National Defense Service Medal

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Service: All Services

Instituted: 1953

Dates: 1950-54, 1961-74, 1990-95, 2001-TBD

Criteria: 120 consecutive days of service participating in, or any honorable act_ive duty service during any of the above periods

Devices: Bronze Star, Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster

Notes: Reinstituted in 1966, 1991 and 2001 for Vietnam, Southwest Asia (Gulf War) and Iraq/Afghanistan actions respectively

Initially authorized by executive order on April 22, 1953. It is awarded to members of the U.S. Armed Forces for any honorable active federal service during the Korean War (June 27, 1950 - July 27, 1954), Vietnam War (January 1, 1961- August 14, 1974), Desert Shield/Desert Storm (August 2, 1990 - November 30, 1995) and/or Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) (September 11, 2001 to a date TBD).

President Bush issued an Executive Order 12776 on October 8, 1991 authorizing award of the medal to all members of the Reserve forces whether or not on active duty during the designated period of the Gulf War.

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