Afghanistan

What You Said: Should Op Pitting Personnel Receive Medals?

The Government is considering whether troops deployed on the Afghanistan evacuation mission qualify for military medals.

The vast majority of voters in our poll believe UK servicemen and women should be given medals in recognition of their role in the evacuation of Afghanistan.

Out of 2,827 votes across our Twitter and Instagram pages, 2,132 (75%) voted 'yes' while 695 (25%) said 'no'.

Missions must usually last 30 days for personnel to qualify for a service medal, with the Ministry of Defence (MOD) acknowledging that precedent, adding that any changes to that protocol will require "lengthy consideration".

An MOD spokesperson stated that "medallic recognition for the evacuation in Afghanistan will be considered in due course", adding: "Medals or awards for individual acts of bravery or leadership are separate to the length of deployment criteria and are therefore considered based on a citation by citation basis."

Operation Pitting saw hundreds of personnel travel to Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban takeover, helping individuals flee the troubled country.

The mission lasted two weeks, with Boris Johnson praising "around-the-clock" efforts by the British military.

Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey responded to our Twitter poll, saying: "An emphatic 'yes' from me.

"This was a crisis mission, in a conflict zone. It was dangerous, difficult and successful.

"Even though it was shorter than the arbitrary 30-day medal threshold, the troops on Operation Pitting absolutely deserve a medal."