Vietnam Wound Medal

Vietnam Wound Medal

Instituted: 1953

Criteria: For military personnel who had been wounded in action and to government officials wounded in the line of duty by the enemy or rebels.

Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

3. Criteria: The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal is awarded to personnel who meet one of the following requirements:

    a. Served in the Republic of Vietnam for six months during the period of 1 March 1961 and 28 March 1973.

    b. Served outside the geographical limits of the Republic of Vietnam and contributed direct combat support to the Republic of Vietnam and Armed Forces for six months. Such individuals must meet the criteria established for the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (for Vietnam) or the Vietnam Service Medal, to qualify for the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

    c. Six months service is not required for individuals who were wounded by hostile forces; killed in action or otherwise in line of duty; or captured by hostile forces.

5. Background: a. The Secretary of Defense approved a request for approval of foreign awards to US Military personnel on 7 February 1966. As a result of this approval, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with device bar (1960- ) was awarded to US Armed Forces personnel by the Government of the Republic of Vietnam per Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Order No. 48, dated 24 March 1966. The acceptance, criteria and description was announced in the Federal Register, Volume 31, No. 147, 30 July 1966 (Title 32, Code of Federal Regulation 47).

    b. The Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Memorandum 2655 prescribed there were two devices to be worn on the ribbon. The first device was for the period 8 March 1949 - 20 July 1954 and is not authorized for wear by American Military Personnel. The second period was from 1 January 1960 with the last period to be decided after the war was over. The ending period remains blank, since the Republic of Vietnam Government ceased to exist before the ending period was established. The devices for the medal are in two sizes - - the large size is 1 13/64 inches in width and is worn on the suspension ribbon of the full size decoration. The regular size is 19/32 inch wide and is worn on the miniature decoration and service ribbon bar.

    c. Since the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal is a foreign award, it is not issued by the United States Government. The medal may be purchased from commercial sources.

Vietnam Gallantry Cross

Vietnam Gallantry Cross

3. Criteria: a. U.S. Military units were individually cited for award of the Republic of Vietnam (RVN) Gallantry Cross; however, the Vietnamese Government issued the award to all units subordinate to Military Assistance Command (MACV) during the period 8 February 1962 and 28 March 1973 and to U.S. Army Vietnam and its subordinate units for the period 20 July 1965 to 28 March 1973. This permits all personnel who served in Vietnam to wear the RVN Gallantry Cross unit citation.

        b. The medal was awarded by the Vietnam Government to military personnel who have accomplished deeds of valor or displayed heroic conduct while fighting the enemy and have been cited individually at the regiment, brigade, division, corps, or armed forces level.

4. Components: The following are authorized components of the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross:

        a. Medal (regular size): Not issued. Available commercially.

        b. Medal (miniature size): Not issued. Available commercially.

        c. Ribbon: MIL-R-11589/173. Commercially available.

        d. Streamers: Awarded to cited units. Inscription is as indicated on the unit's lineage and honors. Requisition in accordance with Chapter 9, Army Regulation (AR) 840-10.

        e. Unit Award: Commercially available.

5. Background: a. The RVN Gallantry Cross was established by the Vietnam Government by Decree No. 74-b/Qt, dated 15 August 1950 and Decree No. 96/DQT/HC, dated 2 May 1952. Authorization for all U.S. Army personnel was confirmed in HDQA General Orders No. 8, dated 19 March 1974.

        b. Only one emblem (with palm) will be worn regardless of the number of times the unit was awarded the RVN Gallantry Cross. The Army initially authorized the wear of a fourragere by letter AGPB-AC, Subject: Wear of Vietnamese Unit Awards by U.S. Army Personnel, dated 11 February 1969, for units which had been awarded the RVN Gallantry Cross with palm on two or more occasions. Department of the Army message 111030Z April 1974, established the policy that only one emblem was authorized, thus precluding the wear of the Vietnamese fourrageres which represented multiple awards.

United Nations Service Medal

United Nations Service Medal (Korea)
United Nations Service Medal (Front)       United Nations Service Medal (Back)

1. Description: A bronze medal, 1 3/8 inches in diameter, with a top view of the globe enclosed at sides and bottom by a wreath and the letters "UN" at the top of the medal. On the reverse side is the inscription "IN THE SERVICE OF PEACE". The United Nations Service Medal Korea is the same design, except the obverse does not include the letters "UN" and the medal has a hanger bar with the inscription "KOREA". On the reverse side of the United Nations Service Medal Korea is the inscription "FOR SERVICE IN DEFENCE OF THE PRINCIPLES OF THE CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS".

2. Ribbons: Although the same medal is used for all the United Nations Medals, a different ribbon is authorized for each operation. The operations in which United States military personnel were awarded the medal and authorized by DOD to accept the medal are:

United Nations Service Medal Korea: Equal stripes of Bluebird 67117 and White 67101 (9 Bluebird and 8 White stripes), each 5/64 inch wide.

United Nations  Medal

United Nations Truce Supervisory Organization (UNTSO) in Palestine (UNTSO Ribbon). 7/32 inch Bluebird, 3/32 inch White, inch Bluebird; 3/32 inch White; and 7/32 inch Bluebird.

3. Wear Policy. Prior to 13 October 1995, all US Military personnel wore the blue and white United Nations Ribbon (UNTSO) regardless of the ribbon awarded. On 13 October 1995, the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) approved a change to the wear policy of the United Nations Medal. Effective on that date, personnel who are awarded the United Nations Medal may wear the first medal and ribbon for which they qualify. Subsequent awards of the United Nations Medal for service in a different mission will be denoted by a bronze service star. Not more than one ribbon may be worn at any time.


Republic of Korea War Service Medal

Republic of Korea War Service Medal
Republic of Korea War Service Medal (Front)       Republic of Korea War Service Medal (Back)

U.S. veterans of the Korean War are now eligible to wear a medal initially offered to them more than 50 years ago, but never issued.

In a May 13, 2000 letter to Defense Secretary William S. Cohen, Republic of Korea Defense Minister Seong Tae Cho formally announced that his government would provide the Republic of Korea War Service Medal (ROKWSM) to eligible U.S. veterans of that conflict, or to their surviving next of kin. The medal will be provided at no cost to veterans. The U.S. Air Force has been designated the lead agency to receive and distribute the medals.

"On the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Korean War," Cho wrote, "the ROK government decided to issue the ROKWSM to pay tribute to the Korean War veterans for their historic endeavors to preserve freedom of the ROK and the free world." The two governments will conduct fiftieth anniversary ceremonies throughout 2000-2003 and medals may be applied for at any time during this period. The war began on June 25, 1950 when North Korean forces invaded ROK territory. The armistice on July 27, 1953 ended the fighting, although a formal peace treaty has never been completed.

The medal was originally offered by the ROK in 1951 to United Nations forces serving in Korea and adjacent waters. At the time U.S. law prohibited the U.S. military from wearing medals issued by foreign governments. Congress changed that in 1954, but by then most U.S. service members eligible for the medal had returned home.

In 1998 the government of the Republic of Korea renewed its original offer of the ROKWSM to U.S. military personnel. On Aug. 20, 1999, the Defense Department approved the acceptance and wear of the medal. Approximately 1.8 million U.S. veterans of the Korean War are eligible to receive it. Next of kin to eligible deceased veterans can also apply for the medal.

To wear this medal on U.S. military uniforms, U.S. military personnel must have:

served between the outbreak of hostilities, June 25, 1950, and the date the armistice was signed, July 27, 1953;
been on permanent assignment or on temporary duty for 30 consecutive days or 60 non-consecutive days; and
performed their duty within the territorial limits of Korea, in the waters immediately adjacent thereto or in aerial flight over Korea participating in actual combat operations or in support of combat operations.

The ROK specifies the eligibility period and criteria. Only the ROK-provided medal is approved by the U.S. Government to meet the U.S. criteria for wear on the military uniform.

To apply, veterans must provide a copy of their discharge paper, commonly known as a "DD-214," or a corrected version of that document, a "DD-215." National Guard members must provide their statement of service equivalent, "NGB Form 22."

Additional information on how to apply for or request the medal can be found by contacting the Air Force Personnel Center, Monday - Friday, 0730-1630 (CST) at (800) 558-1404, or the Awards and Decorations Section (210) 565-2432/2520/2516, or by writing to HQ AFPC/DPPPRA , 550 C Street West, Suite 12, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas 78150-4714 or by visiting our web site: The organization's fax number is (210) 565-3118.

General information on the medal can also be found by writing the DoD 50th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration Committee, 1213 Jefferson Davis Highway, Crystal Gateway 4, Arlington, VA 22202, by calling (703) 604-0831 or by visiting its web site:

Because the order of precedence for non-U.S. service medals and ribbons is determined by date of approval, the ROKWSM should be worn after the Kuwait Liberation Medal, which was the last foreign medal approved for wear by U.S. military personnel. For the majority of Korean War veterans the medal will be worn after the United Nations Medal, or the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal if they served during that conflict.

Korea Defense Service Medal

Korea Defense Service Medal
Korea Defense Service Medal (Front)       Korea Defense Service Medal (Back)


4. Requirements: The Korea Defense Service Medal (KDSM) is authorized to members of the Armed Forces who have served on active duty in support of the defense of the Republic of Korea from 28 July 1954 to a date to be determined. 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.

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

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

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

c. 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 shall count as one day toward the 30 to 60 day requirement.

d. 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 extensive time period for KDSM eligibility, the nonconsecutive service period for eligibility remains cumulative throughout the entire period.

e. The KDSM may be awarded posthumously to any soldier who lost his/her life without regard to length of such service. Only one award of the KDSM is authorized for any individual.

6. Components: The following are authorized components and related items:

a. Medal (regular size): MIL-DTL-3943/311. NSN 8455-01-512-7138 for set which includes regular size medal and ribbon bar.

b. Medal (miniature size): MIL-DTL-3943/311. Available commercially.

c. Ribbon: MIL-DTL-11589/585. Available commercially.

d. Lapel Button (ribbon replica): MIL-DTL-11484/299. Available commercially.

7. Background:

a. Congress ordered the creation of the medal in Section 543 of the 2003 Defense Authorization Act, which President Bush signed into law on 2 December 2002 (Public Law 107-314). The Institute was asked to provide proposed designs which were forwarded to OSD on 21 February 2003. The medal selected on 3 March 2003, was designed by Mr. John Sproston. 

b. In order of precedence the KDSM will be worn below the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal (GWOTSM) and above the Armed Forces Service Medal (AFSM).

c. Effective 3 February 2004, the Overseas Service Ribbon (OSR) is no longer authorized for overseas tours in the Republic of Korea.

d. Order of precedence and wear policy for service medals awarded to Army personnel is contained in Army Regulation (AR) 670-1. Policy for awards, approving authority and supply of medals is contained in AR 600-8-22.


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