Medal Photography by Vic Damon, Web Staff

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An Editorial
but still unofficial

By Ken Robinson, Web Staff
Updated in 2008


Just the opposite of my disappointment with the government's Cold War Certificate, the still unofficial Cold War Medal exceeded my expectations. At present the medal is distributed exclusively by Foxfall Medals of Madison, VA, and can be purchased through It would be an ideal gift for any veteran who served between September 2, 1945, and December 26, 1991.

The total price of the Foxfall package is about $30.00, which includes the full-sized medal, ribbon bar, miniature-sized medal, lapel pin, and shipping & handling. In addition, all of this comes in a simulated-leather, hinged display box. Given the quality of the items, the cost is an outstanding bargain.

The detail and craftsmanship of the this two-sided medal is exquisite. It was designed by Nadine Russell, who, in literature that comes with the box, is described as "... one of America's leading medalists ... She has designed numerous military and civilian medals for the U.S. Government ... Her work on this medal was based on a great deal of research ... the design that resulted from her efforts is both beautiful in appearance and rich in symbolism."

The literature continues with: "The principal feature on the front of the medal is an allegorical figure of Freedom, adapted from the figures on the front of the World War I and World War II Victory Medals. She sits on a vantage point overlooking a landscape suggestive of the Fulda Gap in Germany, the anticipated point of attack by Communist forces in Europe during the Cold War."

The question remains: When will a medal be officially sanctioned by the Department of Defense? Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas sponsored legislation in 2001 that would create the Cold War Victory Medal for those estimated 17 million veterans who served during the era. Gramm also wanted to designate November 9th as Victory in the Cold War Day. Support in Congress was expected to continue to grow, but then came 9/11 and the Medal legislation has remained in limbo ever since.

Unfortunately, there's no solid guarantee that the Russell-designed medal and ribbon-bar as you see here (at right) will ever be accepted by the Department of Defense as the official award, if and when Congress acts. But historically many military medals have been struck privately before being officially recognized. As of 2008, the Russell design has no serious competition.
Shown to scale (from top): medal front; medal back; ribbon bar; miniature medal; & lapel pin.

The 3rd Armored Division's sector to defend in 1956-1991

Actual diameter size: 1 & 3/8 inch or 3.5 cm
Photo by Vic Damon, Web Staff

  Ken Robinson, Web Staff, continues:

The Russell-designed Cold War Medal contains a subtle honoring of the 3AD. According to literature that comes with the medal, the designer chose for the background a landscape suggestive of the Fulda Gap of Germany as "the anticipated point of attack by Communist forces in Europe during the Cold War." The Gap, of course, was the 3AD's to defend. In the above extreme close-up of the medal, the symbolism includes the sun rising over the Fulda Gap, signifying the end of the war.

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