On a bronze medal, an oriental dragon behind a grove of bamboo trees above the inscription "REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM SERVICE." On the reverse, a crossbow surmounted a by a torch above the arched inscription "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA".

Awarded to all members of the Armed Forces of the United States serving in Vietnam and contiguous waters or airspace thereover, after 3 July 1965 through 28 March 1973. Members of the Armed Forces of the United States in Thailand, Laos, or Cambodia, or the airspace thereover, during the same period and serving in direct support of operations in Vietnam are also eligible for this award. To be eligible for award of the medal, individual must-

        (1) Be attached to or regularly serve for one or more days with an organization participating in or directly supporting military operations; or

        (2) Be attached to or regularly serve for one or more days aboard a naval vessel directly supporting military operations; or

        (3) Actually participate as a crewmember in one or more aerial flights into airspace above Vietnam and contiguous waters directly supporting military operations; or

        (4) Serve on temporary duty for 30 consecutive days or 60 nonconsecutive days in Vietnam or contiguous areas, except that the time limit may be waived for personnel participating in actual combat operations.

Soldiers receiving the Vietnam Service Medal are authorized to wear a bronze star to indicate each campaign. There are 17 designated campaigns during the period of 15 March 1962 through 28 January 1973. Units which receive campaign credit for any of the campaigns would display a streamer with inscription as shown on the unit's lineage and honors. The designated campaigns are:
  • Vietnam Advisory 1962-1965
  • Vietnam Defense 1965
  • Vietnam Counteroffensive 1965-1966
  • Vietnam Phase II 1966 - 1967
  • Vietnam Counteroffensive Phase III 1967-1968
  • Tet Counteroffensive 1968
  • Vietnam Counteroffensive Phase IV 1968
  • Vietnam Counteroffensive Phase V 1968
  • Vietnam Counteroffensive Phase VI 1968-1969
  • Tet 69 Counteroffensive 1969
  • Vietnam Summer-Fall 1969
  • Vietnam Winter-Spring 1970
  • Sanctuary Counteroffensive 1970
  • Vietnam Counteroffensive Phase VII 1970-1971
  • Consolidation I 1971
  • Consolidation II 1971-1972
  • Vietnam Cease-Fire 1972-1973
Quoted from the Institute of Heraldry.