Annex N – General Campaign Star and General Service Medal (GCS and GSM)

Introduction

  1. These general service awards were created in 2004 to recognize those who serve in operations in the presence of an armed enemy (Star) as well as those who serve in direct support to those operations from an approved location outside the theatre (Medal).
  2. The Star, the Medal, and the Rotation Bars shall be awarded for honourable service in accordance with Chapter 1.

Qualifying dates and theatre boundaries

  1. The General Campaign Star (GCS) and General Service Medal (GSM) recognize a specific number of eligible service (5 sorties for the General Campaign Star - Allied Force (GCS-AF)) provided that the service has not been recognized by another service medal.
  2. The GCS and GSM are always issued with a ribbon specific to the theatre or type of service being recognized, and each ribbon has its own criteria (refer to Annex N, Appendixes 2 to 7).
  3. The start dates and theatre boundaries are outlined in the Orders in Council (OIC) establishing each ribbon respectively (refer to Annex N, Appendixes 2 to 7).
  4. For eligibility lists, refer to Annex N, Appendix 8.
  5. The time criteria for the GCS and GSM is amended as follows from the respective effective date indicated. All time is cumulative:
Medal&Ribbon Former Criteria New Criteria Effective Date
GCS-South-West Asia 30 days 14 days 13 March 2014
GCS-Expedition 30 days 14 days 5 October 2014
GSM-South-West Asia 30 days 14 (civilians in GCS theatre) or 21 days (military and civilians out of theatre) 13 March 2014
GSM-Expedition 30 days 14 (civilians in GCS theatre) or 21 days (military and civilians out of theatre) 5 October 2014

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Eligible personnel

  1. The GCS is awarded to members of the CF and members of allied forces working with the CF who deploy into a defined theatre of operations to take part in operations in the presence of an armed enemy.
  2. The 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.
  3. The GSM may also be awarded, depending on the operation, to Canadian citizens other than members of the CF, who are deployed outside Canada, either inside or outside a theatre of operations and working with the CF to provide direct support, on a full-time basis, to operations in the presence of an armed enemy.
  4. Any person who dies or is evacuated because of injuries or medical reasons directly attributable to service is deemed to have satisfied the time criteria set out above. Any recipient of the Star or Medal who dies or is evacuated because of injuries or medical reasons directly attributable to service shall be credited the entire period the person would have served should the person have completed their tour of duty for the purpose of calculating eligibility towards Rotation Bars.

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Bar(s)

  1. Initially, both medals were issued with only one ribbon each together with a bar specifying the operation being recognized. Two bars were created, namely the ALLIED FORCE and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) - Force internationale d'assistance à la sécurité (FIAS).
  2. In 2009, the GCS and GSM were modified so that the existing bars were abolished and replaced with theatre or service-specific ribbons. This allowed for the use of bars to recognize multiple rotations where appropriate (refer to paragraph 15 to paragraph 17, and to Chapters 1 and 4).
  3. Recipients of the original GCS and GSM with ALLIED FORCE bar must have their medal remounted without the bar and using the new ALLIED FORCE ribbon. The ALLIED FORCE bars shall be returned to DH&R.
  4. Recipients of the original GCS and GSM with ISAF+FIAS bar continue to use the same ribbon. The ISAF+FIAS bar shall be removed and returned to DH&R.

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Rotation bars

  1. Rotation Bars are awarded after a total of 210 eligible days, including the days taken into account for the medal itself. Each subsequent Bar recognizes a further 180 days of eligible service following qualification for the last Rotation Bar the person has earned.
  2. When a person meets the criteria for both the GCS or its rotation bar and the GSM or its rotation bar in respect of the same type of service or in the same geographic area within a period of 180 days, the person shall only be awarded the GCS or its rotation bar unquote. The aim of this rule is to ensure that individuals will not receive more than one award within a 6 month period. In light of new patterns of deployments, a person who credit time towards both the GCS and GSM with the same theatre ribbon (e.g. South-West Asia or Expedition) the GSM, or bar to the GSM, may only be awarded to an eligible person who is in an eligible location 180 days or more either before or after the day they qualified for the GCS or their latest bar to the GCS.

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Engraving

  1. The Star is engraved on the reverse (according to Chapters 1 and 4).
  2. The Medal is engraved on the edge (according to Chapters 1 and 4).

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