Medals NEWS 9/2010

Honours and Recognition Newsletter
Vol. 4 Issue 2, September 2010

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The new Operational Service Medal

The new Operational Service Medal

On 8 September 2010, it was announced that Her Majesty The Queen approved the creation of the Operational Service Medal (OSM). The OSM comes to fill a gap in the overseas recognition framework to provide recognition to operations (other than those conducted in the presence of an armed enemy) for which there are no medals available.

The OSM will be awarded to CF members, members of allied forces on exchange with the CF, Canadian police officers and Canadian civilians working under the authority of the CF or Canadian police forces who, on or after 7 Oct 01, served in a theatre of operations, provided direct support on a full-time basis to operations conducted in such a theatre or served under dangerous circumstances outside Canada provided the service has not been recognized through another service medal aside from the Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal (CPSM).


The OSM is always issued with a ribbon specific to the theatre or type of service being recognized, and each ribbon has its own criteria. So far six ribbons have been created, each requiring 30 days of accumulated eligible service:


SOUTH-WEST ASIA: intended for non-CF service in this region from 7 Oct 01;


SIERRA LEONE: military service in that country from 31 Jul 02. Primarily intended for CF members who served with the British-led International Military Advisory and Training Team (IMATT) following the Lomé Peace Agreement (Op SCULPTURE);


HAITI: military service in that country from 6 Mar 04. Primarily intended for CF members who served with the US-led Multinational Interim Force (MIF) from 6 Mar to 16 Aug 04 (Op HALO) as well as for direct support provided by the medical evacuation team in the Dominican Republic;


SUDAN: military service in that country from 15 Sep 04. Primarily intended for CF members who served with the African Union-led mission in Darfur from 15 Sep 04 to 31 Dec 07 (Op AUGURAL) as well as for direct support provided to the ops conducted in the Sudan from Ethiopia and Senegal;


HUMANITAS: replaces the HUMANITAS bar to the Special Service Medal (which was reserved for CF members only) as of 1 Aug 09. This new award will allow recognition of police personnel and Canadian civilians working with the CF or police on approved humanitarian missions from 1 Aug 09. Recipients of the SSM-H for humanitarian service performed before 1 Aug 09 retain their medal and may later earn this new medal if they meet the criteria. At this time, only humanitarian relief service following the earthquake in Haiti from 12 Jan 10 to 2 May 10 (Op HESTIA) is approved. Service in Haiti itself as well as support provided from Barahona, Dominican Republic, and Kingston, Jamaica, during that period is eligible; and


EXPEDITION: to cover smaller operations for which there are no medals available or service in dangerous circumstances outside of an existing theatre from 7 Oct 01. One mission approved so far for military service in the Middle East with the Office of the United States Security Coordinator (Op PROTEUS) from 3 May 05.

Rotation recognition

Rotation barsRotation bars are awarded for each period of 180 days of eligible service after qualification for the OSM or the last rotation bar the person has earned.


The Governor General will preside over an inaugural presentation ceremony at a later date after which general distribution will follow.

More details can be found in CANFORGEN 172/10.

Issued by the Directorate of Honours and Recognition (DH&R) Feb 2011 Telephone 1-877-741-8332