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Iraq 2014 & beyond (medals?)


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From what I've read it appears that the US will be awarding the GWOT to their troops for involvement in the current Iraq conflict. I wonder has any consideration been given by the UK as to what if any medal will be awarded to UK troops. The US has declined to reintroduce their Iraq campaign medal, assuming the UK does the same. I wonder whether the GSM Air Ops will be brought back or perhaps an OSM? I further assume that this campaign won't merit a war medal like the two previous wars have but more likely the OSM along the same lines as Afghanistan did? Has anyone else got any thoughts on this?

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Mariner - you make some good points. Obviously the troops and Air Services will require a medal - but why

a new one. The GSM with a Bar for - say - Kurdistan might be appropriate. Personally, I think this is such an

unappreciated campaign. Bombing on it's own has never been fully workable and the way this IS army is moving

I think we will soon be needing a medal for the Defence of Europe. Certainly the Suez Canal is at risk and our oil. Mervyn

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Fair and scary point there M!! I feel that it's only a matter of time, before ground troops are deployed wholesale by the US and perhaps UK and other coalition belligerents.

If this should happen then I'm in no doubt a new medal will be awarded.

Hasn't there already been a GSM with bar Kurdistan? Maybe an OSM clasp Iraq or perhaps Northern Iraq Southern Syria?

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From what I've read it appears that the US will be awarding the GWOT to their troops for involvement in the current Iraq conflict. I wonder has any consideration been given by the UK as to what if any medal will be awarded to UK troops. The US has declined to reintroduce their Iraq campaign medal, assuming the UK does the same. I wonder whether the GSM Air Ops will be brought back or perhaps an OSM? I further assume that this campaign won't merit a war medal like the two previous wars have but more likely the OSM along the same lines as Afghanistan did? Has anyone else got any thoughts on this?

My thoughts are that the ICM will not be re-instituted because it would imply that the Iraq War was restarting. Striking a new medal will admit that this is a major military campaign, which I doubt that the government wants to admit as well. I am actually surprised that the GWOT-E is being considered because it admits that the War on Terror is back on. I would have guessed that the President would have used the Armed Forces Expeditionary Service Medal.

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Could it not be argued that the GWOT never really ended considering Afghanistan is still ongoing. I agree with you regards the ICM. They appear set on the GWOT medal at the current time, interesting that they didn't us the AFESM. I feel that if the campaign becomes bigger or more protracted a new medal will be issued. Perhaps they might put more emphasis on the Iraq Commitment Medal?

The British are yet to make any mention of metallic recognition from what I can see.

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With the possibility of Turkey becoming involved + the other participants and combatants , I think the possibility

must exist for a United Nations Award. This of course would be additional to individual Countries awards.

Unfortunately, I think this battle is just getting underway - my news today said the IS were gaining ground and were

very much in control of the situation. Death - theirs and innocent civilians - seems to mean very little to them.

Every leader is saying the same thing - you cannot win a ground battle without troops on the ground , however,

after early Iraq and Afghanistan no one seems at all anxious to commit troops.

The Suez Canal and the oil lines cover large areas of land - let the IS make a breakthrough and we will see the

probability of a World War. The last time the Canal was blocked was back in the early 1960's when Nasser sank

ships. The blockade cut the West off from food and oil and since everything had to come via the Cape there were

shortages. Think of this in terms of today's needs ? The Port of Capetown is quite large - but could never cope

with the volume of shipping that would descend on it. Even in the 60's I can remember the pictures of hundreds of

ships waiting to be bunkered.

We should be taking action now - whilst we control where the fighting takes place. Not wait until it is on the shores

of Europe. Mervyn

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  • 2 weeks later...

You make several very interesting points M. The first being a UN award. I seem to recall and correct me if I'm wrong but when we were bombing Libya, the RAF started operations before NATO became involved and yet only a NATO medal was forth coming. Perhaps as a result of the campaign prior to that being so short that NATO took presidence? With regards to a UN medal are Qatar and the like part of the UN, I'm not sure? Has the UN even given an opinion don't recall hearing them putting their two penneth in? The same can be said for NATO. With the US just using their GWOT (exp) medal to cover it, I wonder whether we'll just re issue the GSM Air Ops Iraq pending ground forces being involved. But if the issue of the Iraq medal in the first place is anything to go by it'll be months if not years before any metallic recognition is forth coming, I wouldn't be at all surprised.

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Certainly in the US, we dig ourselves into a deep hole by listening to the clamor that begins with the first shot. That clamor is for a new campaign medal to be instantaneously designed, produced and awarded, preferably with appropriate devices for as-yet undesignated campaign periods. The decision to use an existing award that might be more appropriate is immediately denounced as a "slap in the face" to the troops (we spend a lot of time slapping people in the face). A a result, we have no comprehensive plan for any of our campaign medals.

We would do well to hold off creation of campaign awards until we know a bit more about the course of the action. This would be opposed to the instant gratification mode we are in, but it would provide sensible ways through situations exactly like this. But, it would also require that we make decisions that will annoy many.

In short, we'll never solve this.

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I seem to recall that Britain started operations against Libya on the 19th March 2011 and NATO took overall control on the 31st March. So that's a good 12 days of independent operations, but well short of the 30 days for a GSM, so I can see why one wasn't awarded. Unless ground troops are deployed and it becomes a full scale slog like the 2003-2011 affair was, I can't see an independent medal being awarded for Iraq this time and fear it'll be another naff NATO affair medal. If that should be the case and things get worse, perhaps the MOD will break the mould and allow two medals the NATO one for this phase and another medal (a decent one) for the second phase of ground troops supported by air cover, etc.

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Posted Today, 14:47

Certainly in the US, we dig ourselves into a deep hole by listening to the clamor that begins with the first shot. That clamor is for a new campaign medal to be instantaneously designed, produced and awarded, preferably with appropriate devices for as-yet undesignated campaign periods. The decision to use an existing award that might be more appropriate is immediately denounced as a "slap in the face" to the troops (we spend a lot of time slapping people in the face). A a result, we have no comprehensive plan for any of our campaign medals.

We would do well to hold off creation of campaign awards until we know a bit more about the course of the action. This would be opposed to the instant gratification mode we are in, but it would provide sensible ways through situations exactly like this. But, it would also require that we make decisions that will annoy many.

In short, we'll never solve this.

Further to my above thread. I'm inclined to agree with JB. It certainly seems that the US have gone off half cocked with regards to awards of medals this early on in campaign. Perhaps there's a lot to be said for British reserve lol. Lets see how the campaign pans out before we decide what metallic recognition we give to our troops.....

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