Established on July 7, 1960, the Antarctica Service Medal honors members of the United States Armed Forces who have carried out service in Antarctica, as well as civilians who have supported U.S. operations there after January 1, 1946. For service dating between July 1, 1973, and June 30, 1987, qualifying terms include the completion of 30 days of duty on the waters or ashore taking place south of the latitude of 60 degrees, or for 15 days of duty at a designated station. As of July 1, 1987, personnel providing flight support became eligible for the medal after completing 15 missions.
The medal features the image of a man outfitted with polar clothing standing on snowy terrain with clouds in the background. The ribbon is bisected by a thin vertical white stripe with stripes of gray, green, light blue, blue, and black proceeding outward on each side.
The Wintered Over Clasp may be awarded in bronze, silver, or gold for personnel who carry out Antarctic service over the winter months.