Monday’s Medals – 6 April

Written by AHQ

6 April 2015

I hope you are enjoying this series of posts about medals. I know that I am certainly learning something.  Hopefully I will recognise a lot more medals when I go to the ANZAC Day service this year.  Many of these medals were not in existence when I served.  Also, if you pick up any errors I have made please let me know via email so that I can make sure these posts are accurate.

Andy was kind enough to send me a photo of his medals..

From left to right – you have the Australian Active Service Medal with clasps for ICAT and Iraq, the Afghanistan Medal, the Iraq Medal, the Australian Operational Service Medal, the Defence Long Service Medal and the Australian Defence Medal. 
Starting from the left…..
The Australian Active Service Medal was introduced in 1988 to recognise service in prescribed warlike operations since 14 February 1975.  The front has a Federation Star within a wreath of mimosa.  On the reverse a laurel wreath surrounds an inscription “FOR ACTIVE SERVICE”.  The ribbon colours are primarily variations of Australian colours of green and gold with a central red stripe to symbolise the dangers faced in warlike situations. A clasp with the name of the theatre or action for which the award is made is presented with the medal.  
A further award of the Australian Active Service Medal in another area is recognised by the issue of an additional clasp which is worn above any previously worn clasps.  Andy has clasps for ICAT (Afghanistan) and Iraq.
Next is the Afghanistan Medal…which recognises service of Australian Defence Force personnel in designated operations in the Aghanistan region from 11 October 2001… and the Iraq Medal which recognises service with the Australian Defence Force in specified operaions in the Iraq region from 18 March 2008. 
The Prime Minister, the Hon John Howard MP, announced the establishment of the Afghanistan Medal and the Iraq Medal on ANZAC Day 2004.  Australian Defence Force deployments to Afghanistan are also recognised through the Australian Active Service Medal Clasp “ICAT”.  Australian Defence Force deployments to Iraq are also recognised through the Australian Active Service Medal Clasp “IRAQ”.
Once again, the Governor General awards the medal on the recommendation of the Chief of the Defence Force or his delegate.
Both the Afghanistan Medal and the Iraq Medal feature the Commonwealth Coat of Arms on the front and images of symbolic relevance to the area of operation on the back.  The reverse of the Afghanistan Medal shows a snow-capped mountain range with a multi rayed sun rising behind the mountains.  The mountains represent the dominant terrain of Afghanistan and the rising sun signifies a new dawn for the nation.  The word “Afghanistan” is inscribed in both English and Arabic script to denote the two dominant languages of the country. 
The reverse of the Iraq Medal is based on a precessional lion which is copied from a relief on the Gateway to the Temple of Ishtar in Babylon.  In the Assyrian  Empire, the lion was a dominant symbol of power.The lion stands on a narrow plinth, symbolising balance, with the word “Iraq” inscribed underneath.
Both Medal ribbons have a central vertical stripe of red, signifying conflict in Afghanistan. Then there are two tstripes of purple representing the three arms of the Defence Force.  On the Afghanistan Medal this is flanked by stripes of khaki, white and light blue border.  The signify the Afghanistan terrain, the snow peaked mountains and the sky above respectively.  On the Iraq Medal ribbon the central stripes are flanked by wider stripes of yellow to symbolise Iraq’s desert sands. 

Then there is the Australian Operational Service Medal which was was instituted on 22 May 12. The medal was established to provide recognition to Defence personnel involved in declared operations or other service that the Chief of the Defence Force deems to be worthy of recognition.

The AOSM replaces the Australian Active Service Medal (AASM) and the Australian Service Medal (ASM).    Operations recognised by these medals will continue to be recognised by the AASM or the ASM, for example Operation SLIPPER.

For ADF members, the AOSM will be awarded as the standard medal with a unique ribbon for each operation. Provision also exists for the award of an accumulated service device to denote those who undertake multiple tours on a particular operation.

For Defence civilians and other classes of civilian who are employed on ADF operations under the provisions of the Defence Force Discipline Act 1982, the AOSM is in the form of the standard medal with a unique civilian service ribbon. Each operation will be denoted by a clasp to the medal. Accumulated service devices are not issued with the civilian variant of the AOSM.
Sorry the photo is not any clearer.

This is the medal itself.  

The Defence Long Service Medal
From 20 April 1999 the Defence Force Service Medal (which I showed you in an earlier post) was replaced by the Defence Long Service Medal.  

The Defence Long Service Medal may be awarded to a member who has, on or after 14 February 1975, completed 15 years qualifying remunerated service in the Australian Defence Force. This includes efficient service in Permanent and Reserve Forces. Clasps are awarded for each further periods of five years efficient service.
The front of the medal has the Joint Service Emblem surrounded by two sprays of wattle leaves and blossom.  The reverse has central horizontal panel surrounded by the inscription “FOR SERVICE IN THE AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE”.  
The ribbon has a central panel of seven alternating blue and gold stripes flanked by blue stripes and gold edges. The colours and designs reflect those of the replaced medals.

And you have already heard about the Australian Defence Medal.


Paul was also kind enough to send me a photo of his medals…. or his proud wife did at least.  🙂

First please notice the badge at the top with the wreath and crossed swords.. it is the Army Combat Badge (ACB)  which is to recognise the unique service of a member operating with an Arms Corps Unit within a warlike area of operations.   The purpose of the ACB is not to recognise combat duties but to recognise service with a combat element through formal force assignment.  The ACB is to be worn by eligible personnel on the left breast above medals or medal ribbons and aircrew badges. The ACB is only awarded once to an individual.  

These are the medals Paul would wear on ANZAC Day and similar occasions….

And these are his miniatures which he would wear on occasions such as  formal dinners etc.  They are more spaced out so easier for you to see….

From left to right we have the Australian Active Service Medal with clasps for East Timor, Iraq x 2 and Afghanistan.  Next we have the INTERFET Medal- Internations Force East Timor, the Afghan Campaign Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Australian Service Medal for Timor Leste, the Long Service Medal with clasp, the Australian Service Medal, the Timor Leste Campaign Medal and the North Atlantic Treaty Medal with ISAF Clasp.

Many of these you have already seen or read the explanations for so I will start with the INTERFET Medal which recognises members of the Australian Defence Force who served in East Timor during the INTERFET campaign (16 September 1999 – 10 April 2000).

The events leading to the independence of our neighbour, East Timor, touched Australians deeply.  The service by Australian personnel in East Timor was Australia’s most significant commitment of troops since World War II. Australia led the INTERFET coalition of 17 nations and the leadership and courage of participating personnel will long be remembered.

On 7 March 2000, Prime Minister the Hon John Howard MP announced the establishment of a specific campaign medal to honour members of the Australian Defence Force in East Timor.

Australia has invited other nations, which contributed personnel to INTERFET, to honour their defence force members with the International Force East Timor Medal. This is the first time an Australian medal has been extended in this way.

The International Force East Timor Medal was formally introduced by Letters Patent on 25 March 2000.

The design depicts the outline of a dove holding an olive branch, as a symbol of peace. This outline is raised in polished white silver and is superimposed on a textured map of East Timor and Territories.  ‘International Force East Timor’ is inscribed on the inside of the medal rim.  The medal reverse features the wording ‘Together as One for Peace in East Timor’.  The nickel silver medal is surmounted by a connector piece, which features a raised Federation Star.

The 32 millimetre-wide ribbon has a central red stripe, which represents the turbulent past of East Timor. This is flanked on either side by a green band symbolising renewal of a nation. In turn, these stripes are bordered by a white band for peace and finally by bands of light blue.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal with Clasp ‘ISAF’

In order for Australian personnel to officially accept and wear a foreign award, such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) medal, a formal offer needs to be made to the Australian Government by the country or international organisation wishing to confer the award.
In 2007, the Commander International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) General Dan K McNeill, offered the NATO ISAF to the Australian Government. The Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston announced that the NATO ISAF had been formally accepted for wear by Australian Defence Force (ADF) members for their service in Afghanistan in support of the ISAF. Defence civilians working with ISAF are also eligible for the award.

The medal is awarded for participation in NATO-led operations conducted in Afghanistan. ADF members must complete thirty days continuous within a single tour while force assigned to Operation SLIPPER and serving in the NATO Joint Area of Operations (JOA) commencing on or after 28 July 2006.

Aircrew force assigned to Operation SLIPPER and based outside the JOA need to complete 30 sorties over the JOA, flown at the rate of one sortie per day, and flown within a single tour commencing on or after 28 July 2006.
From 1 January 2011, personnel can accumulate their service, but must complete 60 days within a two year period. Aircrew still accumulate 1 day service for the first sortie flown of any day within the Afghanistan Area of Operations.
The medal will not be awarded to any member convicted of serious misconduct or crimes during their period of service within the JOA.
The qualifying period is not required in the event of death in action, missing presumed killed in action or evacuation from the operational area in the event of injury while on duty within the JOA.

The medal is supplied by NATO for presentation to eligible personnel. It is not inscribed with an individual’s service details and it does not come with a miniature.  Personnel deploying from 1 January 2011 who are eligible to receive the ISAF clasp will also receive a small clasp to be worn on the ribbon bar.

Multiple-Tour Indicator

NATO has amended the qualifying criteria for the medal to include the awarding of multiple-tour indicators (MTI) for members returning to the same NATO operation or activity commencing after 1 January 2011. There must be a break of at least 180 days between deployments before an indicator can be awarded.
NATO ISAF ribbon bar with numeral 2 - Click to open image in new window
Example of ribbon bar issued from 1 January 2011.

Now these next two medals are a little special and I thought I would include them so that you recognise what they are.  These were presented to Paul’s children. They represent the number of times he has deployed.  These are not “official” medals but come from a site called “Military Kids Recognition”.  I think they are a really nice gesture to make the kids feel appreciated.

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

Follow Us…

You May Also Like…

1 Comment

  1. Sue Niven

    This is a post I will come back to time and time again to absorb it all. Thank you.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *