The U.S. Army is awarding separate
medals for participation in the Iraq or Afghanistan operations. These awards
are retroactive to Sept. 11, 2001, for service in Afghanistan, and March 19,
2003, for Iraq. Anyone who has served at least 30 consecutive days in either
area, or 60 non-consecutive days, is eligible. Anyone who was there less time,
but was sent home because of wounds, injury or sickness, is eligible no matter
how short their stay. The army calculates that some 805,000 soldiers are
eligible for these new awards. They will usually be worn as small ribbons on
uniform jackets. In this way, troops can quickly scan the chest candy worn by
others and know the rough outline of their military careers.
had earlier issued Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medals (for service in
Afghanistan during Sept. 11, 2001-April 30, 2005, or Iraq during March 19,
2003-April 30, 2005).