The Kuwait Liberation Medal is the name of two military decorations given by the Emirate of Kuwait and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to members of Coalition military forces (including the United States military) who served during the Persian Gulf War. The two decorations are typically referred to as the Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia) and the Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait).
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)
Kuwaiti Kuwait Liberation Medal
A Bronze medal with enamel, 1 9/16 inches in diameter suspended from a bar by a wreath. The obverse bears the Coat of Arms of the State of Kuwait. The Coat of Arms consists of the shield of the flag design in color superimposed on a falcon with wings displayed. The falcon supports a disk containing a sailing ship with the full name of the State written at the top of the disk. At the top of the medal is the inscription "1991 LIBERATION MEDAL" in Arabic letters. The reverse side is the map of Kuwait on a rayed background.
Ribbon: The ribbon is the pattern of the flag of the State of Kuwait and consists of three equal stripes 29/64 inch each of the following colors: Old Glory Red 67156; White 67101; and Irish Green 67189. A black trapezium is at the top of the ribbon drape and service ribbon.
Awarded to members of the Military Coalition who served in support of Operation Desert Shield or Desert Storm in one or more of the following areas between 2 August 1990 and 31 August 1993: Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden, that portion of the Arabian Sea that lies north of 10 degrees North latitude and west of 68 degrees East longitude, as well as the total land areas of Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. To be eligible, a service member must have been:
- (1) attached to or regularly serving for one or more days with an organization participating in ground/shore (military) operations;
- (2) attached to or regularly serving for one or more days aboard a naval vessel directly supporting military operations;
- (3) actually participating as a crew member in one or more aerial flights directly supporting military operations in the areas designated above;
- (4) serving on temporary duty for 30 consecutive days or 60 nonconsecutive days. These time limitations may be waived for members participating in actual combat operations.
The Government of Kuwait offered the Kuwait Liberation Medal to members of the Armed Forces of the United States by letter dated 16 July 1994. The medal was accepted by Secretary of Defense William J. Perry per memorandum dated 16 March 1995.
A nation of seafarers and ship builders, Kuwait chose as their coat of arms, the traditional dhow. Falconry is the sport of Kings in the Persian Gulf, and the falcon in the arms is seen as a symbol of Kuwaiti prowess. The official symbolism of the colors is black symbolizes battlefields, white is for deeds, green is for the meadows, and red is for the blood of Kuwait enemies.
The Kuwait version of the Kuwait Liberation Medal is considered junior in precedence to the Saudi Arabian version of the medal.
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia)
Saudi Kuwait Liberation Medal
The Saudi Arabian version of the Kuwait Liberation Medal is awarded to members of the Coalition Forces who participated in Operation Desert Storm and the liberation of Kuwait between the dates of January 17, 1991 and February 28, 1991. It is considered the rarer of the two versions of the medal, as it recognizes service in a relatively short period of time (only a few months) whereas the Kuwaiti version of the medal is granted for service over several years. For this reason, the Saudi Arabian Kuwait Liberation Medal is considered senior in precedence to the Kuwaiti version of the medal.
Service must have been performed in support of Operation Desert Storm and the liberation of Kuwait, between 17 January 1991 to 28 February 1991. Eligible areas include:
- The Persian Gulf
- The Red Sea
- That portion of the Arabian Sea that lies north of 10 degrees north latitude and west of 68 degrees east longitude
- The Gulf of Aden
- The total areas of Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates
In addition, those personnel must have:
- Been attached to or regularly serving for one or more days with an organization participating in ground and/or shore operations;
- Been attached to or regularly serving for one or more days aboard a naval vessel directly supporting military operations;
- Actually participated as a crew member in one or more aerial flights supporting military operations in the areas designated above; or,
- Served on temporary duty for 30 consecutive days during the qualifying period. Note: That time limitation may be waived for personnel who actually participated in combat operations.
The Saudi version of the Kuwait Liberation Medal consists of a silver star of fifteen rounded points (with shorter rounded points between them) surmounted by a gilt medallion which contains a wreath tied at its based an a crown at its top. In the center of the gilt medallion is a silver representation of the Earth, over which is superimposed a gilt representation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Above the gilt medallion are the crossed swords and palm tree taken from the Royal Cypher. Beneath the gilt medallion is a swallow-tailed scroll with its ends folded back and point upward so they follow the contour of the gilt medallion. On the scroll are the words, LIBERATION OF KUWAIT in English, and the same inscription above it in Arabic.
The ribbon bar to the medal bears a gilt device consisting of crossed swords (point up) superimposed over a palm tree. This device is taken from the Royal Cypher. The device is not used on the suspension ribbon to the actual medal.