In accordance with section 1084 of the Fiscal Year 1998 National Defense Authorization Act, the Secretary of Defense approved awarding Cold War Recognition Certificates to all members of the armed forces and qualified federal government civilian personnel who faithfully and honorably served the United States anytime during the Cold War era, which is defined as Sept. 2, 1945 to Dec. 26, 1991.
I want to mention here that the United States Army is the organization that DOD has elected to make the issuing agency for the Cold War Recognition Certificate. They are the only agency authorized to issue the certificates. Certificates are free to qualified individuals. If you come across any website or advertisement, offering a Cold War Recognition Certificate for a fee, they are a fraud. The Army's Cold War Recognition Certificate official website is at: http://coldwar.army.mil/.
Persons are eligible for the recognition certificate if they have military or civilian service with the War, Navy or Defense departments between Sept. 2, 1945, and Dec. 26, 1991. Congress established the Cold War certificate in Section 1084 of the fiscal 1998 National Defense Authorization Act.
Applicants must present proof of service. Army officials caution applicants not to send original documents because they cannot be returned. Applicants must use fax or mail to submit supporting documents.
Any document which shows that the intended recipient was a U.S. government employee during the Cold War era will be accepted as proof. The document must contain the name of the recipient, the Social Security Number or Military Service Number or Foreign Service Number which was included in the request for the certificate, and a date showing at least one day of service within the range of 2 September 1945 and 26 December 1991.
Examples of acceptable documents include a Leave and Earnings statement, DD214 or other Discharge Paper, or SF50 (Civilian Personnel Action Form.)
Once again, DO NOT SEND the original document. Original documents cannot be returned.
You can complete a Cold War Recognition Certificate request form online on the Army's Cold War Recognition Certificate Website. However, you cannot apply for the certificate online. Once you complete the form, you must print it, sign it, and mail or fax it, along with a copy of your supporting documents to:
U.S. Army Human Resources Command
Cold War Recognition Program, Hoffman II, Room 3N45
200 Stovall Street
Alexandria, VA 22332-0473