NATO Medal (Original) (Ribbon)
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Standard ribbon used on a metal or plastic ribbon rack.
**** There are many different versions of the NATO medal. This is the original version. It was awarded during the 1990s for operations in Yugoslavia. Many people mistakenly wear this version of the Medal / Ribbon because it is referred to as the "NATO Medal," because it was the first version of the Medal, while the later versions have different names. This mistake is often perpetuated by publications like the Army Times printing articles about a new mission earning the NATO Medal, but using a picture of this old medal because they just look up "NATO Medal" and find this original version. Also, higher ranking soldiers frequently and incorrectly tell their subordinates to wear this version because the regulation says to wear the basic version / portion of the award, which does not mean to wear this old original NATO Medal. It means to wear the NATO Medal you earned for a specific operation, without the little bar on the front. (see note at the bottom of this description)
**You should only be wearing this ribbon if you were in the military and deployed to Yugoslavia from 1996-1999.
Almost Everyone currently in the military is only capable of earning the NATO Non-Article 5 Medal.
*******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.