Kosovo Campaign Medal

Last updated
Kosovo Campaign Medal
Kosovo Campaign Medal.png
TypeCampaign medal
Presented bythe U.S. Department of Defense
EligibilityMarch 24, 1999 December 31, 2013 [1]
StatusNot currently awarded
Established Executive Order 13154, May 3, 2000.
Amended by Executive Order 13286, February 28, 2003.
First awarded2000 (retroactive to March 24, 1999)
Last awarded2013

Streamer KC.PNG
Ribbon and streamer
Next (higher) Southwest Asia Service Medal [2]
Next (lower) Afghanistan Campaign Medal [2]
Related NATO Medal for Kosovo and the NATO Medal Non-Article 5 medal for the Balkans

The Kosovo Campaign Medal (KCM) is a military award of the United States Armed Forces established by Executive Order 13154 of President Bill Clinton on May 3, 2000. The medal recognizes military service performed in Kosovo from March 24, 1999 through December 31, 2013.


Effective dates

The following are authorized Kosovo Operations and task forces, with respective inclusive dates, eligible for the KCM: [3]

Operation(s) / Task ForceFromTo
ALLIED FORCE 24 March 199910 June 1999
NOBLE ANVIL 24 March 199920 June 1999
Task Force Saber31 March 19998 July 1999
Task Force Hunter1 April 19991 November 1999
SUSTAIN HOPE / SHINING HOPE 4 April 199910 July 1999
ALLIED HARBOUR 4 April 19991 September 1999
Task Force Hawk 5 April 199924 June 1999
JOINT GUARDIAN (note 1)11 June 199931 December 2013
Task Force Falcon11 June 199931 December 2013
Note 1: Effective January 1, 2014, award of the KCM for Operation JOINT
GUARDIAN transitioned to award of the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.

Kosovo Air Campaign

March 24, 1999 – June 10, 1999. The area of operations for this campaign included the total land area and air space of Yugoslavia (including Kosovo), Albania, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Greece, Bulgaria, Italy, and Slovenia; and the waters and air space of the Adriatic and Ionian Sea north of the 39th North Latitude. Note: Secretary of Defense William Cohen approved award of the Kosovo Campaign Medal to the following Navy vessels for participation in this campaign as an exception to the 30 consecutive day rule: "USS Norfolk; USS Miami, USS Boise; USS Albuquerque, USS Nicholson, USS Philippine Sea, USS Gonzalez, and USS Theodore Roosevelt

Kosovo Defense Campaign

June 11, 1999 – 31 December 2013. The area of operations includes the total land area and air space of Serbia (including Kosovo), Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, and the waters and air space of the Adriatic Sea within 12 nautical miles of the Montenegro, Albania, and Croatia coastlines south of 42 degrees and 52 minutes North Latitude.


Service members must be bona fide members of a unit participating in, or be engaged in direct support of, the operation for 30 consecutive days in the area of operations or for 60 non-consecutive days provided this support involves entering the area of operations or meets one of the following criteria:


Campaign phases and devices

Kosovo Campaign Medal campaign periods

DoD consolidated campaign periods for all services
Name of campaignStart dateEnd date
Kosovo Air Campaign [lower-alpha 1] 24 March 199910 June 1999
Kosovo Defense Campaign [lower-alpha 1] 11 June 199931 December 2013 [1]

Any one of the two campaigns


Both campaigns


Service stars are awarded for participation in either the Air Campaign or the Defense Campaign. Two service stars may be awarded provided that two separate tours, exceeding the 30/60 day requirement, were performed in both the Defense and Air Campaigns. The Kosovo Campaign Medal is always awarded with at least one service star. [5] The Fleet Marine Force combat operation insignia is also authorized for certain sailors.




In the center of a bronze medallion, two mountains with a pass between them rest in front of a fertile valley and atop a wreath composed of two stylized sheaves of wheat. Behind the mountains a rising sun, and superimposed over the sun's rays are the words, in two lines, KOSOVO CAMPAIGN. The stylized wreath of grain reflects the agricultural character of the area and its economy and symbolizes basic human rights while high-lighting the desire of all for peace, safety and prosperity. The rocky terrain, fertile valley, and mountain pass refer to the Dinartic Alps and the campaign's theater of operations. The sunrise denotes the dawning of a new age of unity and hope, the right to forge a future of freedom, progress, and harmony; thus fulfilling the goal of the Alliance.


In the center of a bronze medallion, the outline of a map of the Yugoslavian Province of Kosovo. Beneath the map is a three-pointed star. In a circle surrounding the map and star are the words IN DEFENSE OF HUMANITY. The outline of the Province of Kosovo denotes the area of conflict, and is combined with the NATO star, the highlighted cardinal points of the compass, signifying the Alliance participants who stabilized the region and provided massive relief. The inscription reinforces the objective of the military action conducted during the campaign.


The ribbon consists of red, white, and blue pinstripes of equal width in the center; the ribbon to the wearer's right is dark blue and abuts to the red pinstripe; the ribbon to the wearer's left is red, and abuts to the blue pinstripe. The red, white, and blue were suggested by the NATO Alliance's colors, and the red, white, and blue pinstripes represent the colors of the United States flag. [4]


Combat Zones

Q-1: What geographic areas are considered combat zones?

A-1: Combat zones are designated by an Executive Order from the President as areas in which the U.S. Armed Forces are engaging or have engaged in combat. There are currently three such combat zones (including the airspace above each): Arabian Peninsula Areas, beginning Jan. 17, 1991—the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, the part of the Arabian Sea north of 10° North latitude and west of 68° East longitude, the Gulf of Aden, and the countries of Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Kosovo area, beginning Mar. 24, 1999—Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), Albania, the Adriatic Sea and the Ionian Sea north of the 39th Parallel.

Public Law 104-117 designates three parts of the former Yugoslavia as a Qualified Hazardous Duty Area, to be treated as if it were a combat zone, beginning Nov. 21, 1995—Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Macedonia. [6]

Kosovo Campaign Medal Shifts to Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal

By Amaani Lyle American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 24, 2013 – The Defense Department has announced the transition of the Kosovo Campaign Medal to the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, effective Jan. 1, 2014.

In a Sept. 19 memorandum, Acting Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Jessica L. Wright stated that the KCM 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 AFEM 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, Montenegro, 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. [7]

  1. 1 2 Campaign period authorized by Department of Defense Manual 1348.33 Volume 2, dated 23 November 2010

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Balkans</span> Geopolitical and cultural region of Southeast Europe

The Balkans, also known as the Balkan Peninsula, is a geographic area in southeastern Europe with various geographical and historical definitions. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains that stretch throughout the whole of Bulgaria. The Balkan Peninsula is bordered by the Adriatic Sea in the northwest, the Ionian Sea in the southwest, the Aegean Sea in the south, the Turkish Straits in the east, and the Black Sea in the northeast. The northern border of the peninsula is variously defined. The highest point of the Balkans is Mount Musala, 2,925 metres (9,596 ft), in the Rila mountain range, Bulgaria.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kosovo War</span> 1998–1999 armed conflict in Kosovo

The Kosovo War was an armed conflict in Kosovo that started 28 February 1998 and lasted until 11 June 1999. It was fought by the forces of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which controlled Kosovo before the war, and the Kosovo Albanian rebel group known as the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). The conflict ended when the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) intervened by beginning air strikes in March 1999 which resulted in Yugoslav forces withdrawing from Kosovo.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Army of North Macedonia</span> Combined military forces of North Macedonia

The Army of the Republic of North Macedonia is a defense force consisting of an army and air force; it is responsible for defending the sovereignty and territorial integrity of North Macedonia. Since 2005, it is a fully professional defense force compatible with NATO standards.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Armed Forces of Serbia and Montenegro</span> Military forces of Serbia and Montenegro

The Armed Forces of Serbia and Montenegro included ground forces with internal and border troops, naval forces, air and air defense forces, and civil defense. Preceding the VSCG was the Yugoslav Army from the remnants of the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA), the military of SFR Yugoslavia. The state, then named Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, participated in the Yugoslav Wars with limited direct intervention of its own armed forces. Following the end of the Wars and the constitutional reforms of 2003 by which the state was renamed "Serbia and Montenegro", the military accordingly changed its name. The military was heavily involved in combating Albanian separatists during the Kosovo War and Preševo Valley conflict, and also engaged NATO airplanes during the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">NATO bombing of Yugoslavia</span> March–June 1999 NATO military operation

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) carried out an aerial bombing campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War. The air strikes lasted from 24 March 1999 to 10 June 1999. The bombings continued until an agreement was reached that led to the withdrawal of Yugoslav armed forces from Kosovo, and the establishment of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo, a UN peacekeeping mission in Kosovo. The official NATO operation code name was Operation Allied Force whereas the United States called it Operation Noble Anvil; in Yugoslavia the operation was incorrectly called Merciful Angel as a result of a misunderstanding or mistranslation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Yugoslav Wars</span> Series of wars fought in Yugoslavia from 1991 to 2001

The Yugoslav Wars refer to a series of separate but related ethnic conflicts, wars of independence, and insurgencies that took place in the SFR Yugoslavia from 1991 to 2001. The conflicts both led up to and resulted from the breakup of Yugoslavia, which began in mid-1991, into six independent countries matching the six entities known as republics which previously composed Yugoslavia: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and North Macedonia. Yugoslavia's constituent republics declared independence due to unresolved tensions between ethnic minorities in the new countries, which fuelled the wars. While most of the conflicts ended through peace accords that involved full international recognition of new states, they resulted in a massive loss of life as well as severe economic damage to the region.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Yugoslav People's Army</span> Armed forces of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

The Yugoslav People's Army, also called the Yugoslav National Army, was the military of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and its antecedents from 1945 to 1992.

The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM) is a military award of the United States Armed Forces, which was first created in 1961 by Executive Order of President John Kennedy. The medal is awarded to members of the U.S. Armed Forces who, after July 1, 1958, participated in U.S. military operations, U.S. operations in direct support of the United Nations, or U.S. operations of assistance for friendly foreign nations.

The Armed Forces Service Medal (AFSM) is a military award of the United States military that was created on January 11, 1996, by President Bill Clinton under Executive Order 12985. The AFSM is a deployed service medal that is presented to those service members who engage in "significant activity" for which no other U.S. campaign or service medal is authorized.

USS <i>Nicholas</i> (FFG-47)

USS Nicholas (FFG-47), an Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate, was the third ship of the United States Navy to be named for Major Samuel Nicholas, the first commanding officer of the United States Marines. A third-generation guided missile frigate of the Oliver Hazard Perry class, she was laid down as Bath Iron Works hull number 388 on 27 September 1982 and launched 23 April 1983. Sponsor at her commissioning there on 10 March 1984 was the same Mrs. Edward B. Tryon who sponsored DD 449 in 1942.

The NATO Medal is an international military decoration which is awarded to various militaries of the world under the authority of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). It is manufactured by Eekelers-Centini Intl, of Hemiksem, Belgium.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Operation Deliberate Force</span> 1995 campaign by NATO and UN forces against Republika Srpska during the Bosnian War

Operation Deliberate Force was a sustained air campaign conducted by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), in concert with the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) ground operations, to undermine the military capability of the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS), which had threatened and attacked UN-designated "safe areas" in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Bosnian War with the Srebrenica genocide and Markale massacres, precipitating the intervention. The shelling of the Sarajevo marketplace on 28 August 1995 by the VRS is considered to be the immediate instigating factor behind NATO's decision to launch the operation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1st Battalion, 6th Marines</span> Military unit

The 1st Battalion, 6th Marines (1/6) is an infantry battalion in the United States Marine Corps based in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. It consists of approximately 1,100 marines and sailors. They fall under the command of the 6th Marine Regiment, the 2nd Marine Division of the II Marine Expeditionary Force.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">26th Marine Expeditionary Unit</span> Military unit

The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit is one of seven such units currently in existence in the United States Marine Corps. It is an air-ground task force with a strength of about 2,400 personnel when at full strength during a deployment. It consists of four major parts: a command element, a ground combat element, an aviation combat element, and a logistics combat element. Since its establishment in the early 1970s as the 26th Marine Amphibious Unit, it has deployed extensively, and participated in numerous combat and contingency operations, as well as training exercises. The 26th MEU is based out of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in the U.S. state of North Carolina.

The Yugoslav Wars were a series of armed conflicts on the territory of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) that took place between 1991 and 2001. This article is a timeline of relevant events preceding, during, and after the wars.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Insurgency in the Preševo Valley</span> Armed conflict between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and separatists

The Insurgency in the Preševo Valley was a year-long armed conflict between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the ethnic Albanian separatists of the Liberation Army of Preševo, Medveđa and Bujanovac (UÇPMB). There were instances during the conflict in which the Yugoslav government requested KFOR support in suppressing UÇPMB attacks since they could only use lightly armed military forces as part of the Kumanovo Treaty that ended the Kosovo War, which created a buffer zone between FR Yugoslavia and Kosovo.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Guy Sands-Pingot</span> United States general

Guy Ludvic Sands-Pingot was an American brigadier general of the United States Army Reserve. He served as commander of the 353rd Civil Affairs Command located at Fort Wadsworth, New York from 3 December 2005 through 6 December 2008.

The General Campaign Star is a campaign medal created in 2004 by the Canadian monarch-in-Council to recognize members of the Canadian Armed Forces who had directly participated in any military campaign under Canadian or allied command. It is, within the Canadian system of honours, the sixth highest of the war and operational service medals.

The North Macedonia Air Brigade is the air warfare and air defense force of the Army of the Republic of North Macedonia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Liberation of Serbia, Albania and Montenegro (1918)</span>

The Liberation of Serbia, Albania and Montenegro was a military action in the Balkans in the final weeks of World War I. Between 29 September and 11 November 1918, the Allied Army of the Orient liberated these three countries from occupation by the Central Powers.


  1. 1 2 Defense, U.S. Department of. "Kosovo Campaign Medal Shifts to Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal". U.S. Department of Defense. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  2. 1 2 "Army Regulation 600–8–22 Military Awards" (PDF). Army Publishing Directorate. p. 17. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  3. "Afghanistan Campaign Medal - Approved Campaign Phases" (PDF). PRHome.Defense.gov. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  4. 1 2 "Kosovo Campaign Medal Medal" . Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  5. "Defense.gov News Release: KOSOVO CAMPAIGN MEDAL APPROVED". Archived from the original on 14 July 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  6. "Combat Zones - Internal Revenue Service". www.irs.gov.
  7. "Defense.gov News Article: Kosovo Campaign Medal Shifts to Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal" . Retrieved 29 May 2015.