This page is to assist with questions most frequently asked by members, supporters and viewers.  If you need to obtain or update your military records, or those of a parent or relative, or to get replacement medals, please try using our support information and documents by clicking on the appropriate button.  You can also check medals eligibility.  If you find you continue to need assistance please email us and a support representative will try to assist you.



The Defense Department announced that the KOREA DEFENSE SERVICE MEDAL is authorized for wear.  Applications can now be submitted by veterans and retirees to the records facility in St. Louis, MO.

The addresses for the Branches are slightly different.  See the table below under Requesting Military Records, Medals and Awards and refer to the green cells for the branch address. 

The procedure to apply will be the same as for any other medal request.  You must complete Form SF-180 (click here) requesting your medal and  requesting your records be updated.  Include your Form DD-214 and documentation showing Korea service after 27 July 1954.

Navy veterans can apply by filing the Navy Self-certification Document.  To print a copy of this
document (click here).  


Members that are not able to prove their Korea service have several options to obtain documents that can help with the verification process.  These options are:

1) Request a copy of your Department of Army Form DA20 from the National Personnel Record Center (NPRC) in St. Louis, MO (see below).  It is a list of all duty assignments with dates of service.

2) Contact the NPRC to have a search conducted of your units Morning Reports.  This report shows those unit members that are not present for duty for a 24 hour period or longer.  Examples might be attendance at a school, participation in activities to earn a badge, 3 day pass/liberty, R&R, patient in hospital, TDY assignment, etc.

Request dates you know would place your name on this report.  This search will cost you
money because you must either do the physical search yourself or hire someone to search for you.  The NPRC has college students available to do your search.

3) Request a copy of your unit roster from the NPRC. 

4) Request your complete medical records.  These should have your Korea service documented.  These must be requested from your Veterans Administration Regional Office, and you must have filed a claim with the VA.  Ask for your C File.

5) If you know someone that deployed to Korea with you, or returned home with you, that might have a copy of the original orders, get a copy.  Your name should also appear on these orders.

6) If you know someone that went on R&R with you that might have a copy of the original orders, get a copy.  Your name should also appear on these orders.

7) Use documents showing promotions, badges or commendations received while stationed in

8) Copies of meal cards, passes, a drivers license, security identification, R&R ID card, etc. 
showing your name, unit, service number, date and address (post office number) have a good
chance of verifying service. 

9) Letters sent home by you, or sent to you, showing your name, service number and APO No. might be accepted as a last resort.

Note:  Photographs will not be accepted.



Military Awards Branch
Military Awards - AR 600-8-22


Frequently Asked Questions As of 9 November 2004

Question:  Are ROTC Cadets eligible for the KDSM?
:  Yes, ROTC Cadets who go TDY to Korea on one of the various ROTC programs are entitled to the KDSM provided they meet the basic criteria.


Question:  Do I have to take off my Overseas Service Ribbon (OSR) if I am now eligible for the Korean Defense Service Medal (KDSM)?
:  All Soldiers who received the OSR for service in Korea prior to 3 Feb 04, are not currently required to relinquish previous awards of their OSRs.  They should add the KDSM to their ribbon rack and not remove any awards of the OSR.  Effective 3 Feb 04, IAW para 5-4, the OSR can no longer be awarded for completion of a normal overseas tour in Korea .


Question:  I was stationed in Japan and went to Korea to complete PLDC.  Do I qualify for award of the KDSM?
:  Negative.  The DoD guidance only authorizes the KDSM to be awarded to service members who are assigned, attached, or mobilized to the area.  Soldiers can also qualify if they were in Korea for an exercise or operation.


Question:  Can I get multiple awards of the KDSM?
:  Per para 6 of the KDSM message, only one award of the KDSM is authorized for any individual.  Multiple awards are not authorized.  No appurtenances will be placed on the KDSM to denote multiple awards.


Question:  How do I get my records updated with the KDSM?
:  Per para 8 of the KDSM message, USA HRC - Alexandria will complete a one-time TOP LOAD to personnel systems to add the KDSM to active duty Soldier’s personnel records who have completed their overseas service tours before 3 Feb 04.  Military personnel divisions/personnel service companies (PCS) will update personnel qualification records of qualified Soldiers who complete their tours on or after 4 Feb 04 using this message as authority.


The top load has been completed.  If your records have not been updated, please contact your PSC.


Question:  Do I get a certificate and orders for the KDSM?
:  Negative.  The KDSM is categorized as a service award, as such permanent orders are not required.  Certificates also do not accompany award of the KDSM.


Question:  Do veterans use a Standard Form 180 to request the KDSM?
:  Please refer all veteran requests to the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) at


Requests for the issuance or replacement of military service medals, decorations, and awards should be directed to the specific branch of the military in which the veteran served. However, for Air Force (including Army Air Corps) and Army personnel, the National Personnel Records Center will verify the awards to which a veteran is entitled and forward the request with the verification to the appropriate service department for issuance of the medals.

If you are requesting an update or replacement of your DD-214 you must also complete Form SF 180.  Due to a fire at the National Personnel Records Center in July 1973, millions of records were destroyed or damaged.  Records suffering the most damage are:

Army veterans discharged or deceased between 1 Nov 1912 and 31 Dec 1959.
Air Force veterans discharged, deceased, or retired before 1 Jan 1964, whose names come alphabetically after Hubbard ((James E.).

If you are in this category you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire about your military service.  Without answering this questionnaire (NA Form 13075) and providing some form of supporting documents showing proof of service, schooling, foreign service dates and awards you will only be able to obtain a Certificate of Service.

The Standard Form (SF 180), Request Pertaining to Military Records, is recommended for requesting medals and awards. It is very import that you provide as much information as possible.  Many service records were lost in a fire at the NPRC on July 12, 1973 making some verification not possible.  You should include a copy of the DD-214 and any other supporting documentation available.  Send the form to the appropriate address from the following table:

By Service Branch

Where to write for

Where medals are
mailed from

Where to write in case of
a problem or an appeal


National Personnel
Records Center

Medals Section (NRPMA-M)
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis , MO 63132-5100

U.S. Army Soldier &
Biological Chemical Command, IMMC
Soldier Systems Directorate
700 Robbins Avenue
P.O. Box 57997
Philadelphia , PA 19111-7997


200 Stovall Street
Alexandria , VA 22332-0471

Air Force (including Army Air Corps & Army Air Forces)

National Personnel
Records Center

Air Force Reference
Branch (NRPMF)
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis , MO 63132-5100

Air Force Personnel Ctr
550 C Street West, Suite 12
Randolph AFB, TX 78150-4714

Air Force Personnel Ctr
550 C Street West, Suite 12
Randolph AFB, TX 78150-4714


Bureau of Naval Personnel
Liaison Office

9700 Page Avenue

St. Louis , MO 63132-5100

Bureau of Naval Personnel
Liaison Office

9700 Page Avenue

St. Louis , MO 63132-5100

Chief of Naval Operations
(OPNAV 09B33)
Awards & Special Projects
Washington , DC 20350-2000

Marine Corps

Bureau of Naval Personnel
Liaison Office

9700 Page Avenue

St. Louis , MO 63132-5100

Bureau of Naval Personnel
Liaison Office

9700 Page Avenue

St. Louis , MO 63132-5100

United States Marine Corps
Awards Branch (MHM)
Washington , DC 20380-0001

Coast Guard

Bureau of Naval Personnel
Liaison Office

9700 Page Avenue

St. Louis , MO 63132-5100

Bureau of Naval Personnel
Liaison Office

9700 Page Avenue

St. Louis , MO 63132-5100

U.S. Coast Guard
Medals and Awards Branch
Washington , DC 20593-0001

To obtain military records, send request to: 

(Military Personnel Records)
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100

Replacement medals can also be purchased through numerous vendors.  See the Hot Links page on this website.


This Medal is Free to Eligible Veterans

You are eligible for this medal if your Korea service was between 25 June 1950 and 27 July 1953.  If your service was before or after this date you DO NOT qualify.

This medal was authorized for wear by the Department of Defense in August 1999.  It is not necessary to pay for this medal as initially noted by the 50th Commemoration Committee and others.  The latest information is this medal will be issued cost free to veterans even though it is considered a foreign medal. The Air Force is handling the issue for all branches.  Don’t pay $25.00 for something that is free, and is not the official medal. There are many inaccurate copies of this medal selling at high prices.  The three common differences are: 1) the reverse side of the real medal has Korean letters, not English, 2) the edge color is blue, not sea green, 3) and the Taeguk is not on the ribbon of the real medal, it is only on the ribbon bar (small separate ribbon).  The issue medal is the only one authorized for wear with the uniform for those that wear their uniforms at official military function or reunions.

The address for information is:

550 C Street West Suite 12
Randolph AFB, TX 78150-4714
Phone: (210) 565-2432  DSN: 665-2432
FAX: (210) 565-3118  DSN: 655-3118
Web Site:

Print Eligibility and Instructions    Print Medal Request Form


Personnel that were assigned to the 7th Infantry Division in Korea through 27 March 1971 are
eligible for the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation.  To apply for the ROKPUC you
must follow the directions in the section, Requesting Military Records, Medals and Awards.  

GO 50
General Orders                                                                   HEADQUARTERS
No. 50                                          
                            Washington , D.C. , 9 November 1971

VALOROUS UNIT AWARD .......................................


MERITORIOUS UNIT COMMENDATION .............................




AIR FORCE OUTSTANDING UNIT AWARD ..........................






Presidential Unit Citation which was awarded by the Republic of Korea to the 7TH INFANTRY DIVISION, United States Army is confirmed in accordance with paragraph 218, AR 672-5-E.
The citation reads as follows:
For extraordinary sacrifices and service rendered to the Republic of Korea during the period August 1945 to December 1948 and from 17 September 1950 to 27 March 1971.  The 7th Infantry Division, United States Army in war and in peace has contributed to safeguarding the Republic of Korea from Communist aggression.  The memory of the 7th Infantry Division is etched into the soil of Korea by the blood and sacrifices of its officers and men:  from the Inchon landing to the Yalu; to the bitter battles of Bloody Ridge, Heartbreak Ridge and Pork Chop Hill; 803 days of combat; and the 15,126 casualties suffered during the Korean War.  The 7th Infantry Division has served with distinction and honor in the Republic of Korea .  The 18 years since the truce only reinforces the ties between the 7th Infantry Division and the Republic of Korea by strengthening the anti-communist posture of this nation.  The military competence as well as the comradeship shown to the Korean nation is in keeping with the highest military traditions of the United States Army and will live eternally in the hearts of the Republic of Korea.
By Order of the Secretary of the Army:
W.C. WESTMORLAND,                                                                                                General , United States
Chief of Staff


Major General , United States Army
The Adjutant General


To be distributed in accordance with the DA Form 12-4 requirements

Making Application for the ROK PUC Award

Applications for the ROK PUC should be mailed to the NPRC location published above.  Send Form SF-180 with documentation specifically showing your assignment with the 7th ID in Korea.  If your documents only show subordinate units assigned to the 7th ID your application will be rejected.  They will not take the time to verify your unit was attached to the 7th ID.  Your documents must clearly show "7th Infantry Division".

If your request is successful you will receive a letter stating you are authorized this award.  You WILL NOT receive a Form DD215 addition to the DD214.  Also, this is considered a foreign award and you will not receive the award (Framed ribbon) from the DoD.  You will have to purchase this award from one of the many vendors.  DoD states this is SOP for all foreign awards. 


The Secretary of the Navy was given authority to change the retroactive date for the Combat Action Ribbon (CAR) in the fiscal year 2000 National Defense Authorization Act. Based on this change to legislation, the Secretary of the Navy has changed the retroactive date for the CAR from 1 March 1961, to 7 December 1941.  The principal element of eligibility is that the individual must have participated in a bona fide ground or surface fire fight. This is not a unit or area award. Deployment to a combat zone in and of itself does not entitle a Marine to a CAR.  Each request will be individually reviewed to confirm that the petitioner was an active participant in a fire fight and that his performance during such action was satisfactory. The service record book will be the source document used to substantiate CAR eligibility.

Individuals who desire to be considered for the car may do so by submitting a SF 180 (request pertaining to military records) or a letter requesting car entitlement to the following address:

Naval Correspondence: USMC-CAR
9700 Page Street
St. Louis, MO 63132-5295

Requests must contain full name, social security number and service number. Surviving next of kin petitioning on behalf of a deceased Marine must provide a copy of the Marine's death certificate. Due to anticipated volume of requests, petitioners should expect to wait a minimum of 120 days to be notified as to the status of their case.  Upon resolution of each case, the individual Marine will be notified on their CAR entitlement. In cases where CAR entitlement is verified, the Marine will be provided with a ribbon and a letter substantiating their entitlement. A copy of the entitlement letter will be added to the Marine's permanent record.


Service Award

Eligibility Dates

Expeditionary - Navy

Feb. 1874 Indeterminate

Spanish Campaign - Army, Navy

Army: May 1898 - Aug. 1898
Navy: 20 April 1898 - 10 Dec. 1898

Army Cuban Occupation

18 July 1898 - 20 May 1902

Army Puerto Rican Occupation

14 Aug. 1898 - 10 Dec. 1898

Philippine Campaign - Army, Navy

Army: 4 Feb. 1899 - 31 Dec. 1913
Navy: 4 Feb. 1899 - 15 Sep. 1906

China Campaign - Army

20 June 1900 - 27 May 1901

China Relief - Navy

5 Apr. 1900 - 27 May 1901

Cuban Pacification - Army, Navy

Army: 6 Oct. 1906 - 1 Apr. 1909
Navy: 12 Sep. 1906 - 1 Apr. 1909

Mexican Service - Army, Navy

Army: 12 Apr. 1911 - 16 June 1919
Navy: 12 Apr. 1914 - 7 Feb. 1917

1st Nicaraguan Campaign - Navy

29 Jul. 1912 - 14 Nov. 1912

Haitian Campaign - Navy

9 Jul. 1915 - 6 Dec. 1915
1 Apr. 1919 - 15 June 1920

Dominican Campaign - Navy

4 May 1916 - 5 Dec. 1916

World War 1 Victory - Army (w/Battle, Service clasp), Navy

Army: 6 Apr. 1917 - 1 Apr. 1920
Navy: 1 Apr. 1917 - 30 Mar. 1920

Army Occupation of Germany

12 Nov. 1918 - 11 July 1923

2nd Nicaraguan Campaign - Navy

27 Aug. 1926 - 2 Jan. 1933

Yangtze Service - Navy

3 Sep. 1926 - 21 Oct. 1927
1 Mar. 1930 - 31 Dec. 1932

China Service - Navy

7 Jul. 1937 - 7 Sep. 1939
2 Sep. 1945 - 1 Apr. 1957

American Defense Service (w/Foreign Service clasp) - Army, Navy

8 Sep. 1939 - 7 Dec. 1941

American Campaign - Army, Navy
(30 consecutive days or 60 non-consecutive days duty outside the
continental limits of the United States)

7 Dec. 1941 - 2 Mar. 1946

Asiatic-Pacific Campaign - Army, Navy

7 Dec. 1941 - 2 Mar. 1946

European-African Campaign - Army, Navy

7 Dec. 1941 - 8 Nov. 1945

Army of Occupation


     Italy (30 consecutive days)

9 May 1945 - 15 Sep. 1947

     Germany (except West Berlin)

9 May 1945 - 5 May 1955

     Germany (West Berlin)

9 May 1945 - 2 Oct. 1990


9 May 1945 - 27 Jul. 1955


3 Sep. 1945 - 29 June 1949


3 Sep. 1945 - 27 Apr. 1952

Navy Occupation Service



8 May 1945 - 15 Dec. 1947


8 May 1945 - 26 Oct. 1954

     Germany (except West Berlin)

8 May 1945 - 5 May 1955


8 May 1945 - 25 Oct. 1955

     Asiatic Pacific

2 Sep. 1945 - 27 Apr. 1952

Korean Service - Army, Navy, Air Force

27 June 1950 - 27 Jul. 1954

Armed Forces Expeditionary



1 July 1958 - 1 Nov. 1958


1 Jul. 1958 - 3 Jul. 1965

Taiwan Straits

23 Aug. 1958 - 1 Jan. 1959

Quemoy and Matsu Islands

23 Aug. 1958 - 1 June 1963



14 Jul 1960 - 1 Sep. 1962


19 Apr. 1961 - 7 Oct. 1962


14 Aug. 1961 - 1 June 1963


24 Oct. 1962 - 1 June 1963



23 Nov. 1964 - 27 Nov. 1964


Dominican Republic

28 Apr. 1965 - 21 Sep. 1966


1 Oct. 1966 - 30 June 1974

Cambodia/Thailand (Bombing Campaign and Support)

29 Mar. 1973 - 15 Aug. 1973


Evacuation (Operation Eagle Pull)

11-13 Apr. 1975


Vietnam Evacuation (Operation Frequent Wind)

29-30 Apr. 1975

Cambodia (Mayaguez Rescue) 15 May 1975


El Salvador 1 Jan. 1981 - 1 Feb. 1992


6 June 1983 - 1 Dec. 1987

Grenada Operation

(Operation Urgent Fury)

23 Oct. 1983 - 21 Nov. 1983

Libya (Operation-El Dorado Canyon)

12-17 Apr. 1986

Persian Gulf (Operation Earnest Will)

24 Jul. 1987 - 2 Aug. 1990

Panama (Operation Just Cause)

20 Dec. 1989 - 31 Jan. 1990

Somolia (Operation Restore Hope)

5 Dec. 1992 - 31 Mar. 1995

Haiti (Operation Uphold Democracy


16 Sep. 1994 - 31 Mar. 1995

Bosnia 25 Nov. 1995 - Open
Iraq (Operation Southern Watch) 1 Dec. 1995 - Open
Persian Gulf (Intercept Operations) 1 Dec. 1995 - Open
Middle East (Operation Vigilant Sentinel) 1 Dec. 1995 - 1 Sep. 1997
Iraq (Operation Northern Watch) 1 Jan 1997 - Open

Iraq (Operation Desert Thunder)    

11 Nov. - 22 Dec. 1998

Iraq (Operation Desert Fox)

16 - 22 Dec 1998

Navy and Marine Corps Expeditionary


     Thailand Military Operation

16 May 1962 - 10 Aug. 1962

     Cuban Military Operation

3 Jan. 1961 - 23 Oct. 1962

     Iranian, Yemen/Indian Ocean

8 Dec. 1978 - 6 June 1979
21 Nov. 1979 - 20 Oct. 1981


20 Aug. 1982 - 31 Dec. 1983

     Libyan Expedition

20 Jan. 1986 - 27 June 1986

     Persian Gulf

1 Feb. 1987 - 23 Jul. 1987

Vietnam Service

4 July 1965 - 28 Mar. 1973

Southwest Asia Service (Desert Shield/Desert Storm)  

2 Aug. 1990 - Open

     Personnel assigned to support units in:
Israel, Egypt, Turkey, Syria, Jordan

17 Jan. 1991 - Open

Kosovo Campaign 11 Jun. 1999 - Indeterminate
Korea Defense Service 28 Jul. 1954 - Indeterminate
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary 11 Sep. 2001 - Indeterminate
Global War on Terrorism Service 27 Sep. 2001 - Indeterminate
Afghanistan Campaign 24 Oct. 2001 - Indeterminate
Iraq Campaign 19 Mar. 2003 - Indeterminate

Combat Action Ribbon

7 Dec. 1941 - Indeterminate

Combat Infantry Badge or Combat Medical Badge

6 Dec. 1941 - Indeterminate

Combat Action Badge

18 Sep. 2001 - Indeterminate


You may use this letter format with the requested documentation enclosed to obtain your certificate.  A formal application form is not required.  Mail or Fax to the address below the letter.

Your Name
Your Address
Your City, State and ZIPcode

Current Date

Cold War Recognition, Hoffman II
Attn:  TAPC-CWRS, 3N45
200 Stovall Street
Alexandria, VA 22332-0473

Please send me a Cold War Recognition Certificate for my service to the United States government during the authorized period of September 2, 1945 to December 26, 1991.

Enclosed is a copy of source document with my Social Security Number/Military Service Number/Foreign Service Number, which verifies my service during the Cold War Era. I understand that the enclosed copy of source document will not be returned.

Please mail my Cold War Recognition Certificate to the following address:

Your Name
Your Address
Your City, State and ZIPcode

Submission of this request confirms my faithful service to the nation during the Cold War Era. If my service was in the Armed Forces, I further certify that my discharge was honorable or general under honorable conditions. If I served as a federal civilian employee, I further certify that the character of my service was honorable.


Your Signature

Cold War Recognition, Hoffman II
Attn:  TAPC-CWRS, 3N45
200 Stovall Street
Alexandria, VA 22332-0473

Fax to:  1 800 723-9262  or  1 703 325-2167

Website address: 

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