By Kristina Wong - 03/30/16 02:35 PM EDT
The Pentagon announced Wednesday that troops who have served or are serving in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are eligible for the Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal, effective immediately.
Troops who were awarded a Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal for their qualifying service in Iraq or Syria during the period of June 15, 2014, to March 30, 2016, may exchange that medal for the Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal, the Pentagon said.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced the new medal at a change of command ceremony Wednesday in Tampa, Fla., where Army Gen. Joseph Votel assumed command of U.S. Central Command from Army Gen. Lloyd Austin III, who is retiring.
"I am pleased to announce today, by the president’s order and upon the chairman’s and my recommendation, that our sailors, soldiers, airmen, and Marines serving in Iraq and Syria as part of operation Inherent Resolve are eligible for this medal and distinction," Carter said.
Service members should contact their respective military departments for additional guidance and for determinations regarding eligibility for the Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal, the Pentagon said.