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Southwest Asia Service Medal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Southwest Asia Service Medal
Southwest Asia Service Medal.png
Obverse and reverse
TypeCampaign medal
Presented bythe U.S. Department of Defense
EligibilityU.S. military personnel who served in Southwest Asia from August 2, 1990 (or January 17, 1991 for Turkey and Egypt) to November 30, 1995.
StatusNot currently awarded
EstablishedEO 12754, March 12, 1991, as amended
First awarded1991 (retroactive to either August 2, 1990 or January 17, 1991 depending on location)
Last awardedNovember 30, 1995; 25 years ago (1995-11-30)
Southwest Asia Service Medal ribbon (1991–2016).svg

Service ribbon: 1991 to 2016
Southwest Asia Service Medal ribbon.svg

Service ribbon: 2016 to present
Streamer SAS.PNG
Southwest Asia Service Medal campaign streamer
Next (higher)Vietnam Service Medal
Next (lower)Kosovo Campaign Medal
RelatedNational Defense Service Medal
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia)

The Southwest Asia Service Medal (SASM or SWASM) is a military award of the United States Armed Forces which was created by order of President George H.W. Bush on March 12, 1991. The award is intended to recognize those military service members who performed duty as part of the Persian Gulf War and for a time thereafter. The medal was designed by Nadine Russell of the Army's Institute of Heraldry.[1][2] The colors of the ribbon are tan, representing sand, with the black, white, red, blue, and green colors symbolizing the colors of coalition countries' national flags.


Southwest Asia Service Medal, in its 1991 to 2016 specification.
Southwest Asia Service Medal, in its 1991 to 2016 specification.

Individuals awarded the Southwest Asia Service Medal must have participated in or supported military operations in Southwest Asia between August 2, 1990, and November 30, 1995. That period of inclusion includes participation in Operations Desert Shield or Desert Storm:[3]

Individuals serving in Israel, Egypt, Turkey, Syria and Jordan (including the airspace and territorial waters) directly supporting combat operations between January 17, 1991, and April 11, 1991, are also eligible for this award. [4]

To receive the award, a service member must be: attached to or regularly serving for one or more days with an organization participating in ground/shore military operations; attached to or regularly serving for one or more days aboard a naval vessel directly supporting military operations; actually participating as a crew member in one or more aerial flights directly supporting military operations in the areas designated; or serving on temporary duty for 30 consecutive days or 60 nonconsecutive days, except, if a waiver is authorized for personnel participating in actual combat.[4]

For those service members who performed "home service" during the Persian Gulf War, such as support personnel in the United States, the Southwest Asia Service Medal is not authorized. The award is also not authorized for those who performed support of the Persian Gulf War from European or Pacific bases.[4]

Ribbon devices

Designated campaigns are as follows:[4]

Campaign From To
Defense of Saudi Arabia August 2, 1990 January 16, 1991
Liberation and Defense of Kuwait January 17, 1991 April 11, 1991
Southwest Asia Cease-Fire April 12, 1991 November 30, 1995
One campaign: service ribbon with one 316-inch bronze star
Two campaigns: service ribbon with two 316-inch bronze stars
Three campaigns: service ribbon with three 316-inch bronze stars

While several operations occurred in the geographical areas described above between April 12, 1991, and November 30, 1995, including Operation Provide Comfort (June 1, 1992 – November 30, 1995), Operation Southern Watch (August 27, 1992 – April 29, 2003) and Operation Vigilant Warrior (October 14, 1994 – December 21, 1994), these operations were covered under the third campaign, Southwest Asia Cease-Fire. Service in Operations that extended beyond the final campaign date of November 30, 1995, were recognized by awards of either the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal or the Armed Forces Service Medal.[5][6] Thus, the maximum number of bronze service stars that are authorized to be worn for the Southwest Asia Service Medal's ribbon or streamer is three.[4]

2016 redesign

In April 2016, the appearance of the suspension and service ribbon of the SWASM was slightly modified by the United States Department of Defense through the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). The DLA made the two vertical green bars and one vertical black bar in the middle wider than in the original 1991 version.[7][8][9]

See also


  1. ^ "Southwest Asia Service Medal". The Institute of Heraldry. Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  2. ^ Air Force Personnel Center Southwest Asia Service Medal Archived June 16, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Southwest Asia Service Medal". Service Medals and Campaign Credits of the United States Navy. Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved September 12, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Section 578.27 - Southwest Asia Service Medal". Code of Federal Regulations. Government Printing Office. Retrieved September 12, 2015.
  5. ^ "Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM) - Authorized Operations" (PDF). Office of the Under Secretary for Personnel and Readiness. United States Department of Defense. Retrieved September 12, 2015.
  6. ^ "Armed Forces Service Medal (AFSM) - Authorized Operations" (PDF). Office of the Under Secretary for Personnel and Readiness. United States Department of Defense. Retrieved September 12, 2015.
  7. ^ Defense Logistics Agency (April 11, 2016). "Detail Specification Sheet: Ribbon, Southwest Asia Service Medal" (PDF). MIL-DTL-11589/356C. Fort Belvoir, Virginia: Defense Logistics Agency. Archived from the original on March 2, 2017. Retrieved March 1, 2017.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  8. ^ Defense Logistics Agency (September 15, 1995). "Detail Specification Sheet: Ribbon, Southwest Asia Service Medal" (PDF). MIL-DTL-11589/356B. Fort Belvoir, Virginia: Defense Logistics Agency. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 2, 2017. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  9. ^ Defense Logistics Agency (April 11, 2016). "MIL-DTL-11589". Ribbon, Southwest Asia Service Medal. Fort Belvoir, Virginia: Defense Logistics Agency. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
This page was last edited on 23 March 2021, at 20:47
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