Operational Service Medal for the Democratic Republic of Congo (2003)

Era: 2003

The Operational Service Medal for the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a 21st-century British armed forces campaign medal, awarded mostly to regular or reserve military personnel who served between 14th June, and 10th September, 2003 on Operation Coral, with special regard to the hardships and dangers which have accompanied duty there.

The qualifying period for the award of the Operational Service Medal ‘Democratic Republic of Congo’ is a minimum of 25 days continuous service in the Ituri Province between 14th June, 2003 – 10th September, 2003, or 5 missions; a mission is described as a flight operating in support of Operation CORAL between Entebbe – Bunia – Entebbe.


Materials:   The majority of the British medals and clasps are made of solid silver, though some were issue in bronze versions, mainly to Indian non-combatants.  The majority of the British campaign awards are circular, usually 36mm in diameter.

Ribbons:    Medals are worn suspended from their own specific ribbons. These were first made of silk but cotton was increasingly used as the nineteenth century developed.  Their own colours often have a symbolic significance: the equal stripes of the ‘1939 to 1945 Star,’ for example, are dark blue to represent the service of the Royal and Merchant Navies, red, to represent that of the Armies and light blue to represent that of Air Forces.

Ribbon width can vary slightly though it is generally 32mm wide.

Ribbon: a broad central red stripe flanked each side by a stripe of navy blue and one of light blue, to represent the three services, with an outer stripe of ochre, to represent the Congolese landscape.

Operational Service Medal for the Democratic Republic of Congo ribbon
Operational Service Medal for the Democratic Republic of Congo ribbon

Type: Campaign medal

Eligibility: Members of the United Kingdom armed forces

Awarded for: Campaign Service

Campaign: DROC 2003

Established: 2005       

Designer: Unknown

Naming: Capital letters engraved with laser to achieve a uniform sans-serif naming.

Suspender: Ornate

Clasps: DROC clasp awarded with every medal

Description: A circular silver medal. The obverse of the medal shows the crowned effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. The reverse bears the Union Flag, surrounded by the inscription ‘FOR OPERATIONAL SERVICE’ and the four major points of the compass, with four Coronets.

Clasps are usually referred to as ‘bars’.  They are single-faced metal bars carried on a ribbon attached to the medal, indicating the recipient’s service in a particular campaign or battle.  The clasps carry side flanges to enable them to be attached to the medal and riveted to each other, so that new ones can be attached as earned.  Usually the first earned Clasp is closest to the medal, so that the latest earned should be at the top, although they can be found in the wrong order

  • Clasp, DROC clasp awarded with every medal, a silver rosette denotes the clasp when worn on the ribbon bar.


This guide will help you through all the parts and descriptions of military medals


< gov.uk/medals-campaigns-descriptions-and-eligibility>

Some of the material on this page was also partially derived from

<en.wikipedia.org/ Operational_Service_Medal_for_the_Democratic_Republic_of_Congo/ >

Which are released under the terms of



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