(GCS) General Campaign Star Miniature
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The GCS is awarded to members of the Canadian Forces and members of allied forces working with the Canadian Forces who deploy into a defined theatre of operations to take part in operations in the presence of an armed enemy.
The GCS is always issued with a ribbon specific to the theatre or type of service being recognized, and each ribbon has its own criteria.
Eligibility and Criteria
ALLIED FORCE (GCS-AF)
The GCS with ALLIED FORCE ribbon is awarded to fighter pilots and AWACS crew members who flew at least 5 sorties during Operation ALLIED FORCE from 24 March to 10 June 1999 in the theatre of operations which consisted of the airspace over Kosovo and other territories of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the Adriatic and Ionian seas.
SOUTH-WEST ASIA (GCS-SWA)
The GCS with South-West Asia ribbon is awarded to Canadian Forces members and members of allied forces working with the Canadian Forces who served either:
- with the Canadian contribution to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan for at least 30 days cumulative between 24 April 2003 and 31 July 2009, in the theatre of operations which consisted of the political boundaries and airspace of Afghanistan; and/or
- in the theatre of operations consisting of the political boundaries of Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman, the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea, the Suez Canal and those parts of the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea that are west of sixty-eight degrees East longitude and north of five degrees South latitude, as well as the airspace above those areas for at least 30 cumulative days commencing on August 1, 2009, provided that the service has not been recognized by another service medal.
The GCS with EXPEDITION ribbon is awarded to Canadian Forces members and members of allied forces working with the Canadian Forces who served in approved locations outside Canada and inside a specific theatre of operations in the presence of an armed enemy for at least 30 cumulative days commencing on January 1, 2003 provided that the service has not been otherwise recognized by another service medal.
This ribbon was created to provide a flexible form of recognition for those missions conducted in the presence of an armed enemy which size or scope does not justify the creation of a separate ribbon.
The only approved eligible service for this ribbon thus far is military service within the political boundaries and airspace of Iraq from 20 January 2003 onwards provided the service has not been recognized by another service medal. This means that CF exchange personnel with American Forces in Iraq are eligible because the US does not award its service medals to foreigners but those who serve with UNAMI or personnel on exchange with the British Forces are not eligible as they receive a medal for their service from either the UN or the UK.
GCS-AF: there is no bar for this medal.
GCS-SWA and GCS-EXP rotation bars have been created to recognize long periods of service in a theatre.
Recipients of the GCS may be awarded a first Rotation Bar after a total of 210 days of eligible service, including the days taken into account for the award of the original medal, and additional bars are awarded for each subsequent period of 180 days.
The rotation bars for the Star are gold in colour with a raised edge and bear either one or five maple leaves. One bar bearing five maple leaves is worn in lieu of five bars bearing one maple leaf.
Images show front and back face of medal.