The medal of this design was orginally established by Secretary General of the United Nations in 1949 for the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO). The UNTSO medal was created in support of Security Council Resolution 50 (1948), which created the UN Truce Supervision Organization. The same medal was additionally designated as the United Nations Medal by the Secretary General of the United Nations on July 20, 1959 for use by the United States to recognize U.S. military participation in United Nations operations.
The objective in estalishing this medal by the United Nations (and its acceptance by the United States) was to allow U.S. military personnel involved in a variety of United Nations peace-keeping operations to accept recognition for their service without expanding the number of ribbons worn on the uniform by permitting acceptance of the medals unique to each UN misison or operation.
ACCEPTANCE BY THE UNITED STATES
Acceptance of foreign medals and decorations is governed by Section 7342 of Title 5 of the United States Code, which applies to all members of the Armed Forces. Presidential acceptance of this medal for the United States Armed Forces was contained in Executive Order 11139, "Authorizing Acceptance of the United Nations Medal and Service Ribbon," signed on January 7, 1964. Acceptance of the medal for the Armed Forces was announced by Department of Defense Directive 1348.10 of March 11, 1964.
To qualify for this award, personnel of the Armed Forces of the United States originally had to have been in the service of the United Nations for a period of not less than six months while assigned to one of the following United Nations peace-keeping forces:
-- UNOGIL (United Nations Observer Group in Lebanon)
-- UNTSO (United Nations Truce Supervision Organization)
-- UNMOGIP (United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan)
-- UNTEA (UN Temporary Executive Authority and UN Security Force in West New Guinea)
-- UNTAC (United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia)
-- UNMIC (United Nations Advance Mission in Cambodia)
-- UNPROFOR (United Nations Protection Force in Yugoslavia
-- UNIKOM (United Nations Iraq/Kuwait Observation Mission)
-- UNOSOM (United Nations Operations in Somalia)
-- MINURSO (United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara) -- UNMIH (United Nations Mission in Haiti)
The United Nations Medal was in effect from its inception in 1964 to October of 1995 when the Secretary of Defense approved a change in the war polcy of the United Nations Medal. Effective October 13, 1995 military personnel who were awarded a United Nations medal could wear the distinctive ribbon to the medal they were awarded. However, any subsequent award of United Nations medal had to be denoted by a bronze star worn on the ribbon of the first medal. This policy was made retroactive to include all operaitons for which the United Nations Medal had previously been awarded. DESIGNER
The United Nations Medal was designed by the staff of the United Nations.
ORDER OF PRECEDENCE
Technically, the ribbon to the United Nations Medal would not be worn since the policy change that became effective on October 13, 1995. However, if worn it would follow the United Nations Korea Medal and come before the Multinational Force & Observers Medal.
A service member who qualified for an additional United Nations medal was entitled to wear a bronze star on the ribbon. The Service member was not authorized to wear the actual ribbon to the medal he or she received, but wore the ribbon the United Nations medals instead.
This is the "standard" United Nations medal and is a bronze medallion bearing on its obverse a representation of the United Nations symbol burmounted by the letters UN in in bas-relief. The reverse bears the words IN THE SERVICE OF PEACE. This is the standard medallion used for all missions except for Korea and the first United Nations Expeditionary Force.
The ribbon is a field of United Nations blue with two.