The Cold War




Inside The Cold War


Are quantities limited? Yes. We couldn't get an estimate from the Army of how many they have left, but we confirmed that once the current certificates are gone, they're gone.
How long does it take? That depends on workload and other issues. Please drop us an email and tell us how long it took for you so we can update other veterans and families.
Does it cost anything? No (aside from a stamp and your time to find and fill out the documents). You or your loved one "earned" this by service to country.
What is this Web site and why are you providing this information? & The DMZ War are news and information Web sites about the mission to secure the Free World and the Korean Demilitarized Zone during the Cold War and, for Korea, until today. When we went to get our Cold War Recognition Certificate, sometimes known as the Cold War Medal, and KDSM we found the official information dispersed and confusing. This page and especially the one at, which covers both awards, are simply designed to make it easier for you by putting everything in one place and explaining it in simple English.

Thousands of Cold War veterans and current servicemembers are eligible for the Cold War Recognition Certificate (also known as the Cold War Medal, Cold War Victory Medal, Cold War Service Medal, Cold War Ribbon or Cold War Certificate) but have never applied for it -- even though it's easy. 

The certificate is designed for American Cold War veterans.

Many surviving family members could get an award from the US military in memory of their deceased veteran. Here are simple instructions on how to get yours. Don't wait, the number of Cold War Certificates is limited.


[Some good news on government efficiency: 

One of our readers mailed the Cold War Recognition Certificate paperwork and got the Certificate back in only a few weeks.]


Let America Honor Your Service

Cold War Recognition Certificate

In the 1998 National Defense Authorization Act, the Secretary of Defense approved awarding Cold War Recognition Certificates to all members of the armed forces and qualified federal government civilian personnel who faithfully and honorably served the United States any time during the Cold War era, Sept. 2, 1945, through Dec. 26, 1991.

Click to Replace

Three Easy Steps to Get the Certificate

Step 1: Confirm You're Eligible
Cold War Recognition Certificate: Anyone who worked for the U.S. Government at any time during the Cold War era, Sept. 2, 1945 through Dec. 26, 1991, is eligible, provided their service to the country was faithful and honorable. National Guard and Reservists are eligible for the Cold War Recognition Certificate, sometimes called the Cold War Medal, Cold War Victory Medal or Cold War Certificate. Contractors and volunteers are not eligible.

Are Survivors -- Next of Kin -- Eligible? Yes!

Step 2: Get the Documents You Need

For the Certificate:

Find the right document + fill out the application.

Document: Any document which shows that the intended recipient was a U.S. government employee during the Cold War era will be accepted as proof. The document must contain the name of the recipient, the Social Security Number or Military Service Number or Foreign Service Number which was included in the request for the certificate, and a date showing at least one day of service within the range of 2 September 1945 and 26 December 1991. Examples of acceptable documents include a Leave and Earnings statement, DD214 or other Discharge Paper, or SF50 (Civilian Personnel Action Form.) Please send a copy of your supporting document, DO NOT SEND the original document. Original documents cannot be returned.

Application: Get the application from the Army site by clicking here (US residents, next of kin and international residents click here), or download the form for US residents at the bottom of this page

Step 3: Order It

Mail your document (remember, send a copy, not the original) and application to:

Cold War Recognition Program
ATTN: AHRC-PDP-A, Dept 480
1600 Spearhead Division Avenue
Fort Knox, KY 40122-5408

Got More Questions or Want to Follow Up?

Visit the Military Web pages
Notice: When visits the sites below, we sometimes get a security warning on our browser. But these are the official Army and Air Force sites. It appears the military does not have some sort of certificate your browser may want.

Did You or Your Parents/Grandparents

Serve in Korea During the Cold War?

You May Also Have Earned the

Korea Defense Service Medal

Find Out How to Get It
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