Qualifying Dates: 1950-54
Criteria: Participation in military operations within the Korean area during the above period.
If veteran has this medal, he must have the National Defense Service Medal (057) and the United Nations Service Medal (078).
If veteran has this medal and was in Korea between June 1950 and July 1953, veteran is also entitled to Korean War Service Medal (101).
Authorized by executive order on November 8, 1950, and awarded for service between June 27, 1950 and July 27, 1954 in the Korean theater of operations. Members of the U.S. Armed Forces must have participated in combat or served with a combat or service unit in the Korean Theater for 30 consecutive or 60 non-consecutive days during the designated period. Personnel who served with a unit or headquarters stationed outside the theater but directly supported Korean military operations are also entitled to this medal. The combat zone designated for qualification for the medal encompassed both North and South Korea, Korean waters, and the airspace over these areas. Bronze/silver star attachments are authorized to be affixed to the suspension drape and ribbon bar to indicate participation in any or all of the 10 designated campaigns in the Korean War. The first campaign began when North Korea first invaded South Korea and the last campaign ended when the Korean Armistice cease-fire became effective. Army personnel who participated in an amphibious assault landing are entitled to wear an arrowhead attachment on the ribbon and medal.
A Korean gateway is depicted on the front of the medal along with the inscription
KOREAN SERVICE and on the reverse is a Korean symbol from the Korean flag that represents unity and the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. A spray of oak and laurel line the bottom edge. The suspension ribbon and ribbon bar are both blue and white, representing the United Nations. The period of Korean service was extended by one year from the cease fire by the Secretary of Defense; individuals could qualify for the medal during this period if stationed in Korea but would not receive any campaign credit. An award of this medal qualified personnel for award of the United Nations (Korean) Service Medal and the ROK Korean War Service Medal (approved 1999).
Campaigns designated by the Army and Air Force for the Korea Service Medal are
1. UN Defensive -- June 27 - September 15, 1950
2. UN Offensive -- September 16 - November 2, 1950
3. CCF Intervention -- November 3, 1950 - January 24, 1951
4. 1st UN Counteroffensive -- January 25 - April 21, 1951
5. CCF Spring Offensive -- April 22 - July 8, 1951
6. UN Summer-Fall Offensive -- July 9 - November 27, 1951
7. 2d Korean Winter -- November 28, 1951 - April 30, 1952
8. Korea, Summer-Fall -- May 1 - November 30, 1953
9. Third Korean Winter -- December 1, 1952 - April 30, 1953
10. Korea, Summer -- May 1 - July 27, 1953
The ten Navy & Marine Corps campaign designations
for the Korean Service Medal are:
1. North Korean aggression, 27 June - 2 Nov 1950
2. Communist China aggression, 3 Nov 1950 - 24 Jan 1951
3. Inchon Landing, 13 September - 17 Sept 1950
4. 1st United Nations counteroffensive, 25 Jan - 21 Apr 1951
5. Communist China spring offensive, 22 Apr - 8 July 1951
6. United Nations summer-fall offensive, 9 July - 27 Nov 1951
7. 2nd Korean winter, 28 November 1951 - 30 Apr 1952
8. Korean defensive, summer-fall 1952, 1 May - 30 Nov 1952
9. 3rd Korean winter, 1 December 1952 - 30 Apr 1953
10. Korean summer 1953, 1 May - 27 July 1953