Non-Article 5 NATO Medal for Service on NATO Operation SEA GUARDIAN

The official description, eligibility, criteria, and history of the Non-Article 5 NATO Medal for Service on NATO Operation SEA GUARDIAN.

Non-Article 5 NATO Medal for Service on NATO Operation SEA GUARDIAN

Non-Article 5 NATO Medal for Service on NATO Operation SEA GUARDIAN


At the NATO Warsaw Summit in July 2016, NATO announced the transformation of the ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR counter-terrorism mission in the Mediterranean to a broader maritime security operation. The new operation received the name Operation SEA GUARDIAN.

Operation SEA GUARDIAN is a non-article 5 maritime security operation aimed at working with Mediterranean stakeholders to maintain maritime situational awareness, deter and counter terrorism, and enhance capacity building.

Some of the tasks include: supporting to maritime situational awareness, upholding freedom of navigation, conducting interdiction tasks, maritime counter-terrorism, contributing to capacity building, countering proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and protecting critical infrastructure.

Eligibility and criteria

Awarded for 30 days continuous or 60 cumulative days service as part of an element of the Standing Naval Force (SNF) operating in the international waters of the Mediterranean Sea and in the air space above it commencing the 9 November 2016 and terminating at date to be determined.

Aircrew will accumulate one day’s service for the first sortie flown of any day in the Area of Operation; additional sorties flown on the same day receive no further credit. This requirement exists for support as well as combat aircraft, and support aircraft including tanker, airlift, and surveillance platforms.

NATO strictly applies their medals policy and will not consider requests for initial issue of NATO medals that are submitted more than two years after repatriation from mission area.

NATO Regulations state that any person who dies or is evacuated because of injuries of medical reasons directly attributable to service is deemed to have satisfied the time criteria.


The Medal is circular in form and made of bronze, and bearing:

  • On the obverse, the NATO star set in a wreath of olive leaves; and
  • On the reverse, the title "NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION" and the words "IN SERVICE OF PEACE AND FREEDOM" in English and French.

A 12mm bronze ring, which holds the ribbon, passes through a small hollow ball at the top of a claw joined to the top of the medal.
The ribbon is NATO-blue ribbon with two white stripes centred on the two outer thirds of the ribbon, with a silver stripe in the centre of each white stripe. The white represents peace and the silver signifies that the operation was ordered in accordance with another article than Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.


The medal is always issued with a bar inscribed "SEA GUARDIAN".


The medal shall be worn on the left breast, suspended from the ribbon described above, after the Non-Article 5 NATO Medal for Service on NATO Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR – LIBYA and before the International Commission for Supervision and Control Indo-China (ICSC) Medal.

The bar is worn centered on the ribbon.


The use of a post-nominal is not authorized for this medal.

Historical notes

The medal is accompanied by a certificate.

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