Connect

Connect Dec 2016

Connect the newsletter of the Irish Defence Forces

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L . É . E I THN E L . É . W illi a m B u tl er Ye a t s TB December 2016 Poster Bonn Seirbhíse Idirnáisiúnta Oibríochta Óglaigh na hÉireann (The Defence Forces International Operational Service Medal) 1. Background A briefing note was submitted to the Chief of Staff in June 2015 recommending that consideration be given to Óglaigh na hÉireann striking a new operational service medal for medical personnel who deployed with UK forces in a com- bined deployment to SIERRA LEONE (aka 'OP GRITLOCK') in response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa in 2014/15. As a result of this deployment, UK forces offered to award a campaign medal to Óglaigh na hÉireann medical personnel who served alongside them in SIERRE LEONE. The offer lead to a staff analysis and subsequent recommendation by 'A' Administration Section to the Chief of Staff to consider striking a medal for non-authorised missions (in accordance with DFR A9). Naval Service personnel who were deployed on OP PONTUS at this time were also included in this recommendation. 2. Medal Design The medal will be bronze alloy and round in form. The design on the obverse will consist of a map of the globe. On the reverse side shall be inscribed the wording 'Bonn Seirbhíse Idirnáisiúnta Oibríochta Óglaigh na hÉireann', 'Defence Forces International Operational Service Medal'. 3. Medal Ribbon The ribbon is 5cms in length and is 31mm wide with 2 x 6 mm wide green stripes, 2 x 6 mm blue stripes and 1 x 7 mm navy stripe. 4. Suspension Straight unswivelled bar through which the ribbon is threaded hanging from a bronze pin-back brooch in which is inscribed "Seirbhíse Idirnáisiúnta" (International Service). 5. Bar Design The bronze bar for example, "OP PONTUS", to the medal denotes the specific theatre, or mission for which the medal is being awarded and is bronze in colour. Additional clasps can be added to as required. 6. Eligibility Members of the Permanent Defence Force and the Army Nursing and Chaplaincy Service may be awarded the Defence Forces International Operational Service Medal should they meet the opera- tional service and qualifying service requirements for the award of the medal in an eligible mission. a. "Operational Service", in the context of the International Operational Service Medal, occurs where individuals, units, groups or contingents of the Permanent Defence Force, with the prior approval of and on the authority of the Government, are despatched for service outside the State to partake in armed or unarmed missions not eligible for a UN, NATO/PfP or EU medal pursuant to the provisions of the Defence Act, 1954, as amended. b. Commencement Date: The 'Defence Forces International Operational Service Medal' will be awarded to members deployed on eligible missions with effect from 18 Nov 2014. c. "Qualifying Service" means a minimum period of sixty (60) days uninterrupted operational service overseas measured from the date of embarkation to the mission area or the FHQ/OHQ in support of the mission to the date of return from the mission area or supporting FHQ/OHQ. d. Eligible Missions: i. Only those missions deployed under the authority and by direction of the Government pursuant to the Defence Act 1954, as amended, and NOT eligible for the award of a UN, NATO/PFP or EU medal will be considered for the award of the 'Defence Forces International Operational Service Medal'. ii. ECAT, OSCE and Permanent Military Representatives ordinarily will not be considered eligible for the award of the medal, however operational situations may arise from time to time where consid- eration may be given to such personnel who otherwise meet the criteria for the award of the medal. Standby or Reserve Forces e.g. EUBG components and their supporting FHQ/OHQ staff will not be eligible for the award of the medal. If the DF element of the EUBG deploys overseas as part of their standby period then personnel of that component and supporting OHQ/FHQ staff, if deployed for a minimum period of sixty (60) days uninterrupted operational service overseas, will be eligible for the award (in the absence of an EU medal for the deployment). 7. Procedure for awarding of a medal: a. OIC 'A' Admin, having given consideration to the eligibility criteria as at Para 6 above, will make a recommendation to D COS (Sp) for the award of the medal in respect of the particular mission prior to its deployment. b. DCOS (Sp) will review the recommendation from OIC 'A' Admin using the eligibility criteria as at Para 6 above and, if approved, will submit the proposal to the Minister for Defence for his/her con- sideration and approval. c. Posthumous Awards: The qualifying period of service of 60 days is NOT required for members killed or presumed killed while on a deployment to a mission eligible for the award of the Defence Forces International Operational Service Medal. 8. Order of Precedence: The Defence Forces International Operational Service Medal will be worn in order of precedence after the Peacekeeping Medal and before any UN, EU or NATO/PFP medal.

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