Cold War certificates available via Web

Anyone who served the government - in the armed forces or as a federal civilian employee - between Sept. 2, 1945, and Dec. 26, 1991, is eligible for a Cold War Recognition Certificate, which is available via an Army World Wide Web site.

The certificate reads: "In recognition of your service during the period of the Cold War...in promoting peace and stability for this nation, the people of this nation are forever grateful."

Although the Defense Department has never awarded any medals for service rendered during the Cold War, the Defense Authorization Act of 1998 gave the Defense secretary authority to award the certificates to federal personnel who served the government "faithfully and honorably" during the era.

The program is being managed by the Army Software Development Center-Washington, a subordinate command of the Army Materiel Command.

Individuals interested in obtaining a certificate for themselves or for their units should fill out a form available on the center's Web site at coldwar.army.mil. The site includes a sample letter for those who prefer to request certificates by mail.

Requests must include the words, "I certify that my service was honorable and faithful," or they will be rejected.

The certificates have been extremely popular. A message on the Web site last week stated, "Due to the remarkable success of this program, turnaround time for mailing certificates may take as long as four months. The operations team is working as fast as possible to clear the backlog. Please do not request feedback prior to four months from the request date."

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