United Nations Korea Medal

United Nations Korea Medal

Infobox Military Award
name= United Nations Service Medal for Korea

caption= Obverse (left), reverse (right)
and ribbon (bottom) of the medal
awarded_by= United Nations
type= Campaign medal
eligibility= United Nations forces.
for= Campaign service.
campaign= Korean War 1950-53.
description= Cupro-nickel or silver disk, 36mm diameter.
clasps= None
established= 12 December1950
related= Korean War Service Medal (South Korea)
Korea Medal (British Commonwealth)
Korean Service Medal (American)
Korea Defense Service Medal (American)

caption2=Ribbon for the United Nations Korea Medal
The United Nations Service Medal for Korea is an international military decoration which was established by the United Nations on December 12, 1950. The decoration was the first international award ever created and recognized the multi-national defense forces which participated in the Korean War.

The United Nations Service Medal is awarded to any military service member, of an Armed Force allied with South Korea, who participated in the defense of Korea from North Korean aggression between the dates of June 27, 1950 and July 27, 1954.
* Military forces of the Netherlands are awarded the medal for service to January 1, 1955
* The militaries of Thailand and Sweden grant the award to July 27, 1955.

The ultimate award authority of the United Nations Service Medal is United Nations Commander-in-Chief of military forces in Korea. Most countries consider the United Nations Service Medal an automatic decoration, if some other Korean service award was bestowed, and generally award the medal without requesting permission through United Nations channels. For instance, in the United States Armed Forces, any service member awarded the Korean Service Medal is automatically granted the United Nations Service Medal.

On November 22, 1961, the United Nations officially changed the name of the United Nations Service Medal to the UNITED NATIONS SERVICE MEDAL KOREA. This was as a prelude to the creation of a large number of subsequent United Nations Medals which are granted for various operations around the world.

Some countries, the United States among them, continue to refer to the decoration as the United Nations Service Medal in an effort to maintain consistency with older military files referring to the decoration by its original name.

Related medals

Other Korean War service medals include:
* The South Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Korean War Service Medal.
* The Korea Defense Service Medal is a United States military decoration awarded to those American service members who have performed armistice duty from 1954 to the present.
* The Korea Medal awarded to British and Commonwealth Forces.

Related Commendation

UN Commendation. As the UN has no medal for brave or lifesaving actions, UN military personnel can be awarded a UN Commendation by the Force Commander. In several cases UN Observers and UN forces soldiers have been awarded this highly esteemed commendation.

During the war between Hezbollah and Israel, three UN Observers performed life saving first aid on an Italian Observer that had been shot in the back. Even though the team was caught in a cross fire they managed to arrange a medical evacuation to the Israeli side of the blue-line. The Observers were Marc Van Cauwenberghe, Xang Xinjian and Lars Hawaleschka Madsen. The unfortunate Observer that got shot in the back was the Italian Observer Roberto Punzo.

For this life saving and brave action Marc Van Cauwenberghe and Lars Hawaleschka Madsen received United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation's Chief of Staff Commendation.

During the same war all four Observers also saved the lives of 36 civilian Lebanese refugees that were caught in the fire. [http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1153291979085&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull] [http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2007/org1477.doc.htm] [http://www.untso.org/UNTSONews/UNTSONews%202006%2002.pdf]


* The UN Korea Medal is a circular medal of bronze alloy. The obverse depicts the ‘World-in-a Wreath' emblem of the United Nations.
* The reverse has the inscription: ‘FOR SERVICE IN DEFENCE OF THE PRINCIPLES OF THE CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS'. The wording shown may be in English, French, Spanish, Danish, Greek, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, Sanskrit or Turkish
* The ribbon has alternating stripes of UN blue and white.
* A clasp with the inscription ‘KOREA' is worn on the medal ribbon.

External links

* [http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/medals/korea.htm UN Medals - Korea]
* [http://www.stephen-stratford.co.uk/korean_war.htm Stephen Stratford Medal site]
* [http://medals.nzdf.mil.nz/category/k/k3.html NZDF Medals site]
* [http://medals.nzdf.mil.nz/warrants/k3-sao-149.html British regulations for award of medal] - from NZDF site
* [http://www.defence.gov.au/medals/Content/+040%20Campaign%20Medals/+050%201945-1975/+060%20UN%20Medal%20for%20Korea/default.htm ADF Honours and Awards site]

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