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What do you REALLY know about the Southwest Asia Service Medal?

What do you REALLY know about the Southwest Asia Service Medal?

Desert Storm Veterans, Pocket Square Heroes, Military Gift, Southwest Asia Service


Southwest Asia Service Medal (SASM or SWASM)

Is a U.S. Military award in the United States Armed Forces created by President George HW Bush on March 12, 1991.

This campaign medal and corresponding service ribbon was awarded to those military service members who perform duty during the years of the Persian Golf War from August 2, 1990 through November 30, 1995.

Military service members awarded the Southwest Asia Service Medal (Campaign Medal) must have participated in or supported military operations such as Desert Shield or Desert Storm.

Operation Desert Shield/ Desert Shield Area of operations and clothes Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab emirates, Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, and Gulf of Aden.

Military service members serving in Israel, Egypt, turkey, Syria and Jordan that directly supported combat operations between January 17, 1991 and April 11, 1991 are also eligible.

Military Service Members that have earned this award were:

  • Attached to or regularly serving for one or more days within an organization participating in ground or shore military operations,
  • On board and a naval vessel directly supporting the operation, or
  • Actively participating as a crewmember in one or more aerial flights supporting operations in the designated area,
  • Serving on temporary duty for 30 consecutive days or 60 non-consecutive days.
  • The possibility of a waiver was authorized for personnel participating in actual combat.

 Personnel who preformed support related duties from United States, European or Pacific bases are not authorized this ribbon.

Southwest Asia Service Medal (SASM or SWASM) is a campaign medal for the designated periods:

  • Defense of Saudi Arabia – August 2, 1990 to January 16, 1991
  • Liberation and Defense of Kuwait – January 17, 1991 to April 11, 1991,
  • Southwest Asia Cease-Fire – April 12, 1991 to November 30, 1995.

Bronze stars are authorized to identify service in one, two, or all three campaigns on the ribbon.

During Southwest Asia Cease-Fire campaign period (April 12, 1991, and November 30, 1995) the following Operations were conducted:

  • 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),

The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal or the Armed Forces Service Medal recognizes operations beyond the final campaign date of November 30, 1995.

Southwest Asia Service Medal Design

Nadine Russell of the Army’s Institute of Heraldry designed the medal.

 The colors of the ribbon:

  • TAN representing the sand in the regions,
  • BLACK, WHITE, RED, BLUE & GREEN representing the colors of coalition countries' national flags.

The medal reads front reads “Southwest Asia Service” and the back “United States of America.”

In 2016, the Defense Logistics Agency revised the original 1991 version of the medal and ribbon. In the center the two green and one black stripes were made wider.

Pocket Square Heroes™ would like to thank all of the Military Service Men and Women that have served their Country during both war and peace times. 

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Pocket Square Heroes™ Southwest Asia Service Medal inspired design.

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