The Armed Forces Service Medal may be awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who, after June 1, 1992:
-- Participate, or who have participated, as member of U.S. military units, in a U.S. military operation that is deemed to be a "significant activity;" and,
-- Encounter no foreign armed opposition or imminent threat of hostile action. The Service member must be bona fide members of a unit participating for one or more days in the operation within the designated area of eligibility, or meet one or more of the following criteria:
-- Be engaged in direct support for 30 consecutive days in the area of eligibility (or for the full period when an operation is of less than 30 days duration) or for 60 nonconsecutive days, provided this support involves entering the area of eligibility.
-- Participate as a regularly assigned crew member of an aircraft flying into, out of, or over the area of eligibility in support of the operation. The Armed Forces Service Medal may be authorized for significant U.S. military activities for which no other U.S. campaign or service medal is appropriate, such as:
-- Peacekeeping operations;
-- Prolonged humanitarian operations; or,
-- Military operations in direct support of the United Nations or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and for operational assistance to friendly foreign nations.
The Armed Forces Service Medal provides recognition to participants who deploy to the designated area of eligibility for the qualifying operation. Outstanding or meritorious performance of nondeployed or remotely located support units and individuals is not justification for award of this medal (such performance may be recognized by appropriate unit and/or individual decorations). Because the Armed Forces Service Medal may be awarded for a prolonged humanitarian operation, distinction between the Armed Forces Service Medal and the Humanitarian Service Medal must be maintained.