NATO Medal - Non Article 5 (Ribbon)
Standard ribbon used on a metal or plastic ribbon rack.
**** There are many different versions of the NATO medal. This is the "Non Article 5" version. It was initially awarded in the early 2000s and is still used currently for operations in Pakistan, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan*, Africa, Operation Sea Guardian, Kosovo and the Balkans**.
*In Afghanistan, two different NATO Medals have been used. Pre-2015 was the "NATO Non Article 5 Medal for ISAF," and 2015 to today its the "NATO Non-Article 5 Medal for Operation Resolute Support." These two medals have the exact same design except for the little bar across the front, which in the US we don't wear anyway.(see below***)
**The NATO Non Article 5 for the Balkans has had two different designs. In 2011, NATO decided to make all the Non Article 5 Medals have the same ribbon design, which is the ribbon you are looking at on this page. Before 2011 the NATO Balkans Medal had a different design. (see that design here) The Balkans area of operations includes FYROM, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Albania and Kosovo. Before 2003, Kosovo was a part of a different NATO mission. From 1999 to 2003 service in Kosovo earned the "NATO Kosovo Medal." (see that design here)
***In the US Military, you are supposed to wear the ribbon / medal of the first NATO operation you participated in. Every NATO Medal exists with a bar across the front (similar to the knots on the Good Conduct Medal) stating the name of the operation it was awarded for. In the US, we only wear the "basic portion / version" of the medal without the bar attached to the front according to regulation. This is because if we earn more than one different version of the medal, we wear stars attached to whichever medal we earned first to show additional awards. In other countries, they wear multiple NATO medals side-by-side instead of combining them into one.
*******If you are confused about which NATO Medal you are supposed to wear, the one main thing to remember is: unless you were in the military before 2011, THIS IS THE CORRECT NATO MEDAL FOR YOU.