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New military medal announced by Ministry of Defence

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New military medal announced by Ministry of Defence

The Wider Service Medal has been approved by the King

A new military medal has been announced by the Defence Secretary to recognise personnel who fulfil “crucial operational roles” but are not necessarily exposed to physical threats.

According to the Ministry of Defence, the Wider Service Medal (WSM) will be the first award for those whose duties are outside traditional “risk-and-rigour” criteria.

The King has approved the WSM and recipients could include those deployed on the UK’s continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent, the MoD added.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Our modern armed forces are among the best in the world and do incredible work across the globe.

“The Wider Service Medal recognises the wide range of roles our personnel play in ensuring success on operations.

“It also recognises the ever-changing nature of warfare, underlining the importance of operations which deter adversaries in a pre-war world.”

A Tudor crown on the medal symbolises the monarch’s “central role and inspiration” for government, armed forces and the Civil Service, the MoD said.

The image is circled by text that reads “For Wider Service”.

Arrows pointing from the crown indicate “reaching out across the world in all directions” and the surrounding laurel wreath denotes service and achievement, it added.

The ribbon has a central purple stripe with four narrow stripes on either side.

Purple is said to symbolise government and the colours of the finer lines represent the multiple departments that make up its operations.

Land is green, sea is dark blue, and air light blue.

Army personnel, Royal Air Force pilots and supporting ground crew aiding Nato’s air policing patrol in Estonia and Romania will be eligible for the WSM, the MoD said.

Members of the Royal Navy deployed in the Middle East could also receive one.

Recipients must contribute to the UK’s military objectives and have served uninterrupted for 180 days on eligible operations be recognised.

Those who serve a further 180 days will be awarded a bar for the medal and can have up to three.

The first award will be in early summer and those who served in ongoing operations as far back as December 2018 will qualify.

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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