The Canadian Armed Forces have amended the criteria for two bars to the Special Service Medals to render it more accessible to serving members. Any serving members that have completed a total of 45 days of service during one or many overseas mission will now be eligible to receive this recognition, whereas it used to be 180 days (6 months)
“We made these changes in hopes to best represent the new realities of the CAF’s missions throughout the globe. For example, most aviation deployments total 56 days. It took several successful missions for these members to finally get recognition. Meanwhile, they always accomplished what was expected of them overseas. It’s about being fair to everyone and making the distinctions accessible, without diminishing its value,” explained Lt-Col Carl Gauthier, Director of Honours & Recognition for the CAF.
“These new criteria will also allow us time to process medal demands before a member is sent home after a mission if its unit applies as soon as the required 45 days is reached. This gives us time to process and send the medal to the deployed location to then be presented in theatre by the mission Commander before the member returns to Canada. It is a great source of pride and motivation for our troops during deployments,” Lt-Col Gauthier added.
The changes are retroactive to October 2004 for UN Missions and July 2007 for non-UN missions. Serving members’ names should be submitted by their units directly whereas veterans may apply for it via a form available here.