Description: A Bronze medal 1 ¼ inches wide, with the words "SOUTHWEST ASIA SERVICE" across the center background. Above the center is a desert scene with a tank, armored personnel carrier, helicopter and camels with the rising sun in the background. Below the center is a seascape with ship, tanker, aircraft and clouds in the background. On the reverse, is an upraised sword entwined with a palm frond and "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" around the edge.
Ribbon: The ribbon is 1 3/8 inches wide and consists of the following stripes: 1/16 inch Black 67138; 1/8 inch Chamois 67142; 1/16 inch Old Glory Blue 67178; 1/16 inch White 67101; 1/16 inch Old Glory Red 67156; 3/16 inch Chamois; 3/32 inch Myrtle Green 67190; center 1/16 inch Black; 3/32 inch Myrtle Green; 3/16 inch Chamois; 1/16 inch Old Glory Red; 1/16 inch White; 1/16 inch Old Glory Blue; 1/8 inch Chamois; and 1/16 inch Black.
a. Individuals authorized the Southwest Asia Service Medal must have served in support of Operation Desert Shield or Desert Storm, in one or more of the following areas, between 2 August 1990 and 30 November 1995: Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden, that portion of the Arabian Sea that lies north of 10 degrees North latitude and west of 68 degrees East longitude, as well as the total land areas of Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Individuals serving in Israel, Egypt, Turkey, Syria and Jordan (including the airspace and territorial waters) directly supporting combat operations between 17 January 1991 and 11 April 1991 are also eligible for this award.
b. To be eligible for 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.
Components: The following are authorized components and related items:
a. Medal (regular size): MIL-DTL-3943/243. NSN 8455-01-334-9513 for set which includes regular size medal and ribbon bar.
b. Medal (miniature size): MIL-DTL-3943/243. Available commercially.
c. Ribbon: MIL-DTL-11589/356. Available commercially.
d. Lapel Button (ribbon replica): MIL-DTL-11484/177. Available commercially.
e. Streamer of the same pattern as the ribbon is authorized for units that received campaign credit participation. The inscription will be as indicated on the unit's lineage and honors.
a. In October 1990, the Deputy Director of Personnel and Administrative Services, Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), requested that The Institute of Heraldry provide proposed designs of a service medal for Southwest Asia. Proposed medal designs were forwarded to OSD on 30 October 1990. A proposed Executive Order to authorize the service medal was staffed to the Services, by OSD, on 11 February 1991. President Bush established the Southwest Asia Service Medal by Executive Order 12754, dated 12 March 1991.
b. The medal selected was designed by Miss Nadine Russell and recognizes the joint-service nature of the operation. It depicts a tank, armored personnel carrier, helicopter, ship and aircraft with a desert and seascape. The reverse side symbolized military might and preparedness in defense of peace. The sand colored ribbon with red, white, blue, green and black stripes represented the colors of the United States and the coalition members.
c. Bronze stars are worn on the ribbon to indicate campaign participation by the service member. Three campaigns have been designated - - "DEFENSE OF SAUDI ARABIA" for the period 2 August 1990 through 16 January 1991, "LIBERATION AND DEFENSE OF KUWAIT" for the period 17 January 1991 through 11 April 1991, and "SOUTHWEST ASIA CEASE- FIRE" for the period 12 April 1991 through 30 November 1995.
d. The criteria/policy for the Southwest Asia Service Medal was promulgated by Change No. 1 to DOD 1348-33-M, dated 14 June 1991. This manual established the two campaigns for Southwest Asia. The Joint Chiefs of Staff approved a termination date for the second campaign and established the third campaign per memorandum, dated 3 December 1991, from the Director, Joint Staff, subject: Termination Date for the Second Campaign and Establishment of a Third Campaign for the Southwest Asia Service Medal.
e. Order of precedence and wear policy for service medals awarded to Army personnel is contained in Army Regulation (AR) 670-1. Policy for awards, approving authority and supply of medals is contained in AR 600-8-22. The policy for display of campaign streamers on guidons/flags and supply of streamers is contained in Chapter 9, 840-10.