The Cold War Victory Medal is privately bought and worn on non-military clothing by civilians and retirees who served during the Cold War from September 2, 1945 to December 26, 1991. As of 2015, the Department of Defense has not issued an official Cold War Victory Medal, according to the official website of the Department of Veteran's Services.
As of 1999, only a Cold War Recognition Certificate is issued to qualified military and non-military personnel for their service during the Cold War. Due to a legal technicality, a law enacted in 2002 authorizing the Cold War Victory Medal did not mandate the DOD to officially distribute the medal. However, Louisiana awards the medal to a member of its National Guard, formally recognizing it as the Louisiana Cold War Victory Medal.