The New Zealand Operational Service Medal: Awarded to personnel who have served in operations since September 3, 1945, even though they may have qualified for other awards. Around 50,000 service people are eligible, and the medal acknowledges service in hazardous or extreme conditions, other than operational service. The first recipients will be those that witnessed atmospheric nuclear tests in the 1950s. The medal is cupro-nickel, 38mm in diameter. The riband is white, with (left to right) a thin black stripe, thin white stripe, wider black stripe, thin white stripe and a central thin black stripe. The pattern is then repeated to the right-hand side of the riband. The medal is viewed by many as the Kiwi equivalant of the Australian Active Service Medal.
Those who have been awarded a campaign medal for operational service since 3 September 1945 qualify for the award of the NZOSM, provided that the particular campaign medal has been approved for acceptance and wear by New Zealanders. In addition, personnel who, under certain circumstances, have not completed the qualifying period for an approved campaign medal, but who have completed a specific period of service in an operational area towards such a medal (generally seven days on the posted strength of a qualifying unit), are eligible for the NZOSM.