We’re receiving a lot of enquiries lately, as to whether there will be replicas of the Canine Operational Service Medal available. The medal was introduced on 8 June 2017 to recognise the contribution Military Working Dogs make whilst serving on operations. It forms part of Defence’s internal recognition scheme and is not a part of the Australian Honours and Awards System. The Australian Defence Force is the first Defence Force to implement recognition of this nature.
Consequently, as the medal is an internal award, and award lists will be generated through relevant units, applications won’t be accepted from the general public. Because of the unique nature of the medal and the limited issue numbers, it may be cost-prohibitive from a manufacturing point of view to tool up for replication.
The Medal is awarded to Military Working Dogs who have 30 days service continuous or aggregated on a declared operation.
Phase one of the project will focus on identifying Military Working Dogs with service on operations from East Timor (1999) to current day. Phase two will focus on Defence conducting research to identify Military Working Dogs with service from Vietnam onwards.
The Medal is purportedly made in Australia from nickel-silver and has been designed to reflect the Australian Defence Force Military Working Dog capability. The obverse (front) features Combat Assault Dog Quake, who was bred by the Air Force Breeding Program and passed training elements to become an Army Combat Assault Dog. Quake died on operations in Afghanistan on 25 June 2012. The reverse (back) features the Australian Defence Force logo.
The ribbon colours represent Purple – animals, Green- land, Yellow – loyalty; and Blue – sea and sky.
Clasps with the name of the operation for which the award is made is presented with the medal. Further awards of the medal in another area is recognised by the issue of an additional clasp. Additional clasps are worn above previously awarded clasps, in order of date of receipt. The following clasps have been issued for the medal:
SOLOMON IS II
Clasps are made in a finish that matches the antique pewter on the medal.