National Defense Service Medal
Service: All Services
Dates: 1950-54, 1961-74, 1990-95, 2001-TBD
Criteria: 120 consecutive days of service participating in, or any honorable active 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.