Obverse: A Crowned Effigy of the Sovereign.
Reverse: The inscription "THE NEW ZEALAND GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL" within a wreath of New Zealand flora (fern fronds, pohutukawa, and kowhai blossom) ensigned by a Royal Crown.
Size: 36mm in diameter.
Ribbon: 32mm wide. Dark blue with a light red centre and a narrow central black stripe.
Suspension: By a plain straight suspender.
Clasps Issued: 4
This medal was instituted on 7th May 1992. It was issued in silver to recognise service in warlike operations for which no separate New Zealand or British Commonwealth campaign medal was issued. By the time it was replaced in 2002, four clasps had been issued for warlike operations between 1956 and 1991 in the Suez Canal region, Malaya, Vietnam and Kuwait.
The medal was awarded with a clasp to describe where an individual served. It is worn as a war medal, in order of date of qualification. The New Zealand General Service Medal 1992 has also been issued in bronze for non-warlike operations.
The design and colours of the ribbon are based upon The New Zealand Medal 1845-1847 and 1860-1866, thus are directly linked with the beginnings of New Zealand's military history. As the first occasion upon which New Zealand had issued a war or warlike service medal outside of the two World Wars or the Vietnam War it was considered that the link with the first military campaigns in New Zealand best reflected New Zealand's military heritage.
The clasp for "VIETNAM" was instituted on 23rd July 2002.
The operational area means the political boundaries and territorial waters of Vietnam.
A person is eligible for the award of the Medal and Clasp, subject to qualification or exclusion as below, if, between 1 December 1962 and 1 May 1975, he or she was:-
(a) a member of the Royal New Zealand Navy or New Zealand Army or Royal New Zealand Air Force: or
(b) a civilian who was a member of a New Zealand contribution or New Zealand supported or sanctioned contribution in the operational area.
A person is eligible for the award of the Medal and Clasp if he or she:-
(a) served for 1 day or more as a member of a unit or sub-unit engaged in operations in the operational area; or
(b) carried out 1 sortie as a member of a military or naval air crew or as a supernumerary crew member, in support of operations in the operational area; or
(c) operated with the New Zealand Army, Royal New Zealand Air Force, Royal New Zealand Navy, or allied armed forces or worked on New Zealand Government official tasks for 30 days, continuous or aggregated, in the operational area; or
(d) rendered humanitarian service for a philanthropic organisation supported and sanctioned by the New Zealand Government for 30 days or more, continuous or aggregated, in the operational area; or
(e) served for 30 days or more, continuous or aggregated, as an accredited New Zealand war correspondent in the operational area; or
(f) had his or her period of service in the operational area terminated before the completion of the qualifying time required by paragraphs (c) to (e) due to death or evacuation owing to wounds or other disability caused by that service; or
(g) did not complete the qualifying time required by paragraphs (c) to (e), but was given a royal honour for gallantry or bravery in the operational area: or
(h) had his or her service in the operational area terminated before completing the qualifying time required by paragraphs (c) to (e) due to the withdrawal of the New Zealand Armed Forces (referred to in Eligibility (a) above) from the operational area at the request of the New Zealand Government and the award has been approved by the Chief of Defence Force; or
(i) Any other service not inconsistent with these regulations that the Minister of Defence, on the advice of the Chief of Defence Force, may determine.
A person shall not receive the award if his or her qualifying service was completed wholly between 1 December 1962 and 27 January 1973 and was recognised by the award of The Vietnam Medal.
Other clasps have been awarded for:
Royal Warrant For This Award: View Warrant (PDF document)
Regulations For This Award: View Regulations (PDF document)
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