Australian Operational Service Medal replaces Australian Active Service Medal
The AOSM, Australian Operational Service Medal was instituted to succeed both the ASM, Australian Service Medal and the AASM, Australian Active Service Medal on 22 May 2012.
The medal was originally established to give recognition to Defence personnel who contributed to declared operations or similar services deemed to be worthy of recognition by the Chief of the Defence Force. One example of the awards is the Operation Slipper.
Previously where the AASM and ASM had been awarded, a clasp was also issued with the medal then subsequent clasps were issued to add to the AASM or ASM to denote where the deployment was undertaken.
With the introduction of the AOSM the medal will remain constant but the ribbon will denote the deployment undertaken. The exception to this is the AOSM Civilian where a clasp is still awarded to denote an area of deployment. For the AOSM Greater Middle East, an ADF member on a second or subsequent deployment to operations may be awarded an accumulated service device (for example “2” which is worn on the medal ribbon) on completion of the prescribed qualifying period.
There are currently four AOSM ribbons specific for deployment / operations.
· Greater Middle East
· Border Protection
· Special Operations
Greater Middle East Australia Operational Service Medal (with accumulated service device)
The Greater Middle East Operation medal ribbon has four colours to represent service, bone represents sand, green represents Australia and hope, black represents anti-piracy, and blue represents the maritime and air elements.
Border Protection Australia Operational Service Medal
The Border Protection medal ribbon consists of three equal sized stripes of dark blue to represent the seas and sky, ochre or burnt orange to represent the deserts, and dark green to represent the forests and grasslands.
Civilian Australia Operational Service Medal (with clasp denoting an area of deployment)
The Civilian medal ribbon uses three colours to represent its meaning. Green and gold are used to represent Australia’s national colours and purple represents Defence.
Special Operations Australia Operational Service Medal
The Special Operations medal ribbon is black punctuated only by a thin red strip. The black represents the non-conventional conduct of the special operations and the red strip signifies strength, danger and the large sacrifices made by awarded recipients in the defence of Australia.