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February 27, 2001
Staff Sgt. Robert Timmons
Media Outreach
PH: (703) 602-5295

Korean War Service Medal Still Available

WASHINGTON D.C. - In recent weeks the Department of Defense, 50th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration Committee has received many letters from veterans asking if the Korean War Service Medal has been discontinued. The answer is a resounding "Yes, the medal is still available!"

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, as the 50th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration approached, it was discovered that 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 DoD, 50th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration Committee plays no role in processing requests for the medal, nor does it have access to the status of any submitted requests.

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 to receive due to the high volume of requests.

The medal, which is free to veterans who meet certain criteria, is not to be confused with other commemoration medallions being offered by for profit oranizations.

To determine eligibility for the Korean War Service Medal an applicant must have:
  • Served during the period of hostilities June 25, 1950 - July 27, 1953,
  • Been on permanent duty assignment or temporary duty for 30 consecutive or 60 non-consecutive days,
  • Performed duty within the territorial boundaries of Korea, waters immediately adjacent to or in aerial flight over Korea.
  • Applicants must furnish a copy their discharge papers (DD 214) as proof of eligibility.
  • Service members who need to request their military records can download a request form at: http://www.nara.gov/regional/mprsf180.html.
  • The form should be mailed to:

    National Personnel Record Center
    Military Personnel Records
    9700 Page Avenue
    St. Louis, MO 63132-5100

    Veterans requesting the Korean War Service Medal should contact the Air Force Personnel Center at:

    Air Force Personnel Center
    550 C Street West, Suite 12
    Randolph Air Force Base, Texas 78150-4714

    Additional information on how to apply for or request the medal can be found by calling the Air Force Personnel Center, Monday - Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (CST) at (800) 558-1404, or the Awards and Decorations Section (210) 565-2432/2520/2516, fax (210) 565-3118.

    More information on the Korean War commemoration can be located on the Internet at http://korea50.army.mil.

    Copyright 2006 - NJ Department of Military & Veterans Affairs