North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal with Clasp ‘ISAF’
Officially known as the ‘NON-ARTICLE 5 NATO MEDAL FOR SERVICE ON NATO-LED ISAF OPERATIONS’.
In order for Australian personnel to officially accept and wear a foreign award, such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) medal, a formal offer needs to be made to the Australian Government by the country or international organisation wishing to confer the award.
In 2007, the Commander International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) General Dan K McNeill, offered the NATO ISAF to the Australian Government. The Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston announced that the NATO ISAF had been formally accepted for wear by Australian Defence Force (ADF) members for their service in Afghanistan in support of the ISAF. Defence civilians working with ISAF are also eligible for the award.
The medal is awarded for participation in NATO-led operations conducted in Afghanistan. ADF members must complete 30 continuous days (or sorties) within a single tour while force assigned to Operation SLIPPER and serving in the NATO Area of Operations (AOO) commencing on or after 28 July 2006. From 1 January 2011, personnel can accumulate their service, but must complete 60 days (or sorties) within a two year period.
Aircrew will accumulate 1 day of service for the first sortie flown of any day in the designated AOO. Additional sorties flown on the same day will receive no further credit. This requirement exists for support as well as combat aircraft.
The medal will not be awarded to any member convicted of serious misconduct or crimes during their period of service within the AOO.
The qualifying period is not required in the event of death in action, missing presumed killed in action or evacuation from the operational area in the event of injury while on duty within the AOO.
The medal is supplied by NATO for presentation to eligible personnel. It is not inscribed with an individual’s service details and it does not come with a miniature.
Personnel deploying from 1 January 2011 who are eligible to receive the ISAF clasp will also receive a small clasp to be worn on the ribbon bar.
NATO has amended the qualifying criteria for the medal to include the awarding of multiple-tour indicators (MTI) for members returning to the same NATO operation or activity commencing after 1 January 2011. There must be a break of at least 180 days between deployments before an indicator can be awarded.
Example of ribbon bar issued from 1 January 2011.