http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/06/26/1088145018598.html?oneclick=true And our medal office think they have problems ! Defence medal for six years service June 26, 2004 - 6:05PM About 400,000 Australian men and women who served in the nation's defence forces during the past 48 years will be recognised with a new medal. Assistant Defence Minister Mal Brough said the Australian Defence Medal would be awarded to all who gave volunteer military service since 1946. People who have served in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) for six years in the regular or reserve forces will be eligible for the medal, which would be backdated. It will not be given to "Nashos" who were awarded their own Commemorative Medal for National Service three years ago. But anyone who later spent six years in the regular armed forces would be able to apply, as would the next of kin of servicemen and women who died in combat or in training. "It is recognition for personnel who served this country and the security of our country today and into the future by wearing the uniform," Mr Brough told reporters. "The period of six years has been chosen because it establishes a time when it can be reasonably assumed that regulars or reserves would have been in a position to have completed their training to enable them to acquit themselves on the battlefield - in other words to be deployable." About 400,000 Australians would be eligible for the medals, which would be available around the middle of next year. John Moore, coordinator of the lobby movement the New Medal Group, welcomed the announcement even though the group had been seeking a medal which recognised two or more years' service. "For the chief of the Defence Force and Minister to agree for ongoing people get a medal after six years is absolutely brilliant," Mr Moore said. "Right at the moment for a long service medal, if they didn't serve overseas, the first time they would get a medal is after 15 years' service." This meant those serving in East Timor had been recognised for their service, but support personnel, with many years of service in Australia, previously had been ineligible, he said. Mr Brough today also announced 22 Australian veterans of Delta Company, who served at the Battle of Long Tan, had been granted permission by the Governor-General to wear bravery medals, offered by the South Vietnamese government 38 years ago. The awarding of the medals has been legal, but not the wearing of them, until today. "It's a small gesture to some very brave men who fought gallantly for Australia and richly deserve those awards," Mr Brough said.