New Additions

Army Echoes Update Article on the KDSM

The Korea Service Defense Medal is slowly working its way through the Department of Defense. Information about the new medal is limited but is finally trickling out of official channels. The article below appeared in the most recent issue of Army Echoes which is the Army retirees' newsletter. The message conveyed is, "the KDSM is approved and on its way, but don't hold your breath as the bureauacracy is going to take its good old time to deliver it." It reminds me of the old addage, "The more things change, the more they stay the same." "Hurry up and wait!"

Army Echoes
Issue I, May 2003

DoD to recognize post-war Korea vets


A new defense medal will eventually be issued to military members who served in the Republic of Korea, or adjacent waters, after July 28, 1954.

The U.S. Korea Defense Service Medal (KDSM) should not be confused with the foreign service Republic of Korea War Service Medal authorized for U.S. military personnel who served in Korea between June 25, 1950 and July 27,1953. The new medal will be for those who served in Korea after the war, up to an undetermined ending date, officials from the Office of the Secretary of Defense said.

Some of the actions that must be completed are: designing the medal, obtaining funding, developing policy for issuance, wear and processing including verification of service and award of the medal.

The first three actions should be completed in about four to six months, officials said. However, based on previous experiences when creating service medals the entire process can take up to a year, officials added.

Given the volume of anticipated recipients, officials said the time it will take to award the KDSM is difficult to estimate. They said it will take time to identify, notify and award the medal to eligible former service members.

The new medal was authorized by the Fiscal Year 2003 Defense Authorization Act.