Full size medal - Unmounted with 15cm ribbon as required for swing mounting.
Miniature size medal - Unmounted with 10cm ribbon as required for swing mounting.
The NATO Medal was first established in 1996 to recognize individuals who had served in the Implementation Force(IFOR) as part of Operation Joint Endeavor in Former Yugoslavia. A new ribbon was established in 1999 for participants in Operation Allied Force in Kosovo. As NATO operations became more common, different ribbons were established for each operation.
In early 2003 NATO settled on only three ribbon styles - one for the NATO Meritorious Service Medal, one for Article 5 operations, and one for non-Article 5 operations. Participation in specific operations is distinguished by bars worn on the ribbons with the name of the operation. This change affects those who began a tour of duty after 2 December 2002. As a result, an individual who began his or her tour of duty in one of the Balkan NATO operational areas after 2 December 2002 will qualify only for the Non-Article 5 medal for the Balkans.
There are currently fourteen versions of the NATO Medal in existence, for service in the former Yugoslavia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, two for service during Article 5 operations (Eagle Assist, Active Endeavour), and eight for Non-Article 5 NATO operations (International Security Assistance Force Afghanistan (ISAF), Resolute Support, Balkans, NATO Training Mission-Iraq (NTM-I), Africa, AMIS, OUP-Libya, and Pakistan). In addition, there are corresponding clasps for operations such as ISAF, Kosovo, the former Yugoslavia, NTM-I, and clasps designating Article 5, and Non-Article 5 designations. There is also a NATO Meritorious Service Medal, with a "Meritorious Service" clasp as well. However, U.S. military personnel do not wear the clasps on the NATO Medals, since the U.S. has its own devices that are used instead.
The reverse of the medals state "IN SERVICE OF PEACE AND FREEDOM" in English and French, as well as the full name of NATO in English and French. The ribbon bar and suspension bar are both chiefly blue, specifically Reflex Blue on the Pantone Matching System.
*Clasps / Bars for this medal must be ordered separately using the 'Clasps' product in each collection