Defence Medal now available to all ex-Service personnel

26 July 2012

Applications for the New Zealand Defence Service Medal (NZDSM) have now been thrown open to all ex-Service personnel and the families of deceased ex-Service personnel.

New Zealand Defence Service Medal
New Zealand Defence Service Medal

Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force, Lieutenant General Rhys Jones, says the medal recognises attested military service in the New Zealand Defence Force. New Zealanders who served in the military for three or more years since the end of World War Two, and those who completed their compulsory military training or national military service obligations, qualify for the medal.

“The NZDSM 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 for their work,” says Lieutenant General Jones.

Due to the large number of people eligible for the NZDSM, the call for applications is being managed in four stages, with priority initially given to processing applications from older living ex-Service personnel. Since April 2011, when the first applications were called for, more than 33,000 NZDSM medals have been issued.

“Now it’s the turn of ex-Service personnel and the families of deceased ex-Service personnel eligible for the medal. I encourage them to apply online using the form on the NZ Defence Force Medals website [].” 

The Chief of Defence says hard copies of the application form are also available at many local RSA clubrooms where staff are available to assist ex-Service personnel and family members with their application forms. Ex-Service personnel that have received the NZDSM who would like the medal to be presented to them formally can contact their nearest RSA as a number of branches are arranging presentations in local communities.


For further information please contact the Defence Force Media Phone 021487980.


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.

A helpline for people with questions about the NZDSM, is available during business hours, please call 0800 334 772.

This page was last reviewed on 30 July 2012.