The Australian Active Service Medal was introduced in 1988 to recognise service in prescribed warlike operations since 14 February 1975.
The ribbon colours are primarily variations of the Australian colours of green and gold with a central red stripe symbolising the dangers faced in warlike situations.
A clasp with the name of the theatre or action for which the award is made is presented with the medal.
A further award of the Australian Active Service Medal in another area is recognised by the issue of an additional clasp. Additional clasps are worn above previously awarded clasps, in order of date of receipt.
The following clasps have been issued for the medal:
- East Timor
- ICAT (International Coalition Against Terrorism)
- Iraq 2003
- Middle East
- Sierra Leone
- Vietnam 1975
The eligibility criteria and the Determination for each clasp are included on the table of clasps issued.