Southwest Asia Service Medal

This article is about the American medal. For the Canadian medal awarded to participants in the Global War on Terrorism, see South-West Asia Service Medal (Canada).
Southwest Asia Service Medal

Southwest Asia Service Medal
Awarded by United States Department of Defense
Type Campaign Medal
Eligibility August 2, 1990 – November 30, 1995
Status Not currently awarded
Established EO 12754, March 12, 1991, as amended
First awarded January 17, 1991 (retroactive)
Last awarded November 30, 1995
Next (higher) Vietnam Service Medal
Next (lower) Kosovo Campaign Medal
Related National Defense Service Medal
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia)

Southwest Asia Service Ribbon & streamer

The Southwest Asia Service Medal (SASM) 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 during the years of the Persian Gulf War. The medal was designed by Nadine Russell of the Army's Institute of Heraldry.[1][2]

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]

One bronze service star will be worn for participation in each designated campaign. Each recipient of the medal should wear at least one campaign star. 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
Bronze star
One Campaign: service ribbon with one 316-inch bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Two Campaigns: service ribbon with two 316-inch bronze stars
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
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 authorized for the Southwest Asia Service Medal ribbon or streamer is three.[4]

See also


  1. "Southwest Asia Service Medal". The Institute of Heraldry. Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  2. Air Force Personnel Center Southwest Asia Service Medal
  3. "Southwest Asia Service Medal". Service Medals and Campaign Credits of the United States Navy. Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 "Section 578.27 - Southwest Asia Service Medal.". Code of Federal Regulations. Government Printing Office. Retrieved 12 September 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 12 September 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 12 September 2015.
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