landed or are present and specifically deployed for operation;
        2. Adjacent water areas in which ships are operating, patrolling, or providing direct support of the operation, and
        3. The air space above and adjacent to the area in which operations are being conducted.

      2. Qualifying Operations. Significant U.S. military activities for which military personnel are awarded the GWOTEM or other similar significant U.S. activities for which a separate military campaign medal was awarded to military personnel.

    3. Guidelines: The GWOT Medal is a "theater" award and is authorized for all DA civilian employees who meet the eligibility requirements. A record of GWOT Medal recipients must be maintained. Commands and Army activities are required to retain this information for reporting purposes.
    4. Definitions:
      1. Direct support - services provided to participating military activities or armed forces in a military operation awarded the GWOTEM or in other similar operation for which a separate military campaign medal was awarded to military personnel, only if the employee actually enters the designated area of eligibility.
      2. Civilian employee - individual meeting the definition of "employee" under 5 USC 2105, and who would be eligible for awards under DoD 1400.25-M, Subchapter 451, "Awards."

    5. Limitations on Awarding Medals: The GWOT Medal may be awarded only to civilian employees of the Department of Defense and only for operations awarded the GWOTEM or similar operations for which a separate military campaign medal is awarded to military personnel. The medal may not be awarded to contractor personnel. The medal may be awarded only once to a civilian employee for service to a GWOT military operation. As such, any individual who accepts the medal confirms that they have not previously been awarded the GWOT Medal. An employee may not be awarded both the GWOT Medal and the Armed Forces Civilian Service Medal for the same operation. A contribution to or support of a GWOT military operation by employees assigned to remotely located activities, e.g., outside the areas of eligibility, is not justification for award of the GWOT Medal. Such performance or contribution, if merited, may be acknowledged by other appropriate recognition.

  5. Posthumous Awards: The medal may be awarded posthumously and, when so awarded, may be presented to a representative of the deceased employee's family.
  6. Responsibilities and Approval: Approval authority for the GWOT Medal is delegated to the Commanders of the Army Commands, the Commanders of the Army Service Component Commands, the Commanders/Superintendent of the Direct Reporting Units and the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army.
  7. Verification of Eligibility (as needed):Eligible DA civilians can receive the medal if any of the following documentation is provided showing dates of direct support of an eligible operation performed in an area of eligibility:
    1. TDY/travel orders
    2. Notice of Personnel Action (SF-50)
    3. Award citation indicating dates and area
    4. Supervisor's signed statement that the individual was in-country, with the dates served and area of direct support
    5. Signed statement from command to which the employee was attached while in-country, with the dates served and area of direct support
    6. Any other documentation providing evidence of direct support of an eligible operation during the established timeframes and in an area of eligibility.
    7. Separated Employees: The medal may be awarded to eligible individuals who are no longer employed by the Department of Defense, as long as they meet the eligibility criteria described above. Former DA civilian employees (and those hired under the Coalition Provisional Authority) that have been separated from DoD civilian employment may contact their former organization, former Civilian Personnel Advisory Center, or the nearest Army installation, to submit their eligibility documentation for the GWOT Medal.

Content last reviewed: 12/10/2008-ALV

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