The Defense Department announced today the creation of theKorean Defense Service Medal (KDSM). The KDSM is a service medal to give special recognition for the sacrifices and contributions made by members of the U.S. armed forces who have served or are serving in the Republic of Korea.
Public Law 107-314 legislated the creation of a new medal to recognize military service in the Republic of Korea and the surrounding waters.
Members of the armed forces authorized the KDSM must have served in support of the defense of the Republic of Korea. The area of eligibility encompasses all land area of the Republic of Korea, and the contiguous water out to 12 nautical miles, and all air spaces above the land and water areas.
The KDSM period of eligibility is July 28, 1954, to a future date to be determined by the secretary of defense.
Servicemembers must have been assigned, attached, or mobilized to units operating in the area of eligibility and have been physically deployed in the area of eligibility for 30 consecutive or 60 non-consecutive days or meet one of the following criteria:
Be engaged in actual combat during an armed engagement, regardless of the time in the area of eligibility.
Is wounded or injured in the line of duty and requires medical evacuation from the area of eligibility.
While participating as a regularly assigned air crewmember flying sorties into, out of, within, or over the area of eligibility in support of military operations. Each day that one or more sorties are flown in accordance with these criteria shall count as one day toward the 30 or 60-day requirement.
Personnel who serve in operations and exercises conducted in the area of eligibility are considered eligible for the award as long as the basic time criteria is met. Due to the extensive time period for KDSM eligibility, the nonconsecutive service period for eligibility remains cumulative throughout the entire period.
The KDSM may be awarded posthumously, and only one award of the KDSM is authorized for any individual.
Each military department will prescribe appropriate regulations for administrative processing, awarding and wearing of the KDSM and ribbon for their servicemembers, to include application procedures for veterans, retirees, and next-of-kin.
More than 40,000 members of the U.S. armed forces have served in the Republic of Korea or the waters adjacent thereto each year since the signing of the cease-fire agreement in July 1953, which established the Demilitarized Zone. For more than 50 years, U.S. Armed Forces efforts to deter and defend the Korean Peninsula have helped maintain democracy and preserve the indomitable spirit of freedom.