|a. The National Defense Service Medal (NDSM) was established by Executive Order 10448, 22 April 1953, as amended by Executive Order
11265, 11 January 1966 and Executive Order 12776, 18 October 1991. It is awarded for honorable active service for any period between
27 June 1950 and 27 July 1954, both dates inclusive, between 1 January 1961 and 14 August 1974, both dates inclusive, and 2 August 1990
to a date to be determined.
b. For the purpose of this award, the following persons will not be considered as performing active service:
(1) Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve forces personnel on short tours of duty to fulfill training obligations under an inactive duty training program.
(2) Any service member on temporary duty or temporary active duty to serve on boards, courts, commissions, and like organizations.
(3) Any service member on active duty for the sole purpose of undergoing a physical examination.
c. In addition to the conditions listed in b above, Executive Order 12776 extended award of the NDSM to all members of the Army National Guard and United States Army Reserve who were part of the selected Reserve in good standing during the period 2 August 1990 to a date to be determined. During this period, soldiers in the following categories will not be considered eligible:
(1) Any soldier of the Individual Ready Reserve, Inactive National Guard or the standby or retired Reserve whose active duty service was for the sole purpose of undergoing a physical examination.
(2) Any soldier of the Individual Ready Reserve, Inactive National Guard or the standby or retired reserve whose active duty service was for training only, or to serve on boards, courts, commissions and like organizations.
d. Any member of the Army National Guard or U.S. Army Reserve who, after 31 December 1960, becomes eligible for the award of the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal or the Vietnam Service Medal, is also eligible for award of the NDSM. The NDSM may be awarded to members of the Reserve Component who are ordered to Federal active duty regardless of the duration (except for categories listed in b above).
e. To signify receipt of a second or subsequent award of the NDSM, a service star will be worn on the service ribbon by U.S. Army personnel so qualified. Second or third award of the NDSM is authorized for soldiers who served in one or more of the three time periods as listed in a above. It is not authorized for soldiers who met the criteria in one time period, left active duty and returned during the same period of eligibility. (Service stars are described in chap 6.)
f. Cadets of the U.S. Military Academy are eligible for the NDSM, during any of the inclusive periods listed above, upon completion of the swearing-in ceremonies as a cadet.
g. The NDSM may be awarded posthumously.