Defense Department has announced that
Korean War veterans may accept and wear the (Republic of Korea)
War Service Medal.**
It first was offered on Nov. 15,
1951, by the South Korean Minister of Defense to the Commander-in-Chief
of the United Nations Command. The medal was intended for award
to those who participated in the Korean War for at least 30 consecutive
days or 60 nonconsecutive days on or after June 25, 1950.
In his original offer, the Korean
Minister of Defense stated that, "It is requested that you
accept the Republic of Korea's recognition of the splendid service
rendered by the United Nations command and delegate authority
to commanders of forces of the nations fighting in Korea to award
the Korean War Ribbon to members of their commands."
The United States acknowledged the
offer but turned it down. Over the years many Korean War veterans
had tried to get the Defense Department to accept the medal, but
to no avail. In 1996 the Army noted that it could find no record
that the Korean Government ever offered the medal to the Department
of Defense, which was technically true: the original offer
was made to the United Nations Command. The Army then took the
position that unless the Korean Government resurrected their original
offer, the Army was "not in a position to officially recognize
or approve acceptance of the medal."
Interestingly, a number of other
countries that participated in the Korean War did accept the medal,
and examples are found in medals groups from those countries.
On August 20, 1998, Francis M. Rush Jr., Principal Deputy Assistant
Secretary of the Army, approved the acceptance and wear of the
Korean Service Medal.
To be eligible for this foreign award, Navy, Coast
Guard and Marine Corps 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, in the
waters immediately adjacent to or in aerial flight over Korea while
supporting or participating in combat.
above taken from: http://www.history.navy.mil/medals/korea.htm
Further criteria will be set forth in
an amendment to Uniform Regulations. A current copy of the medal
is available but does not have the Taeguk (the traditional Korean
Yin-Yang symbol) woven into the drape as the originals (shown
**[This medal is different from, and should not be confused with
Korea Service Medal.
The whole picture of what medals were proposed and actually
awarded, or awarded and then withdrawn is something which takes some
study to understand.]
eligible for the Korean War Medal,
a veteran must have
served between June 25, 1950 and July 27, 1953 in the territorial
Korea, its adjacent water or in the air over Korea. A copy of the
military discharge or other acceptable proof of service must be
information on how to apply
can be obtained by contacting the cognizant issuing authority for all
services: Air Force Personnel Center at (800)
weekdays between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Central Standard Time, or by
to: Headquarters, AFPC/DPPPRA, 550 C Street West, Suite 12, Randolph
Base, Texas, 78150-4714.
More info at: http://www.afpc.randolph.af.mil/awards/
[This image shows a somewhat different version of the (Republic of Korea)
War Service Medal, and was taken from a US Air Force site.
Notice the absence of
the ROK 'yin-yang'
symbol. It is not clear from web searching
what the actual coloration and appearance of this medal should
be. On some sites the symbol appears on only the ribbon but not
More details of Korean War awards: http://www.paulnoll.com/Korea/War/item-Korea-ribbons.html
to Sabalo Ribbons, Medals, etc.
Last update: 0948, 26 Oct
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