Operational Service Medal for Congo

#1
Missed this at the time of publication (Nov 05) and not heard of it until today:

Ref: 2005DIN01-012

The Operational Service Medal for service in the Democratic Republic of Congo

1. Her Majesty The Queen has been graciously pleased to approve the institution of the Operational Service Medal (OSM) in recognition of service in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DROC) from 14 Jun 03 to 10 Sep 03.

2. The medal is silver and circular in shape, bearing on the obverse the Crowned Effigy of Her Majesty The Queen, and on the reverse a centre circle with Union Flag, surrounded by the inscription “For Operational Service” and the four major points of the compass, with four Crowns: Royal (top left), Naval (top right), Mural-Army (bottom left), and Astral-Royal Air Force (bottom right). The medal will be suspended from a ribbon one-and-a-quarter inches in width with a broad central red stripe, flanked each side by stripe of royal blue and a stripe of light blue; with an outer stripe of ochre to reflect the landscape in the DROC.

3. The OSM DROC will take precedence, in order of the date of award, equal to that of the General Service Medal 1962 (GSM 62) and other similar campaign medals.

4. General. The conditions of award for the OSM DROC shall be service on, or in support of Operation CORAL within the geographic boundaries of the Ituri Province. Only United Kingdom Armed Forces, Ministry of Defence civilians and certain foreign nationals assigned to Operation CORAL are eligible for the award of the Medal.

5. Flights into Bunia. Operating crews, including air movements, ground engineers and other support personnel, who flew into Bunia, the regional capital of the Ituri Province, in support of Operation CORAL, are eligible for the OSM DROC if they flew 5 missions to Bunia. A mission is described as a flight operating in support of Operation CORAL between Entebbe-Bunia-Entebbe.

6. Distinguishing Mark. Personnel eligible for the award of the OSM DROC will be eligible for a clasp ‘DROC’ for wear with the ribbon of the medal when the medal is worn and a silver rosette on the ribbon when only the ribbon is worn.

Locations Where Risk and Rigour is Insufficient to Justify Award. Locations which were considered sufficiently benign and comfortable as not to satisfy the requirements for the award of the OSM DROC are Paris, Entebbe and Kinshasa.
 
#2
Paris? Benign? Have you seen bar-prices there recently?
 
#3
and its full of frenchies!!
 
#4
How long did one have to be in Ituri Province? I know a bloke who doesn't qualify, but was in Bunia before the dates (when it really was an iffy place to be), during the dates (albeit briefly), was the only serving Brit military in the country for the whole qualifying period (I think) and grafted for the mission.

I know, I know. Stop whining. But if we are to go a bit like the Yanks then let's do it properly. South Atlantic medals were awarded for service outside the theatre after all.

And............

"A broad central red stripe, flanked each side by stripe of royal blue and a stripe of light blue; with an outer stripe of ochre to reflect the landscape in the DROC."

How do they work out that those colours reflect the landscape of the DRC or is it just the ochre? I would argue that the predominant colour is green, as in the forest.
 
#5
cuchulain said:
How long did one have to be in Ituri Province? I know a bloke who doesn't qualify, but was in Bunia before the dates (when it really was an iffy place to be), during the dates (albeit briefly), was the only serving Brit military in the country for the whole qualifying period (I think) and grafted for the mission.

I know, I know. Stop whining. But if we are to go a bit like the Yanks then let's do it properly. South Atlantic medals were awarded for service outside the theatre after all.

And............

"A broad central red stripe, flanked each side by stripe of royal blue and a stripe of light blue; with an outer stripe of ochre to reflect the landscape in the DROC."

How do they work out that those colours reflect the landscape of the DRC or is it just the ochre? I would argue that the predominant colour is green, as in the forest.
The answer is:

opening post said:
The conditions of award for the OSM DROC shall be service on, or in support of Operation CORAL within the geographic boundaries of the Ituri Province.
The Red, blue and blue represent the three Armed Forces - representative of their relative contribution (as seen on the 1939-45 Star (equal) and the Africa Star (mostly Army and some Navy and some RAF).
 
#6
opening post said:
The conditions of award for the OSM DROC shall be service on, or in support of Operation CORAL within the geographic boundaries of the Ituri Province.
Fair enough but how long did one have to be in Ituri "on, or in support of Operation CORAL" to qualify. And which Brits were in Ituri not "on, or in support of Operation CORAL" at that time? Oops, it has just occured to me that one of the Brits in MONUC might have gone there for a while.

The Red, blue and blue represent the three Armed Forces - representative of their relative contribution (as seen on the 1939-45 Star (equal) and the Africa Star (mostly Army and some Navy and some RAF).[/quote]

I still don't get the ochre.
 
#8
I know that MONUC is a UN mission and I fully appreciate that current rules state that you can't be awarded two medals for the same deployment (although it did happen in Korea) and so British military personnel serving with MONUC would not qualify whether they were in Ituri District at that time or not.

I'm not being deliberately obtuse here but I'm still not clear how long would one have had to have spent in Ituri, on or in support of OP CORAL ,in order to claim the gong if one were not a part of MONUC, got no other award and yet worked in support of OP CORAL?
 
#9
cuchulain said:
I know that MONUC is a UN mission and I fully appreciate that current rules state that you can't be awarded two medals for the same deployment (although it did happen in Korea) and so British military personnel serving with MONUC would not qualify whether they were in Ituri District at that time or not.

I'm not being deliberately obtuse here but I'm still not clear how long would one have had to have spent in Ituri, on or in support of OP CORAL ,in order to claim the gong if one were not a part of MONUC, got no other award and yet worked in support of OP CORAL?
Korea - Spotter that I am - not all soldiers got both medals - there were different criteria.

I read it as 'just being there' within the period - there was a small deployment, and not a lot of throughput of personnel therefore not difficult to be sure that the appropriate rigour can be assumed.

I will see if there is any other info 'out there'.
 

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