The Wider Service Medal

Today, 26 March, 24, the Defence Secretary unveiled the new operational medal designed to honour the contributions of individuals who significantly impact operations, yet operate with reduced physical risk compared to traditional standards for such awards.

Endorsed by HM The King, the Wider Service Medal (WSM) acknowledges both military personnel and civilians who serve beyond the conventional parameters outlined for existing operational medals.

This initiative reflects the evolving landscape of warfare, ensuring that those in pivotal roles receive due recognition.

Eligible recipients encompass a diverse spectrum, from participants in international coalitions to those involved in deterrence efforts.

Examples include Royal Navy personnel engaged in continuous at-sea Nuclear Deterrent operations and maritime endeavours in the Middle East, Army personnel stationed in Estonia as part of reassurance efforts, and RAF pilots and support staff deployed to Estonia and Romania as part of NATO air policing patrols.

Criteria for the medal includes:

  • Defined operational activity where there is evidence of operational impact that contributes to the UK objectives but does not meet the traditional medal threshold in terms of physical risk to the individual.
  • The individual must have accrued 180 days’ aggregated service on eligible operations. Subsequent service of 180 days will result in the award of a bar to the medal, up to a maximum of three bars.

The medal will be retrospective to December 2018 for ongoing operations.

Read the announcement from the MOD here