You can always spot a sailor man with an Ice Ribbon.......but what does it represent and how easy/tough was it to obtain???  The Penguin knows....ha ha ha ha..... 

The specs adopted after 1987 were to slow down the ice medals being awarded to the Air Farce. Before that it only took one (1) trip to the ice for them to receive the Antarctic service medal. I think that over the years those requirements changed quite a lot depending on who was handing out what. If the Air Farce was in charge we would all have had Medals of Honor for end of tour awards.
Don S

Your input appreciated but the provisions for 30 days was NOT put in because of the Air Force in 1987. It was put in in 1973 long before the 1987 which gave the air crews a bigger break and made it easier for them to earn their ice medal. I.E. elegible after 15 flights. I think I have done my homework on this one.
Was there any seperate provisions or exceptions for flight crews
in the 1973 revision?
The paragraph referring to air flights has not changed since the inception of the award. The only change is the definition of "Antarctica" which is now defined as south of latitude 60 degrees S. This provision used to apply only to ships. The exact date of this change is not known. Navy regs dtd 1991 reference this as do USCG regs dtd 1989.
The Navy, under the auspices of the National Science Foundation, was pretty much in control of everything in Antarctica between the inception of the medal until last March when the last Navy unit ceased operations in Antarctica.
The Air Force and the New York Air National Guard have taken over some of the Navy's missions and I am sure that the award requirements will be revised again in the near future.
Since almost all of us are aware of the general guidelines for the award, I will not restate them here, but only cite the specific references to time requirements.
From the original DoD INSTRUCTION 1348.9 dtd 22NOV60 "There are no minimum time limits for the prescribed participation." From SECNAVINST 1650.1F dtd 08AUG91 "No minimum time limits of participation under the foregoing
guidelines are required for eligibility for this medal prior to 1 June 1973.
Subsequent to 1 June 1973, minimum time limits for the award are 30 days under competent orders..."
Although the Antarctic Service Medal is not strictly a USN award--it is a DoD award, it seems clear from reading other sources that the time limit was probably enacted because of the 28 day requirement for the Navy Arctic Service Ribbon (OPNAVNOTE 1650 dtd 3JUN87).
Regardless, any qualifying service prior to 1 June 73 will result in the award, and since no more than one award was ever authorized (except in the case of those qualifying for the "Wintered Over" clasps) re-qualification after that date is a moot point.
Below is the wording for the current Navy requirements for awarding the Antarctic Service Medal.
As determined by the wording of the text you can assume that changes were made to eligibility requirements in 1973 and 1987.
I spent a lot of time in Antarctica from 1962 through 1980 with the US Navy.
I know that prior to the 1973 change that the medal was awarded to anyone on a ship or an aircraft who went south of 60 degrees south for any amount of time. I assume that this provision was for aircraft on station SAR missions and for the radar picket ships both of which never went south of 60 degrees south. By the 70s the mission did not require assignment of radar picket ships and on station SAR flights. It was found that support personnel in NZ who had no duties in Antarctica were taking advantage of the situation and hitching rides on aircraft for 60 degree turnaround in order to earn the medal. The Navy Department in its infinite wisdom instituted the 30 days requirement.
Antarctic Service Medal......
This medal was authorized by Public Law 86-600 on July 12, 1961, and the design received final approval in 1963. It is awarded to members of Antarctic expeditions and personnel of the permanent Antarctica stations or for service in contiguous waters, starting with the United States Navy Operation "Highjump" under the late Rear Admiral Richard Byrd in beginning 02 January 1946. It is awarded to officers and enlisted men of the armed forces and to deserving civilians, such as scientists and polar experts.
"Subsequent to 01 June 1973, a minimum period of 30 days of service at sea or ashore south of 60 degrees latitude was required. Each day of duty at an outlying station on the Antarctic continent will count as 2 days when determining award eligibility. Effective 01 July 1987, flight crews of aircraft providing logistics support from outside the Antarctic area may qualify for the award after 15 missions (one flight in and out during any 24-hour period equals one mission). Days need not be consecutive.
A "Wintered Over" clasp is awarded to those who have spent the winter months (March through October) in Antarctica. A bronze clasp (or miniature Antarctic continent device on the service ribbon) signifies one winter; gold two and silver three or more winters.
Dated 20 June 1998
After I did my thing on the ice the Antarctic Medal was not yet designed.  I don't even know if they had made up the requirements for awarding a medal yet. My time on the ice was from October 1959 until November 1960.  From the sound of things I seem to be eligible for a medal with bronze cluster ? ? ?
I got out of the service in 1961 and had never received or seen what the medal looks like.  If anyone knows where I could purchase a medal w/cluster (if that is what I am entitled to) I would appreciate the info.
Maybe someone has a photo of one ? ? ?
Thanks for any help forthcoming.
Bill S.
The Antarctic Service Medal is awarded for one month of total service in Antarctica. Service can be in pieces or in one fell swoop. It is also awarded retroactively.  I know because I awarded over 1000 of them in my three years as CNSFA.
What you will have to do is to get on the telephone and find out the procedure for obtaining the medal for those who have qualified for it. 
You will probably be passed around a bit, but when you figure out the procedure, I will publish it in the Polar Times and other publications so that others will benefit from your research. Call the Awards Information Service at 1-202-685-1770 in Washington DC.
Brian Shoemaker
Subject: [OAEs] Ice Medal
Here is fax-sim of Ice medal.
From dark to light to dark is what I read of it
or 360 degrees of Mother Sidereal...
When one wintered over and received
a clasp, did it's base color change with
years of wintering over service?
ie: bronze - silver - gold - plutonium - billyum??
The winter-over clasp changed from bronze to silver to gold. After gold it did not change. There is one civilian now with 12 winters to his credit - he just gets gold.
Sincere regards
Brian Shoemaker

UPDATE 10-02
The subject of the ASM keeps coming up on the One-List and I have been searching the web for a source for the silver WINTERED-OVER bar for the suspension ribbon on the medal. Naturally my search hit on and I noticed the growing story.

>>The winter-over clasp changed from bronze to silver to gold. After gold it did not change. There is one civilian now with 12 winters to his credit - he
just gets gold.
Sincere regards
Brian Shoemaker

I don't know how long it has been there, but the above "bottom line" by Brian Shoemaker is bum skinny. The awards are as follows:

First winter BRONZE
Second winter GOLD
Third and subsequent winters SILVER

Since Brian only wintered once he does not have a service record like I do for four winters.

Carry on.


<BGSOUND loop=infinite src="">" Changes in Latitude "   Until my throphys I lay down...