By Jim Garamone
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
FORT MEADE, Md., Oct. 31, 2014 – Service members overseas serving in support of Operation Inherent Resolve are eligible for the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Pentagon officials announced today.
The award is retroactive to June 15, when President Barack Obama ordered U.S. forces to the region in response to offensives by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Iraq.
At the invitation of the Iraqi government, American troops went to the country to assess Iraqi forces and the ISIL threat.
Jessica Wright, the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, signed a memorandum authorizing the award today.
The award provides immediate recognition to U.S. service members supporting efforts to eliminate the terrorist group ISIL and the threat it poses to Iraq, the region and the wider international community, Pentagon officials said.
In addition to Iraq, service members deployed to Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates are eligible. Those serving in the Mediterranean Sea east of the 25th meridian and in the Persian Gulf also can receive the award.
Service members who already have received the award for prior service do not receive another award or a battle star, officials said. About 8,400 service members are in the qualifying Operation Inherent Support area today.