|Awarded by Australia, New Zealand and United Kingdom|
|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|
Ribbon bar of the medal
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. The Arctic Star was formally approved by The Queen, and began production in early 2013. The first Arctic star medal was presented to approximately 40 veterans on 19 March 2013, in London.
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:
- 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 governments.
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.
- "Recognition for veterans of Arctic Convoys and Bomber Command". GOV.UK Announcnements. Ministry of Defence. 19 December 2012. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
- "ARCTIC STAR AND BOMBER COMMAND CLASP". veteransuk.net. Service Personnel and Veterans Agency. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
- Duell, Mark (19 March 2013). "David Cameron pays tribute to British Navy heroes who took supplies to Russia in Second World War". Daily Mail. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- Bannister, Sam (19 March 2013). "Veterans presented with their Arctic Star medals in London". The News. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- "Eligibility Criteria". [www.veterans-uk.info/ www.veterans-uk.info/]. Service Personnel and Veterans Agency. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
- Ian Drury (26 February 2013). "At last, a medal fit for our Arctic heroes: Design unveiled to honour veterans of 'Russian Run' during Second World War". Mail Online. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
- Government provided rendering of the Arctic Star and Bomber Command Clasp
- Transcript of presentation speech