Service members involved in 2021′s Operation Allies Refuge and Operation Allies Welcome are eligible for the Armed Forces Service Medal, according to a memo from Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday.
Eligible troops are considered those service members who worked on either mission between the dates of Aug. 31, 2021, and April 1, 2022, according to the memo.
The AFSM, which was first awarded in 1996 (retroactive to 1992), is authorized to be presented to service members who participate in a U.S. military operation of “significant activity” that did not involve foreign armed opposition or imminent threat.
In this particular case, certain exceptions apply to service members who were not directly deployed to Afghanistan.
Any service member who was stationed at a qualifying location for more than 30 days and provided “direct support, such as those physically receiving, housing, sustaining, or providing medical support, to evacuees, provided the member was reassigned from their primary duties to provide full-time support” can qualify for the AFSM, the NAVADMIN stated.
Eligible locations where service members participated in the two operations are as follows:
- Qatar: Al Udeid Air Base, Camp As Sayliyah and Camp Doha
- Kuwait: Camp Buehring and Ali Al Salem Air Base
- Bahrain: Shaikh Isa Air Base
- United Arab Emirates: Abu Dhabi and Al Dhafra
- Saudi Arabia: Prince Sultan Air Base
- Kosovo: Ferizaj and Camp Bondsteel
- Germany: Stuttgart, Wiesbaden, Kaiserslautern, Ramstein Air Base, Rhine Ordnance Barracks and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center
- Spain: Rota
- Italy: Sigonella
- Colorado: Peterson Space Force Base
- Florida: Tampa
- Indiana: Camp Atterbury
- New Jersey: Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst
- New Mexico: Holloman Air Force Base
- Pennsylvania: Philadelphia International Airport
- Texas: Fort Bliss and Fort Sam Houston
- Virginia: Dulles International Airport, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Fort Lee and Fort Pickett
- Wisconsin: Fort McCoy
Commanders at the O-6 level — or the civilian equivalent — must confirm individual participation for service members still serving by verifying orders, evaluations and other official documentation, according to the directive.
Service members who have since retired or were honorably discharged can ask to be considered for the AFSM by mailing their request to Navy Personnel Command in Millington, Tennessee.
Zamone “Z” Perez is a rapid response reporter and podcast producer at Defense News and Military Times. He previously worked at Foreign Policy and Ufahamu Africa. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, where he researched international ethics and atrocity prevention in his thesis. He can be found on Twitter @zamoneperez.