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   NATO Medal - Operation Eagle Assist
Service: ALL
Instituted: October 2001
Authorized: Deputy Secretary of Defense
NATO Medal - Operation Eagle Assist
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Article 5 NATO Medal (Operation Eagle Assist)

The NATO Medal for Operation Eagle Assist was approved by the North Atlantic Council for members who participated in NATO's operation in the airspace of North America, following the attack on the United States on 11 September 2001, providing NATO assistance to the United States and demonstrating the Alliance's resolve against terrorism. 

The operation began on 12 October 2001 and was completed on 16 May 2002. The Deputy Secretary of Defense approved the acceptance and wear of the medal for US military and US civilian personnel. 

Eligible personnel are those individuals who were in NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft deployed to the Area of Operation (USA and the airspace of North America as tasked by NORAD). 

The qualifying period in the Area of Operation is thirty (30) days continuous or accumulated service between the dates of 12 October 2001 and 16 May 2002. Aircrew members will accumulate one day's service for the first sortie flown of any day in the Area of Operation; additional sorties flown on the same day receive no further credit. This requirement exists for support as well as combat aircraft; support aircraft includes tanker, airlift and surveillance platforms. 

Members will wear the first NATO medal awarded, and will wear a bronze service star for any subsequent medal awarded for a different operation. 

Subsequent deployments in support of the same operation will not be awarded. 

Members are authorized to retain the ribbon clasp if presented; however the wearing of the ribbon clasp with the NATO Medal is not authorized for US military members.


NATO Medal The NATO Medal is awarded by the Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to military and civilian members of the Armed Forces of the United States who participate in designated NATO operations.

  1. Eligibility. The following missions/operations have been approved by the Secretary of Defense, for acceptance and wear:
  • (1) Operations related to the former Republic of Yugoslavia (14 November 1995 to a date to be determined).
  • (2) Operations related to Kosovo (13 October 1998 to a date to be determined).
  • (3) Operation EAGLE ASSIST (12 October 2001 to 16 May 2002).
  • (4) Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOR (26 October 2001 to a date to be determined).
  • (5) International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan (1 June 2003 to a date to be determined).
  • (6) Operations in the Balkans (1 January 2003 to a date to be determined).
  1. Acceptance. Acceptance of the NATO Medal has been approved for U.S. military personnel who serve under NATO command or operational control in direct support of the above NATO operations.
  2. Presentation. The NATO Medal will normally be presented by the Allied Command Europe headquarters exercising operational command or control over U.S. military units or individuals prior to their departure from service with NATO.
  3. Medal set. The medal set includes a ribbon clasp denoting the specific operation for which the award was made. U.S. service members are authorized to retain the ribbon clasp presented but may not wear the clasp. Only the basic medal and service ribbon are authorized for wear on the uniform.
  4. Subsequent awards. Subsequent awards (if approved by the Secretary of Defense) for service in a different NATO operation, U.S. military personnel will affix a bronze service star to the NATO Medal suspension ribbon and service ribbon.
  5. Precedence. The NATO Medal will have the same precedence as the United Nations Medal, but will rank immediately below the United Nations Medal when the wearer has been awarded both medals.