By ease of administration I'm referring more to the timelessness of the award being issued. Having clerks photocopy logbook entries and creating excel spreadsheets for each member just to track days seems like a waste of effort. Then there's the nightmare of "trading in" GSMs for GCSs if the 30 day cumulative tally is met in later rotations. (i.e. Hornet driver gets 15 days over Iraq during a 56-day roto, gets the GSM, and then returns for another 56-day roto and gets another 15 days over Iraq.)
If it was 180 days between those ROTOs, the mbr would keep the GSM and get the GCS.
I do like the GCS/GSM approach. I just think it needs some refinement wrt counting of days, especially when actually engaging an armed enemy.
As for the GCS/GSM ribbons, it's getting messy. Iraq and Syria fall within the definition of Southwest Asia, so why not just issue the GCS/GSM-SWA? EXP is meant for small contributions to short missions. Op IMPACT is well beyond that now. Probably just easier to rename the ribbon at this point.
Actually, I think the mistake was actually in the naming of the GCS-Expedition
from the get go. The qualifying service was always:The only approved eligible service for this ribbon thus far is military service within the political boundaries and airspace of Iraq from 20 January 2003 onwards provided the service has not been recognized by another service medal.
Are you sure you're not thinking of the SSM Expedition
? The Special Service Medal (SSM) was created to recognize members of the Canadian Forces who are taking part in activities and operations under exceptional circumstances.
(Authorized by PC 2014-606, 21 May 2014)
An aggregate of 180 days of honourable service performed outside Canada beginning July 1, 2007, while deployed to participate in or provide direct support on a full-time basis to approved operations, provided the said service is not counted towards any other Canadian or foreign service medal. In this context, “deployed” means sent outside of Canada temporarily, without family and effects, for the specific purpose of serving in or supporting approved operations; postings to permanent positions outside of Canada are excluded from eligibility.
I guess no one thought the name GCS- XPEDITION would create head scratching later on. Or they never thought we'd do an OP in Iraq the scope of IMPACT; the last line in the Historical notes states:As of 1 June 2012, 9 awards had been made.
Ref the earlier posts about the service medal for up north, there is an ALERT bar for the SSM as well.2. ALERT
(Authorized by PC 1995-2003)
An aggregate of 180 days of honourable service on the posted strength of Canadian Forces Station (CFS) Alert, or of honourable service with a military force operationally deployed to or at CFS Alert, since it began its operation on 01 September 1958 and still continuing. Units deployed at CFS Alert include such detachments as aircrew flying into the station for re-supply missions.
If you're up north and not on the posted strength of the CFS though...