Minister for Defence Personnel Dan Tehan recently announced the introduction of the Canine Operational Service Medal to recognise the important contribution of Military Working Dogs to Australia’s defence.
CAPTION: Explosives Detection Dog Sprocket on duty in Tarin not, Afghanistan (2012). Photo by Brian Hartigan.
Right: The new Canine Operational Service Medal
Mr Tehan said the medals were part of the Department of Defence’s internal recognition system and not part of the Australian Honours and Awards system.
The Australian Defence Force is the first defence force in the world to implement recognition of this nature.
“Military Working Dogs have made valuable contributions to Australia’s defence over the years and this medal will honour that contribution,” Mr Tehan said.
“Military Working Dogs have served in East Timor, Afghanistan, Iraq and Solomon Islands.
“The ADF use Military Working Dogs to conduct tasks ranging from security and crime prevention, emergency response, detecting improvised explosive devices and personal, and asset protection.
“We have a number of dogs carrying out these tasks such as: the Royal Australian Air Force Patrol Dogs, Army Military Police Dogs, Explosive Detection Dogs and Army Combat Assault Dogs, which all offer a large contribution to the ADF.
“This medal will be awarded to Military Working Dogs with 30 days service on operations commencing from 1999.
“It will be engraved with the Military Working Dogs identification number and name and will be held by the unit the dog serves with.”
Above: EDD Sprocket, who was deployed at Tarin Kot, Afghanistan, in 2012, is eligible for the new Canine Operational Service Medal.
Medals for eligible Military Working Dogs will be sent to respective units for presentation.
Further information on the medal can be found on the Defence Honours and Awards website
As this is an internal award, award lists will be generated through relevant units.
Applications will not be accepted from the general public.
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.
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