Thursday, 15 July 2010

Released by Defence Media Centre

The Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Support, Dr Mike Kelly, today announced that the Government had accepted the recommendations of the independent Defence Honours and Awards Tribunal Inquiry into Recognition of Australian Defence Force Service for Special Air Service Counter Terrorist and Special Recovery Duties.

The Inquiry recommended that:

1. Service in an online Tactical Assault Group (TAG) since its inception in 1980 (as well as service in the Interim TAG in 1979) should be recognised by the award of the Australian Service Medal with a new clasp, to be entitled Clasp 'CT/SR'.

2. To be eligible for a medal, recipients should:

Have served in the online TAG for a minimum of 60 days continuously.

Have been a member of the TAG, which comprises a Regimental Special Operations Command and Control Element, signalers, intelligence staff and other specialists, a squadron or company headquarters as applicable, and land, water, sniper, and signals troops.

Have been a specialist member of the Australian Defence Force (eg Special Operations aviation personnel in support of the TAG), but only so long as they meet the requirement to serve continuously online for 60 days.

"The release of the findings fulfils a key election commitment," said Dr Kelly.

"From the raising of this unique TAG capability to the present, those involved have maintained a world-class capability ready for all situations in support of Australia's interests."

Defence is currently working through the implementation aspects and further information will be released concerning specific eligibility once deliberations have been finalised.

"I would like to thank the Tribunal for its work on this and the other matters it continues to deal with. I believe members of the Tribunal have undertaken their work diligently, fairly and with an open mind. I continue to have complete confidence in the Tribunal," Dr Kelly said.

The full Report is available online at

Media Contact: Elyse Gatt (Dr Mike Kelly): (02) 6277 4840 or 0437 502 246