Operational Service Medal Iraq and Syria

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Operational Service Medal Iraq and Syria
Operational Service Medal 2000 obv.jpgOperational Service Medal 2000 rev.jpg
Operational Service Medal, obverse and reverse
Awarded by United Kingdom
Type Military Campaign Medal
Eligibility Members of the United Kingdom armed forces and civilians
Awarded for Campaign service
Campaign(s) Operation Shader
Description Silver disk, 36 mm diameter.
Clasps Iraq & Syria
First awarded 2018
OSM Iraq and Syria.png
Service ribbon of the medal

The Operational Service Medal Iraq and Syria or Operation Shader Medal is a British armed forces campaign medal, awarded mostly to military personnel who served in the operational area of, or in support of Operation Shader. The medal was first announced by former Defence Secretary, Sir Michael Fallon on 19 September 2017. It was first awarded, to service personnel, on 18 July 2018 in London by Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson. This Operational Service Medal is the first to be awarded to individuals who served outside of the operational area, reflecting the changing nature of warfare.

Operational Service Medal[edit]

The Operational Service Medal (OSM) was established in 1999 to replace the General Service Medal (1962) for all new operations. A separate medal of the same design is awarded for each campaign, differentiated by a distinct ribbon.[1] Prior to its most recent version, the medal has been awarded for three separate campaigns:[2]


The Operational Service Medal for Iraq and Syria is silver and circular in shape.[2]

  • Obverse: the crowned effigy of Queen Elizabeth II with the inscription ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA FID. DEF.
  • Reverse: the Union Flag, surrounded by the inscription FOR OPERATIONAL SERVICE and the four major points of the compass with, between the points, four Coronets: Royal (top left), Naval (top right), Mural-Army (bottom left), and Astral-Royal Air Force (bottom right).[3]
  • Ribbon: a broad central red stripe, flanked each side by a stripe of navy blue and one of light blue, to represent the three services, with an outer stripe of grey.
  • Clasp: Iraq & Syria clasp awarded to those recipients who served in the operational area. A silver rosette denotes the clasp when worn on the ribbon bar.


The medal is awarded either for 30 days continuous, or 45 days cumulative, service in theatre. Aircrew must either fly ten sorties over Iraq or six over Syria.[4] In the past, operational service medals were awarded to individuals who served in a specific campaign where they were exposed to physical danger. The Queen approved eligibility criteria for the medal to include those personnel who have made a significant contribution to efforts in Iraq and Syria, including civilians, even if those efforts were outside the operational area. Those personnel awarded the medal who served outside the operational area will receive the medal without the clasp.[5] The criteria for service outside of the immediate operational zone is still under development by the Ministry of Defence. When finally approved, the criteria will be promulgated in a Defence Information Notice.[6]


  1. ^ John Mussell (ed). Medal Yearbook 2015. p. 198. Published by Token Publishing Ltd. Honiton, Devon. 
  2. ^ a b "Medals: campaigns, descriptions and eligibility". Ministry of Defence Medal Office. Retrieved 2018-03-09. 
  3. ^ "New medal unveiled to recognise the fight against Daesh". Royal Navy. Retrieved 2018-07-20. 
  4. ^ Corby, Samuel (6 October 2017). "Fallon announces new medal for operations in Syria and Iraq". UK Defence Journal. Retrieved 19 July 2018. 
  5. ^ "New operational service medal recognises fight against IS". BBC. 19 July 2018. Retrieved 19 July 2018. 
  6. ^ "Medals: campaigns, descriptions and eligibility, Announcements Operational Service Medal Iraq & Syria". UK MOD. 20 August 2018. Retrieved 21 August 2018. 

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