The Afghanistan Campaign Medal is a Bronze medallion 1 3/8 inches in diameter in which there is a range of mountain in the lower half and a map of Afghanistan in the upper half. Following the contour of the top of the medal are the words, “AFGHANISTAN CAMPAIGN”. In the center of the reverse on the medallion, there is a radiating demi-sum superimposed by a bald eagle’s head facing to the left. Written across the bottom half are three lines with the words "FOR SERVICE” “IN” “AFGHANISTAN” with a laurel wreath totally encircling.
Afghanistan is characterized by it’s mountainous landscape. Our commitment to Operation Enduring Freedom is highlighted by the map of Afghanistan as the theater of our operation. The symbol of the United States and the American spirit is shown by the eagle, constantly vigilant, and always ready to defend freedom. A new beginning for Afghanistan and its path a free and prosperous future is represented by the rising sun. Honor and high achievement are represented by the laurel wreath. The color combination of the ribbon represents the colors of the new Afghanistan flag as well as the United States.
The Afghanistan Campaign Medal’s ribbon has thirteen stripes. The first is 5/64 inch Emerald, followed by 3/16 inch Scarlet, 1/8 inch Black, 7/32 inch White, 1/32 inch Scarlet, 1/32 inch White, 1/32 inch Old Glory Blue, 1/32 inch White, 1/32 inch Scarlet, 7/32 inch White, 1/8 inch Black, 3/16 inch Scarlet, and ending with 5/64 inch Emerald.
To qualify for the Afghanistan Campaign Medal a service member must be assigned or attached to a unit participating in Operation Enduring Freedom for 30 consecutive days or for 60 nonconsecutive days in Afghanistan or meet one of the following criteria:
- Participate in actual combat against the enemy and under conditions involving severe danger of death or serious bodily injury from enemy action, irrespective of the time in Afghanistan.
- While taking part in Operation Enduring Freedom or on official duties, regardless of time, is killed, wounded or injured necessitating medical evacuation from Afghanistan.
- While serving as a regularly designated aircrew member flying sorties into, out of, within, or over Afghanistan in direct support of Operation Enduring Freedom; each day that one or more sorties are flown in accordance with these criteria shall count as one day towards the 30 consecutive or 60 nonconsecutive day requirement.
The medal may be awarded after death to any soldier who lost his/her life while, or as a direct result of, taking part in eligible operations, regardless of length of such service, if otherwise entitled.
Only one award of the Afghanistan Campaign Medal may be approved for any one person.
Relationship to GWOTEM
Service members are entitled to the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal (GWATEM) for their service in Afghanistan between 24 October 2001 and 30 April 2005 or they may be awarded the Afghanistan Campaign Medal instead of the GWOTEM instead for the same service. Any service member authorized the arrowhead device may be awarded the ACM with arrowhead device instead of the GWOTEM with arrowhead device. A service member will not be permitted to bother the Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal for the same act, accomplishment or time of service.
BackgroundThe Afghanistan Campaign Medal was established by Public Law 108-234, signed into law by President George W. Bush on 28 May 2004 and implemented by Executive Order 13363.
The ACM is worn before the Iraq Campaign Medal (ICM) and shall directly follow the Kosovo Campaign Medal (KCM) (i.e., KCM, ACM, ICM, GWOTEM, etc.).