United Nations Medals - The United Nations Special Service Medal
About the United Nations Special Service Medal
The United Nations Special Service Medal (UNSSM) was created in 1995 to recognise United Nations service of at least 90 days duration by military personnel and civilian police for which no other award is authorised. Approval has been given for New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel to wear the United Nations Special Service Medal for service in the following United Nations missions:
- United Nations Mine Clearance Training Team (UNMCTT) - Pakistan and Afghanistan, 1989-1991
- United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) - 1991-1999
- Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) - 1993-2005
- United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs Accelerated De-Mining Programme (MADP) - Mozambique, 1995-2005
- United Nations De-Mining Programme (National Institute for the Removal of Obstacles and Explosive Ordnance (INAROE) - Angola, 1997-2000
- Programme for the Assistance to the Lao National Unexploded Ordnance Programme (UXOL) - Laos, 1997-2003
- United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) - Iraq, 2002-2003
- United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) - 2004-2014
- United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) - 2005-2014
- United Nations Office in Timor-Leste (UNOTIL) - 2005-2006
- United Nations Mine Action Coordination Centre in Southern Lebanon (UNMACC-SL) - 2007-2008
The medal is bronze with an image of the globe (centred on the North Pole) surrounded by a wreath of leaves on the front (obverse). The letters ‘UN’, in capitals, sit above the image of the globe. On the reverse are the words "IN THE SERVICE OF PEACE". This is the same medal design as used for the United Nations Medal.
About the ribbon
The colours of the ribbon for the UNSSM are light blue in the centre and white on the edges, which are the basic colours of the United Nations. These colours represent service in the field under United Nations auspices that was not with a specific peacekeeping operation.
Clasps and Bars
The guidelines for the United Nations Special Service Medal state that a bar with the name of the United Nations Organization or country may be awarded with the United Nations Special Service Medal. To the best of the NZDF's knowledge, only three clasps have actually been created for, or issued with, the United Nations Special Service Medal:
- - the "UNSCOM" clasp for service with the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) between 1991 and 1999
- - the "Timor Leste" clasp for service with the United Nations Office in Timor-Leste (UNOTIL) between 20 May 2005 and 30 June 2006; and
- - the "Afghanistan" clasp for service with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) from December 2004 to 2014.
Numerals are not awarded for the UNSSM.
Order of Wear
An example of the position of the United Nations Special Service Medal in the Wearing of Medals in New Zealand Table can be viewed here. The position of wear of the United Nations Special Service Medal for each individual will vary depending on when an individual qualified for the United Nations Special Service Medal. As for Campaign and War medals, United Nations medals are worn in order of the date an individual qualified for each award.
Media statements concerning service by New Zealand personnel on United Nations missions recognised by the United Nations Special Service Medal
- Southern Lebanon
- 7 February 2008 - NZDF commitment to munitions clearance in Lebanon ends
- 30 November 2007 - Stay Safe: EOD Operations in Southern Lebanon
- 3 July 2007 - Defence Team Home from Lebanon
22 June 2007 - New Defence Personnel Bound for Lebanon
- 6 March 2007 - Kiwi Battlefield Clearance Team makes Explosives Progress
- 23 February 2007 - Defence Battlefield Clearance Team get to Work in Lebanon
- 8 February 2007 - Takapuna Man to Lead Defence Team in Lebanon
- 8 February 2007 - Defence to Send Specialist Force to Lebanon
- 15 February 2007 - On the Edge in Iraq - NZ's military advisor with UNAMI
- Mozambique and Sierra Leone
- 30 June 2005 - NZDF Withdraws from Mozambique and Sierra Leone