KOREA DEFENSE SERVICE
MEDAL APPROVED

Page 7 0f 10


(Not to be confused with Korean Service Medal). Awaiting issue approval by SECDEF Rumsfeld.

Korea Defense Service Medal Act Date:

2 DEC 2002 PRT No.: HQ021202009
Released by: National Headquarters, Dunellen, NJ<> To: News Media

For Immediate Release

AFTER 48 YEARS OF WAITING KOREA CEASE-FIRE SERVICE IS FINALLY RECOGNIZED

After 48 years of service in the Republic of Korea, U.S. Armed Forces will finally receive the service medal recognition they earned and deserve for their historically dangerous and hostile duty. Approximately 40,000 troops have served on the peninsula each year since 1954. On 2 DEC 2002, President Bush signed the National Defense Authorization for year 2003 that included the KOREA DEFENSE SERVICE MEDAL to be awarded to all armed forces members who served from 28 July 1954 to a date to be determined by the Secretary of Defense. The House and Senate passed the bill in November. This will affect many thousands of former and current servicemen and women. Korea service is the only U.S. military deployment standing the line face-to-face with an enemy without a service medal award.

Representative Elton Gallegly (R-CA 23) was the first Member of Congress to create legislation for the service medal on May 22, 2001. His bill had 243 bipartisan cosponsors that included a majority of members on the House Armed Services Committee. A companion bill introduced in the Senate by Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) on June 7, 2001 with 63 bipartisan cosponsors that also included a majority on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

There has never been a surrender or formal truce agreement officially ending the Korean War in spite of 48 years of negotiation. Only a fragile cease-fire agreement is in place and technically, the countries remain at a state-of-war. Since cease-fire service began in 1954 there have been over 40,400 breaches to the cease-fire agreement by North Korean Forces. At least 1,200 U.S. personnel have died, hundreds wounded, and 87 captured and held prisoner. There are more than 2,300 Republic of Korea casualties. In August 1999 the Korea Defense Veterans of America, headquartered in Dunellen, NJ, initiated the project to bring proper recognition to cease-fire veterans. The KDVA is a national organization of current and former Armed Forces members from all branches of service that have served in Korea between 1945 and the present.


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Congressman
Elton Gallegly
Serving the 23rd District of California



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 2, 2002


Contact: Tom Pfeifer
(202) 225-5811

President Approves Gallegly-championed Korea Defense Service Medal

WASHINGTON, D.C.—President Bush today signed the National Defense Authorization Act, which among other things directs the Department of Defense to issue a Korea Defense Service Medal as championed by Congressman Elton Gallegly (R-Ventura County).

 
Last year, Congress approved language that only asked the DOD to consider a medal. But the DOD has consistently refused to issue the medal, leading Gallegly and his allies in the Senate to push for the stronger language this year.
 
The language signed by the President today comes from Gallegly’s Korea Defense Service Medal Act, which he introduced last year. The language specifically directs the DOD to award a Korea Defense Service Medal to members of the armed forces who served in Korea after July 1954, when the DOD stopped issuing the Korea Service Medal.
 
More than 40,000 members of the United States armed forces have served on the Korean Peninsula each year since the armistice was signed. Since then, an estimated 1,200 servicemen and women have died as a direct result of their Korean service.
 
Since the Korean armistice was signed, there have been more than 40,000 breaches of the cease-fire, making it among the more dangerous places to serve.
 
Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-New Mexico) introduced the companion bill in the Senate.
 
In addition to inclusion of the Korean Defense Service Medal, the National Defense Authorization Act includes:
  • A 4.1 percent military pay raise, with targeted increases up to 6.5 percent for mid-grade and senior noncommissioned officers and mid-grade officers.
  • A reduction in out-of-pocket housing expenses paid by service members from 11.3 to 7.5 percent.
  • The creation of a new payment for all military retirees who were wounded in combat and received the Purple Heart and those retirees who were severely disabled in combat-related incidents. Monthly payments would range from $103 to $2,100 each month, depending upon the level of disability, and would represent a partial to full offset of the reduction in retired pay required by current law on concurrent receipt.
  • More than $15 billion for programs to combat terrorism and defend the homeland against weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles.
  • Authorization of $10 billion for ongoing costs of the War Against Terrorism.
  • Authorization of more than $10 billion to build new military housing and working facilities for military personnel and their families.
  • Authorization of approximately $130 billion to develop, test and build new military weapons and equipment.

 

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