• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

Afghan Medals Process (merged)

frank1515

Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
old fart said:
Had the Coy Clerk check mine for the year I spent in 2008/9...I was level 5 (I presume Risk) and 4 (Hardship), I was told 5 and 4.... personally I was all over the country....so all looks well....although I have yet to see the print-out myself.

Not sure who called Kabul area benign....total bullshit...try telling that to the folks that died there....anything but benign.

IAW CEFCOM J1 Hardship and Risk Matrix @ http://cefcom.mil.ca/sites/page-eng.asp?page=7470 (Intranet, DWAN only)

Risk is 4 and Hardship is 5 for Op Athena FOBs, TSE NSE, BG, PRT and OMLT.

Camp Souter (Kabul) and ISAF HQ is Risk of 4 and Hardship of 4. (Subject to change, of course)

Edited for mistakes.
 

The Bread Guy

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
358
Points
1,130
Bump of an old thread to share this - the process for at least some of the more recent awards/medals (from the CEFCOM Info-Machine):
November brings Remembrance Day — a good time for an inside look at how Canadian Forces members are nominated and selected for honours and awards ranging from commendations to decorations for valour and meritorious service.

When a soldier, sailor, airman, airwoman or civilian is nominated for an honour or award either while deployed on an international operation or while working at CEFCOM Headquarters in support of international operations, the Honours and Awards Section at Canadian Expeditionary Force Command (CEFCOM) Headquarters is responsible for shepherding the file through a complex process.

Since its stand-up in 2006, CEFCOM Headquarters has processed more than 2,000 awards to individuals who represent the finest the Canadian Forces and Canada have to offer. A great deal of time and skill is invested in the effort to ensure that recipients of honours and awards are given the recognition they deserve in a timely fashion.

The work of the Honours and Awards staff is not limited to gathering signatures and tracking down missing documents. They provide historical context and statistical analysis, they champion the nominee, and they argue for the highest possible level of recognition. For new missions, they also help identify the appropriate campaign medal. Ultimately, the section’s task is to help decision-makers make informed choices.

Members of the Honours and Awards Section even go overseas on technical assistance visits to help the headquarters staff of deployed task forces process nominations. In July 2011, production manager Sergeant Norm May spent 30 days at the headquarters of Joint Task Force Afghanistan at the end of Rotation 10 of Operation ATHENA — the last combat rotation — at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan.

“I sent Sergeant May to Afghanistan to help with the honours and awards process any way he could,” said section head Major Rick Champagne. “The J1 (Personnel) staff over there had a pretty good idea of our process but it’s always good to send someone who can answer questions immediately and provide extra processing power.”

Whether the award is for valour in the face of the enemy or outstanding performance throughout an entire tour, the process begins with someone, somewhere, who witnessed something extraordinary.

On 2 June 2008, soldiers of the Canadian Operational Mentor and Liaison Team (OMLT) deployed on Rotation 5 of Operation ATHENA were conducting an operation in Zhari District with the Afghan National Army unit to which they were assigned. When one member of the team accidentally triggered an improvised explosive device, insurgents lying in wait nearby ambushed them with rocket-propelled grenades and machine-guns.

Thanks to their skill, experience and sheer courage, every member of that OMLT group and the Afghan unit survived — even the soldier who tripped the IED, who applied a tourniquet to his own leg while a medical technician ran to his side through a hail of bullets. The OMLT members and their Afghan comrades fought off the insurgents, cared for their wounded, and ensured the site harboured no more IEDs.

After this event, several “someones” took action to ensure that meritorious acts received appropriate recognition. The chain of command received 11 nominations that eventually led to two awards of the Medal of Military Valour, one award of the Meritorious Service Cross, two awards of the Meritorious Service Medal, three Mentions in Dispatches, one Chief of the Defence Staff Commendation, and two Commander CEFCOM Commendations.

When the Commander of Joint Task Force Afghanistan approved all 11 nominations, his staff forwarded them from Kandahar Airfield to CEFCOM Headquarters for review by the Honours and Awards Committee. This internal CEFCOM committee is chaired by the CEFCOM Deputy Commander and made up of senior leaders representing all three environmental commands and a wide variety of military occupations.

After detailed evaluation and discussion of each file, the committee members agreed that all 11 nominations justified an award. Then they voted on the level of award for each nomination, thus launching the process known in the Honours and Awards Section as “production.”

For the Commander CEFCOM Commendations, the entire process took place within the headquarters. A citation was written for each award, using the information provided in the original nomination. The award certificates — called “scrolls” although they are framed, not rolled — were printed, and the insignia were obtained. By December 2008, all the staff work was done: the Commander CEFCOM approved and signed the scrolls, the recipients were notified and arrangements were made for a formal presentation in early 2009.

The Commander insists on personally presenting his commendations whenever possible. On occasions when duty takes him elsewhere, a senior officer in the recipient’s chain of command makes the presentation. Field engineers Private Robert A. Driver and Master Corporal Edward T. Vandenberghe each received the Commendation of Lieutenant-General Marc Lessard, Commander of CEFCOM, in recognition of their actions on 2 June 2008.

All the other awards arising from the action of 2 June 2008 would be presented by higher authorities in the Canadian Forces chain of command. Consequently, those nominations were forwarded to the Directorate of Honours and Recognition (DH&R) at National Defence Headquarters.

DH&R sent the single nomination for the Chief of the Defence Staff Commendation and the three nominations for Mentions in Dispatches directly to the office of General Walt Natynczyk, who assumed the duties of CDS from Gen Rick Hillier in July 2008. The nominations for the Medal of Military Valour, the Meritorious Service Cross and the Meritorious Service Medal went to the Canadian Forces Decorations Advisory Committee for another, even more detailed, round of evaluation and discussion.

When all the nominations were reviewed and approved, arrangements were made for final approval and presentation.

For the CDS Commendation and the Mentions in Dispatches, Gen Natynczyk was the final authority. Like the Commander CEFCOM, the CDS makes his presentations in person whenever possible, delegating this responsibility only when duty calls him away.

On 6 January 2010, Gen Natynczyk presented framed copies of their Mention in Dispatches citations to Warrant Officer Jason Pickard and Sergeant Steven Corcoran of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, and medical technician Private Jason Toole. The CDS Commendation went to Pte Jonathan Miller-Jury of The Royal Regina Rifles, an Army Reserve unit in Saskatchewan.

Because the Medal of Military Valour, the Meritorious Service Cross and the Meritorious Service Medal are national-level awards, those nominations were referred to the Governor General, at that time Madame Michaëlle Jean, for her approval. The formal presentation of decorations, called an “investiture,” is normally done twice a year, in the spring and fall, at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.

At the investiture held on 13 November 2009, Her Excellency presented the Medal of Military Valour to medical technicians Sgt Martin Côté and Master Corporal Brent Gallant; the Meritorious Service Cross to Master Warrant Officer Rod Dearing of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry; and the Meritorious Service Medal to Cpl Jacob Petten and Cpl John Prior, also of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.

Beginning in 2006 with the award of the first ever Star of Military Valour to Sgt Patrick Tower, the combat mission in Afghanistan produced more nominations for valour decorations and other high-profile military awards than Canada had seen since the Korean War. Operation ATHENA is ending, but CF members continue to tackle tough, dangerous jobs — sometimes in the presence of the enemy — with courage, determination and flair. Consequently, the work of the Honours and Awards Section also goes on, with new nominations from task forces deployed on missions around the globe.

From the individual on the ground who writes the original nomination and the task force commander who approves and sends that nomination to CEFCOM Headquarters, to the review committees at CEFCOM and NDHQ and the production staff at the Department of National Defence and Rideau Hall, each award — whether a decoration, a Mention in Dispatches or a commendation — is the product of much labour and thought. The Honours and Awards Section estimates that it takes about 18 working hours to get just one nomination through CEFCOM Headquarters alone.

The honours and awards process is complicated and occasionally cumbersome, but the members of the Honours and Awards Section are on the job to keep it on track and get results. A medal or a commendation is small recompense for some of the actions Canadian Forces members must take to achieve their mission, so they do their best to ensure that these forms of recognition are given sincerely, and as quickly as possible.
 

Hurricane

Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
My apologies for reviving an old thread. Just wondering if anyone can confirm what the Risk and Hardship levels are for the various camps, or are they all the same? If the same, could someone confirm if they are 4 and 4?
 

Mainz

New Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
I am on the ground here now in Kabul. I have received the GCS-SWA. It might not be Kandahar, but those of us deployed here know it is not without risk.
 

fireman1867

New Member
Reaction score
0
Points
110
Speaking to the Risk Allowance questions, we are currently 4 and 4. However, the board sat in early October and decided to downgrade to 3 and 3. Since that an extraordinary meeting was convened to reasses this decission. So as of right now us folks here on OP Attention are getting 4 but we have been told that the new decision will be retroactive to our start date. Suffice to say not a great situation! This also effects the CIVPOL folks here from DFAIT. To put this into perspective and this is what I've been told from the RCMP guys, Haiti gets 4 and 4 so they are up in arms about this.
 

vonGarvin

Army.ca Legend
Subscriber
Reaction score
19
Points
430
Mainz said:
I am on the ground here now in Kabul. I have received the GCS-SWA. It might not be Kandahar, but those of us deployed here know it is not without risk.
Just as I earned my GCS-SWA initially for service in Kabul in 2003.  I still wonder why people would think it would be anything else but.
 
J

jollyjacktar

Guest
Technoviking said:
Just as I earned my GCS-SWA initially for service in Kabul in 2003.  I still wonder why people would think it would be anything else but.

Indeed.  Everywhere there is risky.  I have no quibble about anyone in the sandbox with one.  I do however, disagree with the Navy now issuing this for Gulf tours as the SWASM is gone.  The Gulf is not the sandbox.  Period.  Call me a dick measuring snob, but I earned my star and bar on the ground, not the ocean.
 

vonGarvin

Army.ca Legend
Subscriber
Reaction score
19
Points
430
jollyjacktar said:
Indeed.  Everywhere there is risky.  I have no quibble about anyone in the sandbox with one.  I do however, disagree with the Navy now issuing this for Gulf tours as the SWASM is gone.  The Gulf is not the sandbox.  Period.  Call me a dick measuring snob, but I earned my star and bar on the ground, not the ocean.
Does it meet the criteria of "in the presence of an armed enemy"?  I don't know.  (And I'm not trolling, I haven't a clue about navy operations in the Gulf)
 

Hurricane

Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
fireman1867 said:
Speaking to the Risk Allowance questions, we are currently 4 and 4. However, the board sat in early October and decided to downgrade to 3 and 3. Since that an extraordinary meeting was convened to re-asses this decision. So as of right now us folks here on OP Attention are getting 4 but we have been told that the new decision will be retroactive to our start date.

So, they will be downgrading it t 3 and 3 but they had another meeting to re-asses that decision? So its possible they could go back to 4 and 4 if I understand that correctly? Another question, not to pry into others financial but can anyone comment on what the 3 and 3 would amount to for someone going on their first tour?
 

PuckChaser

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Mentor
Reaction score
652
Points
1,060
Hurricane said:
My apologies for reviving an old thread. Just wondering if anyone can confirm what the Risk and Hardship levels are for the various camps, or are they all the same? If the same, could someone confirm if they are 4 and 4?

Just got reassessed, its 4 and 4.
 
J

jollyjacktar

Guest
Technoviking said:
Does it meet the criteria of "in the presence of an armed enemy"?  I don't know.  (And I'm not trolling, I haven't a clue about navy operations in the Gulf)

I don't know, I have always been a bridesmaid never a bride for a Gulf trip (and that was when the SWASM was still being issued).  But what they have been issuing for the crews here from what I have seen is the GCS with SWA ribbon as of late.
 

Hurricane

Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
So not meaning to throw a wrench into things, but our CO just informed us in a briefing that the Medal would be the GSM. Is something that is new for ROTO 1?
 

PuckChaser

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Mentor
Reaction score
652
Points
1,060
Was that something your CO got from the Tac Recce? Haven't heard anything about it in my sub-unit.
 

Hurricane

Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
My apologies PuckChaser, I forgot to specify which CO. It was my home unit CO, not the Task Force CO. I don't believe anyone asked the Task Force CO during his brief.
 

vonGarvin

Army.ca Legend
Subscriber
Reaction score
19
Points
430
Hurricane said:
So not meaning to throw a wrench into things, but our CO just informed us in a briefing that the Medal would be the GSM. Is something that is new for ROTO 1?
Of course, your CO knows the criteria for the GSM, right?
The General Service Medal (GSM) is awarded to members of the CF and members of allied forces serving with the CF who deploy outside of Canada - but not necessarily into a theatre of operations - to provide direct support, on a full-time basis, to operations in the presence of an armed enemy.

The GCS, on the other hand:
The General Campaign Star (GCS) is awarded to members of the Canadian Forces and members of allied forces working with the Canadian Forces who deploy into a defined theatre of operations to take part in operations in the presence of an armed enemy.

Note that it doesn't say "...take part in operations against an armed enemy".  I deployed to Kabul in 03 (May to August).  I never fired my weapon once in anger.  I heard one hostile explosion my whole time there (though there were more, but just one within earshot of me personally).  And Op Attention does, as far as I can tell, meet the same criteria as the GCS. 

In the absence of any substantive direction otherwise:
:2c:

Edit to add:

The following is specific to the GCS SWA:
in the theatre of operations consisting of the political boundaries of Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman, the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea, the Suez Canal and those parts of the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea that are west of sixty-eight degrees East longitude and north of five degrees South latitude, as well as the airspace above those areas for at least 30 cumulative days commencing on August 1, 2009, provided that the service has not been recognized by another service medal.

 

Halifax Tar

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
502
Points
910
Afghanistan vets slam Canada’s military over failure to award service medal

https://globalnews.ca/news/3760685/afghanistan-vets-slam-canadas-military-failure-award-service-medal/

Canadian soldiers who served in Afghanistan were supposed to receive service medals for their part in combatting terrorism.

But more than four years after the mission ended, that promise still hasn’t been honoured.

The medal is the South-West Asia Service Medal (SWASM), awarded to those who serve 90 days in direct support of operations against terrorism in Southwest Asia from Sept. 11, 2001 to July 31, 2009.

More on link above.
 

Journeyman

Army.ca Legend
Subscriber
Reaction score
565
Points
940
Excellent.  ::)

Rather than sort out veterans' financial and health problems, the government is handed a golden opportunity to do what it does best -- focus on mindless photo ops while accomplishing virtually nothing.

A few thousand dollars can be spent ramping-up SWASM production, lots of politicians can get pictures taken shaking hands, and the government will repeatedly proclaim: "See? We support the vets; they asked for medals so we gave them more bling -- they must be perfectly content now!"

I'm actually surprised that those pushing for the gratuitous SWASM haven't mentioned the precedent of awarding the meaningless Peacekeeping medal... for having already received a peacekeeping deployment medal.


Way to focus on what's important, self-proclaimed veterans' talking heads.  :brickwall:
 

medicineman

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
260
Points
880
Funnily enough JM, the clown in the article has a CPSM along with his SFOR/IFOR NATO gong.  Someone did bring the CPSM up in the comments section about dual recognition.

So my real questions to this guy is this: Why is it your life's mission to inflate your already swollen head over something you're likely not entitled to?  If you did the time with OEF, so be it, you should get the gong; however, if you didn't, what makes you think you (or anyone else for that matter) should have another?  Do you wander around with your gongs on all the time hoping people will talk to you about them?  Does your GCS talk to you, saying it's lonely?  If you answer yes to either or both of the latter, you don't need a gong - you need therapy and meds...and to worry about something more important in life from our current excuse for a government.

MM
 

ModlrMike

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
567
Points
960
The petitioner is quite wrong here. I was on the last OEF roto, and it was made quite clear to us that we would not qualify for the GCS. Likewise, it was no secret that the follow on missions would not qualify for the SWASM.
 

McG

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
299
Points
880
Halifax Tar said:
Afghanistan vets slam Canada’s military over failure to award service medal

https://globalnews.ca/news/3760685/afghanistan-vets-slam-canadas-military-failure-award-service-medal/

Canadian soldiers who served in Afghanistan were supposed to receive service medals for their part in combatting terrorism.

But more than four years after the mission ended, that promise still hasn’t been honoured.

The medal is the South-West Asia Service Medal (SWASM), awarded to those who serve 90 days in direct support of operations against terrorism in Southwest Asia from Sept. 11, 2001 to July 31, 2009.

More on link above.
The facts are all wrong.  At any given point in time, personnel earned credit toward either the SWASM or the GCS but never simultaneously to both.  There were several missions in Afghanistan, and each one earned recognition for one medal or the other.  There are a few cases (specifically in 2005 & 2006) were personnel transitioned from one mission to another mission during a single deployment and so earned two medals, but credit toward a rotation bar would have been reduced as compared to somebody who spent a full deployment on a GCS mission.

If the government retroactively awards a SWASM with Afghanistan bar to every individual who deployed in country that, then it will also owe a GCS, additional GCS rotation bars, or both to personnel who deployed on SWASM missions.

This proposal is ignorant and nonsensical. 
 
Top