Special Service Medal with NATO/OTAN Bar, Full Size Reproduction
The Special Service Medal (SSM) recognizes members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) who have performed a service determined to be under exceptional circumstances, in a clearly defined locality for a specified duration. The SSM recognizes approved activities underway on 11 June 1984 or subsequently established. This medal is always issued with a bar that specifies the special service being recognized, each bar having its own criteria.
NATO service between 1951 and 2004:
An aggregate of 180 days of honourable service within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) area of responsibility between 1 January 1951 and 19 October 2004. Qualifying service is service while posted to a NATO unit, or to a Canadian Forces or allied formation or unit outside territorial limits of Canada under the operational control of a NATO headquarters, or in Canada on an operational staff directly participating in the operational control of such formations and units. In the latter case, only those staff personnel serving in an operations room directly participating in the control of ships and aircraft in NATO operations and exercises qualify for this service. Persons in eligible positions or operations on 19 October 04 can continue to count their time until the end of that posting or deployment only. NOT ALL time served in Europe nor at sea can be counted towards this bar.