Republic of Korea War Service Medal
The Republic of Korea War Service Medals are not US military medals, but foreign awards, and unlike the medals of America, they are presented by a grateful Republic of Korea. The Republic of Korea War Service Medal was a long time in coming. The Korean War lasted from the June, 1950 invasion of South Korea by North Korean forces until the Armistice in July of 1953, though a formal peace treaty has never been signed. In May of 2000, on the 50th anniversary of the Korean War, Korean Defense Minister Seong Tae Cho announced that his government would provide these military medals to eligible US veterans of that conflict, or to their surviving relatives. These military ribbons and medals were originally offered to US service persons more than 50 years ago, but were never issued. At that time in 1951, US law prohibited US military personnel from wearing military medals issued by foreign governments. By the time Congress had amended the law in 1954, US service personnel had mostly gone home. The matter was not reconsidered until the Republic of Korea reminded the US government that it would still like to issue the medal in commemoration of US service personnelís contribution to their freedom.
The Republic of Korea specifies the eligibility requirements for these military awards. US military personnel must have served between June of 1950 and July of 1953, participated in combat or support operations for 30 consecutive days or 60 non-consecutive days, and been on duty within the territory of Korea, the adjacent waters, or in Korean air space. Since approval dates determine the order of precedence for foreign issue medals, the Republic of Korea War Service Medal is worn after both Kuwait Liberation Medals and before the various US service marksmanship medals in the general order of precedence that the United States military forces have established for the proper display of all of their military medals and ribbons. These military awards can be worn as traditional full size military medals and mini medals, military ribbons and lapel pins. They are available as traditional slide-on, full size military medals or mini-medals, and slide-on military ribbons. Nowadays however, more and more military service personnel are realizing the value to their career goals of always having their uniform decorations looking their best, and have turned to the slimmer and trimmer thin military medals and mini medals and the ultra thin ribbons to provide them with the smartest looking military award displays possible.