Congress ordered the creation of the medal in Section 543 of the 2003 Defense Authorization Act, which President Bush signed into law on 2 December 2002 (Public Law 107-314). The Institute was asked to provide proposed designs which were forwarded to OSD on 21 February 2003. The medal selected on 3 March 2003, was designed by Mr. John Sproston.
In order of precedence the KDSM will be worn below the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal (GWOTSM) and above the Armed Forces Service Medal (AFSM).
Order of precedence and wear policy for service medals awarded to Army personnel is contained in Army Regulation (AR) 670-1. Policy for awards, approving authority and supply of medals is contained in AR 600-8-22.