New Operational Service Medal Announced
OTTAWA - Following the announcement made by the Governor General of Canada, the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, is pleased to convey the news that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has approved the creation of the Operational Service Medal (OSM). As part of the second wave of announcements following a major review of all recognition provided for overseas service, this much welcome addition to the Canadian honours system fills a gap in the overseas recognition framework. The OSM will provide long-awaited recognition for military operations for which there were no medals available.
“Canada is committed to contributing to international stability and security by assisting those in need,” said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. “As Canadian Forces members are sent abroad in the service of Canada, our new overseas recognition framework ensures that they receive the recognition that they deserve.”
The OSM will be awarded to those who, on or after 7 October 2001, served in a theatre of operations, but not in the presence of an armed enemy. Also eligible are those who worked in direct support of approved operations or served under dangerous circumstances outside Canada, provided the service has not been recognized through another service medal.
The OSM will be issued with different ribbons identifying specific theatres of operations, including South-West Asia, Sierra Leone (Op SCULPTURE), Haiti (Op HALO), and Sudan (Op AUGURAL). In addition, a Humanitas ribbon was created to recognize humanitarian service, which will include Canada’s most recent relief efforts in Haiti (Op HESTIA) and an Expedition ribbon was created to cover smaller operations conducted in dangerous circumstances outside of Canada.
An inaugural presentation ceremony, presided over by the Governor General, will take place at a later date.