Established on March 12, 1991, the Southwest Asia Service Medal honors United States military personnel who carried out service in Operation Desert Shield or Operation Desert Storm. Eligible dates and regions are as follows:
Between the dates of August 2, 1990 and November 30, 1995 in
-designated portions of the Arabian Sea
-the Gulf of Aden
-the Gulf of Oman
-the Persian Gulf
-the Red Sea
between the dates of January 17, 1991 and November 30, 1995 in
-United Arab Emirates
The three official campaign periods for the award include the Defense of Saudi Arabia, between August 2, 1990 and January 16, 1991; the Liberation and Defense of Kuwait, between January 17 and April 11, 1991; and the Southwest Asia Cease-Fire Campaign, between April 12, 1991 and November 30, 1995.
The medal features desert and sea scenes with airborne and landborne military equipment; an inscription in the center reads “SOUTHWEST ASIA SERVICE.” The ribbon is tan and is bisected by a thin black vertical stripe flanked on either side by a thin green stripe; a thin band of red, white, and blue appears toward each edge proceeding outward as well as black edging.
Additional awards may be indicated by service stars.