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Korean Defense Service Medal (KDSM) Update

For a long time the Korean Defense Service Medal eluded us but the Korean Defense Veterans of America stayed focused as they relentlessly pursued the medal and the recognition that we deserve. Afterall, the motto of the KDVA is "Take the Hill". Due to their untiring efforts the medal has been approved by Congress and is now within our grasp. Below is one proposed design of of the KDSM along with the official DOD press release on its issue. I will continue to keep you up-to-date on the issuance of the KDSM or if you like, you can follow the link to below.


Don Lopez

Korean Defense Service Medal


Korean Defense Service Medal 

The PERSCOM Military Awards Branch has posted this information regarding the Korean Defense Service Medal:

Updated 3 February 2004 On 3 Feb 04 the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) approved the criteria and implementation instructions for the Korean Defense Service Medal (KDSM). The attached message provides guidance authorizing the medal to be awarded."

Updated Mar 19, 2003: The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) is reviewing the design proposal for the Korea Defense Service Medal (KDSM) created by The Institute of Heraldry (TIOH). Once the proposal is approved, it is estimated that production will take up to a year given anticipated volume. The Office of the Secretary of Defense is also drafting implementing instructions. Once this is completed, coordination will be made with all of the Services and the Joint Staff.

Updated Dec 17, 2002: The Department highly values the service of our Korean War veterans and appreciates the desire of Congress to further recognize their service. We are currently reviewing the best means to expeditiously award the Korean Defense Service Medal as provided for in Fiscal Year 2003 National Defense Authorization Act. Some of the actions which must be completed are designing the medal, obtaining necessary funding, developing policy for issuance and wear, and processing (to include verification of service) award of the medal. The first three actions should be completed in approximately 4 - 6 months.

Given the shear volume of anticipated recipients, the expected time when one can expect to be awarded the Korean Defense Service Medal is difficult to estimate because of how long it will take to identify, notify and award the medal to eligible former service members. The Department's previous experiences when creating Service Medals is the entire process can be up to a year.


You can follow the status of the Korean Defense Service Medal at:

and on the KDVA site: