Korea Defense Service Medal

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Korea Defense Service Medal
Korea Defense Service Medal.png
Korea Defense Service Medal
Awarded by United States Department of Defense
Type Service medal
Eligibility July 28, 1954–present
Awarded for service in support of the defense of South Korea.
Status Current
Statistics
Established Pub.L. 107-314, 116 Stat. 2458, 10 USC 3756, 6258 & 8756, enacted December 2, 2002
Precedence
Next (higher) Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Next (lower) Armed Forces Service Medal
Related

Korean Service Medal Korean War Service Medal

United Nations Service Medal
Korea Defense Service ribbon.svg
ribbon

The Korea Defense Service Medal (KDSM)[1] is a military award of the United States Armed Forces that was first created in 2002 when it was signed into law by President George W. Bush. The bill to create the proposal was introduced and championed by Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA) and Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM).[2] Several designs for the medal were proposed. The selected design was done by John Sproston.[3] In 2004, the Institute of Heraldry approved the final design and the medal became authorized for distribution.[4]

The Korea Defense Service Medal is authorized for those members of the United States Armed Forces who have served duty in South Korea after the signing of the Korean Armistice Agreement in support of the defense of the Republic of Korea. To qualify for the KDSM, a service member must have served at least thirty consecutive days in the Korean theater. The medal is also granted for 60 non-consecutive days of service which includes reservists on annual training in Korea.

Exceptions are made for the 30/60 days time requirement if a service member participated in a combat armed engagement, was wounded or injured in the line of duty requiring medical evacuation, or participated as a regularly assigned aircrew member in flying sorties which totaled more than 30 days of duty in Korean airspace. In such cases, the KDSM is authorized regardless of time served in theater.

The Korea Defense Service Medal is retroactive to the end of the Korean War and is granted to any service performed after July 28, 1954. The National Personnel Records Center is responsible for verifying entitlement of the KDSM to discharged members of the military who served in Korea prior to the creation of the KDSM.

As an official Department of Defense exception to policy, service members may be entitled to both the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, and the KDSM for participation in operations in Korea during the same timeframe between October 1, 1966 - June 30, 1974.

Only one award of the Korea Defense Service Medal is authorized, regardless of the amount of time served in the Korean theater.

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