Obverse (top left) and reverse (top right) of the medal. Ribbon: 32mm, sand coloured ribbon with three narrow central stripes of black, white, and red representing the national colours of the Iraqi flag.
|Awarded by United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland|
|Awarded for||Campaign service.|
|Description||Cupro-nickel disk, 36mm diameter.|
|Established||23 February 2004|
The Iraq Medal was a campaign medal for issue to Officers and Other Ranks of the British Armed Forces, and others, who served on, or in support of, Operation TELIC - the designation for British operations during the 2003 Invasion of Iraq and its aftermath.
The medal, which was authorised on 23 February 2004, was awarded in recognition of meeting the qualifying period of service within the defined operational area. Eligibility was extensive, including both Regular and Reserve members of the armed forces, foreign and Commonwealth exchange and attached forces, Ministry of Defence civilians, members of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, civilian contractors, and embedded journalists.
The operational area was defined as being divided into two zones - Zone 1 (Iraq and Kuwait) and Zone 2 (elsewhere within the Gulf region). Qualifying periods of service varied depending on the area in which personnel were based. The medal was awarded with the clasp 19 Mar to 28 Apr 2003 to those who participated in combat operations in Iraq; those who served before the invasion, or who served in its aftermath, were recognised by the award of the medal alone.
To qualify for the clasp, seven days continuous service or, in the case of aircrew, two or more flights into Zone 1, between 19 March and 28 April 2003, were required. This period encompassed the duration of actual combat operations.
Subsequently, the medal was awarded for either 30 days consecutive service in Iraq (or Iraqi territorial waters), 45 days cumulative, or, in the case of aircrew, for ten sorties flown into Iraq.
Without a clasp
The medal, without a clasp, was awarded to:
- those based in Zone 1 (Iraq) who did not complete seven days service to qualify for the clasp, but who performed thirty days continuous service between either 20 Jan - 24 March 2003 or from 23 April 2003 to 22 May 2011.
- those based in Zone 1 (Kuwait) who did not complete seven days service to qualify for the clasp, but who performed thirty days continuous service between either 20 Jan - 24 March 2003 or 23 April - 10 August 2003.
- those based in Zone 2 who performed thirty days continuous service between 20 Jan - 28 April 2003.
- aircrew based outside Zone 1 (Iraq) but who flew ten sorties into Iraq, at a rate of not more than one sortie per day, from 28 April 2003 to 22 May 2011.
- aircrew based outside both Zones 1 and 2 but who flew thirty sorties into Zones 1 or 2, at a rate of not more than one sortie per day, from 20 January - 28 April 2003.
Service terminated by death, wounds or disability due to service, or the award of a military decoration (Mention in Dispatches or higher), immediately qualified for the award of the medal, regardless of whether the length of service requirement was met.
- 19 Mar to 28 Apr 2003
There have been calls for clasps denoting Op Telic numbers, although none have been authorised to date. More recently there was a call made by three battle group commanders for a rosette to be issued for Telic 9, the most ferocious Telic to date, with more ammunition spent than those previous. It heralded the most British Soldiers to die in one month (12 KIA in April 2007) since the opening month of the war (27 Died in March 2003, only 3 of which were to enemy action).
- Mackay, J and Mussel, J (eds) - Medals Yearbook - 2005, (2004), Token Publishing.
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