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NATO's 75th anniversary

On April 4th, 2024, it's 75 years since NATO was established.
NATO's 75th anniversary

NATO's Meritorious Service Medal, Article 5 medal and Non-Article 5 medal.
(Graphics: Wikipedia)

Denmark was among the original 12 founding member countries, and foreign minister Gustav Rasmussen signed the Atlantic Treaty.
Our membership of NATO was a break with the policy of neutrality adhered to since the defeat in the Danish-Prussian war of 1864. Joining NATO was a result of the lessons learned from the end of the 1930s and the German occupation: Totalitarian regimes did not respect our neutrality. This made the government join NATO. We could also see the threat from the Soviet Union, who in 1948 overthrew the democratically elected government of Czechoslovakia and established a communist regime.

NATO has during the last 75 years contributed to peace and stability in the member countries, including Denmark. Read more about Denmark and NATO on the Danish Defence website (in Danish).

NATO has instituted both a NATO Medal, struck in bronze, and a NATO Meritorious Service Medal, struck in silver. Both medals are round and the obverse shows NATO's symbol, the compass rose surrounded by an olive branch on each side. The reverse bears the inscription "IN SERVICE OF PEACE AND FREEDOM" and the equivalent in French "AU SERVICE DE LA PAIX ET DE LA LIBERTE". Along the rim is inscribed "NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION" and "ORGANISATION DU TRAITE DE L'ATLANTIQUE NORD". The medals can be awarded for 30 days or more in a NATO operation.

There are 2 different NATO Medals: The Article 5 NATO medal and the Non-Article 5 NATO medal. The ribbon for the Article 5 medal is blue with two vertical gold-colored stripes, each surrounded by a white stripe. Bars on the ribbon indicate which operations the medal is awarded for. The ribbon for the Non-Article 5 medal is blue with two vertical silver-colored stripes, each surrounded by a white stripe.
The ribbon for the Meritorious Service Medal is blue with two vertical gold- and silver-colored edge stripes, surrounded by a white stripe.