Medal List

South African Defence Force and South African Police Medals

SADF and SAP Criteria for the more common medals available to the rank and file National Servicemen and women

Many South African Veterans are not aware that they qualify for medals, please see

Medal Qualifications detail

South African Veterans who would like to apply for medals owed to them, or replace missing or lost medals can Apply Online via their local National Organisation

Campaign Medals

Pro Patria Medal

Instituted

This medal, the first South Africa Campaign Medal since the Korean War Conflict of 1950/53, was originally instituted in terms of a Warrant dated 23-10-1974 (Published in Government Gazette #4490 – 08-11-1974), re-instituted with the same design and ribbon but differing in Regulations, by a Warrant dated 08-06-1976 (published in G.G. # 5171 – 25-06-1976) Further amended Warrants were published in the G.G on 03-06-1977 & 27-08-1986)

Awarded To

All members of the SADF engaged in preventing, or combating, terrorism (Predominantly viewed as “the Border War” medal for active service in S.W.A.) NOTE: Members of the South African Police who performed such services do not qualify for the award, receiving instead the South African Police Medal for Combatting Terrorism (Also instituted 1974) The same for members of the now obsolete South African Railways Police – receiving the South African Railways Police Medal for Combating Terrorism

Post Nominal Letters

None

Criteria

Rule 5 published in GG# 5171 dated 25/06/1976 stated the medal may be awarded to a person who, while performing service in defence of the Republic or for the prevention or suppression of Terrorism

  1. Was involved in combat or skirmish or in a combat situation with the enemy, or

  2. Participated in a specific operation that shall be acknowledged by order of the Minister by means of the medal and clasp indicating the name of the Operation concerned; or

  3. Rendered such service for a continuous period of at least 60 days in an Operational area designated for that purpose by the Minister

This ruling gave it the characteristics of a COMBAT AWARD. A Warrant dated 18/05/1977 amended the period of service to at least 55 days or for a non-continuous period of at least 90 days in an Operational area as designated by the Minister

Clasps

Although an Operational Clasp was authorized in Rules 2 & 6 (GG# 5171) dated 25-06-1976 it was only in 1986 that the “CUNENE” Clasp was gazetted (For participation in Operation SAVANNAH in 1975-1976)

After Thought

“What a pity no further CLASPS were instituted for all the other famous, and less famous, and arguably more fierce Operations the SADF undertook – ie: Protea, Smokeshell, Daisy, etc., or a Clasp to commemorate that Battle of Battles – Cuito Cuanavale? Just imagine the respect for a Veteran today walking past and he has 3, 4 or even 5 “Battle Clasps” attached to his Pro Patria Ribbon! The stuff of legends…

Period

1975 – 1991

South African Police Medal for combatting terrorism

Instituted

Awarded To

All members of the SAP engaged in preventing, or combating, terrorism The same for members of the now obsolete South African Railways Police – receiving the South African Railways Police Medal for Combating Terrorism

Post Nominal Letters

Criteria

The medal may be awarded to a person who, while performing service in defence of the Republic or for the prevention or suppression of Terrorism

  1. Was involved in combat or skirmish or in a combat situation with the enemy, or

  2. Participated in a specific operation that shall be acknowledged by order of the Minister by means of the medal and clasp indicating the name of the Operation concerned; or

  3. Rendered such service for a continuous period of at least 60 days in an Operational area designated for that purpose by the Minister

Clasps

For additional qualifying periods of 55 Days(to a maximum of 2 Ribbon Bars)

After Thought

Period

1974 – 1995

South African Medal

Instituted

In terms of a Warrant dated 24/05/1989 signed by P.W. Botha, State President, and by M.A. Malan, State President-in-Cabinet, with effect from 01/04/1976 and published in Government Gazette # 12907 dated 21/12/1990

Awarded To

All ranks of the SADF and other armed forces attached to or servicing with or rendering service to the SADF

Post Nominal Letters

None

Criteria

The medal was awarded to all Officers and other Ranks of the SADF, or any other armed forces attached to or serving with or rendering service to SADF, whilst on service in the defence of the Republic, on service in the prevention or suppression of terrorism, and who have taken part in an operation conducted across the borders of the Republic of South Africa or South West Africa, or outside the said borders took part in actions in preparations for or in support of such operations, and during which such member was exposed to the risk of danger of loss of life, or of being wounded or of being taken prisoner by the enemy

The Southern Africa Medal takes precedent immediately after the Pro Patria Medal

Clasps

After Thought

Period

01/04/1976 – 16/04/2003

General Service Medal

Instituted

In terms of a Warrant dated 24/05/1989 signed by P.W. Botha, State President, and by M.A. Malan, State President-in-Cabinet, with effect from 01/04/1976 and published in Government Gazette # 12907 dated 21/12/1990

Awarded To

All members of the SADF

Post Nominal Letters

None

Criteria

The medal was awarded to a member of the SADF or the Auxiliary services of the SADF, who has since 01-01-1983 been employed, within the borders of the Republic of South Africa, in the prevention or suppression of terrorism, or in internal disorder in the Republic, or in the preservation of life, health or property, or for the maintenance of essential services, including the maintenance of law and order or the prevention of crime I co-operation with the South African Police. A Clasp to the medal, the MALUTI CLASP, was instituted by Warrant on the 09/05/2002, to members of the SADF who distinguished themselves by participation in Operation BOLEAS and Operation MALUTI in Lesotho

  1. Service rendered within the Borders of South Africa for a continuous period of 55 days, or for a non-continuous period of 90 days

  2. Whilst rendering such service, irrespective of the period of service, was injured or killed and was thus prevented from completing the required period of service

The following was deemed to be qualifying service for the award of the medal

Clasps

After Thought

Period

01/01/1983 – 27/04/1994

SADF Good Service Medal - Bronze

Instituted

In terms of a Warrant dated 13/06/1975 signed by N. Diederichs, State President, and by P.G.J. Koornhof, State President-in-Council, and published in Government Gazette # 4792 dated 18/07/1975

Awarded To

All members of the SADF who completed the qualifying period. WEF 31/12/1992 members of the Commandos and the Citizen Force were excluded

Post Nominal Letters

None

Criteria

Awarded to all members of the SADF who have completed 10 Years of irreproachable service on or after 01/07/1975. Permanent Force Members – Green ribbon with a single WHITE stripe down either side of the outer edge. Citizen Force Members – Green ribbon with a single BLUE stripe down either side of the outer edge Commando Members – Green ribbon with a single ORANGE stripe down either side of the outer edge In 1986 the ribbon was redesigned to consist of two vertical bronze stripes either side of a green stripe – all of equal width

Clasps

After Thought

Period

01/07/1975 – 16/04/2003

John Chard Medal

Instituted

In terms of a Royal Warrant dated 26/01/1953 and signed by D.F. Malan and published in G.G. #5311 dated 16/07/1954

Awarded To

A member of the Active Citizen Force, irrespective of Rank

Post Nominal Letters

None

Criteria

The John Chard Medal was awarded to a member of the ACF, irrespective of rank, who is a SA Citizen and who completed 12 years qualifying service on or after 6th April 1952. In 1975 the qualifying period was reduced to 10 years of service in the ACF.

Clasps

After Thought

Period

06/04/1952 – 16/04/2003

John Chard Decoration Medal

Instituted

In terms of a Royal Warrant dated 26/01/1953 and signed by D.F. Malan and published in G.G. #5311 dated 16/07/1954

Awarded To

A member of the Active Citizen Force, irrespective of Rank

Post Nominal Letters

JCD

Criteria

The John Chard Medal was awarded to a member of the ACF, irrespective of rank, who is a SA Citizen and who completed 20 years qualifying service on or after 6th April 1952. A Silver BAR was awarded denoting a further 10 years’ service – thus totalling 30 years’ service in the ACF. Furthermore, the holders of the JCM or JCD distinguished the Arm of Service they serve by wearing a ribbon device on their medal ribbon

  1. Miniature crossed words – ARMY

  2. Miniature Eagle – AIR FORCE

  3. Miniature Rod of Aesculapius – MEDICAL SERVICES

Clasps

After Thought

Period

06/04/1952 – 16/04/2003

De Wet Medal

Instituted

In terms of a Warrant dated 04/11/1987 and signed by P.W. Botha

Awarded To

Members serving with a Commando of the SADF, irrespective of Rank

Post Nominal Letters

None

Criteria

The Medal was awarded to a member who

  1. Had completed not less than 10 years qualifying service

  2. On the date on which he completed such qualifying service, was serving with a Commando of the SADF

  3. And was in every way considered deserving and worthy of the award

Clasps

After Thought

Period

04/11/1987 – 26/04/2003