The National Defense Service Medal (NDSM) is a military service award in the United States, established in 1953. It is presented to members of the U.S. Armed Forces for honorable active service during specific periods of national emergency or armed conflict, as designated by the Department of Defense. The medal recognizes the sacrifices and contributions made by service members in times of significant military operations or conflicts.
- The National Defense Service Medal (NDSM) is awarded to military personnel who served honorably during a designated time frame in periods of national emergency or specific armed conflict.
- It was established in 1953 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to recognize and honor members of the U.S. armed forces who have contributed to the defense and security of the nation.
- The eligible service periods for the NDSM are: Korean War (1950-1954), Vietnam War (1961-1974), Persian Gulf War (1990-1995), and the Global War on Terrorism (2001-present).
The National Defense Service Medal (NDSM) is an important VA benefits term because it holds significant value and serves as recognition for the members of the United States Armed Forces who serve their country during periods of national emergency or conflict.
This medal acts as a testament to service members’ selfless dedication, patriotism, and contribution to national security during challenging times.
Furthermore, the NDSM can play a role in determining eligibility for certain VA benefits and programs, such as education, home loan benefits, and health care services.
As a result, understanding the meaning and significance of the National Defense Service Medal is essential for veterans seeking to access the support and benefits they have earned through their service.
The National Defense Service Medal (NDSM) serves to recognize and honor the dedicated service and sacrifices made by military personnel during specific periods of national emergency or conflict. The primary purpose of this prestigious award is to acknowledge the unwavering commitment of those who voluntarily subjected themselves to hardships, braving the potential of facing combat and risking their lives to safeguard the United States and its values.
By awarding the NDSM, the Department of Defense extends its gratitude for the selfless contributions made by brave service members in their mission to maintain peace and uphold American principles both within the nation and on a global scale. NDSM also serves as an important symbol of unity and shared purpose among service members who may stem from diverse backgrounds and different branches of the military, but collectively work towards a greater good.
With this medal, the Department of Defense aims to foster camaraderie and appreciation for the collaborative efforts required to successfully navigate through times of heightened tension and conflict. Ultimately, the National Defense Service Medal exemplifies the unwavering dedication of our military forces in their pursuit of a safer, more just world for all citizens, distinguishing itself as a testament to their courage and commitment.
Examples of National Defense Service Medal
The National Defense Service Medal (NDSM) is a military award given to the members of the United States Armed Forces for serving honorably during a designated time period of national emergency or conflict. Here are three real-world examples of when the National Defense Service Medal was awarded:
Korean War (June 27, 1950 – July 27, 1954): The NDSM was established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953, and all military personnel who served during this time frame, whether on active duty, reservists, or in the National Guard, were eligible for the medal. This was done to recognize the efforts of the military personnel involved in the war.
Vietnam War (January 1, 1961 – August 14, 1974): The NDSM was awarded to military members who served during this conflict. The qualifying period lasted from 1961 to 1974, and all personnel who served either in direct support of the war efforts, in Vietnam, or in surrounding areas were eligible for the medal.
Global War on Terrorism (September 11, 2001 – present): Following the terror attacks on September 11, 2001, the NDSM was authorized for U.S. military service members who served during the ongoing Global War on Terrorism. It was awarded to personnel who actively participated in, or supported missions across different regions, including Afghanistan, Iraq, and other locations around the world.
FAQ – National Defense Service Medal
1. What is the National Defense Service Medal?
The National Defense Service Medal is a service award of the United States Armed Forces established in 1953. It is awarded to recognize individuals who have served honorably during a designated time of conflict or war.
2. Who is eligible for the National Defense Service Medal?
Members of the United States Armed Forces, including reserve and national guard components, are eligible for the National Defense Service Medal if they have served honorably during a designated period of national emergency or war.
3. What are the designated time periods for eligibility?
There are four qualifying periods for the National Defense Service Medal. They are as follows:
- Korean War Era: June 27, 1950, to July 27, 1954
- Vietnam War Era: January 1, 1961, to August 14, 1974
- Persian Gulf War Era: August 2, 1990, to November 30, 1995
- Global War on Terrorism Era: September 11, 2001, to a date not yet determined
4. How is the National Defense Service Medal displayed?
The National Defense Service Medal is a bronze medallion suspended from a yellow ribbon with red, white, and blue stripes. The medallion features an American bald eagle surrounded by a wreath, representing national defense, service, and sacrifice.
5. Can civilians receive the National Defense Service Medal?
No, the National Defense Service Medal is awarded to military personnel only. However, certain civilian employees of the Department of Defense who participated in specified operations may be eligible for other awards, such as the Armed Forces Civilian Service Medal.
Related VA Benefit Terms
- Armed Forces Service
- Veteran’s Benefits Eligibility
- Military Honors and Awards
- Service Recognition
- Active Duty Service Period