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The Australian Cadet Forces Service Medal is for Officers or Instructors of Cadets who have, on or after 14 February 1975, completed 15 years qualifying service. Clasps are awarded for additional 5 year periods of qualifying service.
Prior to 1975, adult officers and senior instructors of cadets in the various arms of the Australian cadet movement had been entitled to their own Imperial long service medal. The Imperial Cadet Forces Medal was established in 1950 and was awarded for 12 years service with either the Naval Reserve Sea Cadets, the Australian Army Cadet Corps or the Air Training Corps. At the time the Imperial honours and awards system was abolished in 1975, the support for the cadet movement was also withdrawn. Notwithstanding this, the cadet movement survived and was eventually brought back under the sponsorship of the ADF.
In 1999 the Australian Cadet Forces Service Medal was instituted to replace the Cadet Forces Medal. While it is not strictly a Defence long service award and is not available to ADF members, it is located with the long service awards given that the Australian Cadet Corps is actively sponsored by the ADF.
The medal is cupro-nickel. The obverse has the emblem of the Australian Cadet Force surrounded by the inscription 'AUSTRALIAN CADET FORCES SERVICE MEDAL'.
The reverse has the Federation Star under a plaque showing recipient's details.
The ribbon has stripes of blue and gold with three outer stripes of navy, red and light-blue.
The clasp is a cupro-nickel bar with the Royal Cypher flanked by sprigs of wattle in the centre.
When the ribbon is worn alone, the award of a clasp is indicated by the addition of a cupro-nickel round rosette or a silver miniature Federation Star. Additional emblems are added for each clasp awarded.
The first four clasps to the medal are indicated by rosettes. These are replaced by a single silver Federation Star for the fifth clasp. Additional Federation Star emblems are added for subsequent clasps.
The medal is worn in the position notified by the Governor-General in The Order of Wearing Australian Honours and Awards
Cadet Members must apply through their State Headquarters.