National Servicemen’s Day 2023
Today, on National Servicemen’s Day, Australia acknowledges the contribution of thousands of our countrymen, also known as Nashos.
FILE PHOTO: 12 National Service Training Battalion, 4 Platoon, A Company, 4th Intake, October 1952.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Matt Keogh said more than 280,000 Australians served in National Service schemes between 1951 and 1972.
“On 14 February we recognise the contributions of Nashos to our armed services and the important role that they played in serving our country in the 1950s, 60s and 70s,” Minister Keogh said.
“Nashos served within Australia and some were also deployed to locations including Borneo, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and Vietnam and the waters off the Korean peninsula.
“The first National Service scheme, from 1951-59 saw men from across the country called up for training in the Royal Australian Navy, the Australian Army and the Royal Australian Air Force.
“More than 220,000 served during this period, in many cases putting aside their careers and lives to serve their country.
“The second National Service scheme took place from 1965-1972 and saw more than 60,000 young men called up.
“More than 15,300 Nashos served in the Vietnam War, joining regular army units and becoming part of the Australian Army for the duration of the war.
“Some 200 lost their lives in Vietnam.
“One hundred Nashos also served in Borneo, with two losing their lives while deployed.
“Whether their service included deployment overseas, or service within Australia, each and every national serviceman contributed to the defence of our nation and should be proud of their service.
“I encourage all Australians to pause for a moment today and remember the service of our Nashos and their role in Australia’s armed forces,” Minister Keogh said.