- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 2, 2014

The United States is sending 1,700 military personnel on a new mission in Iraq, but the Pentagon said Thursday that medals and awards will be given out that were designated for deployments under Operation Enduring Freedom.

Military Times said on Thursday that the Pentagon used “strained logic” to reach its decision before adding that the effort to stem the Ebola virus has a name — Operation United Assistance — but the fight against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria does not.

“Troops deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Enduring Freedom are eligible for the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal,” Army Maj. James Brindle, a Defense Department spokesman, said Thursday, the paper reported.

Doug Sterner, the curator of the Military Times Hall of Heroes, the largest database of military medals and awards, said Thursday that he is just happy that the service members’ efforts will be recognized.

“You’re sitting there in Baghdad and you never know when a mortar is going to fall on your head. So I think it’s appropriate,” Mr. Sterner said, the paper reported.

The Hill reported Wednesday on the no-name battle against the Islamic State group, with Navy Cmdr. Daniel Dolan telling the paper “That’s usually one of the first things, you give it a name: Operation Desert Shield, Operation Allied Force, Operation Enduring Freedom. […] The troops are asking the same question. There are soldiers, sailors, and airmen out there wondering ‘What do we call this?’”

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