NATO Medal for Former Yugoslavia (NATO-FY)


On 14 December 1995 North Atlantic Council launched the largest military operation ever undertaken by the Alliance, Operation Joint Endeavour. Based on UN Security Council Resolution 1031, NATO was given the mandate to implement the military aspects of the Peace Agreement. A NATO-led multinational force, called the Implementation Force (IFOR), started its mission on 20 December 1995. IFOR was given a one-year mandate.

After the peaceful conduct of the September 1996 elections, IFOR successfully completed its mission of implementing the military annexes of the General Framework Agreement for Peace. However, it was clear that much remained to be accomplished on the civil side and that the political environment would continue to be potentially unstable and insecure. On 25-26 September, one week after the Bosnian elections NATO Defence Ministers concluded that the Alliance needed to re-assess how it might continue to provide support for the establishment of a secure environment after the end of IFOR's mandate in December. The role of IFOR (Operation Joint Endeavour) was to implement the peace. The role of SFOR (Operation Joint Guard / Operation Joint Forge) is to stabilise the peace. The difference between the tasks of IFOR and SFOR is reflected in their names.

12 December 1996, SFOR was authorised to implement the military aspects of the Peace Agreement as the legal successor to IFOR. Like IFOR, SFOR operates under Chapter VII of the UN Charter (peace enforcement).

Eligibility & Criteria

Awarded for :

  • Thirty days continuous or accumulated service in direct support of NATO operations, on land, at sea or in the air spaces of the Former Yugoslavia, Albania, the Former Republic of Macedonia, and the Adriatic Sea (the theatre of operations) commencing 1 July 1992 and ending 31 December 2002; or
  • Ninety days continuous or accumulated service commencing 1 July 1992 and ending 31 December 2002, in the territories of Italy, Greece, Hungary and Austria, in direct support of the NATO operations in the Former Yugoslavia (the adjacent area).

Tour numerals are awarded:

  • On completion on an additional 180 days service in the theatre of operations; or
  • On completion on an additional 540 days service in the adjacent area.

This medal was replaced on 1 January 2003, by the Non-Article 5 NATO Medal, for Operations in the Balkans.

Personnel arriving in theatre before 3 December 2002 count their time towards this medal and its associated tour numerals until the end of the deployment. Personnel arriving in-theatre on or after 3 December 2002 count their time towards the Non-Article 5 NATO Medal for Operations in the Balkans. No personnel can receive the two medals for the same deployment regardless of its duration.

Members serving with or in support of OP SHARP GUARD between 15 June 1993 to 19 June 1996, may qualify for this medal, provided they have served 30 days at sea or in the air space above the Adriatic Sea (the Area of Operation).

Members serving with or in support of OP DENY FLIGHT between 12 April 1993 to 20 December 1995, may qualify for this medal, provided they have served 30 days in the Area of Operation or 90 days in the adjacent area in direct support of NATO operations.

Aircrew will accumulate one day service for the first sortie flown on any day in the Area of Operation. Additional sorties flown on the same day receive no further credit. This requirement exists for support as well as combat aircraft, support aircraft including tanker, airlift and surveillance platforms.

NATO strictly applies their medals policy and will not consider requests for initial issue of NATO medals that are submitted more than two years after repatriation from mission area.

NATO Regulations state that any person who dies or is evacuated because of injuries of medical reasons directly attributable to service is deemed to have satisfied the time criteria.


The Medal is circular in form and made of bronze, and bearing:

On the obverse, the NATO star set in a wreath of olive leaves; and

On the reverse, the title "North Atlantic Treaty Organization" and the words "In the service of peace and freedom" in English and French.

A 12mm bronze ring, which holds the ribbon, passes through a small hollow ball at the top of a claw joined to the top of the medal.

The ribbon is dark blue the colour of NATO with two white strips on either end representing peace.

The tour numerals are Arabic script and made of bronze.



The medal is always issued with a bar, inscribed "FORMER YUGOSLAVIA" or "EX-YOUGOSLAVIE".


The medal shall be worn in sequence prescribed in the Canadian Orders, Decorations and Medals Directive, and in the following manner:

on the left breast, suspended from the ribbon described above, after the UN HQ medal and before the NATO-Kosovo medal.

The bar is worn centered on the ribbon.


The use of a post-nominal is not authorized for this medal.

Historical Notes

The following is a list of members who have died while serving in the theatre of operations:

Spr Desmarais G.D.

Spr Holopina C.G.

MCpl McCrea T.

Cpl Ogilvie J.W.

Cpl Pollard R.T.

Bdr Bailey G.K.

Sgt Joubert J.V.

Cpl Vialette R.D.

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