President George W. Bush established both the Iraq and Afghanistan Campaign Medals on November 29, 2004 with Executive Order 13363.
Because the eligibility requirements for either of these medals would also qualify a member of the U.S. Armed Forces for the previously established Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Executive Order made it explicitly clear that servicemembers were entitled to only one of the three medals for the same period of service.
The specific eligibility requirements for the Iraq Campaign Medal (ICM) are found in the June, 2015 revision of Army Regulation 600-8-22, Military Awards
. To be authorized for the ICM, servicemembers must have served in direct support of Operations Iraqi Freedom or New Dawn; the precise eligibility period is 19 March 2003 to 31 December 2011. Service must have taken place either within the land space of Iraq, in the waters contiguous to it extending out to twelve nautical miles, or all airspace over both areas.
To meet the standard of serving in direct support of the two operations, servicemembers must have been assigned, attached or mobilized to units that were operating in the areas mentioned above for either 30 consecutive days or 60 nonconsecutive days. But personnel whose length of service does not meet those minimums are still eligible if they were engaged in combat during an armed engagement, required medical evacuation from an area of eligibility due to wounds or injuries suffered while taking part in an operation or carrying out official duties, or flew sorties as an aircrew member in direct support of operations (see AR 600-8-22 for exact definitions and eligibility conditions).
Recipients of the ICM are eligible for bronze and/or silver service stars for wear on either the suspension ribbon or service ribbon. A bronze service star is awarded to indicate participation in a named campaign; a silver service star is worn in lieu of five bronze stars. In total, seven named campaigns took place during the period of eligibility for the ICM: Liberation of Iraq, Transition of Iraq, Iraqi Governance, National Resolution, Iraqi Surge, Iraqi Sovereignty, and New Dawn. Visit our Web pages for the Bronze Service Star
and Silver Service Star
to select the appropriate number of stars for your suspension or service ribbon.
The ICM is 19th in order of precedence for service medals, below the Afghanistan Campaign Medal
and above the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
. Service medals are ranked fourth in the order of precedence for categories of medals, preceded by U.S. Military decorations, U.S. unit awards, and U.S. nonmilitary decorations.