Questions and Answers

These are some of the questions that are frequently asked about Defence honours and awards.


Australian Defence Medal

Who is eligible for the Australian Defence Medal?
How far back will the medal be backdated for eligibility?
How many people will be eligible to apply?
How do I apply?
How do I apply as Next-of-Kin?
How will I receive the medal?
Are National Servicemen eligible to receive the medal?
What do the colours of the ADM ribbon represent?

Eligibility for Medals and Clasps

How are the eligibility criteria determined for the various medals and clasps?

Long Service Medals

What are the eligibility criteria for the various long service awards?
Who is eligible for the National Medal?

Medals Policy

How do I exchange broken or damaged medals?
Why didn't I receive a miniature with my medal ?
When are miniature medals worn?
Can I wear another person's medals?
How do I report someone for fraudulently wearing a medal?

I have found / been given a medal who was the recipient?
What is the translation of 'Pingat Jasa Malaysia'?

Replacements and Replicas

I have lost my medals - can I have them replaced?
I can’t find my relatives medals, can I apply to have them replaced?
Can I purchase replacement medals from the Department?
Am I allowed to wear replica medals?
Where can I purchase replica medals?

Badges and Medallions

Am I eligible for the 60th Anniversary World War II Commemorative Medallion (DVA award)?
Who is eligible for the Infantry Combat Badge and the Army Combat Badge?
How do I replace flying badges and hat badge?


Australian Defence Medal

Who is eligible for the Australian Defence Medal? [TOP]

This medal seeks to recognise the service of members of the Australian Defence Force, past and present, who have made a commitment to our nation's security.

Accordingly, the Australian Defence Medal will be awarded to Regular and Reserve Force members who have completed their initial enlistment period or four years service, whichever was the lesser, since World War II with service backdated from 3 September, 1945.

Eligibility for the medal extends to those personnel who:

How far back will the medal be backdated for eligibility? [TOP]

The time frame for eligibility for the ADM will be backdated until the end of World War II (3 September 1945). Any four years service completed after that date will be considered eligible service. The ADM will also be awarded posthumously to the families of eligible deceased members.

How many people will be eligible to apply? [TOP]

It is estimated that approximately one million current and ex-serving members will be eligible to apply for the ADM.

How do I apply? [TOP]

Application forms are available for download here. They are also available from the RSL and other Ex-Service Organisations.

How do I apply as Next-of-Kin? [TOP]

Click here to access an ADM application form. A Statutory Declaration must be completed by the Executor of the will, the Administrator in case of intestacy, or a person who can provide legal status as sole beneficiary to this claim.

How will I receive the medal? [TOP]

The ADM is dispatched to through the post by Registered Mail.

For current serving members, the medal is sent to their unit as shown on PMKeyS.

Are National Servicemen eligible to receive the medal? [TOP]

Yes. Completion of a full National Service obligation will qualify for the medal.

What do the colours of the ADM ribbon represent? [TOP]

The black and red colour of the Flanders poppy represents the Anzac spirit of the Australian Defence Force. The white stripes divide the red into three, denoting the three Services. The white stripes also denote service in the peace of Australia .


Eligibility for Medals and Clasps

How are the eligibility criteria determined for the various medals and clasps? [TOP]

The qualifying conditions for a medal or a clasp to a medal are decided after consideration of the particular operation by appropriate authorities. These conditions, when approved, are published as a determination which becomes the authority for establishing eligibility.


Long Service Medals

What are the eligibility criteria for the various long service awards? [TOP]

The qualifying conditions for long service awards are detailed in the regulations for the awards. This information is amplified in other publications including the Chief Officers' Manual for the National Medal and Defence Instructions (General) DI(G) PERS 31-1.

Long service awards are defined in the Letters Patent establishing the awards. Details of long service awards are also available from the site www.itsanhonour.gov.au

Who is eligible for the National Medal? [TOP]

The National Medal may be awarded to ADF personnel who completed 15 years qualifying service with at least one day of that period on or after 14 Feb 75 with the qualifying period completed before 20 Apr 82.

There are other circumstances which may allow the award of the National Medal and these are detailed in the Chief Officers' Manual for the National Medal and Defence Instructions (General) DI(G) PERS 31-1.


Medals Policy

How do I exchange broken or damaged medals? [TOP]

Medals that have been broken or damaged may be returned to Defence Honours and Awards for assessment. If this damage is considered to be caused by factors beyond the control of the recipient, the damaged medals will be replaced. In this case, the engraving details on the replacement medals will not include the 'D' which is added to replacements for lost originals.

Medals of deceased recipients will not be replaced under any circumstances.

Why didn't I receive a miniature with my medal ? [TOP]

The Imperial system issues the major piece only but permission is given for the production of miniature medals that may be purchased by recipients of those awards.

Awards in the Australian system are always issued with a miniature insignia as part of a boxed set.

When are miniature medals worn? [TOP]

As a general practice, miniature orders, decorations and medals are worn with evening dress.

Can I wear another person's medals? [TOP]

Allowance is made for family members of a deceased recipient to wear that person's medals on commemorative occasions such as Anzac Day. When worn by others, the usual protocol recommended is that the medals are worn on the right side to show that the wearer is not the original recipient.

How do I report someone for fraudulently wearing a medal? [TOP]

Fraudulent wear of medals is an offence under The Defence Act 1903 , an act of the Commonwealth of Australia. Known or suspected cases of fraudulent medal wearing should be reported to the Australian Federal Police.

I have found / been given a medal who was the recipient? [TOP]

Medals will normally, but not always, have recipient details such as service number, name and initials engraved on the reverse or on the edge.

The medal may be passed to an ex-service organisation such as the RSL who will attempt to return the medal to the recipient or the recipient's family.

What is the translation of 'Pingat Jasa Malaysia'? [TOP]

The literal translation is Malaysian Merit Medal.


Replacements and Replicas

I have lost my medals - can I have them replaced?[TOP]

A serving or former serving member may apply to have their medal(s) replaced once, at public expense.  Further replacements may be made at the discretion of the Department of Defence based on the relative merits of the cases.

For a copy of the Application for the Issue of Replacement Medals, click here

I can’t find my relatives medals, can I apply to have them replaced?[TOP]

Whilst the Department of Defence will not provide replacement medals to the Next of Kin, it may issue any unclaimed medals to the Next of Kin (see information under Posthumous Issue).

Replacement medals may be purchased from medals dealers, in such cases.

Can I purchase replacement medals from the Department?[TOP]

Replacement medals are not available for sale by the Directorate of Honours and Awards.  High quality replicas are available for purchase from a range of sources.

Am I allowed to wear replica medals? [TOP]

There are no implications resulting from wearing replicas of award to which a person is entitled.

Some people prefer to wear replicas and keep their originals protected from loss or damage.

Where can I purchase replica medals? [TOP]

Replicas may be purchased from a range of sources such as coin and medal dealers, medal mounters and a number of online manufacturers of replica medals.


Badges and Medallions

Am I eligible for the WWII 60th anniversary medallion? (DVA award) [TOP]

The Australian Government issued a medallion to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II (WWII) to provide personal recognition to surviving veterans, widows and widowers.

To be eligible to receive the medallion, a person must have been alive on 8 May 2005 , Victory in Europe (VE) Day, and served during WWII, or be the widow or widower of a person who served as:

To be eligible for the medallion a Commonwealth or allied veteran, mariner, widow or widower must live in Australia.

Persons wishing to enquire about eligibility or application forms should contact the Department of Veterans' Affairs. The website contact is http://www.dva.gov.au

DVA Factsheet http://www.dva.gov.au/factsheets/documents/COM27%202005%20World%20War%20II%20Commemorative%20Medallion.htm

Who is eligible for the Infantry Combat Badge and the Army Combat Badge? [TOP]

The Infantry Combat Badge (ICB) and the Army Combat Badge (ACB) are dress embellishments issued by the Army to identify those who have served in combat. The ICB is generally restricted to members of the Royal Australian Infantry Corps.

Further information on the ICB may be obtained from MAJ Glenn Crosland, SO2 Head of Corps RAINF, HQ Royal Military College of Australia, DUNTROON ACT 2600.

Further information on the ACB may be obtained from RSM Ceremonial, R8-9-046, DGPERS-A, Department of Defence, CANBERRA ACT 2600.

How do I replace flying badges and hat badges? [TOP]

Badges worn on uniform are the responsibility of the particular service and all questions relating to the wearing or replacement of these items should be directed to the service headquarters. Internet contacts are provided in the links section.

Web page last updated 30 October, 2013