17 August 2011
Applications for the New Zealand Defence Service Medal (NZDSM) have now opened for ex-Service personnel who are 60 years of age and over.
Until today the New Zealand Defence Force's Medals Office was accepting applications for the NZDSM only from ex-Service personnel aged 70 or over. Since April, when the first applications were called for, over 12,000 applications have been received by the Medals Office and over 8,000 medals have been issued.
Due to the large number of people eligible for the NZDSM, the call for applications is being managed in four stages, with priority given to processing applications from the oldest living ex-Service personnel first.
The new medal, which was announced by the Prime Minister last year, means that a large number of personnel who served New Zealand loyally and well in a wide range of roles and contexts, but not on operations, are now receiving medallic recognition.
"The medal recognises attested military service in the Defence Force by New Zealanders. Those who have served in the military for three years or more since the end of World War Two, and those who completed their compulsory military training or national military service obligations, qualify," Assistant Chief of Personnel Commodore Kevin Keat said.
"Personnel with three years accumulated service, for example, between Regular, K Force, J Force and Territorial service (including RNZNR and RNZNVR) are also eligible for the medal."
Ex-Service personnel are encouraged to apply for the medal using the online form on the NZDF Medals website http://medals.nzdf.mil.nz
Hard copies of the application form are also available through the website and at most local RSAs who can provide staff to help ex-Service personnel fill in their applications.
CDRE Keat said, "We have set up a helpline for people with questions about the NZDSM, which is available during business hours. If you require assistance please call 0800 334 772."
In April an inaugural presentation was made to 34 medal recipients. Since then a number of presentations have been made at RSA Clubrooms throughout the country.
For further information please contact Ally Clelland, Defence Communications Group, 021 569 130.
About the New Zealand Defence Service Medal
The obverse of the medal has the New Zealand Coat of Arms, the symbol of the Crown and Executive Arm of Government. The reverse side has the fern, plus the emblems of the Navy, Army and Air Force - the Naval crown, crossed swords and eagle. These are the main elements of the Badge of the New Zealand Defence Force. The two fern fronds which normally form part of the Badge of the New Zealand Defence Force have been omitted to avoid the inference that all recipients served in the NZ Defence Force. Many of the recipients will have served in the armed forces prior to the formation of the NZ Defence Force.
The medal ribbon reflects the colours of the Navy, Army and Air Force as dark blue, red and light blue respectively. Light green stripes have been added to represent the volunteer territorial and reserve elements of the Services.
The Royal Warrant for the NZDSM allows for one or more clasps to be awarded with the medal. The number of clasps awarded to an individual will be determined by the type(s) of military service undertaken. There are four clasps which can be awarded with the NZDSM: Regular, Territorial, C.M.T., and National Service.
For further information follow us on Facebook at NZ Defence Force, and on Twitter at NZDefenceForce.