UK — Government announces independent military medals review

The Prime Min­is­ter has announced an inde­pen­dent review of the rules and prin­ci­ples gov­ern­ing the award­ing of mil­i­tary cam­paign medals.

Cam­paign medals (stock image) [Pic­ture: Sergeant Adri­an Harlen, Crown Copyright/MOD 2011]
Source: Min­istry of Defence, UK
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David Cameron announced that Sir John Holmes will car­ry out a fresh, inde­pen­dent review tak­ing account of the long­stand­ing prin­ci­ples that have deter­mined past deci­sions.

The exist­ing guid­ing rules and prin­ci­ples for the award­ing of mil­i­tary cam­paign medals are that:

  • awards will not be con­sid­ered after a peri­od of five years has elapsed after a par­tic­u­lar mil­i­tary action;
  • indi­vid­u­als will not be reward­ed twice for the same mil­i­tary cam­paign, i.e. no ‘dou­ble medalling’; and
  • awards are based upon sig­nif­i­cant ‘risk and rigour’ for the indi­vid­ual con­cerned.

The Coali­tion Gov­ern­ment stat­ed its inten­tion in its Pro­gramme for Gov­ern­ment, pub­lished in May 2010, to review the rules gov­ern­ing the award­ing of gen­er­al cam­paign medals as a part of its com­mit­ment to rebuild­ing the Armed Forces Covenant.

The review will not con­sid­er indi­vid­ual gal­lantry awards, nor will it cov­er medals for long ser­vice or good con­duct, which are the respon­si­bil­i­ty of par­ent gov­ern­ment depart­mets.

The review should draw on, but not nec­es­sar­i­ly be guid­ed by, the work already under­tak­en as part of an ini­tial Min­istry of Defence medal review.

Sir John, who is cur­rent­ly Direc­tor at the Ditch­ley Foun­da­tion and for­mer­ly served as the UN’s Under-Sec­re­tary-Gen­er­al for Human­i­tar­i­an Affairs and Emer­gency and as Her Majesty’s Ambas­sador in Paris and Lon­don, will be sup­port­ed by a small team based in the Cab­i­net Office.

The review will ensure that all inter­est­ed par­ties, includ­ing the vet­er­ans’ organ­i­sa­tions, are ful­ly con­sult­ed, and aims to deliv­er a report with rec­om­men­da­tions where appro­pri­ate for any change by the sum­mer to the Gov­ern­ment.

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK