Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Army sets campaign star rules

By Jim Tice - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday May 13, 2008 9:43:38 EDT
Soldiers and Army veterans who believe they are eligible for the newly authorized Afghanistan and Iraq campaign stars must verify eligibility with unit personnel officials or the Human Resources Command.

The verification requirement applies to Regular Army, National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers and former soldiers who have served, or are serving, deployments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Defense Department data indicate nearly 805,000 soldiers have served qualifying deployments.

Campaign stars were approved by the Defense Department on April 16 for wear on the Afghanistan and Iraq campaign medals.

Implementing instructions were issued April 30 by the Army’s Military Awards Branch as MilPer Message 08-123.

The instructions mandate that “no Afghanistan Campaign Medal or Iraq Campaign Medal will be awarded to Army soldiers without at least one service star.”

A second implementing instruction will be issued later this year for the award of Afghanistan and Iraq campaign streamers, which are displayed on unit colors, flags and guidons.

“Soldiers who are, or have, qualified for either of these awards (Afghanistan or Iraq Campaign Medals) can report to their unit S-1, unit administrator or supporting military personnel division and have their campaign entitlements updated to their records,” according to the Army instructions.

Eligibility can be verified with supporting documentation, such as orders for the campaign medal, DD Form 1610 travel orders, evaluation reports (DA Form 67-9 for officers or DA Form 2166-8 for NCOs), a memorandum signed by the soldier’s former battalion commander, deployment and redeployment orders (must include soldier’s full name), and other documents such as certificates of appreciation.

Veterans can request campaign star approval by sending a written request, a copy of their DD Form 214 or DD Form 215 and supporting documentation (same type of documents as for serving soldiers) to the Commander, Human Resources Command, Attn: AHRC-PDP-A, 200 Stovall St., Alexandria, VA 22332-0400.

Designated campaign phases
The campaign stars recognize soldiers for participating in designated campaign phases — not multiple deployments — within the areas of eligibility for 30 consecutive days, or 60 nonconsecutive days.

Soldiers also are eligible if they engage in combat, or are wounded or injured and require medical evacuation, regardless of the time in a designated area.

Eligibility is retroactive to Sept. 11, 2001, for service in Afghanistan, and March 19, 2003, for Iraq.

Soldiers who qualify for the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal by reason of having served in Afghanistan during Sept. 11, 2001-April 30, 2005, or Iraq during March 19, 2003-April 30, 2005, remain qualified for that medal, but can have it replaced by the ACM or ICM.

Campaign stars are not authorized for wear on the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, according to Army policy.

In the April 19 directive authorizing campaign stars, the Defense Department established three qualifying phases, or time periods, for Afghanistan, and four for Iraq.

In authorizing the award of campaign medals and stars, the Defense Department stipulated that soldiers cannot receive separate medals for the same action, time period and service.

However, if a soldier’s period of deployment overlaps one or more of the approved campaign phases, the soldier qualifies for each phase, and is entitled to the appropriate number of service stars.

For example, if a soldier deployed to Afghanistan for 180 days during Oct. 24, 2001, to April 13, 2002, he is entitled to two service stars on the ACM for participation in both the liberation of Afghanistan and Consolidation I campaign phases of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Campaign stars are bronze or silver five-pointed stars. A silver star is worn in lieu of five bronze campaign stars.

Campaign phases
A directive issued by the Department of Defense April 16 designates three phases of Operation Enduring Freedom as qualifying for a campaign star:

• Liberation of Afghanistan (Sept. 11, 2001–Nov. 30, 2001)

• Consolidation I (Dec. 1, 2001-Sept. 30, 2006)

• Consolidation II (Oct. 1, 2006-TBD)

The four qualifying phases of Operation Iraqi Freedom are:

• Liberation of Iraq (March 19, 2003-May 1, 2003)

• Transition of Iraq (May 2, 2003-June 28, 2004)

• Iraqi Governance (June 29, 2004-Dec. 15, 2005)

• National Resolution (Dec. 16, 2005-TBD)

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