The Vietnam Service Medal was created by the New Jersey Legislature in 2000 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the United States, North Vietnam, South Vietnam and the National Liberation Front's provisional revolutionary government signing an agreement to end the war in Vietnam.
The conflict that was declared over in 1973 was a uniquely important event in the political and domestic history of Southeast Asia and of this country. The United States' involvement in that conflict resulted in great domestic turmoil and dispute in this nation, as well as more than 50,000 American soldiers killed, including 1,515 from New Jersey.
It is fitting and proper for this State to recognize and honor those among its residents who served proudly and those who died bravely in that conflict on the 25th anniversary of its ending, because in 1973 those same individuals were often ignored or scorned for their service to their country.
Veterans who meet all of the following criteria.
- New Jersey residents who were on active duty in any branch of the armed forces of the United States in Vietnam, Thailand, Laos or Cambodia or the contiguous waters or airspace thereof on or after December 31, 1960 and on or before May 7, 1975, who have been given an honorable discharge from such service, if discharged or released therefrom, and:
- were attached to or served for one or more days with an organization participating in or directly supporting military operations
- or were attached to or served for one or more days aboard a United States Naval vessel directly supporting military operations
- or participated as a crew member in one or more aerial flights into airspace above Vietnam and contiguous waters directly supporting military operations
- or served on temporary duty for 30 consecutive days or 60 nonconsecutive days in Vietnam or contiguous areas, except that this time limit may be waived for person participating in actual combat operations.
- Vietnam Campaign & Service Medal; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal must appear on DD214.
- Posthumous award authorized.
For posthumous awards, the surviving spouse or immediate family member of any resident of the State meeting the above requirements for a medal and who was killed while on active duty or died after receiving an honorable discharge from the armed forces may apply for a posthumous awarding of the medal.
Request must include copy of the veteran’s death certificate and proof of relationship as father, mother, husband, wife, son, daughter, brother or sister. (Proof may be copies of birth, marriage, baptismal certificates which clearly show relationship, or notarized certificate.)
How To Apply
Individuals applying for the award must mail a completed Application for State Medals or a similar request in writing along with a copy of the service members WD Form 53 or DD Form 214 (Separation from Active Duty) attesting to the fact that an Honorable Discharge was granted.
Proof of service in the Southeast Asia combat theater of operations, POW, or MIA status is also required.
Note: No person shall be entitled to more than one award of the medal.
All requests should be mailed to:
NJ Dept of Military and Veterans Affairs
Attn: DVS-VBB (Medals)
PO Box 340
Trenton, NJ 08625-0340