see it clearly

Cold War Medals

Cold War Medals are also called Cold War Victory Medals, Cold War Commemorative Medals, and the Cold War Service Medals. It is not an official military medal and cannot be worn on the uniforms of military personnel.

About Cold War Medals

Cold War Medals

The Cold War Medal is used by the state of Louisiana and called the "Louisiana Cold War Victory Medal". It is presented by the Louisiana National Guard to eligible members of the Guard and can be worn on their uniforms if they are in Louisiana and not on federal property.

While only officially recognized as a medal in Louisiana, in all areas the Cold War Medal’s intended use was for the state National Guards, citizens, patriotic organizations, and military groups. It is also an official medal of the Military Order of Foreign Wars.

This medal can be purchased by anyone that was in the military or any civilian who worked for the federal government if they served honorably during the Cold War years from September 2, 1945 to December 26, 1991. Instead of issuing medals for service during the Cold War, Congress issued the Cold War Recognition Certificate.

Cold War Medals were designed by Nadine Russell. The medals show a woman sitting and looking out over land that resembles Fulda Gap. Fulda Gap was the presumed location for Communist attack in Europe. The image's use symbolized the threat of invasion or war, and military alertness. The sword in its sheath symbolized strength and defensive operations. Her foot rests on a book, which stands for law and history. The eagle is to her right, representing freedom, and he holds arrows and an olive branch, showing the goal of peace but readiness to fight if necessary. A rising sun on the landscape represented the end of the Cold War and a new era of peace. The words “Promoting Peace and Stability” are under the sun.

On the back of the medals are the words “In Recognition of Your Service” inside a laurel wreath. The laurel stands for honor and underneath it is a shield. The dates “2 September 1945 - 26 December 1991” appear under the inscription. The ribbon has stripes of red, gold, black, green, and white. White is used the most and stands for integrity.

Cold War History

After World War II, many nations were concerned about the Soviet Union expanding. In 1948, they initiated a blockade of Berlin and the United States airlifted food and supplies to help the people there. In May 1949, the Soviets lifted the blockade but by September of that year, it was learned that the Soviet Union had the atomic bomb. This intensified the Cold War and people were justifiably concerned about the threat of nuclear war.

After that the United States did all they could to stop Communist aggression and expansion. Numerous crises occurred during this time, including the Cuban Missile Crisis, but war was averted. The turning point came in 1989 when the Berlin Wall, which had separated the people of East and West Berlin, was torn down. December 25, 1991 saw the collapse of the Soviet Union and marked the end of the Cold War.

Other Medals

Other medals were awarded during part of the duration of the Cold War. One is the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, which was awarded to service men and women who were engaged in military conflicts after July 1, 1958. The military personnel had to either see hostile action or have the threat of it. The medal covers not only active military campaigns, but also operations that assisted the United Nations and friendly nations.

The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal was awarded for service during the Cuban Missile Crisis, after which it retroactively covered service from July 1, 1958. It has been given for service in 45 military actions, including the Congo, Taiwan, Berlin, Quemoy, Matsu, and Lebanon. It was given for operations in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, until the Vietnam Service Medal was instigated.

For those military personnel who were engaged in significant activity, yet were not engaged in conflict, the Armed Forces Service Medal was established. It is a non-combat award and can be given for missions that assist other nations and the United Nations, humanitarian operations, and peacekeeping activities.