Since Federation a range of badges have been issued. In earlier times badges were issued to identify those who had volunteered to serve but were prevented from doing so for medical or other reasons, those who had returned from active service and family members of those serving and those who died on service.
Before the establishment of the Australian Operational Service Medal (AOSM) , those who received the Australian Active Service Medal were also issued with the Returned from Active Service Badge (RASB). Because the AOSM recognises all declared operational service, an Operational Service Badge (OSB) has been established to be issued on the first award of the AOSM.
The OSB has two versions - military and civilian, to be issued with the respective medal types.
The RASB will continue to be issued with the AASM for current warlike operations.
In contrast with the RASB, the OSB may also be issued to the next-of-kin of deceased members
to complement the award of the OSM.
The purpose of the Returned from Active Service Badge (RASB) is to recognise Australian Defence Force (ADF) members who have returned from active or warlike service during military campaigns in operational areas.
The RASB is not issued posthumously as the badge is intended to identify those who have returned from active service.Refer to Chapter 40 of the Honours and Awards Manual.
The General Service Badge was issued to persons who served full-time for a period of 28 days or more, continuously or in aggregate, and discharged without becoming eligible for the Returned from Active Service Badge during World War II. Persons who were discharged because of misconduct and those who were in a reserved occupation, were not eligible for the badge. The badge was also available to approved representatives of philanthropic bodies, and Official Press Correspondents and Official Photographers who met the qualifying criteria.
Eligibility for the badge terminated on 2 September 1945.
The General Service Badge is a personal issue and not issued to relatives of deceased ex-members.
The image shown is the second design of the badge.
The Female Relatives’ Badge was established in 1940 for issue to the nearest female relative of a serving member of the Royal Australian Navy, Australian Military Forces or Royal Australian Air Force. This badge is no longer issued. This badge was not issued to the relatives of members of the Merchant Navy.
The Mothers’ and Widows’ Badge was also introduced in 1940 and was issued to the mother, widow or nearest female relative of a member of the Australian forces who died in service during the war. This badge is no longer issued. The Mothers’ and Widows’ Badge was also issued to the next of kin of eligible members of the Merchant Navy, who died in service.
The Army has two uniform embellishments to identify those members of the Army who have served in warlike operations in a direct combat role. These badges are the Army Combat Badge (ACB) and the Infantry Combat Badge (ICB). They are not administered by the Directorate of Honours and Awards. Any requests for information on application and eligibility for them should be directed to;
Web page last updated 16 October, 2013