UNITED STATES NAVY
Obverse: In the center of a bronze medallion one and a quarter inches in diameter, a Chinese junk in full sail is shown upon scroll waves; the junk is encircled by the words CHINA SERVICE in stylized lettering. The Chinese junk was used because it is a common sight in Chinese inland and coastal waters and thereby symbolizes the geographic area of operations for which the medal was awarded.
Reverse: In the center of a bronze medallion, an eagle is shown perched on an anchor; the eagle is facing to the left, and the flukes of the anchor are to the right side of the medallion. The eagle is grasping sprigs of laurel, which extend beyond the anchor in both directions. Above the eagle are the words UNITED STATES NAVY (or UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS). Above the laurel on the left is the word FOR, and over the laurel on the right, SERVICE. The eagle is the American bald eagle and represents the United States; the anchor alludes to naval service. The laurel is symbolic of victory and achievement.
Ribbon: The ribbon to the China Service Medal consists of a gold background with a red stripe inside each edge. These colors were selected because they are popular Asian colors and represent the geographic area of operations for which this medal was awarded.
2. Criteria: The China Service Medal was awarded to Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard personnel who:
a. Served ashore in China or who were attached to any of the vessels that operated in support of the operations in China between July 7, 1937, and September 7, 1939.
b. Served ashore in China or were attached to any of the vessels that operated in support of operations in China between September 2, 1945 and April 1, 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 September 2, 1945.
3. Devices: Individuals who received the China Service Medal for service during both periods of eligibility were authorized to wear a bronze star on the ribbon.
4. Background: The China Service Medal was established on August 23, 1940, by Navy Department General Orders Number 135 as amended on January 22, 1947, by ALNAV 25 (further amended on January 28, 1948, by Navy Department General Orders Number 255). The China Service Medal was awarded for qualifying service between the inclusive dates of July 7, 1937, and September 7, 1939; and was was subsequently extended to include service rendered between September 2, 1945, to April 1, 1957. The China Service Medal was designed by George H. Snowden.