Cold War Victory Medal
|Cold War Victory Medal|
Cold War Victory Medal
(1) United States National Guard
(States of Alaska and Louisiana)
(2) Commemorative medal for veterans
and retirees by purchase from private vendors
|Eligibility||2 Sep 1945 - 26 Dec 1991|
|Status||National Guard and commemorative medal for honorable service during Cold War|
|First awarded||1 Feb 2000|
|Last awarded||currently to those who served from 2 Sep 1945 - 26 Dec 1991|
|Next (higher)||U.S. marksmanship, training and development awards (Note: Veterans may wear commemorative medal on public holidays. However, it is not authorized for wear on active duty uniform. The medal may be worn only on civilian attire and only after other authorized awards.)
U.S. National Guard
Alaska Air Medal
Louisiana War Cross
|Next (lower)||Alaska Commendation Medal
Louisiana Emergency Service Medal
The Cold War Victory Medal is both an official medal of the National Guard and an unofficial military medal of the United States. It is awarded by the State of Louisiana and in ribbon form only by the State of Alaska. In the medal's unofficial capacity it can be purchased, but not worn in uniform, by any member of the United States military, or civilian employees of the federal government, who served in their positions honorably during the years of the Cold War, specifically September 2, 1945 to December 26, 1991.
Background and history 
In accordance with section 1084 of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 1998, Congress commended the members of the Armed Forces and civilian personnel who contributed to the historic victory in the Cold War, and authorized and instructed the then-Secretary of Defense, William Cohen, to prepare a certificate recognizing the Cold War service of qualifying members of the Armed Forces and civilian personnel of the Department of Defense and other government agencies. The certificate became known as the Cold War Recognition Certificate available by request of the individual by all members of the armed forces and qualified federal government civilian personnel who honorably served the United States anytime during the Cold War, which is defined as September 2, 1945 to December 26, 1991.
In October 2001, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act ("NDAA") for fiscal year 2002, which is signed into law on December 28, 2001 by President George W. Bush. In the NDAA approved by both houses and signed into law by the president, was a Sense of the Congress resolution that the Secretary of Defense should consider authorizing the issuance of a Campaign medal, to be known as the Cold War Service Medal, to each person who while a member of the Armed Forces served satisfactorily on active duty during the Cold War. The then-Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, did not create such a medal.
The official US Navy web page states: "The Department of Defense will not be creating a Cold War Service medal" and that any commemorative medals made by private vendors are unauthorized on the military uniform. At present the Cold War Victory Medal remains strictly commemorative and is unofficial other than for members of the Louisiana National Guard.
The Cold War Victory Medal is also referred to as the Cold War Commemorative Medal, Cold War Service Medal, or simply as the Cold War Medal. There are no devices or attachments authorized for the Cold War Victory Medal.
The Cold War Victory Medal was designed by Nadine Russell, the Chief of Creative Heraldry at the Army's Institute of Heraldry and the designer of many campaign and service medals, including the Southwest Asia Service Medal, the Armed Forces Service Medal, and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.
National Guard awards medal 
The National Guard Bureau does not issue nor recognize the Cold War Victory Medal. The medal is worn as a National Guard award and issued by the Louisiana National Guard. The Adjutant General of the State of Louisiana currently authorizes the decoration as the "Louisiana Cold War Victory Medal". Eligible members, including active duty members, of the Louisiana National Guard are authorized to wear the medal in uniform while in the state of Louisiana and not on federal property in that state (e.g., Fort Polk).[dead link]
Various commemorative versions of the medal 
The Cold War Victory Medal is also a civilian medal which may be privately purchased but is not distributed by the United States government. As such, the decoration is not presently authorized for wear on active duty military uniforms. However, the medal has been officially adopted by the Military Order of Foreign Wars of the United States and is thus frequently worn by U.S. military retirees, veterans and civilians on public holidays, parades and veterans functions. In this regard, the order of precedence of the Cold War Victory Medal is immediately after the lowest authorized U.S. award.
There are various versions of the medal privately struck by many different vendors. However, the only version which has been officially adopted by the Military Order of Foreign Wars has been the Cold War Victory Medal designed by Nadine Russell of the Institute of Heraldry. It has also been officially adopted by the American Cold War Veterans organization. The Germany Defense Veterans of America has also adopted and authorized this medal to all the members of the Germany Defense Veterans of America as this organization's wear of medals on the GDVA uniform.
Over the years bills have been introduced in five separate Congresses for the authorization of a Cold War Victory Medal or Cold War Service Medal. To date bills have successfully passed both houses but get stripped out in committee. All medal bills have been vehemently opposed by the U.S. Department of Defense. On February 17, 2011, Senator Olympia Snowe (ME) and on May 24, 2011, Representative Steve Israel (NY-2) reintroduced legislation in the Senate and House, respectively, that the Secretary of Defense concerned may issue a service medal, to be known as the `Cold War Service Medal', to Cold War veterans who meet the criteria.
Bills in the United States Senate 
|Congress||Cold War Medal Bill number||Sponsor||Co-Sponsor||Notes|
|112th Congress (2011–2012)||S.402||Olympia Snowe (ME)||Scott Brown (MA), Susan Collins (ME), Tim Johnson (SD), John Kerry (MA), Robert Menendez (NJ), Jim Webb (VA)||6 Co-Sponsors|
|111th Congress (2009–2010)||S.2743||Olympia Snowe (ME)||Russ Feingold (WI), John Kerry (MA), Paul G. Kirk (MA), Mary Landrieu (LA), Blanche Lincoln (AR), Robert Menendez (NJ), Mike Johanns (NE), Jim Webb (VA)||8 Co-Sponsors|
|110th Congress (2007–2008)||S.AMDT. 2163 to H.R.1585||Hillary Clinton (NY)||Susan Collins (ME), Blanche Lincoln (AR)||2 Co-Sponsors|
|S.1097||Hillary Clinton (NY)||Susan Collins (ME), Chuck Schumer (NY), Mary Landrieu (LA), Olympia Snowe (ME)||4 Co-Sponsors|
|S.1763||Hillary Clinton (NY)||Blanche Lincoln (AR), Olympia Snowe (ME)||2 Co-Sponsors|
|109th Congress (2005–2006)||S.AMDT.4212 to S.2766||Hillary Clinton (NY)||None||0 Co-Sponsors|
|S.1351||Hillary Clinton (NY)||Blanche Lincoln (AR), Dick Durbin (IL) Tim Johnson (SD)||3 Co-Sponsors|
|108th Congress (2003–2004)||S.1841||Hillary Clinton (NY)||Blanche Lincoln (AR), Dick Durbin (IL) Mark Pryor (AR)||3 Co-Sponsors|
|H.R.3388||See H.R. 3388 below||David Vitter (LA)||David Vitter Co-Sponsored H.R. 3388 as Congressman from Louisiana's 1st district and is currently a US Senator from Louisiana.|
|107th Congress (2001–2002)||H.R.2165||See H.R. 2165 below||Lindsey Graham (SC)||Lindsey Graham Co-Sponsored H.R.2165 as Congressman from South Carolina's 3rd district and is currently a US Senator from South Carolina.|
|106th Congress (1999–2000)||S.AMDT.474 to S.1059||Phil Gramm (TX)||Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX), John Ashcroft (MO), Paul Coverdell (GA), Trent Lott (MS)||4 Co-Sponsors|
|105th Congress (1997–1998)||S.AMDT.743 to S.936||Larry Craig (ID)||None||0 Co-Sponsors|
List of 12 Currently-Serving Senators who have supported the enactment of the medal 
|State||Senator||107th Congress (2001–2002)||108th Congress (2003–2004)||109th Congress (2005–2006)||110th Congress (2007–2008)||111th Congress (2009–2010)||112th Congress (2011–2012)|
|ME||Susan Collins||S.1097||S.AMDT. 2163 to H.R.1585||S.402|
Bills in the U.S. House of Representatives 
List of 42 Currently-Serving Representatives plus 1 Delegate to Congress who have supported the enactment of the medal 
|State||Representative||107th Congress (2001–2002)||108th Congress (2003–2004)||109th Congress (2005–2006)||110th Congress (2007–2008)||111th Congress (2009–2010)||112th Congress (2011–2012)|
|CT-02||Joseph (Joe) Courtney||H.R.4051||H.R.1968|
|NY-23||William Lewis Owens||H.R.1968|
|NY-24||Richard L. Hanna||H.R.1968|
|PA-05||Glenn "G.T." Thompson||H.R.4051|
|PA-16||Joseph R. Pitts||H.R.2165|
|PA-18||Timothy F. Murphy||H.R.4051||H.R.1968|
|Delegate to Congress|
|Puerto Rico||Pedro Pierluisi||H.R.4051|
- PUBLIC LAW 105–85 Sec. 1084, 111 STAT. 1920, 1998 National Defense Authorization Act NOV. 18, 1997.
- PUBLIC LAW 107–107 Sec. 556, 115 STAT. 1118, 2002 National Defense Authorization Act Dec. 28, 2001.
- "Cold War Medals". United States Navy. 2002-02-01. Retrieved 2007-10-19.
- Stanley, Charles, Victory medal eludes Cold War warriors, The Times (November 11, 2007)
- "The State of Louisiana National Guard Cold War Victory Medal". Cold War Veterans Association. 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-19.
- "H.R. 3388:Cold War Victory Medal Act". GovTrack. 2003-10-29. Retrieved 2008-03-20.
- "H.R. 2165:To amend title 10, United States Code, to authorize the award of a Cold War service medal to members of the Armed Forces who served honorably during the Cold War era". GovTrack. 2001-06-13. Retrieved 2008-03-20.
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