National Defense medal and ribbon; bronze medal; silk ribbon; bar ribbon red, white, blue, yellow; awarded for Vietnam War service; obverse: Shows the American bald eagle, perched on a sword and palm. Above this, in a semicircle, is the inscription "National Defense". Reverse: Shows a shield, as it appears in the Great Seal of the United States; it is half encircled below with an oak leaf to the right and a laurel spray to the left, knotted in the center.
Ribbon: The ribbon has a wide yellow stripe in the center, flanked by narrow stripes of red, white, blue, white and wide red stripes.
|Dimensions||W-1.575 L-2.756 inches|
|Provenance||The National Defense Service Medal is awarded to anyone who serves on active duty in the United States military during the above time periods. For service in the Gulf War and War on Terrorism, members of the military reserve (in good standing) or National Guard are awarded the NDSM when called to active duty service. Inactive Ready Reserve and Retired Reserve are not eligible to be awarded the NDSM unless called to active duty. The National Defense Service Medal is authorized to students at the service academies after they are sworn into service, but is not granted to discharged or retired veterans who did not serve in one of the above time periods; nor is it authorized for Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Cadets who enlisted in the reserve during qualifying periods.|