National Defense Service Medal
Personnel Command web site)
National Defense Service
Medal (NDSM) was established by President Eisenhower per Executive
10448, dated 22 April 1953, for service between 27 June 1950 and a date
to be announced. On 17 June 1954, the Chief of Staff approved
of 27 July 1954 as the termination date for award of the NDSM.
Order 11265, dated 11 January 1966, amended Executive Order 10488, to
a termination date and authorized the Secretary of Defense to establish
periods of eligibility subsequent to 31 December 1960.
for award, commencing
with the period after 31 December 1960, was established by DOD
1348.7, dated 1 April 1966, and terminated effective 15 August 1974,
letter from Manpower and Reserve Affairs, subject: Termination of
for the National Defense Service Medal, dated 30 June 1974.
NDSM was again authorized
by memorandum, dated 20 February 1991, from Secretary of Defense Cheney
for active service on or after 2 August 1990 with no termination date
The termination date was later established as 30 November 1995. The
was reinstated by memorandum from The Deputy Secretary of Defense,
26 April 2002, from 11 September 2001 to a termination date to be
in the future.
specific criteria for
the medal is as follows:
National Defense Service
Medal is awarded for honorable active service for any period between 27
June 1950 and 27 July 1954; between 1 January 1961 and 14 August 1974;
between 2 August 1990 and 30 November 1995 and between 11 September
and a closing date to be determined. For the purpose of the award, the
following persons will not be considered as performing active service:
Guard and Reserve forces
personnel on short tours of duty to fulfill training obligations under
an inactive duty training program.
Any person on active
duty for the sole purpose of undergoing a physical examination.
Any person on temporary
active duty to serve on boards, courts, commissions and like
or on active duty for purposes other than extended active duty.
one time only exception,
for members of the Army National Guard and United States Army Reserve,
who were part of the selected reserve in good standing, was authorized,
per executive orders 12778, dated 18 October 1991, for the period 2
1990 to 30 November 1995.
The National Defense Service
Medal may be awarded to members of the Reserve Components who are
to Federal active duty, regardless of duration, except for the
listed above. Any member of the Guard or Reserve who, after 31 December
1960, becomes eligible for the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal,
Service Medal or the Southwest Asia Service Medal is also eligible for
the National Defense Service Medal.
signify receipt of
a second or subsequent award of the NDSM, a bronze service star will be
worn on the service ribbon by U.S. Army personnel so qualified. Second
or third award of the NDSM is authorized for soldiers who served in one
or more of the four qualifying time periods. It is not authorized for
who met the criteria in one time period, left active duty and returned
during the same period of eligibility.
Cadets of the U.S. Military
Academy are eligible for the NDSM, during any of the inclusive periods
listed above, upon completion of the swearing-in ceremonies as a cadet.
The NDSM may be issued
medal is in mint condition,
and is of 1996 manufacture. It has a crimp brooch marked LIGI