U.S. Army link for full information and application: Web Staff Editorial
By Ken Robinson

  In April, 2002, the Department of Defense publicly released a sample (see below) of its official Cold War Recognition Certificate. This was the first "preview" of the letter-size document, which had already been available for a full year, on request, to all 17 million military veterans who served on active duty between 1945 and 1991. It was to serve as recognition for their service in winning the Cold War. [Continued Below]


[continued from above]

Having viewed the certificate, I feel that it is a major disappointment, and, yes, to some degree an insult to all Cold War veterans. However I am not personally blaming Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, whose signature originally appeared on the document until replaced by that of Robert M. Gates in 2007.

I understand that the document had to be written and portrayed in a way as to not offend today's Russia and other former states of the Soivet Union, our primary Cold War adversary. (This need - not to "rub salt into the wound" - is probably why we will never see an officially sanctioned Cold War medal.) But, unfortunately, the Washington planners have produced a certificate that is needlessly plain and unimaginative in its graphics, vague in its wording, and thoroughly uninspiring overall. I must ask: "Is this what we've waited over a decade for?"

During the first year of its debut (April, 2001 - April, 2002), more than 250,000 veterans applied for the Cold War Veteran Recognition Certificate. I understand that requests have continued to flood in, to the point where a wait of at least six months is expected before mailings occur. If all veterans could see the above sample first, my guess is that requests would drop by 50% or more.

On the Army website shown at the top of this page is a fax number where you should consider lodging a complaint, as well as with your local congressman. Hopefully thousands of veterans will do so, by asking that the certificate be revised to become a document that is more official looking, more dignified, and more descriptive of exactly how important the Cold War victory was to our nation and to the future of the world.

[NOTE: Spearhead veteran Ken Robinson of Washington state is well qualified to offer opinions on issues related to the Cold War. Following his time with the 3rd Armored Div. Public Affairs Office in Frankfurt during 1967-68, he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Berlin Brigade newspaper during 1968-69. The Brigade was based 110 miles inside the Iron Curtain.]

Return to Top

Return to Previous Page