Researched Veterans
US Army Medals


Korea Defense Service Medal

Authorized for those members of the U.S. military who have served duty in the Republic of Korea to uphold the armistice between South and North Korea. Service members must have served at least thirty consecutive days in the Korean theater or 60 non-consecutive days of service - including 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, it 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. 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 1 Oct 1966 - 30 Jun 1974. Only one award of the Korea Defense Service Medal is authorized, regardless of the amount of time served in the Korean theater.