22 July 2012

Australia establishes new medal: Australian Operational Service Medal

Australian Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Warren Snowdon, MP, along with Royal Australian Navy's top officer Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, AO, CSC, RAN announced the establishment of the Australian Operational Service Medal ("OSM") at HMAS Coonawarra following its establishment by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 22 May 2012.

The OSM was a recommendation of the 2007/08 Defence Honours, Awards and Commendations Policy Review and the Government agreed to establish the OSM as a result and the intent is the OSM will be awarded instead of the Australian Active Service Medal and Australian Service Medal for all new Defence operations.

“This is our way of acknowledging the tough and dangerous work hundreds of men and women in our defence forces carry out protecting Australia,” Mr Snowdon said in a press release.

Different versions of OSM ribbons will represent the different operations people have deployed on, instead of specific campaign medals, and will link recognition of the type of service done by both Australian Defence Force (ADF) and eligible civilians through two variants.

The ADF variant will see a medal with a unique ribbon issued for each new operation. Second and subsequent awards to the same person on different operations will be in the form of another medal (using the same medal design) but with its own unique ribbon. For ADF members there will also be provision for accumulated service devices to be issued for additional periods of qualifying service on the same operation, similar to the numerals issued by the UN.

The civilian variant will see the same medal design but with its own ‘civilian’ ribbon. Only one medal will be awarded to the same person and second and subsequent awards on different operations will be in the form of a clasp, similar to the AASM/ASM process. There is no provision for accumulated service devices for the civilian variant. The civilian variant will only be awarded to civilians who are employed on a military operation under the auspices of the Defence Force Discipline Act.

The medal’s determinations have not yet been raised to enable the OSM to be formally awarded to eligible recipients nor have the manufacturing details of the medal been finalised. Defence hopes the initial supply of medals will be available in the coming months.

Go here to view the regulation for the medal which was issued on 18 July 2012.

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