Australian Operational Service Medal

Operational Service Medal - Border Protection front

Operational Service Medal - Border Protection front
Operational Service Medal - Civilian front

Operational Service Medal - Civilian front

Significance

The introduction of the Australian Operational Service Medal to replace the Australian Active Service Medal (AASM) and the Australian Service Medal (ASM) provides for recognition of Defence-related service which better reflects contemporary operations, including:

  • Flexibility when nature of operations change;
  • Recognition of civilians, increasingly deployed with the military on operations;
  • Recognition of repeat tours; and
  • Recognition of certain border operations in hazardous circumstances.

History

The Australian Operational Service Medal was established on 22 May 2012 by Letters Patent and the Australian Operational Service Medal Regulations 2012.  

The Australian Operational Service Medal was established on 22 May 2012 by Letters Patent.  The Australian Operational Service Medal 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.

The Australian Operational Service Medal – Border Protection recognises the range of border protection operations conducted since 1997. To qualify, Australian Defence Force (ADF) members must have been deployed or force assigned for duty as a member of a declared operation:

  • for a period of not less than an aggregate of 30 days; or
  • completed 30 sorties from a unit assigned to a declared operation, provided that those sorties were conducted over a period of not less than an aggregate of 30 days at a rate of one sortie per day.

The Australian Operational Service Medal – Civilian may be awarded to Defence civilians and other classes of civilians who are employed on ADF operations under the provisions of the Defence Force Discipline Act 1982. 

How it is awarded

The Governor-General awards the Australian Operational Service Medal on the recommendation of the Chief of the Defence Force or his/her delegate.

For ADF members, the Australian Operational Service Medal 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 civilians who are employed on ADF operations under the provisions of the Defence Force Discipline Act 1982, the Australian Operational Service Medal 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 Australian Operational Service Medal.

For ADF members engaged in connection with Australian border protection activities, the Governor-General has approved the following operations:

  • CRANBERRY; DIRK; STANHOPE; MISTRAL; TEEBONE; CELESTA; SUTTON; GEMSBOK; RELEX; RELEX II; AND RESOLUTE.

For Defence civilians and other classes of civilians who are employed on ADF operations under the provisions of the Defence Force Discipline Act 1982, the following operations have been approved by the Governor-General:

  • East Timor (TANAGER, CITADEL AND SPIRE).
  • ICAT (SLIPPER).
  • Iraq 2003 (FALCONER AND CATALYST).
  • Solomon Islands II (ANODE).
  • Timor-Leste (ASTUTE).

The application form can be downloaded from the Department of Defence website.

Application forms can also be obtained in writing from:

Directorate of Honours and Awards
CP2-1
Department of Defence
PO Box 7952
CANBERRA BC ACT 2610

Medal Design

The Australian Operational Service Medal is cupro-nickel finished in antique silver. The obverse bears an old-world stylised world globe signifying global operations, interlinked with a Federation Star. The globe is surrounded by the words ‘AUSTRALIAN OPERATIONAL SERVICE MEDAL’.

The reverse bears a central horizontal stylised scroll with the words ‘Defending Australia and its national interests’, overlaying a wreath of mimosa, above which sits an hour glass motif signifying the ongoing vigilance and timely response of Defence.

Medal Ribbon

The ribbon for the Australian Operational Service Medal – Border Protection has three equal stripes of dark blue, ochre and dark green which denote the seas and sky, the deserts and the forests and grasslands.

The ribbon for the Australian Operational Service Medal – Civilian is green with central stripes of gold and purple. The purple represents Defence and the green and gold are Australia's national colours.