Defence Long Service Medal

The Defence Long Service Medal recognises 15 years diligent service by members of the Regular and Reserve Forces. 

How it is awarded

The Governor-General awarded the Defence Long Service Medal on the recommendation of the Chief of the Defence Force Staff or his/her delegate.

Fifteen years efficient service commencing on or after 14 February 1975 counted as qualifying service. Clasps were awarded for each additional five years.

There are no post-nominal entitlements for the Defence Force Long Service Medal.


The Defence Long Service Medal was established in 1998 on the recommendation of the 1994 Committee of Inquiry into Defence and Defence Related Awards.

The medal replaced three awards: the Defence Force Service Medal, the Reserve Force Decoration and the Reserve Force Medal.

Service that previously would have gone unrecognised when individuals moved between Regular and Reserve Forces is acknowledged by the Defence Long Service Medal. It does not discriminate between ranks or between Regular and Reserve service.

The Defence Long Service Medal was formally established on 26 May 1998 by Letters Patent. 

Medal design

The Defence Long Service Medal features the Australian Defence Force emblem surrounded by two sprays of wattle in blossom, which is the national floral emblem.

The medal is nickel-silver and is ensigned with the Crown of Saint Edward.

The back of the medal is inscribed with the words 'For service in the Australian Defence Force'.

Medal Ribbon

The 32 millimetre-wide ribbon has a central panel of seven alternating stripes of azure-blue and gold. The central panel is flanked by two wider azure-blue stripes, which are edged with gold. 

Award category

Other Defence Service Medals