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Army March 29, 2012
THERE is an ongoing misunderstanding among our
service personnel of what the Returned Serviceman's
League is at the local level.
There is a distinct difference between being a member
of the local "RSL Club" and joining the sub-branch.
From my experience, if you join a sub-branch, you
sign up to attend monthly meetings, associate with a lot
of old diggers, sailors, airmen and women and, I must
say after being a member of Cardiff RSL Sub-Branch for
almost six years, you get involved with the community
and get to know some terrific local people.
The sub-branch also helps serving and ex-serving per-
sonnel with pensions, compensation and so on, as most
sub-branches have their own advocates and pensions
officers to help you through the paperwork and process of
claiming with DVA and other organisations.
The sub-branch also looks after its members in vari-
ous ways from conducting small functions to bereave-
ments support and visiting hospitals in a welfare capacity.
I joined the Cardiff RSL Sub-Branch to get more
involved with the community and to continue the sense of
contributing and camaraderie that I enjoy while I'm still
in the services. I must admit I have no regrets there.
As a comparison, one might join a leagues club to
gain cheaper drinks, points on the pokies and receive
promotions information, but to be an actual member of a
specific playing leagues club you support the club itself,
attend games and get involved.
I am also a member of the Cardiff RSL Club but until
recently didn't realise how much more it meant to join
the Cardiff RSL Sub-Branch. In fact seven years ago I
didn't really know the difference between the two.
As a personal plea to all serving personnel: why not
get involved with your local RSL Sub-Branch? You won't
be disappointed. Any serving or ex-serving member of
the ADF can join.
Sqn-Ldr Tich Rundle
RAAF Base Williamtown
ON JANUARY 31 last year I
was medically discharged from
the Army after 42 years' service
(30 ARA and 12 ARes).
I was proud to serve my
country and had many high-
lights throughout this period of
time. I was presented with the
Federation Star after 40 years'
service by the then Chief of the
Army, Lt-Gen Ken Gillespie.
When presenting this very special
award he said "wear it with pride,
you deserve it after 40 years of
service to our Army".
It is ironic that the only time
you can display this award is
when you are wearing your rib-
bons. If the Federation Star is to
have reverence during and after
your service in the Defence Force
(and I firmly believe it should
have) then a Federation Star
should be placed on the DFSM/
DSM instead of another clasp.
I know that the RSM
Ceremonial will say we are given
five clasps to our DFSM or DSM,
which shows we have completed
40-plus years' service, but why
have a Federation Star that you
cannot wear in ceremonial forms
of dress or when you wear your
medals with civilian attire, espe-
cially when you leave the ser-
The Directorate of Honours and
Awards provides this response:
THE significance of serving
Why no medal star?
more than 40 years in the ADF
cannot be under-estimated, but
the Federation Star is not an
award, in itself, to recognise
this achievement. The various
Defence long service medals and
clasps are established to provide
The Federation Star is sim-
ply a device that is worn on the
medal ribbon bar of a long ser-
vice award to denote the award of
the fifth and subsequent clasps,
when medals are not worn on
It was selected to replace the
existing rosettes after it was iden-
tified that it was not practical to
wear more than four rosettes on
The writer suggests that the
Federation Star device should
replace the fifth clasp to the
Defence Force Service Medal
and the Defence Long Service
It is considered, however, that
wearing five or more clasps gives
a much clearer indication of a
member's length of service than
four clasps and one or more stars.
Furthermore, a device such as
the Federation Star may not even
be visible if a member's medals
overlap. For these reasons, the
suggestion is not supported.
Star struck: The use of the Federation Star on long service ribbons to recognise more than 40
years' service is a practical consideration owing to space restrictions and is therefore not used
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