Iraq Commitment Medal

The US Military campaign in Iraq ended at the end of 2011 and in a ceremony marking that the Iraqi government authorized the United States and other coalition partners to award a medal on their behalf to soldiers that served in Iraq. The award still has to be approved for wear by the United States but I cannot imagine that such approval will not be given. Too many thousands of Americans have been killed our wounded in the war not for it to be awarded. The price has been paid in blood and the cost is born in the minds, bodies and spirits of those that served and survived and in the lives of those who have lost loved ones during the war.

The medal called the Government of Iraq Commitment Medal is similar in character to those issued by other countries to American service members that served in their countries. Such awards have been made by the Philippines, South Korea, South Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

The announcement of the award was made in a ceremony attended by Vice President Biden on 1 December 2011in Bagdad.

The letter from the Iraqi Minister of Defense is shown below.

Now to some this award is insignificant and with Iraq’s government in disarray some will mock it. But to many if not most of us that served in Iraq it will be a small thank you and remembrance of our service there. If Iraq can navigate the future successfully and overcome its own divisions perhaps those of us that served will be able to go back as visitors and maybe like those that served in the Second World War be able to help heal the wounds of war alongside the Iraqis that we served alongside, trained and advised.

“Description – The Commitment Medal is a gold-colored medal with enamel, 1 9/16 in diameter. On the front the relief of Iraq represents the area of operation. The lines symbolize the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, recalling Iraq’s title as “the land of two rivers.” The two hands superimposed over the relief symbolize the friendship between Iraq and her coalition allies. The star at the center top represents a vision of unity for the seven peoples of Iraq (Sunni, Shia, Kurd, Turkoman, Assyrian, Yazidi, Armenian) leading to a more secure, prosperous and free future for Iraqis. The inscription in both Arabic and English merge into a continuous circle symbolizing the closeness of Iraq and her allies.
On the reverse side the rayed disc symbolizes the sun, optimism and Iraq’s future of reconstruction and the establishment of the democratic way of life. The relief of Iraq represents the area of operation. The lines symbolize the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, recalling Iraq’s title as “the land of two rivers.” The crossed scimitars recall the partnership between Coalition Forces and Iraqi Security Forces essential to bringing a democratic way of life to Iraq. Gold is emblematic of honor and high achievement. It states JOINT COMMITMENT in both Arabic and English symbolizing the unity of effort between Iraq and her Coalition Partners. The palm trees along with the palm fronds on the front represent the sacrifices made by the Coalition Partners.”

Americans and Iraqis alike have sacrificed and suffered during this war. I hope that this medal will come to symbolize an effort that was not in vain.


Padre Steve+


Filed under History, iraq,afghanistan

7 responses to “Iraq Commitment Medal

  1. Fernando

    I heard of this medal and have yet to see anything on it. Your write up is all and true to its statement. I would hate to not see this be. A simple token, why not. If America could do everything possible for this to pass it would mean alot to those who left something behind.

    SSgt Delgado, Fernando J USMC (OIF 1,2,3)

  2. Liam Willson

    Hi guys – only point that concerns me is that the letter gives approval for US and each Coalition country to manufacture the medal. I have other foreign awards from other nations I have served in and they are manufactured and issued by the respective Govt. I believe this not a genuine offer as any “grateful” nation like Iraq would strike the medal and issue relevant amounts to each nation. The US has made the largest sacrifice in Iraq in lives and commitment and therefore the Iraqis should be striking their own medal. Doubt we will ever see it

    • Jason Lee

      I was in the Army for 18 years and the US government never gave me our own goverment issue medals or the certificates that go with them. I was always forced to go to clothing sales and buy the medal or ribbon myself. Why dont the US authorize it and just let the a US company make it and soldiers could buy it. I have spent hundreds of dollars over the years on uniform crap anyway what is another $15 more dollars.

      • padresteve

        I agree…makes perfect sense to me. I have lost count of all the money that I have spent since 1981 on medals and ribbons and their mounting and replacement. Just authorize it and like everything else I will make the purchase.
        Padre Steve+

  3. Iraq actually did award one of the medals to an American-albeit he never fought or served in Iraq-VP Joe Bidden. It figures of course when you consider the past 4 1/2 yrs of an administration that has so disrespected its military, and its veterans. It also figures that the picture of Bidden receivng the only Iraq Commitment Medal was pulled from his official site. Can’t have too much evidence hanging about if we expect to erase history huh!

    It is also a slap in the face for any Govt to create an award to show its gratitude for the sacrifices made by the military of another country and expect that govt to bear the cost of manufacturing said award. I agree that too often our own govt has failed to supply their own troops with the awards from their resective branches-but that is a donkey of another religion.

    CPT Blackadder
    OEF 01′-02′ OIF 02′-05′

  4. Just another vet

    Here we are in April 2018 and nothing. Safe to say that good ole’ Biden will be the only American recipient in history to get this. SMDH

    • padresteve

      Probably so. DOD has put it on the back burner for years. Not important to them I guess. I wrote President Trump and a number of congressmen but got no response from any about it.

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