Updated: 21 November, 2009

Canada

Sacrifice Medal
Canada Sacrifice Medal
  • Public outcry brings review of criteria for Sacrifice Medal An outcry from former peacekeepers and families of slain soldiers has prompted Canada's Defence Department to review the eligibility rules for the newly created Sacrifice Medal. A ceremony to honour the first recipients has been postponed from its scheduled date of Nov. 14 while the review takes place, Governor-General Michaëlle Jean said in a recent letter to the premier of Saskatchewan. The decision to review the criteria comes after a public backlash on behalf of those soldiers who were excluded: peacekeepers from the pre-2001 era and families of soldiers killed accidentally in Afghanistan. “Her letter just simply said that this matter is now being reviewed by those who make recommendations about criteria for medals like this,” Premier Brad Wall said Wednesday in Regina. “Maybe we can even read some sort of positive news behind the news today that they are reviewing it in the case of Jeffrey Walsh.” Mr. Wall, who complained to the vice-regal about the criteria and the exclusion of Master Corporal Jeffrey Walsh, said it wasn't his intention to delay the awarding of the honour. Mr. Walsh's father said he was pleased to hear a review had been undertaken. “I hope they take their time, this time, and do this properly,” said Ben Walsh, whose son died in an accidental shooting on a road 20 kilometres outside of Kandahar City in August, 2006. The medal, introduced on Aug. 29, goes to soldiers killed or wounded in combat and is intended to replace the army's understated tradition of stitching wound stripes into uniforms. At least 11 soldiers killed in Afghanistan are not eligible for the new medal because their death did not occur as a result of hostile fire or from a bomb. Also at issue: the cutoff date of Oct. 7, 2001, which was the official beginning of Canada's involvement in the Afghan war.That means soldiers who were wounded and killed in the Second World War, the Korean conflict and in dozens of peacekeeping missions around the world would not qualify for the recognition. In 40 years of peacekeeping missions, roughly 115 Canadian soldiers were killed and hundreds of others wounded, many of them by hostile fire. Fred Doucette, a retired infantry captain wounded in Sarajevo, said the criteria should have been given more thought by the Defence Department before being submitted to the Governor-General for approval. “Whoever sat down at the table and figured this out really didn't look at the whole aspect of this,” Mr. Doucette said in a cellphone interview while handing out Remembrance Day poppies in Fredericton. At a minimum, he said, the eligibility date should be reset to the beginning of the Korean War in June, 1950. When the controversy erupted in the middle of the federal election campaign, Defence Minister Peter MacKay asked the department to show flexibility when interpreting the medal's criteria. theglobeandmail.com 5 Nov 08
  • Sacrifice Medal to recognize all service-related deaths The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, today announced new criteria for the Sacrifice Medal. First announced in August 2008 by the Governor General as a formal recognition to those who are killed or wounded by hostile action, the eligibility criteria have been expanded to recognize all service-related deaths. This change will ensure that all service-related deaths after October 7, 2001, are recognized and treated equitably. The criteria remain unchanged for those wounded as a direct result of hostile action requiring recorded treatment by a medical officer. Members of an allied force working as an integral part of the Canadian Forces (CF), such as exchange personnel, and civilian employees working under the authority of the CF will continue to receive the medal as per the previous criteria. This aspect of the Medal therefore remains linked with the old Wound Stripe which it replaced. The eligibility date and the design of the medal remain unchanged. The inaugural presentation of the Sacrifice Medal is planned at Rideau Hall later this year. Details regarding the new eligibility criteria of the Sacrifice Medal.  forces.gc.ca 19 Oct 09
  • Canada's Medal Glut In August last year, Canada announced it was instituting a medal for those killed or wounded in action, to be called the Sacrifice Medal. To some, this seemed a crass imitation of the Purple Heart, which the U.S. gives to those killed or wounded due to enemy action. Recipients are often described as having “won” the Purple Heart, when actually simply being wounded entitles one to the medal. In WWII and Korea, Canadians and Brits were inclined to make fun of the Purple Heart; they considered it more commendable to be in action and not get wounded. If wounded, Canadians and British forces were entitled to wear a gold stripe on their battle dress sleeve. It was optional. No big deal. Today, the Sacrifice Medal is a very big deal, and brings the total number of “new” medals authorized by Canada since the end of WWII to around 115 – and counting. Despite the fact that WWII and Korea vets were uneasy with the idea of awarding medals for being wounded, Defence Minister Peter MacKay has eased the terms by which the medal will be given. The Sacrifice Medal has been “expanded to recognize all service related deaths after Oct. 7, 2001,” says a Department of National Defence release. In other words, any soldier on duty who dies or is injured gets the medal. This is more generous than the Purple Heart, which implies a serious wound by the enemy, even though Sen. John Kerry, (Democratic Presidential candidate in 2004), got three Purple Hearts (one requiring a band-aid) which entitled him to leave Vietnam early. Why on earth are we calling it the “Sacrifice Medal?” That’s not very soldierly, and suggests passively offering oneself without fighting back. Soldiers don’t think of themselves, or their role, as “sacrificing.” They do their duty, take their choices, are prepared to fight, even to be killed, but usually don’t consciously view it as “sacrificing.” That’s a civilian term to make their loss more acceptable. In past wars, Canadians tended to place greater emphasis on not getting wounded, and forcing the enemy to die for their country. Even though we seem to be emulating an American military custom, we also seem intent on diluting the award. Under revised qualifications, the Sacrifice Medal can be awarded to someone killed or injured in an accident while traveling on duty. A civilian is entitled to it if he or she is injured while working for the military. Being harshly treated while a prisoner entitles one to the medal, as does a mental disorder brought on by hostile action. Even being “exposed to the elements” (bad weather?) can qualify. When the Sacrifice Medal was first proposed, the likes of Cliff Chadderton, Chairman of the National Council of Veteran Associations (56 organizations) was uneasy. Why now, and not when we were in the big war, where those killed got nothing? Is life more precious today? How about the 100-plus Canadians who died during 30-plus years of UN peacekeeping in the Middle East, Congo, Cyprus, the Balkans and elsewhere? Don’t they rate? Presumably not. This medal is awarded for injuries sustained on or after October 7, 2001 - following President George Bush’s declaration of the War on Terror which Canada endorsed. Anyway get used to it. The Sacrifice Medal joins the expanding mosaic of colorful medals and ribbons, issued by Canada. newmajority.com 21 Oct 09

Gulf and Kuwait Medal

Canadian Somalia Medal

Southwest Asia Service Medal

Afghanistan - ISAF

General Campaign Star and General Service Medal

European Security and Defence Policy Service Medal 

Special Service Medal

ETHIOPIA (Feb 85). Medical teams and relief supplies for famine relief.
MEXICO (20-24 Sep 85). Earthquake assistance.
COLUMBIA (Nov 85). Relief supplies following severe mudslide.
ETHIOPIA (3 Jun - 7 Sep 88). Famine relief.
ARMENIA (11 - 22 Dec 88). Relief supplies in very poor flying conditions.
JAMAICA (12 Sep - Oct 88). Relief supplies and emergency construction.
MONTSERRAT AND NEVIS (22 Sep - 31 Oct 89). Relief supplies, medical assistance and construction.
TURKEY AND IRAQ (Mar - May 91). Post-Gulf War medical and supply assistance to Kurds. See also Appendix 3, para 37 & 38.
ETHIOPIA (Aug - 15 Dec 91). Famine relief.
COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDANT STATES (EX-USSR) (Jan - May 92). Humanitarian assistance.
FLORIDA (Sep 92). Humanitarian relief in southern Florida following an hurricane.
BAHAMAS (Oct 92). Humanitarian relief following an hurricane.
RWANDA (Jul - Oct 94). Humanitarian relief to refugees by members of 2 Field Ambulance Group (Operation PASSAGE). See also Appendix 3, para 49 and 50.

Operation ASSURANCE will be added to the list of criteria for this bar. (Ref: CANFORGEN 116/98 ADM(HR MIL) 073/98 021440Z DEC 98).

The Joint Task Force Central America will be added to the list of criteria for this Bar. 30 Days service in theatre are required for this Bar. (Ref: CANFORGEN 122/98 ADM(HR-MIL)076/98 091430Z DEC 98)

(a)     determines that an aggregate of four years of honourable service as a Canadian Ranger, performing the duties of providing a military presence in support of Canadian Sovereignty including reporting unusual activities, collecting local data of significance to support military operations, providing local expertise, assistance and advice, as guide and advisor, in search and rescue activities, and completion of a minimum of three Ranger Patrol Exercises, within Canada or its territorial and contiguous waters since 1947, is special service that merits recognition; and

(b)     specifies that the Bar awarded with the Special Service Medal, representing the special service referred to in paragraph (a), shall bear the word “RANGER”. (Ref: Canada Gazette Part II, Vol. 133, No. 21 – P.C. 1999-1742 1 October, 1999)  

·         Eligibility for Orders Decorations and Medals – Special Service Medal (SSM) and Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal (CPSM): - There is evidence that the regulations regarding the award of orders, decorations and medals are not clearly understood resulting in an increase in staff work at all levels and false submissions. The purpose of this instruction is to provide guidance to senior Commanders, commanding officers and other personnel responsible for implementing the Canadian Forces honours system to consistently apply eligibility criteria for subject medals. The criteria for award of the Special Service Medal (SSM) are outlined in regulations. The criteria for award of the Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal (CPSM) are as follows:

o        A member must deploy outside Canada for a minimum of 30 days (not necessarily consecutive) either on the strength of a Canadian Forces unit sent on a United Nations or International Peacekeeping or Observer Mission or those who directly support such missions

o        Be a Canadian citizen at the time the peacekeeping duty was performed

o        Not bring discredit on the force or be convicted of a serious offence under the National Defence Act (NDA) while deployed

o        A civilian who serves at the initiative, by the nomination or the agreement of the government of Canada and directly supports the operation might be eligible

o        A member who has been awarded the SSM with Peace Bar automatically qualifies for the CPSM

o        Participated on an approved/recognized operation or mission included on the CPSM mission eligibility list

o        A member who dies or is repatriated for service related medical reasons while taking part in the mission might be eligible

o        Arrival and departure days in a special duty area for the CPSM count as full days

o        As a general principle, medals are awarded by the government of Canada, including the SSM and the CPSM, to members of the Canadian Forces for service on International operations. Service on international operations is credited only when that service was in direct support of the operation. A visitor to an operational area to conduct national business does not constitute direct support to the operation.

As a guide to determining eligibility for credit towards the award of the SSM or CPSM, the following additional statements will help determine if the member’s duty was in direct support of an operation:

o        Direct support was provided by virtue of the member being attach posted or attached posted (temporary). The minimum period for such administrative action is 14 days

o        Direct support was provided, for periods less than 14 days on Temporary Duty (TD), when an operational task was issued (not a visit clearance) for the provision of  support to a mission

o        Direct support to the operation is not deemed to have been provided for the conduct of national business such as staff inspection visits (SIV) financial audits, command inspections, courts martial, human resource related briefings/studies, academic, chaplain and social worker liaison visits and for personnel who implement CF-wide equipment modification programs

o        Deployed aircrew will accumulate one day s service towards the SSM and the CPSM for each day of duty in the mission area providing that the purpose of the flight was in direct support of the operation and not administrative in nature. For example a CC-130 Hercules aircraft assigned to deploy CF personnel and equipment into a mission area would be eligible while an aircraft transporting personnel for visits or ineligible activities would not be eligible. Transit time to and from Canada is not eligible service

o        Deployed ships will accumulate one day s service towards the SSM and CPSM for the period the ship operated under NATO or international command or in direct support of a peace support operation in the area of operation. Transit time to and from Canada shall not be counted as qualifying time. Port visits outside the area of operation designated in the OPO do not qualify

In certain exceptional circumstances personnel deployed to a special duty area by the national authority for a brief duration might qualify for recognition for a Canadian award if in the opinion of the in-theatre commander they were in direct support of the operation. Direct support includes those functions which provide a substantive contribution to the conduct of the mission. To be eligible for recognition the claimant’s personal records must clearly demonstrate that a superior commander recognized the member’ s service to the operation. (Ref: Edited version of CANFORGEN 050/01 ADMHR(Mil) 025 17153Z May 01)

Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal

o        A member must deploy outside Canada for a minimum of 30 days (not necessarily consecutive) either on the strength of a Canadian Forces unit sent on a United Nations or International Peacekeeping or Observer Mission or those who directly support such missions

o        Be a Canadian citizen at the time the peacekeeping duty was performed

o        Not bring discredit on the force or be convicted of a serious offence under the National Defence Act (NDA) while deployed

o        A civilian who serves at the initiative, by the nomination or the agreement of the government of Canada and directly supports the operation might be eligible

o        A member who has been awarded the SSM with Peace Bar automatically qualifies for the CPSM

o        Participated on an approved/recognized operation or mission included on the CPSM mission eligibility list

o        A member who dies or is repatriated for service related medical reasons while taking part in the mission might be eligible

o        Arrival and departure days in a special duty area for the CPSM count as full days

o        As a general principle, medals are awarded by the government of Canada, including the SSM and the CPSM, to members of the Canadian Forces for service on International operations. Service on international operations is credited only when that service was in direct support of the operation. A visitor to an operational area to conduct national business does not constitute direct support to the operation.

As a guide to determining eligibility for credit towards the award of the SSM or CPSM, the following additional statements will help determine if the member’s duty was in direct support of an operation:

o        Direct support was provided by virtue of the member being attach posted or attached posted (temporary). The minimum period for such administrative action is 14 days

o        Direct support was provided, for periods less than 14 days on Temporary Duty (TD), when an operational task was issued (not a visit clearance) for the provision of  support to a mission

o        Direct support to the operation is not deemed to have been provided for the conduct of national business such as staff inspection visits (SIV) financial audits, command inspections, courts martial, human resource related briefings/studies, academic, chaplain and social worker liaison visits and for personnel who implement CF-wide equipment modification programs

o        Deployed aircrew will accumulate one day s service towards the SSM and the CPSM for each day of duty in the mission area providing that the purpose of the flight was in direct support of the operation and not administrative in nature. For example a CC-130 Hercules aircraft assigned to deploy CF personnel and equipment into a mission area would be eligible while an aircraft transporting personnel for visits or ineligible activities would not be eligible. Transit time to and from Canada is not eligible service

o        Deployed ships will accumulate one day s service towards the SSM and CPSM for the period the ship operated under NATO or international command or in direct support of a peace support operation in the area of operation. Transit time to and from Canada shall not be counted as qualifying time. Port visits outside the area of operation designated in the OPO do not qualify

In certain exceptional circumstances personnel deployed to a special duty area by the national authority for a brief duration might qualify for recognition for a Canadian award if in the opinion of the in-theatre commander they were in direct support of the operation. Direct support includes those functions which provide a substantive contribution to the conduct of the mission. To be eligible for recognition the claimant’s personal records must clearly demonstrate that a superior commander recognized the member’ s service to the operation. (Ref: Edited version of CANFORGEN 050/01 ADMHR(Mil) 025 17153Z May 01)