Military Wiki
China Service Medal
Awarded by the United States Navy
Type Service medal
Eligibility Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard personnel
Awarded for Services performed during operations in China or in Chinese territorial waters or contiguous ocean areas from 7 July 1937 to 7 September 1939 and 2 September 1945 and 1 April 1957
Status Obsolete
Established 1 July 1942
Next (higher) Navy: Second Byrd Antarctic Expedition Medal[1]
Marine Corps: Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal
Coast Guard: Second Byrd Antarctic Expedition Medal[2]
Next (lower) American Defense Service Medal
China Service Medal ribbon.svg

Streamer CS.PNG
Ribbon bar and Campaign streamer for the medal

The China Service Medal was a service medal awarded to U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard personnel. The medal was instituted by Navy Department General Order No. 176 on 1 July 1942.[3] The medal recognized service in and around China before and after World War II.


The criteria for awarding the medal consisted of service members who:

  1. Served ashore in China or who were attached to any of the vessels that operated in support of the operations in China between 7 July 1937, and 7 September 1939.[4]
  2. Served ashore in China or were attached to any of the vessels that operated in support of operations in China between 2 September 1945 and 1 April 1957. Military services performed in the Asiatic-Pacific area between September 2, 1945 and March 2, 1946 could be credited for eligibility for the China Service Medal unless the individual was eligible for the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal based on service performed prior to 2 September 1945.[4]

Regulations permit the wearing of a bronze service star if a service member had performed duty during both periods of eligibility.[4] The China Service Medal is no longer awarded by the United States Navy.


Designed by American sculptor George Holburn Snowden, the medal is bronze, 1.25 inches in diameter. The center of the obverse bears a three-sailed Chinese junk borne upon scroll waves. The boat is surrounded by the inscription in relief China Service, in an Asian-style font.[5]

The reverse of the medal bears a bald eagle facing left. The eagle clutches laurels while perched on the horizontal shank of an anchor with its flukes to the right. On the left side of the eagle is the word For and the right side Service. Arching above the eagle is one of two inscriptions United States Navy for the version awarded to sailors or United States Marine Corps for the version awarded to marines.[5]

The suspension ribbon, and service ribbon, for the medal is gold with red stripes at either side.[5]

See also


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