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VETERAN SUPPORT INFORMATION

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This page is to assist with questions most frequently asked by members and supporters.  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 continue to need assistance please email us and a support representative will try to assist you.

PROBLEMS VERIFYING KOREA SERVICE FOR THE KDSM (click here)

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OBTAIN KOREA DEFENSE SERVICE MEDAL
( KDSM )

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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).  

PROBLEMS VERIFYING KOREA SERVICE

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
Korea.

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.

IF YOU KNOW OTHER MEANS TO VERIFY KOREA SERVICE, PLEASE INFORM US SO WE MIGHT PUBLISH IT TO FURTHER ASSIST DEFENSE VETERANS.  THANK YOU!

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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?
Answer
:  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)?
Answer
:  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?
Answer
:  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?
Answer
:  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?
Answer
:  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?
Answer
:  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?
Answer
:  Please refer all veteran requests to the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) at http://www.archives.gov/facilities/mo/st_louis/military_personnel_records/awards_and_decorations.html.

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REQUESTING MILITARY RECORDS, MEDALS AND AWARDS

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.

When requesting Foreign Awards from the NPRC in St. Louis you will only have your records updated.  It is Defense Department policy that foreign awards must be purchased by the recipient.  The DoD does not provide foreign medals, ribbons, badges or other forms of foreign awards.  For vendors carrying foreign awards see list below (Click Here).

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:

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By Service Branch

Where to write for
medals

Where medals are
mailed from

Where to write in case of
a problem or an appeal

Army

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

Commander
PERSCOM
Attn: TAPC-PDO-PA
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
Headquarters
Air Force Personnel Ctr
AFPC/DPPPR
550 C Street West, Suite 12
Randolph AFB, TX 78150-4714  
Headquarters
Air Force Personnel Ctr
AFPC/DPPPR
550 C Street West, Suite 12
Randolph AFB, TX 78150-4714  

Navy  

Bureau of Naval Personnel
Liaison Office
Room 5409
9700 Page Avenue

St. Louis , MO 63132-5100

Bureau of Naval Personnel
Liaison Office
Room 5409
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
Room 5409
9700 Page Avenue

St. Louis , MO 63132-5100

Bureau of Naval Personnel
Liaison Office
Room 5409
9700 Page Avenue

St. Louis , MO 63132-5100

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

Coast Guard  

Bureau of Naval Personnel
Liaison Office
Room 5409
9700 Page Avenue

St. Louis , MO 63132-5100

Bureau of Naval Personnel
Liaison Office
Room 5409
9700 Page Avenue

St. Louis , MO 63132-5100

Commandant
U.S. Coast Guard
Medals and Awards Branch
(PMP-4)
Washington , DC 20593-0001

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To obtain military records, send request to: 

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

MILITARY AWARDS by BRANCH LOCATIONS

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ARMY

Army Awards and Decorations Office
U.S. Total Army Personnel Command
ATTN: TAPC-PDA
200 Stoval Street
Alexandria, VA 22332-0400
Web Site: https://www.perscomonline.army.mil/tagd/awards/index.htm
Phone: 703-325-8700

NAVY

Navy Awards and Special Projects
Office the Chief of Naval Operations
Pentagon, Room 4D453
Washington, DC 20350
Web Site: https://awards.navy.mil/
Phone: 202-685-1763

AIR FORCE

Air Force Awards and Decorations Office
Hq. Air Force Peronnel Center
ATTN: DPPRA
500 C Street, West
Suite 12
Randolph AFB, TX 78150-4714
Web Site: http://www.afpc.randolph.af.mil/awards/
Phone: 210-652-5880

MARINES

Marine Corps Awards and Decorations Office
Commandant
Marine Corps Medal
Claredon Square Building, CODE MHM-1
Arlington, VA 22214
https://kuwait.manpower.usmc.mil/manpower/mm/mmma/awards.nsf
Phone: 703-784-9340
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Replacement medals can also be purchased through numerous vendors.
See below.


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THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA WAR SERVICE MEDAL
(ROKWSM)

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:

HQ AFPC/DPPPRA
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: http://www.afpc.randolph.af.mil/awards/

Print Eligibility and Instructions    Print Medal Request Form


COMBAT INFANTRY/MEDIC BADGE

     With the successful passing in 2004 of the Korea Defense Service Combat Recognition Act the Department of the Army has removed the double-standard regulations for Post Armistice Korea Service CIB/CMB awards.  The regulations are now in-line with regulations for other theaters/operations.  These revised regulations are now retroactive and cover the time from 28 July 1953 to a date to be announced.
     If your MOS was Infantry or Medic and you were in direct combat with enemy forces while serving in the R.O.K. after 28 July 1953 you are eligible for these awards.  Although Public Law states these awards must be awarded to those that qualify, and considering the Department of the Army has equalized the regulations for Korea, nothing says they have to make it easy for the veteran.

REGULATION CHANGES

HQDA Ltr 600-05-1
AHRC PDO-PA
3 June 2005
EXERPT FROM HQDA Ltr 600-05-1  

On 11 February 2005, the Chief of Staff, Army, changed the requirements for the CIB and CMB.  

Combat Infantry Badge

(1) Paragraph 8-6c, AR 600-8-22, is amended by adding the following provisions:

   a. Soldiers must be Infantry or Special Forces and in grades below COL, while assigned or attached to, as a member of an Infantry, Ranger, or Special Forces unit of brigade, regiment or smaller size while the unit was engaged in active ground combat to close with and destroy the enemy with direct fires.

   b. Soldiers must be personally present and under fire while serving in the assigned or attached unit.

(2) The special requirements for award of the CIB for service in the Republic of Korea as outlined in paragraphs 8-6h(1) through (5) of AR 600-8-22 are hereby rescinded.  Army Veterans and Service members who served in Korea subsequent to 28 July 1953 and meet the CIB criteria  found in paragraph 8-6c, AR 600-8-22, may submit an application to (include supporting documentation) for award of the CIB.  

Combat Medical Badge

(2) Paragraph 8-7c, AR 600-8-22, is amended by adding the following provisions:

(3) The special requirements for award of the CMB for service in the Republic of Korea as outlined in paragraphs 8-7h(1) through (3) of AR 600-8-22 are hereby rescinded.  Army Veterans and Service members who served in Korea subsequent to 28 July 1953 and meet the CMB criteria  found in paragraph 8-7c, AR 600-8-22, may submit an application (to include supporting documentation) for award of the CMB.  

Retroactive awards under these criteria are not authorized for service prior to 29 July 1953.  

Submit CIB/CMB applications to:
CG , US AHRC

ATTN: AHRC-PDO-PA

200 Stovall St
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     It will be necessary for you to prove your case beyond a doubt.  You must provide proof of MOS, Korea service, date of incident, and backup info verifying your personal participation in the combat action.  The Department of the Army WILL NOT search for verifying documents.  If you cannot provide the above documents in full you should go to the DoD Nat'l. Archives and Records Admin. and request S-1, S-2, After-action reports and personal evaluations.
     These awards will be authorized quickly if you were personally decorated with the Purple Heart, ARCOM w/V Device, Bronze or Silver Star medals for your combat incident.
     We strongly recommend you send your request in as soon as possible.  Be on record prior to 3 June 2007.  We also recommend you print off 
HQDA Ltr 600-05-1 and include with your request.  DO NOT become discouraged, do not give up.  If you earned one of these badges, GO AFTER IT.  Defense Vets. are being recognized and ARE receiving these awards.  The following addresses are necessary to either search for records or apply for the award:

Request Archived Documents:
Veterans seeking S1, S-2 Journals, After-action Reports, and Personal Evaluations are advised that for quicker service, Fax your requests to:  301-837-1752

National Archives and Records Administration
Modern Military Records (NWCTM)
8601 Adelphi Rd, Room 2400
College Park, MD 20740-6001
Tel:  301-837-3510           

Apply for CIB/CMB:
     Commander
     U.S. Army Human Resources Command
     Attn:  AHRC-PDO-PA
     200 Stovall Street
     Alexandria, VA 22332-0471


COMBAT ACTION RIBBON ELIGIBILITY CHANGE

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:
 

NATIONAL PERSONNEL RECORDS CENTER
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.


7TH DIV ROK PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION

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
                                                
                                
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
No. 50                                          
                            Washington , D.C. , 9 November 1971
                                                                                                                           Section

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

I

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

II

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

III

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

IV

REPUBLIC OF KOREA PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION ..............

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VIETNAMESE CROSS OF GALLANTRY WITH PALM ...................

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….REPUBLIC OF  KOREA PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION.  The  Republic of  Korea
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 Army
                                                                                           
Chief of Staff
 
Official:
    
VERNE L. BOWERS,
    
Major General , United States Army
    
The Adjutant General  

Distribution:
    
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 MIGHT NOT receive a Form DD215 addition to the DD214.  The NPRC has stated they will not provide this form; however, we received info from a member who has received received a DD215 for his ROKPUC and we are getting this update form with new member applications.  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.


43RD SURGICAL HOSPITAL ROK PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION

 HEADQUARTERS
 DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY

General Order No. 16

18 June 1975  

III. REPUBLIC OF KOREA PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION  

The Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation which was awarded by the Republic of Korea to the 43D SURGICAL HOSPITAL is confirmed in accordance with paragraph 9-37, AR 672-5-1.  The citation reads as follows:
            “This Presidential Unit Citation is awarded to 43d Surgical Hospital (Mobile Army), in recognition of appreciation for its meritorious service rendered to the Republic of Korea from July 1950 to February 28, 1975.  As the first and last one of the US Army surgical hospitals in Korea , 43d Surgical Hospital has performed an outstanding medical care and service throughout the Korean War for the members of the US Army and the United Nations Forces but also provided free medical care on immeasurable number of unfortunate Korean patients.

/S/PARK CHUNG HEE
President
Republic of Korea


FOREIGN AND REPLACEMENT MEDALS AND AWARDS

IRA GREEN              www.iragreen.com 
MEDALS OF AMERICA 800-XXX-XXXX www.usmedals.com 
HARRY SAUNDERS www.saundersinsignia.com 

To obtain the Republic of Korea Service Medal contact the KDVA Quartermaster.  Use Form F7274.  To print Form F7274 (Click Here). 


OBTAIN COLD WAR CERTIFICATE

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

CDR, PERSCOM
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.

Sincerely,

Your Signature

CDR, PERSCOM
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:  http://coldwar.army.mil 


Locate Your Legislators

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