*Korea Defense Service Medal Requirements – as of 5 March 2019

KDSM requirements are in the updated AR 600-2-88, Military Awards in paragraph 2-22 (see excerpt below).

A. Authorization. The KDSM was authorized by Section 543, National Defense Authorization Act, 2003, PL 107 – 314. It is authorized for award to Servicemembers of the Armed Forces of the United States who have served on active duty in support of the defense of the Republic of Korea. The AOE and period of eligibility are as follows:

    1.  The AOE encompasses all land area of the Republic of Korea, and the contiguous water out to 12 nautical miles, and all airspaces above the land and water areas.
    2.  The period of eligibility is 28 July 1954 to a date to be determined by the SECDEF.

B. Criteria. Servicemembers must have been assigned, attached, or mobilized to units operating in the AOE for 30 consecutive or for 60 nonconsecutive days, or meet the following criteria:

    1. Be engaged in combat during an armed engagement, regardless of the time in the AOE.
    2. Wounded or injured in the line of duty and requires medical evacuation from the AOE.
    3. While participating as a regularly assigned air crewmember flying sorties into, out of, within, or over the AOE in direct support of military operations. Each day that one or more sorties are flown in accordance with these criteria will count as 1 day toward the 30- or 60-day requirement.
    4. Personnel who serve in operations and exercises conducted in the AOE are considered eligible for the award if the basic time criteria is met. Due to the extensive time period for KDSM eligibility, the nonconsecutive service period for eligibility remains cumulative throughout the entire period.
    5. Soldiers who are temporarily assigned to the NCO Academy at Camp Jackson, South Korea to attend the Basic Leaders Course are not authorized the KDSM since such presence is for professional development purposes and is not in support of the defense of the Republic of Korea.

C. Special provisions. Servicemembers qualified for the AFEM by reasons of service between 1 October 1966 and 30 June 1974, in an area for which the KDSM was authorized subsequently, are eligible for both the AFEM and the KDSM. Award of the KDSM for this time period is a one-time exception to policy to comply with section 543, National Defense Authorization Act, 2003, PL 107 – 314.

    1. The OSR is authorized to be awarded with the KDSM
    2. The KDSM may be awarded posthumously.
    3. Only one award of the KDSM is authorized for any individual.
    4. The KDSM will be worn after the GWOTSM and will be followed by the AFSM (that is, GWOTSM, KDSM, and AFSM).”

D. General.

    1. The OSR is authorized to be awarded with the KDSM.
    2. The KDSM may be awarded posthumously.
    3. Only one award of the KDSM is authorized for any individual.
    4. The KDSM will be worn after the GWOTSM and will be followed by the AFSM (that is, GWOTSM, KDSM, and AFSM).”