Republic of Korea War Service Medal Available and Now Authorized for Wear on US Uniforms

This medal was initially proposed by the South Korean government in 1951 to honor all United Nations troops who battled the communist aggressors during the Korean War. After 48 years, the medal was finally approved by the Department of Defense.

During the Korean War,the U.S. disallowed the wearing of Korean War Service Medal, because regulations at the time prevented American service members from wearing any foreign award. However, Congress changed this law in 1954. On the occasion of the 50th Anniversary, the Republic of Korea once again offered the medal.

The Secretary of Defense appointed the Air Force as the lead agent to distribute the medal. The Air Force Personnel Center processes the requests and distributes the medals to all Korean War Veterans who qualify, regardless of their branch of service.

The Air Force Personnel Center processes medal requests on a first come first serve basis.The AFPC advises that the processing and shipment of medals may take up to six months due to the high volume of requests.

The medal is free to veterans who meet the criteria. Do not confuse it with other commemoration medallions for sale by for-profit organizations.

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.

Only the ROK-provided medal is approved for wear on the military uniform. 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.

To apply, veterans should send a copy of their discharge paper "DD- 214" and current mailing address to:

550 C Street West,Suite 12
Randolph Air Force Base,Texas

Additional information can be found by contacting the Air Force Personnel Center,at (800)558-1404,or