Ribbon for Dress uniform.
The Vietnam Service Medal (VSM) was awarded to all members of the U.S. Armed Forces who served in Vietnam and its contiguous waters or airspace, after 3 July 1965 through 28 March 1973. Members of the U.S. Armed Forces in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, or airspace thereover, during the same period and serving in direct support of operations in Vietnam are also eligible for the award.
Individuals must meet one of the following requirements:
- Be attached to or regularly serve for 1 or more days with an organization participating in or directly supporting military operations.
- Be attached to or regularly serve for 1 or more days aboard a U.S. naval vessel directly supporting military operations.
- Actually participating as a crewmember in one or more aerial flights into airspace above Vietnam and contiguous waters directly supporting military operations.
- Serve on temporary duty for 30 consecutive days or 60 non-consecutive days in Vietnam or contiguous waters, except that time limit may be waived for personnel participating in actual combat operations.
- No person will be entitled to more than one award of the VSM.
- Individuals qualified for the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM) for reason of service in Vietnam between 1 July 1958 and 3 July 1965 (inclusive) will remain qualified for that medal. Upon request (unit personnel officer) any such individual may be awarded the VSM instead of the AFEM. In such instances, the AFEM will be deleted from the list of authorized medals in personnel records. No person will be entitled to both awards for Vietnam service.
- Service members who earned the AFEM for Operation Frequent Wind between 29 and 30 April 1975, may elect to receive the VSM instead of the AFEM. No service member may be issued both medals for service in Vietnam.
- Vietnam and contiguous waters, as used herein, is defined as an area which includes Vietnam and the water adjacent thereto with the following specified limits: from a point on the East Coast of Vietnam at the juncture of Vietnam with China southeastward to 21 degrees north latitude, 108 degrees, 15 minutes longitude; then southward to 18 degrees, north latitude, 108 degrees, 15 minutes east longitude; then southward to 17 degrees, 30 minutes north longitude, 111 degrees east longitude; then southward to 11 degrees north latitude, 111 degrees east latitude; then southward to 7 degrees north latitude, 105 degrees east latitude; then westward to 7 degrees north latitude, 103 degrees east latitude; then northward to 9 degrees, 30 minutes north latitude, 103 degrees east latitude; then northeastward to 10 degrees, 15 minutes north latitude, 104 degrees, 27 minutes east latitude; then northward to a point on the West Coast of Vietnam at the juncture of Vietnam and Cambodia.
- The VSM may be awarded posthumously.