The Australian Operational Service Medal – Special Operations. The AOSM has been introduced to replace the Australian Active Service Medal (AASM) and Australian Service Medal for future ADF operations. The AOSM will be awarded to ADF members for service on operations recommended and approved as warranting recognition. Each declared operation will be recognised by the standard medal with a unique ribbon for each operation in the same way as the United Nations Medal is awarded. Where appropriate, an accumulated service device will recognise those who render additional prescribed periods of service on a particular operation. The first service declared for the AOSM is the range of border protection operations conducted since 1997.
The medal is finished in antique silver with the obverse side bearing an old-world stylised world globe signifying global operations, interlinked with a Federation Star. The globe is surrounded by the words ‘AUSTRALIAN OPERATIONAL SERVICE MEDAL.’
The reverse side bears a central horizontal stylised scroll with the words ‘Defending Australia and its national interests’, overlaying a wreath of mimosa, above which sits an hour glass motif signifying the ongoing vigilance and timely response of Defence.
The ribbon on this issue is black with a central thin red stripe. The black represents the non-conventional conduct of special operations, while the single red stripe represents danger, strength and the great sacrifices made by recipients in defence of Australia.
The ASOM/SO (Special Operations) recognises the service of Australian Defence Force members on special operations as declared by the Chief of the Defence Force from 1 November 2019.
There are currently five variants of the medal;
- Border Protection
- Counter Terrorism/Special Recovery (CT/SR)
- Greater Middle East Operations
- Special Operations