American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON – The Defense Department has announced the transition of the Kosovo Campaign Medal to the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, effective Jan. 1.
In a Sept. 19 memorandum, Acting Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Jessica L. Wright stated that the Kosovo Campaign Medal recognized the significant contributions of U.S. military personnel in support of Operation Joint Guardian since 1999 as part of the NATO-led Kosovo Force.
“The contributions of U.S. military personnel have been integral to ending open hostilities and to reducing ethnic tensions, allowing for the dramatic reduction of force levels over the past decade,” Wright noted.
As smaller contingencies of U.S. forces continue to support Operation Joint Guardian and NATO headquarters in Sarajevo, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal will accordingly recognize that support of operations in the Balkans, the memo states.
The AFEM area of eligibility mirrors that of the KCM, Wright explained, with the addition of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Hungary. The eligible area also encompasses Serbian land and airspace including Vojvodina, Mon-
tenegro, Albania, Macedonia, and U.S. Naval vessels operating in the Adriatic Sea.
The Department of Defense Manual 1348.33, Volume 2, “Manual of Military Decorations and Awards” contains specific eligibility criteria.