On the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Korean War, the Republic of Korea is providing the Republic of Korea War Service Medal (ROKWSM) to pay tribute to the Korean War veterans for their historic endeavors to preserve freedom of the ROK.
The medal was originally offered by the ROK in 1951 to United Nations forces serving in Korea and adjacent waters. At the time U.S. law prohibited the U.S. military from wearing medals issued by foreign governments. Congress changed that in 1954, but by then most U.S. service members eligible for the medal had returned home.
In 1998 the Republic of Korea renewed its original offer of the ROKWSM and on Aug. 20, 1999, the Defense Department approved the acceptance and wear of the medal.
Approximately 1.8 million U.S. veterans of the Korean War are eligible to receive it.