President Obama signed an executive order today creating a medal for service members who fight in the U.S. military effort against the Islamic State.
The Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal will be available to those who have served in Iraq, Syria, or contiguous waters or airspace since June 15, 2014.
“A member may be awarded either the Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal or the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal by reason of service in Iraq, Syria, or contiguous waters or airspace. No member shall be entitled to the award of more than one of these two medals for the same period of service,” said the order.
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter signed a memo today detailing award criteria pursuant to the executive order.
Service members who received the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal for qualifying service in Iraq or Syria from June 15, 2014, to March 30 will be able to swap it for the Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal.
Carter said at U.S. Central Command today that it was “fitting” that the medal was announced on the day that CENTCOM changed command from Gen. Lloyd Austin to Gen. Joe Votel.
“I’m pleased to announce today, by the president’s order and upon the chairman’s and my recommendation that our sailors, soldiers, airmen and marines serving in Iraq and Syria as part of Operation Inherent Resolve are eligible for this medal and distinction,” Carter said during remarks at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida.
“As we continue to accelerate our counter-ISIL campaign, we will continue to depend on the men and women of CENTCOM,” he added. “It is you who provide us the flexibility to respond to any threat across this critical region, it is you who provide our partners the fortitude to reclaim their lands, their lives and their future.”