You ‘must’ register with DVA to get Veteran Lapel Pin

CONTACT received numerous questions from our audience after publishing this story on the New Veterans Covenant and Lapel Pin.

Sanitised and condensed, the key questions we posed to DVA on your behalf were…

  • I’m not a DVA client and have no need of their services. Why should I become a DVA client just to get the lapel pin I’m entitled to?
  • I am a proud Australian veteran (Somalia) but I have no notion of getting involved with DVA. How do I get this pin?
  • What about the hundreds, if not thousands of still-serving war veterans who’ve been through Iraq, Afghanistan or both, are still serving and are perfectly healthy. Where will our pin come from and when?
  • This is nothing more than a cheap political stunt – AND, an underhanded, disguised attempt to gather names and data from blokes who do not want to be ‘known to the system’. Am I right or am I wrong?
  • Given that this appears to have excellent community support, why are the government dividing us by introducing Regular and Reserve versions of the Pin and Cards?
  • Could you explain the difference between the Veteran & Reservists Lapel Pin please. Personally I feel there shouldn’t be any difference . Can a member wear both, if eligible.


DVA’s initial response to your questions…

The Australian Defence Veterans’ Covenant encourages all Australians to recognise and acknowledge the unique nature of military service and support veterans and their families.
The Veteran Recognition Package is designed to acknowledge the service of all veterans, including reservists.
The Veteran Lapel Pin and Reservist Lapel Pin provide a way for the public to recognise and connect with veterans and acknowledge their service to the nation. The pins will help identify veterans when they aren’t wearing their uniform or medals.
The introduction of two pins is to give due recognition to both our veterans and reservists. The introduction of the Reservist lapel pin is to acknowledge the valuable work that reservists do in serving their country including their support to disaster relief, humanitarian efforts and border protection.
If you are eligible for both pins — you have had full-time service and you have been a reservist — you will receive one pin, a Veteran pin.
Under the Veteran Recognition program an eligible veteran is someone who has completed at least one day of continuous full-time service.
Veterans who are not yet clients of DVA can apply for the new Veteran Card through the online portal MyService.
MyService makes it easier for Veterans to access DVA services online. It has streamlined the claims process, and is easy to use and access.
When a Veteran signs up to the MyService portal, all data collected is in line with the Privacy Act 1988 and the Australian Privacy Principles.


In our opinion, this didn’t come close to answering the specific questions posed [and if anything, raised even more questions] – so we sent it back for another try, also asking for clarification around the definition of veteran and reservist and the qualification for the two different pins.

The second response was different, but probably not a whole lot more decipherable [‘yes’ and ‘no’ don’t seem to be in their vocabulary].


DVA’s second attempt at answering your questions…

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) is currently undergoing a comprehensive transformation program. This transformation is focused on equipping the Department with modern service delivery capability, to better enable veterans and their families to lead healthy and productive lives.
DVA is building a better understanding of individual veterans’ needs to ensure they are best served by the Department. In particular, there is a focus on initiatives which support veterans as they transition from the ADF and provide more ways for veterans and their families to connect and interact with us.
Veterans who register with MyService do not have to use the support and services available. The Department will use learnings from MyService use to guide policy and develop programs to better serve the needs of the evolving veteran community.
The Veteran Recognition Package is designed to acknowledge the service of veterans and reservists.
Given the importance and significance of the Veterans Recognition Program, a registration process is required to confirm identity, eligibility, and contact details to ensure the card and pin are delivered correctly to applicants.
Veteran Recognition applicants are not obligated to avail themselves of any DVA services.
Continuous Full Time Service (CFTS) is a specific type of Reservist service, and Reservist participation in disaster relief, border protection, or involvement in a serious service-related training accident do not necessarily equate to CFTS.
Reservists who have not rendered CFTS are eligible for the Reservist Pin, including those who have participated in disaster relief, border protection, or involved in a serious service-related training accident.


The bottom line would seem to be that the qualifying criteria for the pin should actually read – “An eligible veteran is someone who has completed at least one day of continuous full-time service and is willing to register as a client of DVA”.

You can actually be a legitimate veteran or reservist but cannot claim recognition without registering.


Brian Hartigan







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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

12 thoughts on “You ‘must’ register with DVA to get Veteran Lapel Pin

  • 04/03/2019 at 10:59 pm

    This imitative is NOT costing the GOV (of the day) a GOD DAMN Penny, Its the businesses that cover the costs, The GOV of the day do not replenish any costs to the businesss owner. WHY is the GOV and DVA receiving CREDIT for a job well done?

  • 01/03/2019 at 1:38 pm

    I’m registered with you and have been for “yonks”.
    I served right through the ’39-’45 war and would like to receive the Veteran lapel pin.
    My details are registered with you as Ldg. Tel. Robert H. Appleton, RN. Submarine Service. Ex POW. C/JX 205674.
    Now aged 97 and running out of time!!

  • 27/02/2019 at 1:29 pm

    Hello and keen to receive the Lapel.

  • 27/02/2019 at 11:41 am

    I like to think I’m a remotely intelligent person, but I am totally and utterly confused by the DVA response.

  • 26/02/2019 at 10:16 pm

    All I want is my Lapel Pin, For years I have been communicating with DVA through their website but unsuccessful. My mail goes to my sister in Kalgoorlie and DVA thinks its me, Not the case. My pension needs to be reviewed, revisited and reassessed but no luck. So after 16 years I still maintain a pension of $6.73 per fortnight. DVA doesn’t want to know me in spite of 42 years service to the Defence Force. 24 years full time and the rest in Reserve activities.

    • 26/02/2019 at 10:26 pm

      So exactly how do you request your lapel badge, All I see is a “Bitching page”

  • 25/02/2019 at 1:36 pm

    An excellent response David. I agree with you that the one-day eligibility criteria is absurd. I think a more appropriate compromise would be to align the eligibility of the “Veteran” entitlements with the eligibility for either the Australia Service Medal 1939-45 that covers the period 3 September 1939 to 2 September 1945, or the Australian Defence Medal (ADM) that covers the period 3 September 1945 to now.

    Both medals cover the continuous period from 1939 to the present for service in Australia and/or overseas. Eligibility for the first medal is 30 days full-time or 90 days part-time honorable service, while eligibility for the ADM is 4 years efficient service, or less if an initial engagement or medical discharge or Defence workplace policy caused an earlier discharge. Using the medal eligibility could simply the process of establishing eligibility for the “Veteran” entitlements for the majority of ‘entitled’ persons.

    Note: for the purposes of the “Veteran” entitlements, eligibility could be extended for holders of the Australia Service Medal 1939-45 to include initial engagements, medical discharges, and Defence policies that resulted in an earlier discharge. Additionally, the same eligibility criteria used for this medal could be used to assess the “Veteran” entitlements for a veteran who served before 3 September 1939.

  • 24/02/2019 at 4:00 pm

    I don’t get the level of paranoia and suspicion associated with this article, yes DVA can be difficult to deal with for some but I don’t believe there is a need to take an adversarial approach to this initiative. Okay you have to register with DVA and MyGov… what?? All the information you provide is already online and registered whether you like to admit it or not, the only difference is that the individual can access what information the Government already stores and has done for years.

    If you think MyGov is intrusive and an encroachment on your rights and privacy try and get access to your ASIO file, nearly everyone who served at one time signed the Official Secrets Act ( I know I did several times including on my discharge day) and we all have a file.

    Paranoia when unneccessary isn’t healthy, just chill the Government has taken a step in the right direction although I’m not sure “1 day in the Reserves” qualifies you for anything but hey its free right?

  • 24/02/2019 at 1:29 pm

    I receive a service pension and I have a Gold card do I need to reregister or not. DVA has had my details for many years there is nothing new to add

    • 24/02/2019 at 11:01 pm

      No, you are already registered and nothing changes.

  • 24/02/2019 at 11:18 am

    I know many have issues with DVA, some are perfectly understandable. Some I don’t get.
    It’s bloody hard to get any type of recognition for injuries received during service, I know too well myself and I have mates who went through the hoops too. I served in the ARA from 1975 to1985, the longest stretch of peace in Australian military history. After discharge, 12 years down the track, my service related injury came back to haunt me. It took me ages and a lot of depression and grief to have my injury recognised. Unfortunately, if an injury was not recorded in your med file, it doesn’t exist. I know this too. I know a lot of Vietnam vets who would have loved immediate recognition of their service. However, finally, once accepted, since I was granted TPI, I have not had an issue with DVA. They have done everything I could reasonably have asked for. As for being fit now, I had problems that were clearly service related after the fact but I am now covered. I don’t trust governments of any persuasion totally and government departments are the pits. But I have nothing but respect for DVA and how they treat people. Are there exceptions, obviously, but generally I believe they do an excellent job. I never left these shores, but DVA treat me like any vet who did.
    This pin and registering with DVA to get it is, in my humble opinion, a good idea. When or if you end up with health issues you believe can be traced back to service, you’re already in the door. Even if you are the perfect specimen and never need their services, when you reach a certain age, you will be entitled to certain services and you’ve already taken the first step.
    One days service to qualify seems a bit absurd, but it’s those who deserve the recognition, particularly those who went into “harms way”, that should take advantage of something that costs nothing. My son went OS 3 times and he’s perfectly fine, now. But you never know what’s going to happen 20, 30 years from now. I know blokes who’ve been through that too. Anyway.
    I don’t see any ulterior motive behind this, but then I was only a dumb grunt.


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