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Military Medals of The Gulf War (1991-1995)
The conflict in the Persian Gulf, as previously noted, saw the re-institution of the National Defense Service Medal (this time it also covered the Reserves) and the creation of the Southwest Asia Service Medal for the personnel in Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and United Arab Emirates. Between January 17, 1991 and November 30, 1995, service members who performed duty “in support of” the Persian Gulf War are eligible to receive the Southwest Asia Service Medal if duty was performed in either Israel, Egypt, Turkey, Syria or Jordan. The Southwest Asia Service Medal is authorized four campaign stars for service, but only a maximum of three campaign stars can be awarded for these military medals. Each recipient of this military medal must wear at least one campaign star.
The Department of Defense also approved the wear of the Saudi Arabian Medal for the Liberation of Kuwait, which probably wins the award as the “Most Colorful Medal” authorized American military personnel. Later the Department of Defense also authorized the Kuwait Medal for the Liberation of Kuwait.
NATO Military Medals (1998 to Present)
In 1998 the North Atlantic Treaty Organization began authorizing military medals for NATO specific service. The NATO Kosovo Campaign Medal was issued by the United States armed forces for participation in the Kosovo operations. For U.S. Forces, the Non-Article 5 Medal for Balkan Service replaced the NATO Kosovo Medal effective 1 January 2003. NATO also created an Article 5 Medal, a Non-Article 5 Medal and NATO Meritorious Service Military Medals.
The idea is some what similar to the U.S. Joint Service awards which are used to reward joint staff service outside of a service members normal branch of service (i.e. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard). For U.S. Forces, service stars indicate additional awards to the NATO Medal. In the USA, NATO military medals authorized for wear include the NATO Medal for Former Yugoslavia, the NATO Medal for Kosovo Service, both of the Article 5 Medals, the Non-Article 5 medals for the Balkans and Afghanistan International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF), The NATO Meritorious Service Medal and the Macedonia NATO Medal and the Non-Article 5 Medal for service in Iraq.Military Medals History - The Gulf War and NATO Medals,