The Army currently awards one medal for soldiers who have served in Afghanistan since the invasion in September 2001.
The Operational Service Medal for Afghanistan has been awarded to those serving in the country in a variety of operations.
Varying levels of service are required to earn the OSM Afghanistan, depending on the operation and location. To qualify for the medal and the clasp, personnel must have served in Afghanistan for either five, 21 or 30 days' continuous service, depending on the operation.
It was awarded for Operation Jacana and Operation Bandog, between Sept 11, 2001 and Aug 1, 2002. It has also been awarded for Operations Veritas, Fingal, Landman and Herrick. Personnel involved in the latter, under which all British military operations in Afghanistan have been conducted since 2002, must have served there for at least 30 days' continuous service.
A horizontal metal bar or clasp is often awarded to show which operation the wearer has been involved in. A special silver clasp, bearing the title "Afghanistan" in capital letters, distinguishes the OSM Afghanistan from the two other OSMs awarded since the medal replaced the General Service Medal (GSM) in 2000. They are for service in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Sierra Leone.
Those who have served in other Middle Eastern countries on Operations Landman, Veritas, Ramson and Damien are also eligible for the OSM Afghanistan - although they do not qualify for the Afghanistan clasp.
Information courtesy of the Daily Telegraph.
Make a donation to Airborne Assault ParaData to help preserve the history of The Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces