(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
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.
Serving the 23rd District of California
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 2, 2002
Contact: Tom Pfeifer
Gallegly-championed Korea Defense Service Medal
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
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
- A reduction in out-of-pocket
housing expenses paid by service members from 11.3 to 7.5
- 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.