Afghanistan Campaign Medal

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Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Awarded by United States Department of Defense
Type Campaign Medal
Status Current
Established EO 13363, November 29, 2004; 12 years ago (2004-11-29)
First awarded October 24, 2001 (retroactive)
Next (higher) Kosovo Campaign Medal[1]
Next (lower) Iraq Campaign Medal[1]

Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal

NATO Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal ribbon.svg

Streamer AFGCS.PNG
Ribbon & Streamer

The Afghanistan Campaign Medal (ACM) is a military award of the United States military which was created by Executive Order 13363 of President George W. Bush on November 29, 2004.[2] The Afghanistan Campaign Medal was designed by the U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry.[3][4]

The Afghanistan Campaign Medal became available for general distribution in June 2005. It is awarded to any member of the United States military who has performed duty within the borders of Afghanistan (or its airspace) for a period of thirty consecutive days or sixty non-consecutive days. The medal is retroactive to October 24, 2001, and is active until a date to be determined. Personnel who have been engaged in combat with an enemy force, or personnel who have been wounded in combat within Afghanistan, may receive the Afghanistan Campaign Medal regardless of the number of days spent within the country. The medal is also awarded posthumously to any service member who dies in the line of duty within Afghanistan, including from non-combat injuries such as accidents and mishaps.[5][6]

Campaign phases and devices[edit]

The following are the established campaign phases for the Afghanistan Campaign Medal:[7][8][9][10]

Phase Name From To
Phase 1: Liberation of Afghanistan September 11, 2001 November 30, 2001
Phase 2: Consolidation I December 1, 2001 September 30, 2006
Phase 3: Consolidation II October 1, 2006 November 30, 2009
Phase 4: Consolidation III December 1, 2009 June 30, 2011
Phase 5: Transition I July 1, 2011 December 31, 2014
Phase 6: Transition II January 1, 2015 Present

For each campaign phase that an individual participates in, a bronze 3/16" service star is worn on the service ribbon, with a silver service star being worn in lieu of five bronze service stars:[7][11][12][13][14][15][16]

Any one of the six phases
Bronze star
Two of the six phases
Bronze star
Bronze star
Three of the six phases
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Four of the six phases
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Five of the six phases
Silver star
All six phases
Silver star
Bronze star

The Afghanistan Campaign Medal may also be awarded with the combat operation insignia for qualified sailors assigned to Marine Corps units, as well as the arrowhead device for qualified soldiers.


The medal is bronze in appearance, 1.25 inches in diameter. It depicts above a range of mountains a map of Afghanistan. Around the top is the inscription "AFGHANISTAN CAMPAIGN." On the reverse, a radiating demi-sun superimposed by an eagle’s head couped. Inscribed across the bottom half of the reserve side are the three lines "FOR SERVICE IN AFGHANISTAN", enclosed by a laurel wreath.

Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal[edit]

The award replaces the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal (GWOTEM) for service in Afghanistan and personnel who previously received the GWOTEM for Afghanistan service may elect to exchange the medal for the new Afghanistan Campaign Medal. Both medals may not be received for the same period of service in Afghanistan and any current Afghanistan service will only be recognized with the Afghanistan Campaign Medal.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Army Regulation 600–8–22 Military Awards" (PDF). Army Publishing Directorate. p. 17. Retrieved 24 January 2016. 
  2. ^ "Executive Order: Establishing the Afghanistan and Iraq Campaign Medals". 29 November 2004. Retrieved 29 May 2015. 
  3. ^ "Error". Retrieved 29 May 2015. 
  4. ^ "Factsheets : Afghanistan Campaign Medal". Retrieved 29 May 2015. 
  5. ^ "DoD Announces Criteria for Two New Campaign Medals" United States Department of Defense 07 April 2005
  6. ^ "New Campaign Medals Recognize Iraq, Afghanistan Service" Archived April 14, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. United States Department of Defense 07 April 2005
  7. ^ a b "Afghanistan Campaign Medal or Iraq Campaign Medal". Awards and Decorations Branch Article. Army Human Resource Command. Archived from the original on 11 September 2015. Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  8. ^ "News Release: Additional Phases Identified for Iraq and Afghanistan Campaign Medals". Archived from the original on 2012-01-15. Retrieved 2012-05-31. 
  9. ^ New Campaign phase approved
  10. ^ DoD News, Defense Media Activity. "Operation Freedom's Sentinel Qualifies for Campaign Medal". Department of Defense. Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
    Tilghman, Andrew (19 February 2015). "Despite war's end, Pentagon extends Afghanistan campaign medal". MilitaryTimes. Gannett. Retrieved 28 February 2015. 
  11. ^ "Department of Defense Manual 1348.33, Volume 3" (PDF). Defense Technical Information Center. 23 November 2010. p. 51. Retrieved 16 October 2012. 
  12. ^ Army Regulation 600-8-22
  13. ^ Air Force Instruction 36-2803
  14. ^ "NAVADMIN 141/08". Retrieved 21 May 2008. 
  15. ^ Two Bulls, Richard. "Campaign Stars Established to Recognize Multiple Deployments". Naval Media Center Public Affairs. Retrieved 5 June 2008. 
  16. ^ Coast Guard Commandant Instruction 1650.25D
  17. ^ 578.29 Afghanistan Campaign Medal