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The Afghanistan Campaign Medal (ACM) is a military award of the United States military which was created by Executive Order 13363 of President George W. Bush on November 29, 2004, and became available for general distribution in June 2005.[4][5] The medal was designed by the U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry.[6][7]

Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal.png
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Awarded by the
Department of Defense[1]
Department of Homeland Security[2]
TypeCampaign Medal
EligibilityU.S. military personnel
11 September 2001 - present
Awarded forservice in Afghanistan
EstablishedEO 13363, November 29, 2004; 14 years ago (2004-11-29)
First awardedJune 2005 (retroactive to October 24, 2001)
Next (higher)Kosovo Campaign Medal[3]
Next (lower)Iraq Campaign Medal[3]
RelatedGlobal War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
NATO Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal ribbon.svg

Streamer AFGCS.PNG
Service ribbon and campaign streamer

The Afghanistan Campaign Medal is awarded to any member of the United States military who has performed duty within the borders of Afghanistan (or its airspace) for a period of thirty consecutive days or sixty non-consecutive days. The medal is retroactive to October 24, 2001, and is active until a date to be determined. Personnel who have been engaged in combat with an enemy force, or personnel who have been wounded in combat within Afghanistan, may receive the ACM regardless of the number of days spent within the country. The medal is also awarded posthumously to any service member who dies in the line of duty within Afghanistan, including from non-combat injuries such as accidents and mishaps.[8][9]



The medal is bronze in appearance, 1 ​14 inches in diameter. It depicts above a range of mountains a map of Afghanistan. Around the top is the inscription "AFGHANISTAN CAMPAIGN." On the reverse, a radiating demi-sun superimposed by an eagle’s head couped. Inscribed across the bottom half of the reserve side are the three lines "FOR SERVICE IN AFGHANISTAN", enclosed by a laurel wreath.

Campaign phasesEdit

The following are the established campaign phases for the Afghanistan Campaign Medal:[10][11][12][13]

Phase Name From To
Phase 1: Liberation of Afghanistan September 11, 2001 November 30, 2001
Phase 2: Consolidation I December 1, 2001 September 30, 2006
Phase 3: Consolidation II October 1, 2006 November 30, 2009
Phase 4: Consolidation III December 1, 2009 June 30, 2011
Phase 5: Transition I July 1, 2011 December 31, 2014
Phase 6: Transition II January 1, 2015 Present


The Afghanistan Campaign Medal is authorized the following devices:[4][14][10][15][16][17][18][19]

  • Arrowhead device - For qualified Army and Air Force service members.
  • Campaign stars - For each campaign phase that a service member participates in for 1 or more days, a ​316 inch bronze campaign star is worn on the suspension and service ribbon of the medal, with a ​316 inch silver star being worn in lieu of five bronze stars.
  • Fleet Marine Force Combat Operation Insignia - The ICM may also be awarded with the Fleet Marine Force Combat Operation Insignia for qualified Navy service members such as hospital corpsmen assigned to Marine Corps units that participate in combat during the assignment.

Examples of campaign stars worn on the ACM service ribbon:

Any one of the six phases
Two of the six phases
Three of the six phases
Four of the six phases
Five of the six phases
All six phases

Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary MedalEdit

The Afghanistan Campaign Medal replaces the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal (GWOT-EM) for service in Afghanistan and personnel who previously received the GWOT-EM for Afghanistan service may elect to exchange the medal for the ACM.[20] Both medals may not be received for the same period of service in Afghanistan and any current Afghanistan service will only be recognized with the Afghanistan Campaign Medal.[21]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Issuances" (PDF).
  2. ^ "Data" (PDF). 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Army Regulation 600–8–22 Military Awards" (PDF). Army Publishing Directorate. p. 17. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Department of Defense Manual 1348.33, Volume 2" (PDF). Defense Technical Information Center. 21 December 2016. pp. 20–21. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  5. ^ "Executive Order: Establishing the Afghanistan and Iraq Campaign Medals". 29 November 2004. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  6. ^ "Error". Archived from the original on 28 August 2013. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  7. ^ "Factsheets : Afghanistan Campaign Medal". Archived from the original on 1 May 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  8. ^ "DoD Announces Criteria for Two New Campaign Medals" Archived 2011-05-30 at the Wayback Machine United States Department of Defense 07 April 2005
  9. ^ "New Campaign Medals Recognize Iraq, Afghanistan Service" Archived April 14, 2012, at the Wayback Machine United States Department of Defense 07 April 2005
  10. ^ a b "Afghanistan Campaign Medal or Iraq Campaign Medal". Awards and Decorations Branch Article. Army Human Resource Command. Archived from the original on 11 September 2015. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  11. ^ "News Release: Additional Phases Identified for Iraq and Afghanistan Campaign Medals". Archived from the original on 2012-01-15. Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  12. ^ "New Campaign phase approved" (PDF).
  13. ^ DoD News, Defense Media Activity. "Operation Freedom's Sentinel Qualifies for Campaign Medal". Department of Defense. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
    Tilghman, Andrew (19 February 2015). "Despite war's end, Pentagon extends Afghanistan campaign medal". MilitaryTimes. Gannett. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  14. ^ "Department of Defense Manual 1348.33, Volume 3" (PDF). Defense Technical Information Center. 23 November 2010. p. 51. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 February 2013. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  15. ^ Army Regulation 600-8-22 Archived 2011-07-22 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Air Force Instruction 36-2803 Archived 2013-02-16 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ "NAVADMIN 141/08". Retrieved 21 May 2008.
  18. ^ Two Bulls, Richard. "Campaign Stars Established to Recognize Multiple Deployments". Naval Media Center Public Affairs. Retrieved 5 June 2008.
  19. ^ Coast Guard Commandant Instruction 1650.25D
  20. ^ "Department of Defense Manual 1348.33, Volume 2" (PDF). Defense Technical Information Center. 21 December 2016. pp. 32–35. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  21. ^ "Afghanistan Campaign Medal".