As of 2014 there has not been an official military authorized “Cold War Victory Medal.” Many cold war veterans and advocates have been fighting for a military authorized victory medal since the early 90s. A number of bills have been introduced with limited success.
While the Cold War did not involve traditional military confrontations, Cold War Veterans sacrificed greatly and deserve recognition for their service. The lack of recognition precludes these veterans from joining a number of organizations including the American Legion.
You can purchase an unofficial Cold War Victory Medal online. Note: The medal cannot be worn in uniform. Any member of the US military or civilian federal employees, who served honorably between September 1945 to December 1991, are eligible for the medal.
Certificate of Recognition
While not an official medal, as part of the 1998 National Defense Authorization Act, the Secretary of Defense approved a Cold War Recognition Certificate. The requirements…
- Eligibility: armed forces or qualified federal government civilian personnel
- Time frame: September 2, 1945 through December 26, 1991
- Documents: any gov’t form which includes applicant’s name, Social Security or foreign service number and date of service
- Served honorably as certified by applicant
Contractors and volunteers are not eligible
How to Apply
Those qualifying for the certificates can apply via:
- Internet: https://coldwar.army.mil
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fax: (703) 275-6749
Cold War Recognition
4035 Ridge Top Road, Suite 400
Fairfax, VA 22030
**DO NOT SEND ORIGINAL COPIES**
Military Help Line: (703) 275-6279
Are Surviving Family Eligible?
For family members looking to claim the certificate on behalf of a deceased veteran they must fill out the necessary paperwork and certify that they are the “primary next-of-kin” or PNOK. The official next-of-kin list, in order of eligibility is spouse, children, parents, and lastly siblings. Requests made by survivors other than the spouse must explain that the other eligible members are also deceased. For instance, if a veteran’s child applies for the certificate, they must explain the spouse has deceased.
- Defense.Gov – How to Apply for Cold War Certificate
- Wall Street Journal – “A Cold Shoulder for Cold-War Vets”
- Wikipedia – Cold War Victory Medal
- Coldwar.me – Get Cold War Recognition
By Brian Carrigan