A new award by the Department of Defense will recognize qualifying active and reserve service members with Armed Forces Service and Humanitarian Service medals who have served during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Given the global nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no designated ‘area of eligibility’; rather, award authorities determine eligibility based on the nature of the member’s participation in qualifying DoD COVID-19 operations and activities,” according to the department in a press release.

The period of award for medals would start Jan. 31, 2020, with a termination date “to be determined.”

The Armed Forces Service Award is authorized for 30 consecutive or non-consecutive days of service; DoD stipulates that service members are not eligible for both awards for the same activities, deployment and/or period of service.

“Due to the health risk posed by COVID-19, award of the Armed Forces Service Medal is authorized for one day of qualifying service if that service resulted in the member contracting the virus.”

Tony Lombardo/MOAA