From: Defence Media
Sent: Thu 24/04/2014 5:41 PM

Defence scientists to participate in Anzac Day march

For the first time Defence scientists are able to march on Anzac Day wearing the Australian Operational Service Medal (AOSM) which they received for operational service.

Scientists from the Defence Science & Technology Organisation (DSTO) who have served on overseas deployments will march in Adelaide and Melbourne under the Defence Civilians (Operational Service) banner, which was first carried in the 2013 march.

The Chief Defence Scientist, Dr Alex Zelinsky, said DSTO’s deployed scientists have always provided exceptional support to Australian troops on overseas missions.

“They have been on the ground, shoulder to shoulder with their defence colleagues, giving scientific advice and carrying out specialised tasks to assist commanders on the battlefield.

“They have earned the right to march in the Anzac Day parade under the Defence Civilians banner,” Dr Zelinsky said.

Since the Vietnam War the ADF has regularly called on DSTO to deploy scientists to assist in military campaigns that are becoming increasingly technology-driven and very complex.

Since 2001, DSTO has deployed 209 scientists and operations analysts on ADF operations in the Middle East, Solomon Islands and East Timor. Tasks have included decision-support to commanders, advising on force protection issues, and providing science and technology assessments.

“We cannot underestimate the contribution of our deployed scientists because their work has saved the lives of our service men and women,” Dr Zelinsky said.

Their contribution is recognised with the Australian Operational Service Medal which is awarded on completion of more than 30 days of duty on deployment.

“The Australian Government is just as proud of our Defence scientists as it is of those who serve in uniform,” Dr Zelinsky said.

“I encourage all eligible Defence civilians to march and take part with pride in Anzac Day ceremonies alongside their uniformed colleagues,” he said.

Media contact: Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999

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