In recent years, United States military personnel have provided assistance in natural disasters across the globe including hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria and Typhoons Mangkhut and Yutu. Pararescue teams performed water rescues in flooded regions, personnel helped rebuild communities leveled by the storms, and service members moved countless pounds of aid resources.
Now, they're eligible for an award.
Service members who were called to assist during the preparation for or aftermath of these recent natural disasters are now authorized to receive the Humanitarian Service Medal. The Humanitarian Service Medal is awarded in recognition of significant military acts performed in support of humanitarian efforts.
Any service member who assisted during or before hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria are all eligible for the award. These storms hit Texas and the Caribbean in 2017.
United States military personnel who provided assistance abroad in the aftermath of Typhoons Mangkhut and Yutu which affected Guam, the Philippines, and nearby islands in 2018 are also eligible.
The authorization was made by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.