Military Wiki
Arctic Star
Arctic Star medal.jpg
Awarded by United Kingdom
Type Campaign medal
Eligibility Members of the British Armed Forces and Merchant Navy
Awarded for Any length of service above the Arctic Circle in World War II
Description Six pointed star
Established 2012
First awarded 2013
Related Atlantic Star
Arctic Star bar.png
Ribbon bar of the medal

The Arctic Star is a campaign medal of the United Kingdom, awarded for service in World War II.

The medal is awarded for any length of service above the Arctic Circle by members of the British Armed Forces and the Merchant Navy. The Arctic Star is a retrospective award, coming nearly seventy years after the end of World War II, being announced in late 2012.[1] The Arctic Star was formally approved by The Queen, and began production in early 2013.[2]

Award criteria

The Arctic Star is awarded for operational service of any length north of the Arctic Circle, defined as 66° 32’ North Latitude. The inclusive qualifying period of service is 3 September 1939 to 8 May 1945. Though the Arctic Star is intended to recognize the service of personnel in the Arctic convoys of World War II, other members of the military and civilians may qualify. Eligibility is defined as follows:[3]

  • Royal Navy and Merchant Navy personnel must have served anywhere at sea north of the Arctic Circle including, but not limited exclusively to, those ships participating in, and in support of convoys to North Russia. Fleet Air Arm personnel, not qualified by sea service, may qualify under the criteria applicable to Royal Air Force personnel.
  • Aircrew of the Royal Air Force are eligible if they landed north of the Arctic Circle or served in the air over this area. Non aircrew on operational service in the area, for example ground crew or those sailing with CAM ships (Catapult Aircraft Merchant Ships), are also eligible.
  • Army personnel serving in His Majesty’s ships or in defensively equipped Merchant ships qualify under the rules applying to the Navy or Merchant Navy. Personnel taking part in land operations north of the Arctic Circle are also eligible for award.
  • Civilian Members of the few approved categories who qualify for Campaign Stars will be eligible so long as they meet any qualifying criteria while serving in support of military operations.
  • Foreign nationals serving in British or Dominion Forces, such as the Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Australian Navy, are eligible for the Arctic Star so long as the individuals have not been recognized by a similar award from their own government's.

Eligibility for the Arctic Star does not effect an individual's eligibility for any other previously awarded campaign medals, nor does it automatically entitle individuals for any further awards.


The Arctic Star is a six-pointed bronze star similar in appearance to the other Campaign Stars awarded for service in World War II. It is 40 mm high and 40 mm wide. The obverse has a central design of the Royal Cypher of King George VI, surmounted by a crown. The cypher is surrounded by a circlet containing the words ‘The Arctic Star'. The star is suspended by a ribbon with colours representing the three Armed Services, red for the Merchant Navy, and a central white stripe, edged in black, representing the Arctic.[4]

The design was submitted by the Ministry of Defence to the Royal Mint Advisory Committee. Their recommendation was submitted to The Queen for approval.[4]

See also


External links

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