War Time Periods

Wartime Periods

Generally speaking, you will find the following chart to include the dates of eligibility for most Wartime Veterans and Surviving Spouses. However, following the chart you will find a more complete explanation from Title 38 Code of Federal Regulations.

PERIODS OF WAR START DATE END DATE
WW II December 7, 1941 December 31, 1946
KOREAN CONFLICT June 27, 1950 January 31, 1955
VIETNAM ERA February 28, 1961 May 7, 1975
(If service was in the Republic of Vietnam)
VIETNAM ERA August 5, 1964 May 7, 1975
(If service was not in the Republic of Vietnam)
PERSIAN GULF WAR August 2, 1990 Continuing
  • 3.2 Periods of war

This section sets forth the beginning and ending dates of each war period beginning with the Indian wars. Note that the term “period of war” in reference to pension entitlement under 38 U.S.C. 1521, 1541 and 1542 means all of the war periods listed in this section except the Indian wars and the Spanish-American War. See §3.3(a)(3) and (b)(4)(i).

(a) Indian wars. January 1, 1817, through December 31, 1898, inclusive. Service must have been rendered with the United States military forces against Indian tribes or nations.

(b) Spanish-American War. April 21, 1898, through July 4, 1902, inclusive. If the Veteran served with the United States military forces engaged in hostilities in the Moro Province, the ending date is July 15, 1903. The Philippine Insurrection and the Boxer Rebellion are included.

(c) World War I. April 6, 1917, through November 11, 1918, inclusive. If the Veteran served with the United States military forces in Russia, the ending date is April 1, 1920. Service after November 11, 1918 and before July 2, 1921 is considered World War I service if the Veteran served in the active military, naval, or air service after April 5, 1917 and before November 12, 1918.

(d) World War II. December 7, 1941, through December 31, 1946, inclusive. If the Veteran was in service on December 31, 1946, continuous service before July 26, 1947, is considered World War II service.

(e) Korean conflict. June 27, 1950, through January 31, 1955, inclusive.

(f) Vietnam era. The period beginning on February 28, 1961, and ending on May 7, 1975, inclusive, in the case of a Veteran who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period. The period beginning on August 5, 1964, and ending on May 7, 1975, inclusive, in all other cases. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 101(29))

(g) Future dates. The period beginning on the date of any future declaration of war by the Congress and ending on a date prescribed by Presidential proclamation or concurrent resolution of the Congress. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 101)

(h) Mexican Border Period. May 9, 1916, through April 5, 1917, in the case of a Veteran who during such period served in Mexico, on the borders thereof, or in the waters adjacent thereto. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 101(30))

(i) Persian Gulf War. August 2, 1990, through date to be prescribed by Presidential proclamation or law. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 101(33))

[26 FR 1563, Feb. 24, 1961, as amended at 32 FR 13223, Sept. 19, 1967; 36 FR 8445, May 6, 1971; 37 FR 6676, Apr. 1, 1972; 40 FR 27030, June 26, 1975; 44 FR 45931, Aug. 6, 1979; 56 FR 57985, Nov. 15, 1991; 62 FR 35422, July 1, 1997] [See Federal Register]