The Australian Operational Service Medal (OSM) recognises Defence people, both Australian Defence Force (ADF) members and Defence Civilians, who willingly and ably perform their work as part of an operation or within other specific hazardous environments and conditions that has been recommended by the Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) and approved by the Governor General for declaration as an operation warranting recognition through a medal.
The OSM will replace the Australian Active Service Medal and the Australian Service Medal for future operations. For ADF members the OSM will be awarded as the standard medal with a unique ribbon for each operation, similar to the practice in place for the United Nations Medal. Provision also exists for the award of an accumulated service device to denote those who undertake multiple tours on a particular operation. Those operations currently recognised by the AASM or ASM will continue to be recognised with those medals while the operations are active, for example Operation SLIPPER.
Her Majesty the Queen approved the OSM on 22 May 2012.
Details of the medal design and ribbon colours will be released after manufacturing contracting arrangements have been completed. Work is underway to commence the manufacturing process and it is anticipated that initial stocks of the medal will be available in the coming months.
ADF members who undertake operational service will receive an OSM with a unique ribbon for each new operation. ADF members who undertake additional periods of qualifying service on the same operation will, where appropriate, receive an accumulated service device - in the form of a numeral similar to those issued by the United Nations.
The Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, the Hon Warren Snowdon MP, and the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, AO, CSC, publicly announced the OSM on Thursday 19 July 2012.
The OSM also includes a variant that will be available to recognise those Defence Civilians and other classes of civilian who are employed on ADF operations under the provisions of the Defence Force Discipline Act 1982. No recognition of civilians has been given since the end of the INTERFET operation in 2000, accordingly those who have been employed on operations since that time may be entitled to receive the civilian OSM. The Civilian OSM 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.
The eligibility criteria for the Civilian OSM are currently being developed and will be announced when the Governor-General has approved the determinations for the respective operations. This will be widely publicised.
Operational Service Medal – Border Protection
The first service declared for the OSM is the range of border protection operations conducted since 1997. The basic qualifying criteria for the OSM - Border Protection require members of the ADF to have been deployed or force assigned for duty as a member of a declared operation:
a. for a period of not less than an aggregate of 30 days; or
b. 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.
More detailed criteria are contained in the Governor-General’s Determination dated 18 July 2012.
Click Here for the Australian Operational Service Medal - Border Protection Declaration dated 18 July 2012
How is it awarded
Defence requests that ADF personnel who feel they may be eligible for the OSM – Border Protection as a result of their involvement in border protection operations or Defence Civilians who have been awaiting recognition since 2000 for their employment as part of a declared operation do not apply for recognition at this time.
The Directorate of Honours and Awards is still working through the administrative aspects associated with the OSM and will be providing further information as soon as it becomes available.
Phone the free-call number 1800 111 321 for further guidance, noting its operating hours are: 10.00am - 4.00pm AEST /AEDST , Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays.
Commonwealth of Australia Gazette No S 67
Web page last updated 16 May, 2013