Those who served during Cold War era recognized
Story © 2000-2004
Vincent Z. Whaley and the Johnson
City Press, 204 W. Main St., Johnson City, Tennessee
By Vincent Z. Whaley
City Press Staff Writer
(Published Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2000)
It was an era filled with mistrust, accusations and
threats between the United States and the Soviet Union,
with both nations keeping their defenses at the ready
but never allowing war to answer their disputes.
Beginning at the end of World War II in 1945, the
Cold War lasted approximately 45 years until Russian
President Boris Yeltsin and U.S. President George
Bush formally declared in 1992 that their countries
were no longer enemies.
Today the Department of Defense is awarding Americans
who served in the armed forces and qualified federal
government civilian personnel who served during the
Cold War era from Sept. 2, 1945, to Dec. 26, 1991,
with special recognition certificates.
Although no medal has been authorized or issued by
the government for Cold War recognition, the Cold
War Recognition Certificate program is scheduled to
run for 10 years and can be applied for without any
Qualified applicants may apply for the certificate
by using U.S. or international request forms from
the DOD's Cold War Recognition System Web site at
Those who are uncomfortable sending their Social Security
number over the Web may send a letter to request the
certificate. A sample letter is located at the Web
All requests must contain the words, "I certify
that my service was honorable and faithful,"
or the request will be rejected.
Qualified applicants also are required to send supporting
documentation that shows the recipient was a U.S.
government employee during the Cold War era. The document
must contain the recipient's name, Social Security
number, military service number or foreign service
number and a date that is within the range of Sept.
2, 1945, and Dec. 26, 1991.
Military service numbers were issued to members of
the armed forces before Social Security numbers were
used to identify personnel. The switch to Social Security
numbers occurred in the late 1960s, so many retirees
who are eligible for the certificate may have only
a military service number on their supporting documentation.
Foreign service numbers are used to maintain records
for foreign nationals who work for the U.S. government
and who do not have Social Security numbers.
Examples of acceptable documentation include a leave
and earnings statement or DD214 Honorable Discharge
papers. The DOD asks that qualified applicants send
copies of the documents, because original documents
cannot be returned.
The Cold War Certificate request form is located on
the Web at coldwar.army.mil/us_application.htm.
While certificates can be requested at the Web
site, qualified applicants must mail their supporting
documentation within one year of the request.
Those who wish may mail a request letter and supporting
documentation to CDR, PERSCOM; Cold War Recognition,
HOFFMAN II; ATTN: TAPC-CWRS, 3N45; 200 Stovall St.;
Alexandria, Va. 22332-0473 or FAX to 1-800-723-9262.
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