Australian Service Medal 1939-1945

The Australia Service Medal 1939-1945 recognises service by Australia's armed forces and Volunteer Defence Corps during World War II.

The Australia Service Medal 1939-1945 was the first distinctive Australian medal in the British system of honours and awards.

How it is awarded

The medal is awarded on behalf of the Governor-General by the Department Defence.

The application form is available from the Department of Defence website. To access the Alternate Application Process, please call 1800 333 362.

There is no post-nominal entitlement for this medal. 


King George VI created the Australia Service Medal 1939-1945 by Royal Warrant in November 1949. The medal was for service by Australians during World War II.

The medal was originally awarded to those who served at home or overseas for at least 18 month full-time service, or three years part-time service, between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945. Members of the Australian Mercantile Marine must have served the qualifying time at sea.

In 1996 the qualifying time was reduced to 30 days full-time or 90 days port-time service. To be eligible for the medal a serviceman or woman must have been honourably discharged from the Australian Armed Forces.

Medal design

The Australia Service Medal 1939-1945 is a circular nickel-silver medal. The obverse bears the Crown Effigy of the Sovereign.

The reverse of the medal shows the Commonwealth Coat of Arms surrounded by the words 'Australia Service Medal 1939-1945'.

Medal ribbon

The medal ribbon has a central khaki stripe flanked by red stripes. One edge has a dark blue stripe and the other edge has a light blue stripe. 

Award category

Defence Operational Service/Campaign Medals