National Defense Service Medal
|The National Defense Service Medal
is a military service medal of the United States military
originally commissioned by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Created in 1953, the National Defense Service Medal was intended
to be a "blanket campaign medal" awarded to any member of the
United States military who served honorably during a designated
time period of which a "national emergency" had been declared.
As of 2010, with an issuance span of sixty years, the National
Defense Service Medal is the oldest service medal still in
circulation by the United States armed forces, followed second
by the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal which has been active
since 1961. Combat and meritorious decorations (such as the
Medal of Honor, Achievement Medals, and Commendation Medals) are
older still but are classified under separate award criteria
from service medals.
In the years since the creation of the National Defense Service
Medal, it is authorized only for the following time periods:
>>June 27, 1950 to July 27, 1954 for service during the Korean
>>January 1, 1961 to August 14, 1974 for service during the
>>August 2, 1990 to November 30, 1995 for service during the
>>September 11, 2001 to a date to be announced for service
during the War on Terrorism