NATO Medal for Former Yugoslavia
On 14 December 1995 North Atlantic Council launched the largest military operation ever undertaken by the Alliance, Operation Joint Endeavour. Based on UN Security Council Resolution 1031, NATO was given the mandate to implement the military aspects of the Peace Agreement. A NATO-led multinational force, called the Implementation Force (IFOR), started its mission on 20 December 1995. IFOR was given a one-year mandate.
After the peaceful conduct of the September 1996 elections, IFOR successfully completed its mission of implementing the military annexes of the General Framework Agreement for Peace. However, it was clear that much remained to be accomplished on the civil side and that the political environment would continue to be potentially unstable and insecure. On 25-26 September, one week after the Bosnian elections NATO Defence Ministers concluded that the Alliance needed to re-assess how it might continue to provide support for the establishment of a secure environment after the end of IFOR's mandate in December. The role of IFOR (Operation Joint Endeavour) was to implement the peace. The role of SFOR (Operation Joint Guard / Operation Joint Forge) is to stabilise the peace. The difference between the tasks of IFOR and SFOR is reflected in their names.
12 December 1996, SFOR was authorised to implement the military aspects of the Peace Agreement as the legal successor to IFOR. Like IFOR, SFOR operates under Chapter VII of the UN Charter (peace enforcement).
This medal was replaced on 1 January 2003, by the Non-Article 5 NATO Medal for Operations in the Balkans.
The Medal is circular in form and made of bronze.
The medal is always issued with a bar, inscribed "FORMER YUGOSLAVIA" or "EX-YOUGOSLAVIE". The bar is worn centered on the ribbon.
Tour numerals are awarded:
- On completion on an additional 180 days service in the theatre of operations; or
- On completion on an additional 540 days service in the adjacent area.
On the obverse, the NATO star set in a wreath of olive leaves.
The reverse has the title "North Atlantic Treaty Organization" and the words "In the service of peace and freedom" in English and French.
The ribbon is dark blue the colour of NATO with two white strips on either end representing peace.
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 medal is not named.