Proposed design for Australian KIA Medal

Following our publication of a story about Defence Honours and Awards Tribunal being tasked to consider recognition for members of the ADF who are injured, wounded or killed in or as a result of their service, CONTACT received many messages, queries and suggestions.

Prominent among them was an old-fashioned snail-mail letter from one Leslie Edgar Anderson of Perth, Western Australia, submitting a copy of a design he created 10 years ago (image above).

Leslie told us he sent his design and reasons why it was needed to then Prime Minister Julia Gillard, her Defence Minister and several others, receiving nothing better than a basic thank you from minor functionaries in response.

Leslie submitted his design to CONTACT to add to the interest and debate – and we thank him very much for thinking of us.

And, Leslie, if you see this, make sure you also submit your design and thoughts to the Defence Honours and Awards Tribunal.

Other correspondence CONTACT received in response to our story ranged from – “I got medevaced from Nam in ’68 before I served my full tour – do I qualify?” – to “No ffing way – next thing ya know we’ll look like ffing Yanks” – to “I heard of a Yank getting a Purple Heart for ‘shell fragment in the eye’ – but he was a cook and the shell fragment was from an egg”.

Some suggestions/statement/questions were funny, some disturbing, some ‘fake news’ and others – well – I had to wonder, “what in God’s name are you asking me for?”

More than once I thought, “please don’t shoot the messenger”.

😉


 
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Posted by Brian Hartigan

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

16 thoughts on “Proposed design for Australian KIA Medal

  • 23/05/2021 at 9:16 pm
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    I believe this is a valid purpose for the introduction of another medal or clasp. I would put broader criteria to recognise the impact of service on those who served. My opinion is that KIA and WIA should be the minimum required with only direct descendants, siblings or spouses having the right to wear these medals or clasps.

    I would also suggest that two further criteria – injured and sick on active duty – be also considered. My rationale is that if you weren’t doing the service you wouldn’t have become injured or sick. These can also be impacts on your subsequent health and well being depending on severity.

    I further believe that a coloured clasp mounted on the campaign medal related to the casualty status would be an appropriate recognition. If a medallic award were made then the ribbon to it could be colour coded with a central stripe either black for KIA, red for WIA, white for injured, and yellow for sick, surrounded by vertical stripes of the green and gold of Australian national colours.

    I certainly agree that medallic recognition is appropriate, but at least a colour coded clasp would be sufficient.

    Reply
  • 23/03/2021 at 4:48 pm
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    I think a bit more thought should be put into a KIA medal.. I love the idea but the generic round medal with a cross on it leaves alot to the imagination..

    I also noticed no WIA medal..? Which I think is just as important! I was one of those personnel to be wia (by enemy fire) on my second tour to Afghanistan and whilst I have accepted the fact we do not get anything from the government to show what happened it would be nice to have something.. after all isn’t the purpose of operational medals to tell a story so to speak of what we achieved/accomplished or experienced during our service..!?

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  • 12/03/2021 at 12:17 am
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    “We’ll look like the yanks” STFU, most officers already do, I don’t see you all whinging about the 7+ medals already issued to fobbits for just doing your job in the safety of an office on deployment or well outside the AO in amab, people have paid the ultimate sacrifice and have life changing wounds due to combat, on the ground, outside the wire fighting the enemy! The least the gov can do is show them some recognition with a medal for their sacrifice against an enemy they sent them to fight. Such a small thing would mean so much to the members families and the wounded men and woman.

    I bet the people who hate the idea never seen a day of combat.

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  • 02/03/2021 at 8:50 pm
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    With respect … what a waste of money! Why??? It makes absolutely no sense! The only person who will wear this medal for being killed in action… is someone who has never seen action, likely never served! I think the money to produce these medals would be better spent on those who come home, but who’s heads (and for some – body parts) are still over there!

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  • 24/02/2021 at 8:45 am
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    Canada has the Sacrifice Medal, for the KIA and combat wounded. Maybe the protocols and criteria for this should be observed and possibly considered by our powers to be. One can google the medal for more info.

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  • 24/02/2021 at 12:29 am
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    The surviving NOK already have their deceased partners medals, whether they were KIA or died as a result of being WIA, by other means, or just plain old age. The surviving NOK proudly wear their deceased partners medals on their right side, and everyone distinctly knows that this person is a partner or family of a veteran who has passed on. What may I ask is the purpose of another medal for KIA?
    I am a Vietnam Veteran.

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  • 23/02/2021 at 1:12 pm
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    I have no issues other than the removal of the christian cross, no need for religious symbols on something like this. Replace with a symbol of AUS, wattle sprig, Commonwealth Star, but NO religious stuff.

    Geoff Cowan

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  • 21/02/2021 at 6:52 pm
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    I wish to address the move to have a potential new award for defence personnel who have been killed, injured etc during service. I did like the design of the KIA medal; however, I have an alternative to such a medal. A medal of this nature could only be worn by the surviving relative(s). I am going to reference the “gold star” approach used in America. To me, a move towards something around this would be more beneficial to those who are left living.

    As to the “purple heart” approach, I would prefer to see an award generated for partners of defence personnel who have endured absences of the serving person, raised children on their own and suffered anxiety while waiting for their partner to return home. Sometimes that doesn’t mean the serving person returns home vibrant and healthy. The multitude of mental and physical injuries can sometimes make the life of the partner and children a living hell. The attached are examples of past issues.

    Ciao
    Keith Neven
    via email

    Reply
  • 21/02/2021 at 5:46 pm
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    I like the idea of a Black Sprig of Wattle pinned on the medal of the deceased, and/or the Return of the Widow’s Pin for mother an/or wife.
    No to a new medal.

    Reply
  • 21/02/2021 at 10:51 am
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    The thought that immediately comes to mind , based on the question: ‘what is a medal for?’ is why? When you consider that, in its most basic terms, the primary purpose of a medal is to show where you’ve been and how well you did what you did, in my opinion, the KIA medal is useless. The person who gave their all can’t wear it. No one looks at those worn by relatives, because they generally only wear medals of those who’ve gone before. So really, what is the purpose? And a ‘purple heart’ (or cut myself shaving medal)? Well it’s been covered already. Yeah, I know, I’ve never deployed but to me the real heroes in a lot of those ‘purple heart’ cases are the medics and doctors. The medic at the Battle of Long Tan was a fine example and what did he get for his trouble?

    I got the ADM well after I left the Army and it was nice to have a second gong to go with my 20year ‘good conduct & undetected crime’ medal (with bar). But it has no meaning. As a former Army Apprentice, I’m much more inclined, similar to the Nasho’s medal, to ask for a commemorative medal to be struck for all our mob, 50 intakes of us from 1948 on and definitely a worthy medal to commemorate who we are and where we’ve been, how we got there, and for those like me, to show we taught those who did go there. And I take pride in that.

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  • 21/02/2021 at 10:12 am
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    WOI Kerry Danes has been running a campaign on Change.org to have a black sprig of wattle pinned on the medal awarded for the service at the time the person was KIA. By having the notation on the medal already awarded together with the bar gives some closure and shows the completed history of service. IMHO, this is a better solution to striking another medal. But I strongly support a recognition for those who have given the supreme sacrifice. It, to my mind should have a definite start date, and again, this will be a subject of debate.

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  • 21/02/2021 at 9:24 am
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    The Profession Of Arms is by it’s nature can be and is a DANGEROUS occupation, and whether one has the opportunity to have Operational service or not the DANGER is ever present. Those who have Operational service this DANGER is manifold to the utmost degree , then think of the precious lives lost during training mishaps , also the promising careers cut short by grievous injuries sustained in service. We ,who proudly proudly wear or have worn the NATION’S uniform, stand the Vigil now and evermore. As the two quotes I like : All gave some ,Some gave all the full true measure: As you pass us silently “Tell them We gave our of today For their tomorrow “. Mateship , camaraderie is the binder of us all. Hosanna to ALL Service people and Thank you for your sacrifice and sevice to our Nation.

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  • 11/02/2021 at 4:55 pm
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    It’s a bit like the ADM. started of a recognition for full time regs who completed there minimum 3-6 or 4 year contract then people cried and the goal post moved to those who couldn’t complete there minimum term and then some more people cried and then Nasho’s got it along with the Nasho’s gong and now the ADM isn’t worth shit ! . The Kia can’t wear it, the WIA should wear it but what about those injured during there war service !! Then what about those injured in preparation of war service or on ex or …..

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    • 02/03/2021 at 8:58 pm
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      My thoughts as well… for the ADM, you only have to spend a single day in the ADF (Reserve included) before being eligible if you are for some medical or other reason unable to complete the full engagement.

      As for Nasho’s being eligible… yes, quite a few have raised the inequity in them being issued two medals for the price of one service. Not to mention, the primary eligibility for the ADM, should be for “voluntary” service…

      Reply
  • 09/02/2021 at 7:44 am
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    I notice that it is a kind of religious medal.
    On that basis alone, I am not a supporter of it being gazetted and struck.
    It goes against the constitution on matters of government and religion being separate.
    Change the design to remove the religious aspect, for example, use a poppy as the main feature, and remove references to god. Perhaps the RSL creed “At the going down of the sun, we shall remember them”, is more appropriate.

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    • 14/02/2021 at 1:43 pm
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      Thank you Peter, I like your idea “At the going down of the sun, we shall remember them” and use a poppy as the main feature. I was just playing around with something of interest to me.

      Although I thought that (We Pray For All Those Who Made The Supreme Sacrifice) was appropriate as its used in Anzac Day Services.

      I know there is a lot of pitfalls in the medal, there will be so many ya/nay’s that will be putting up stumbling blocks, you know what the nature of the beast is. Will it ever really happen?.

      The KIA would only be of benefit to family members or future generations who would have something like this to know what happened and something tangible to hold.

      They should still continue with a those injured during their war service medal. I believe that it is very much needed, but it reminds me a bit about the Purple Heart. When I was in Vietnam I was chatting to a American and he said that they were pinned to the pillow ready for them.

      Another train of thought is what wars are going to be covered under this medal. If again it happens.

      Will it be too expensive for the Government to implement.

      Yours in friendship

      Les Anderson JP
      Vietnam 1966-67

      Reply

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