Korean War Medal

Recently, the 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:

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 above) do.

**[This medal is different from, and should not be confused with the  Republic of 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The whole picture of what medals were proposed and actually awarded, or awarded and then withdrawn is something which takes some study to understand.]

    To be eligible for the Korean War Medal, a veteran must have served between June 25, 1950 and July 27, 1953 in the territorial limits of Korea, its adjacent water or in the air over Korea. A copy of the veterans military discharge or other acceptable proof of service must be provided.

    Additional information on how to apply can be obtained by contacting the cognizant issuing authority for all services: Air Force Personnel Center at (800) 558-1404, weekdays between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Central Standard Time, or by writing to: Headquarters, AFPC/DPPPRA, 550 C Street West, Suite 12, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, 78150-4714.
More info at: http://www.afpc.randolph.af.mil/awards/

KoreanWarMedalalt       [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 the medal.]

More details of Korean War awards: http://www.paulnoll.com/Korea/War/item-Korea-ribbons.html

Back to Sabalo Ribbons, Medals, etc.

Last update: 0948, 26 Oct 2006
This web page authored by Jeff Owens  using Netscape Composer and MS Front Page Express.
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