51st Sig Bn

Get Your Medals and Certificates Now!
If your entitled, get them awarded!

Korean Defense Service Medal

The KDSM was authorized by Section 543, National Defense Authorization Act, 2003. It is authorized for award to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who have served on active duty in support of the defense of the Republic of Korea.

If you are entitled and have not received your service medal, as so many of our Korean Veterans are not even aware of it, here is information as to entitlement and instructions to get yours.

The area of eligibility and period of eligibility are as follows:

(1) 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.

(2) The period of eligibility is 28 July 1954 to a date to be determined by the Secretary of Defense.

Criteria. Service members must have been assigned, attached, or mobilized to units operating in the area of eligibility for 30 consecutive or for 60 nonconsecutive days,

or meet the following criteria:

(1) Be engaged in combat during an armed engagement, regardless of the time in the area of eligibility.

(2) Is wounded or injured in the line of duty and requires medical evacuation from the area of eligibility.

(3) While participating as a regularly assigned air crewmember flying sorties into, out of, or within the area of eligibility in direct support of military operations. Each day that one or more sorties are flown in accordance with these criteria will count as one day toward the 30 or 60-day requirement.

(4) 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.

Special provisions. Service members qualified for the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal by reasons of service between 1 October 1966 and 30 June 1974, in an area for which the KDSM was authorized subsequent are eligible for both the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and the KDSM. Award of the KDSM for this time period is a one-time exception to policy to comply with section 543 of the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2003, Public Law 107314.

This means that ANY VETERAN OF KOREA THAT RECEIVED THE "ARMED FORCES EXPEDITIONARY MEDAL for service in Korea during that time is also eligible to receive this medal and have it entered on their official military records.


To apply for your medal and correct your records to reflect award of such medal and have left the service before 2002, fill out the SF 180 and send it to:

National Personnel Records Center (NPRC)
Military Personnel Records
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138-1002

NPRC will add the Korea Defense Service Medal to the records by correcting the DD214 to include it and will issue a DD FORM 215 (CORRECTION TO DD FORM 214, CERTIFICATE OF RELEASE OR DISCHARGE FROM ACTIVE DUTY). If you have in your possession a copy of current military records that show service that entitles you and send them along with it to possibly expedite the process. (DO NOT SEND ORIGINALS OR THE ONLY COPY YOU HAVE)

For convenience a SF 180 for is included on our website HERE

Cold War Recognition Certificate

In accordance with section 1084 of the Fiscal Year 1998 National Defense Authorization Act, the Secretary of Defense approved awarding Cold War Recognition Certificates to all members of the armed forces and qualified federal government civilian personnel who faithfully and honorably served the United States anytime during the Cold War era, which is defined as Sept. 2, 1945, to Dec. 26, 1991, are eligible.

All members of the armed forces and federal government civilian personnel who faithfully served the United States during the Cold War era, Sept. 2, 1945, to Dec. 26, 1991, are eligible. Individuals requesting a certificate will certify that their character of service was honorable. Acceptable supporting document for proof of service is any official government or military document with recipient's name, Social Security Number or Military Service Number or Foreign Service Number, and date of service. Please only send copies of supporting documents.

An acceptable supporting document includes any official government or military document that contains the recipient's name, Social Security Number or Military Service Number or Foreign Service Number, and a date showing at least one day of service during the Cold War era (2 September 1945 to 26 December 1991). Examples of acceptable documents include a Leave and Earnings statement, DD214 or other Discharge Paper, or SF50 (Civilian Personnel Action Form.) Please send a copy of your supporting document, DO NOT SEND the original document. Original documents cannot be returned.

For your convenience, a copy of the application is located on our site. Send it ONLY to the address as indicated on the form either by mail or fax. HERE

It can also be applied for online via email, but attachments of supporting documents may be a little more complicated. Further information can be obtained HERE



It has also come to our attention that many who qualified for the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal may not have had it awarded to them. You still are entitled and can have it awarded, but the is a more complicated procedure. As soon as I get some additional time, I will enclosure on here the qualifications and procedure necessary to get that medal awarded to those who are entitled.

from 51st Signal Battalion Korean Veterans