If you were a member of the Armed Forces or were a federal government civilian employee between September 2, 1945, and December 26, 1991, you are eligible for a certificate honoring you for your role in winning the Cold War. Between 18 and 22 million service members and DOD civilians are eligible to apply for these certificates as of April 5, 1999.

Applications are available on the Army's website listed below. When you apply, do not send original documents, as they will not be returned. Copies of these documents can be obtained by writing to: National Personnel Records Center, (Military Personnel Records), 9700 Page Ave., St. Louis, MO 63132-5100.


Commander, AHRC
Cold War Recognition, Hoffman II
Attn: AHRC-CWRS, 3N45
200 Stovall Street
Alexandria, VA 22332-0473
Email: cwrs1@hoffman.army.mil

Cold War Victory Medal History and Background

The Department of Defense will not be creating a Cold War Victory Medal, and commemorative medals being sold by private vendors are not authorized for wear on military uniforms. Former Secretary of Defense William Cohen approved a Cold War Recognition Certificate in 1999, and the Army, as executive agent, has been responsible for issuing them to any eligible applicant. (See above for details.)

In Fiscal year 2002, the United States Congress passed legislation to approve the Cold War Victory Medal; however, language of the act did not require the United States Department of Defense to issue the medal. As a result DOD only issued a Cold War Recognition Certificate.

Presently the Cold War Victory Medal is a civilian medal, which may be privately purchased but is not distributed by the United States government. As such, the decoration is not presently authorized for wear on active duty military uniforms, but is frequently worn by retirees and civilians. However, the medal is worn as a National Guard award as issued by the Louisiana National Guard. The Adjutant General of the State of Louisiana currently authorizes the decoration as the "Louisiana Cold War Victory Medal." Eligible members, including active duty members, of the Louisiana National Guard are authorized to wear the medal.