Established in February of 2004, the Korean Defense Service Medal honors members of the United States military who carried out service in Korea or its surrounding waters and airspace for a term of thirty days consecutively or sixty days nonconsecutively. Eligible service is to have taken place on or subsequent to July 28, 1954, and the following additional criteria apply:
-Combat engagement with hostile enemy forces, or
-Death or injury requiring medical evacuation while carrying out duties, or
-Assigned participation supporting designated operations in qualifying regions
The medal features the image of an Asian dragon encircled by an inscription reading “KOREA DEFENSE SERVICE MEDAL” above a laurel branch. The ribbon is green and is bisected by a thin vertical blue stripe; it features one thin yellow stripe and one thin green stripe proceeding outward on either side and separated by green intervals.