1. 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
2. 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.
3. Criteria: 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.
4. 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.
5. Background: 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.