Monday’s Medals – 20 April

Written by AHQ

20 April 2015

As I am sure you all know this has been a busy week for me so I have written this post in advance.   This is the second last post I am writing on medals.  If I have time I will write one last post about medals on Thursday.  I have some special ones in mind but it depends if I have time to research them and write them up.  

I think I have some pretty special ones to share tonight though.

First up, some of you already know the young lady who owns these medals and I know she will likely kill me for saying that much but next time you see her I suspect you will look at the medals she wears with a new understanding. 

The medal on the right is the Australian Defence Medal which you receive after four years of service. 

The medal on the left is the Commendation for Brave Conduct.

The Commendation for Brave Conduct is conferred for an act of bravery that is worthy of recognition.  It is the fourth highest Australian Bravery Decoration after the Cross of Valour, which is the highest, the Star of Courage and the Bravery Medal.  There is also a Group Bravery Citation which is for a group of people involved in a single incident.

Anyone may nominate any other person for a bravery decoration.  
The Australian Bravery Decorations Council considers the nominations and makes recommendations for awards to the Governor-General. The Council also recommends the level of awards.
There is no set timeframe for announcing bravery awards. Generally there are two announcements a year in April and August.
After the announcement of awards, recipients are invited to a ceremony or investiture at Government House in their state.
The Commendation for Brave Conduct is a silver gilt sprig of mimosa mounted on a blood-red backing ribbon.

Lots of you will know the story of the owner of this collection of medals.  These belong to our Invictus Warrior Garry Robinson.  From left to right, in case you can’t read the writing, we have

The Distinguished Service Medal, The Commendation for Distinguished Service, The Australian Active Service Medal with East Timor, and ICAT Clasps, The Interfet Medal (International Force East Timor), The Afghanistan Medal, the Australian Service Medal with clasp CT/SR (CT- Counter Terrorist and SR – Special Recovery), Defence Long Service Medal with clasp for 20 years, Australian Defence Medal, United Nation transitional Authority in East Timor Medal, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Medal with ISAF Clasp.

These are Garry’s miniatures which are usually worn to formal evening events such as cocktail parties.

These ones above are Garry’s miniatures that will be worn at formal evening events.  So let’s look at the ones that you have not seen before.

The Distinguished Service Medal,

The Distinguished Service Medal is awarded for distinguished leadership in action.  It is the second level of the Distinguished Service Decorations and is awarded by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Minister for Defence.

Recipients have the post-nominals of DSM.  The Distinguished Service Medal is announced on Australia Day (January 26) and the Queen’s Birthday (June) of each year.

The Distinguished Service Medal is ensigned with the Crown of St Edward in nickel-silver. The front has a Federation star superimposed on a circle of flames.

The medal has a nickel-silver suspender bar and the ribbon has alternating vertical stripes: four silver-blue and three ochre-red.

The Commendation for Distinguished Service is awarded for the distinguished performance of duties in warlike operations to members of the Australian Defence Force.

There are three levels of decoration:

Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)
Distinguished Service Medal (DSM)
Commendation for Distinguished Service

The Distinguished Service Decorations are awarded by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Minister for Defence and is also announced on Australia Day (January 26) and the Queen’s Birthday (June) each year.
The second last medal is the United NationsTransitional Authority in East Timor Medal

After INTERFET completed its tasks on 23 February 2000, military command and control responsibilities were formally transferred to the Headquarters of the UN Peacekeeping Force (PKF) as part of the United Nations Transitional Authority in East Timor (UNTAET).

Strength: Australia supported the UN peacekeeping operation with between 1500 and 2000 personnel on a 4 – 6 month posting cycle. Total: 5239 ADF personnel.

Australia contributed an Infantry Battalion Group force to the western border region (Sector West) of East Timor to prevent insurgency operations by the Aitarak Militia forces and under command UN PKF Headquarters. Australia also contributed a Communications Management Team working to the PKF HQ providing commercial standard telecommunications, telephone, data and communications infrastructure installations and management. Additionally deployed were landing craft, Black Hawks, an Australian National Command Element, RAAF and RAN Support and Logistical units.
Australia remained the largest contributor of personnel to the peacekeeping mission. Australian troops were gradually drawn down over several years after 2000, however major rioting in Dili in May 2006 prompted more Australian Defence Force members to be deployed to East Timor as part of Operation ASTUTE.

These are Garry’s full size medals and these are what he will wear on ANZAC Day.  It makes it a bit harder to see what he has earned doesn’t it.

Another proud wife sent me these medals. You have seen most of these before.

The medals are as follows Australian Active Service medal with Iraq clasp, Iraq medal, 
Australian Service medal with SE Asia clasp, Defence Service medal 4 clasps (35+ years and still a member), Australian Defence medal.  The last two medals are special ones. 
The Ordre du Mérite Maritime (Order of Maritime Merit) is a French order for services rendered. This was awarded for work undertaken with the P-3C Orion aircraft deployed assisting the rescues of Tony Bullimore and Thierry Dubois from the Southern Ocean in early 1997 who were  participating in the Vendée Globe around the whole solo yacht race. The RAAF provided daylight coverage on station after locating Dubois. Six flight crews from 10 and 11 Squadrons plus ground support staff  located at RAAF Base Edinburgh near Adelaide rotated through five Orion aircraft deployed from Perth. The aircraft flew for a total of 158 hours, providing a comforting presence for Thierry Dubois, monitoring his welfare and ensuring that he was regularly updated on the progress of the rescue operation.

The Army Commendation Medal is awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States other than General Officers who, while serving in any capacity with the U.S. Army after December 6, 1941, distinguished themselves by heroism, meritorious achievement or meritorious service. The medal may be awarded to a member of the Armed Forces of a friendly foreign nation who, after June 1, 1962, distinguishes themselves by an act of heroism, extraordinary achievement, or significant meritorious service which has been of mutual benefit to the friendly nation and the United States. This was awarded for services in Iraq.

And now some more very special medals……

Our Vietnam Veterans did not get much respect when they came home from war, and often much worse which makes me so ashamed. Study these medals and if you meet someone who wears them please quietly thank them for their service.  

We have the Australian Active Service Medal with Vietnam Clasp, Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal, Centenary of National Service medal and the Vietnamese Campaign medal.

Australian Active Service Medal with Vietnam Clasp

The Australian Active Service Medal 1945-1975 recognises the service of Australian Defence Force and certain other persons in prescribed warlike operations such as the Korean War, the Malayan Emergency, the Indonesian Confrontation and the Vietnam War. Another award entitled, Australian Active Service Medal, recognises service of Australian Defence Force and certain other persons in prescribed warlike operations from February 1975 onwards. 

The Prime Minister, the Hon. John Howard MP, announced the introduction of the Australian Active Service Medal 1945-1975 in December 1997. The 30-year period covers numerous conflicts in Australia’s region. Many Australians today are affected by their own or their loved ones’ involvement. 

The Governor-General awards the Australian Active Service Medal 1945-1975 on the recommendation of the Chief of the Defence Force or their delegate. The medal has the clasps: Korea, Malaya, Malaysia, Thai/Malay, Thailand and Vietnam. Veterans who have received or who are entitled to the Korea Medal, a General Service Medal for service in the Malayan Emergency 1948-1960 or the Indonesian confrontation 1962-1966, the Vietnam Medal and some categories of the Vietnam Logistics and Support Medal are eligible for the Australian Active Service Medal 1945-1975. 

The Australian Active Service Medal 1945-1975 is a nickel-silver medal ensigned with the Crown of St Edward. The front has a Federation Star with the inscription ‘The Australian Active Service Medal 1945-1975’. The reverse has a wreath of golden wattle flanking a central horizontal panel.

Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal

The Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal recognises the service of Australian personnel in support roles during the Vietnam War.  It was created to provide recognition to the men and women who played a vital support role during the Vietnam War but did not qualify for the Vietnam Medal. 

The Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal is a circular medal made of nickel-silver. The front bears the crowned effigy of The Queen with the inscription ‘Elizabeth II Dei Gratia Regina F.D.’  

The reverse of the medal has the word ‘ Vietnam’ at the top centre above a depiction of a man standing between two symbolic spheres.

The medal ribbon has three red stripes on a yellow centre. The ribbon also has a blue stripe to represent the Navy, a red stripe for the Army and a light blue stripe for the Air Force. The ribbon also has a brown stripe for the colour of the earth and waterways of Vietnam.

Centenary of National Service Medal

I had trouble finding information on this medal but I think it look fairly self explanatory.

Vietnamese Campaign Medal

This award has was issued by the South Vietnamese Government for six months service in South Vietnam.  Approximately 50,000 were issued to Australian and New Zealand service personnel.

The Vietnamese Campaign Medal is a six-pointed star in white enamel, superimposed over a radiating bright metal background.  A circular inset to the white star consists of a map of Vietnam in bright metal, with a flame in red enamel arising from it.  The background to the inset is dark green enamel.

The ribbon of the medal has three white stripes.  On either side of the central white stripe are broader stripes of dark green, while the two outer white stripes are flanked at the edges by narrow strips of green.  The ribbon is mounted so that it tapers to the width of the central white stripe.   The medal is issued with a bar which is impressed ‘1960-‘.


Again, a proud wife sent me this picture of her husband’s medals and you have read about all of them except for the fourth from the left.  It is the National Medal.

The National Medal recognises long and diligent service by members of recognised government and voluntary organisations that risk their lives or safety to protect or assist the community in enforcement of the law or in times of emergency or natural disaster.
This includes government organisations such as ambulance, correctional, emergency, fire and police forces, and voluntary organisations such as lifesaving or search and rescue groups.
The National Medal is Australia’s most awarded civilian medal.


Now we have four sets of medals from one family and I will let this fellow explain his own family’s medals….

(Above) Here are the medals my Father, Kevin Harvey, wore and now I wear on ANZAC Day: Australian Active Service Medal with Clasp Vietnam, Australian Vietnam Medal, Defence Force Service Medal and Clasp, National Medal and Clas, Australian Defence Medal, Australian National Service Medal, Vietnam Campaig, Medal US Bronze Star.

My father joined the Army in the 1950’s and served until the early 1980’s (27 years). He did a tour in Vietnam when he was awarded the US Bronze Star for ‘Administrative excellence’ 

(Above) These medals are my Grandfathers Medals. Gerrard Pollock enlisted in Australia at the beginning of WWII and served in the Middle East then on Greece where he was captured. Once he was captured he was transported to Europe where he served the rest of his time in POW camps until released by the Americans in 1945. His medals are (L-R): 1939 1945 Star Africa Star Defence Medal War Medal 1939 – 45 Australian Service Medals 1939 – 45 Greek War Medal (issued by Greece for those who served in Greece prior to capture)

(Above) Here are my medals. I enlisted in 1987 and did a tour of East Timor and am now in the Middle East Region.  The medals are: Australian Active Service Medal with Clasp East Timor Defence Long Service Medal with two clasps Australian Defence Medal UNTAET Medal

I think that is enough for tonight. I hope you all kept up. At the very least you will be a little more aware of at least a few of the medals our troops will be wearing on ANZAC Day.

Till next time……………….keep spreading the word and happy stitching!
Jan-Maree xx

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