The Special Service Medal (SSM) was created in 1984 to recognize members of the Canadian Armed Forces who are taking part in activities and operations under exceptional circumstances.
The SSM is always issued with a bar that specifies the service being recognized. Each of the seven bars has its own eligibility criteria. The bars awarded are:
This program is managed by the Directorate of Honours and Recognition (DH&R) at the Department of National Defence. The Chancellery of Honours, on behalf of the Governor General, is responsible for the administration of the award of all Canadian honours. However, for many military service medals, this responsibility has been delegated to DH&R, which processes nominations for these medals. For more information, please visit the DH&R website.