Home' Army News : March 3rd 2011 Contents Supporting Australia's veterans,
peacekeepers and their families
VVCS provides counselling and support services to Australian veterans, peacekeepers, eligible
members of the Defence Force community and their families, and F-111 Fuel Tank Maintenance
workers and their partners and immediate family members. VVCS is a specialised, free and
confidential Australia-wide service.
VVCS can provide you with:
• Individual, couple and family counselling including case management services
• After-hours crisis telephone counselling via Veterans Line
• Group programs including Anger Management, Depression, Anxiety, Lifestyle Management and
• Support on transition from military to civilian life, including The Stepping Out Program
• Information, self-help resources and referrals to other services.
We can help you work through issues such as stress, relationship, family problems and other
lifestyle issues as well as emotional or psychological issues associated with your military service.
If you need support or would like more
information about us please give us a
call or visit our website.
1800 011 046*
* Free local call. Calls from mobile and pay
phones may incur changes.
Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service
A service founded by Vietnam veterans
Army March 3, 2011
By Tracey Hansell
THE recognition of Defence members who perform
specific acts of bravery or provide exceptional ser-
vice will be covered under changes to the awarding
of formal commendations for service.
The changes have introduced an integrated Defence
Commendation Scheme, which includes a jointly
awarded Secretary/CDF Commendation, a Secretary's
Commendation and a separate commendation to be
awarded by non-Service groups and agencies that mir-
rors the existing gold, silver and bronze commendations
of the armed services.
The new scheme has been introduced to formally
recognise outstanding and exceptional achievements or
specific acts of bravery for which the Australian system
of honours and awards is not an appropriate medium of
Under the scheme, commendations may be awarded
to individuals or collectively to a group, unit or team.
Individual commendations will comprise a commenda-
tion certificate and badge while group, unit and team
commendations will comprise a certificate only -- no
badge will be issued.
The Secretary, CDF or three-star/SES Band 3 offic-
ers are the only people authorised to award group com-
Under the new scheme, the Secretary and the CDF
may award commendations either separately or jointly.
Recipients of a joint commendation will be presented
with a certificate signed by the Secretary and the CDF
and a joint commendation badge.
Continuing the present system, gold, silver and
bronze commendations will be awarded for all other
individual commendations within the groups and ser-
The bronze level commendation will be awarded for
high or noteworthy achievement, silver for excellent
achievement and gold for superior achievement.
Nominations are to be completed using Form
AD112 -- Nomination for Defence Commendation for
Service, which can be found on the Defence Intranet
Web Forms System. All nominations are to be submit-
ted through the member's respective chain of command
to the appropriate awarding authority.
The policy for the new scheme is detailed in Interim Policy
Defgram No. 4/2010.
NATO medal notice
DEFENCE Support Group has
provided clarification about the
awarding and wearing of for-
eign decorations presented to
ADF personnel deployed on
They are the NATO Medal
with Clasp 'ISAF' (International
Security Assistance Force) and the
Dutch Medal of Peace Operations.
In 2007, CDF accepted the
offer for award of the NATO
Medal with Clasp 'ISAF' to
ADF members who served in
Afghanistan from June 1, 2003, in
support of the ISAF.
Since then, there have been a
number of issues in the interpreta-
tion of the eligibility criteria, par-
ticularly regarding whether quali-
fying service is over a single tour
or multiple tours.
NATO has advised that the
qualifying period for the medal
is 30 days continuous ser-
vice or accumulated within the
Afghanistan Area of Operations
(AAO) within a single tour.
Aircrew will accumulate one
day's service for the first sortie
flown on any day within the AAO.
Additional sorties on the same day
will receive no further credit.
The Directorate of Honours
and Awards (DH&A) acknowl-
edges that this is an issue affecting
ADF members who cannot accu-
mulate 30 days over a single tour.
However, as the medal is a for-
eign award, DH&A does not have
any authority to determine eligibil-
ity outside of these criteria.
NATO's Supreme Headquarters
Allied Powers Europe is respon-
sible for assessment and issue of
There have also been some
issues regarding the issue of the
Dutch Medal of Peace Operations
that is being awarded by the
Netherlands to selected ADF per-
sonnel who served under Dutch
Command in Afghanistan.
Under Australian policy,
only one foreign award may be
accepted and worn for a single
operation. As the NATO medal has
been accepted as the official for-
eign award, members who have
received the Dutch medal may not
formally wear it.
Members may retain the medal
but it will not be listed in PMKeys.
The Netherlands government is
aware of the policy.
For more details on eligibility, contact
DH&A on 1800 111 321.
Highly commended: The new system provides for
group and individual commendations beyond the
scope of the existing awards scheme.
International medal: Australian personnel who have served in
Afghanistan from June 1, 2003 and meet the criteria are eligible
for the NATO Medal with Clasp ISAF.
Photo by Cpl Ricky Fuller
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