United Nations Korea Service Medal
The United Nations Service Medal for Korea was established by the United Nations in December of 1950. These military awards are not US military medals, but international awards, and unlike the medals of America, they are presented by the United Nations. As a result, American governmental agencies view them as lower ranking awards than almost all of the military ribbons and medals issued by the United States. These military medals were the first United Nations medals to be established, and the first international awards ever created. These military ribbons recognize the multi-national defense forces which served in the Korean War. These military medals are presented to any military service member of South Korea’s allied Armed Forces who participated in the defense of South Korea between June 1950 and July 1954.
The award authority for the United Nations Service Medal for Korea is the United Nations Commander-in-Chief of military forces in South Korea. However, most countries consider these military medals to be automatic service awards and grant them without requesting permission through United Nations channels. In the United States military branches, the receipt of a Korean Service Medal is automatically accompanied by a United Nations Service Medal for Korea. In November of 1961, the United Nations changed the name of these military ribbons to the United Nations Service Medal Korea, since other United Nations medals were being prepared. Since the United Nations has no medal for bravery or lifesaving actions, United Nations military personnel can also be awarded a United Nations Commendation by the Force Commander to recognize selfless actions in combat situations.
The United Nations Service Medal Korea is worn below the Vietnam Civil Action Medal and above the Inter-American Defense Board Medal in the general order of precedence that has been established for the proper display of all United States military medals and ribbons. These military awards are generally available to all United States service personnel who served in South Korea during the specified times. They are available as traditional slide-on, full size military medals or mini-medals, and slide-on military ribbons. While traditionalist may still prefer to purchase the traditional slide-on full size military medals, mini-medals, and slide-on military ribbons; the newer thin mini-medals, and ultra thin military ribbons commercial suppliers now provide have become extremely popular among up and coming military personnel who know how important it is to their career advancement to always maximize the neatness and smartness of their uniform appearance.