Medals for US forces in relation to Israel


The first medal presented here is the USA's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, connected to a black page in  US-Israel relations. The Medal of Honor to Commander William L. McGonagle who continued to lead his ship, the USS Liberty, despite being severely wounded during an attack by Israeli forces


The USS Liberty incident was an attack on a neutral United States Navy technical research ship, USS Liberty, by Israeli jet fighter planes and motor torpedo boats on June 8, 1967, during the Six-Day War. The combined air and sea attack killed 34 and wounded more than 170 crew members, and damaged the ship severely. The attack was most likely the result of mistaken identity.




Southwest Asia Service Medal for 1991 Persian Gulf War duty

For the medal's purpose, the land area of Southwest Asia included Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and United Arab Emirates. "Contiguous waters" was defined as the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden and the portion of the Arabian Sea that lay north of 10 degrees North latitude and west of 68 degrees East longitude.


Soldiers who served under U.S. Central Command in Israel, Egypt, Turkey, Syria and Jordan--or their territorial waters or airspace--between Jan. 17, 1991, and April 11, 1991, also received the medal. This included, for example, the four Patriot missile batteries manned by U.S. soldiers in Israel, such as the 4th Bn., 43rd Air Defense Artillery.

A Patriot being fired at an incoming Scud fired from Iraq toward Tel Aviv in 1991.






Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal

To be awarded the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, a military service member must perform duty in a deployed status and must participate in designated anti-terrorism operation for a period of either 30 consecutive or 60 non-consecutive days of duty. The term "deployed status" indicates either temporary or permanent orders to a duty station outside the borders of the United States of America with such duty being in direct support of anti-terrorism operations.


For a service member to receive the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the deployment must also have taken place in a nation which is currently recognized as a base for anti-terrorism operations by the United States Department of Defense. The medal may be awarded for approved operations performed in a number of geographical areas, including Israel. This includes, for example, U.S. soldiers who manned the Patriot missile batteries in Israel, deployed there in 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

US Patriot missile batteries equipped base south of Tel Aviv, Thursday, March 20, 2003




Medal for Service in Israel

The Medal for Service in Israel is awarded to military attachés who service at least two years in Israel upon the end of their assignment with the IDF. First instituted in 2007, it is still a somewhat rare decoration and there are certain restrictions regarding its display (or in some case, even its mention) for U.S. personnel stationed in other Middle Eastern Arab countries who are on unfriendly terms with Israel.





Multinational Forces Observer's Medal

The MFO was established to monitor a neutral ceasefire zone, between Egypt and Israel, as the result of the Yom Kippur War of 1973. The United States Army provides the single largest contingent to the MFO.

The MFO medal was instituted on March 24, 1982. Awarded for a term of 170 days.

  Pictures of award ceremonies