Three Services as one force, being the best in everything we do  

New Zealand Campaign Medals - The New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Afghanistan)

Obverse View

The New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Afghanistan) obverse view

Reverse View

The New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Afghanistan) reverse view

Note: The NZGSM (Afghanistan) above is shown with the ribbon for the secondary operational area.

About the NZGSM (Afghanistan) secondary operational area

The NZGSM (Afghanistan) was instituted in 2002 to recognise New Zealand personnel (both military and non military) who served in Afghanistan from December 2001. There are two qualifying geographical areas for the award. The ‘primary' operational area is within the borders of Afghanistan itself, while the ‘secondary' operational area includes areas of other countries in which forces were based to participate in the operation. Different medal ribbons denote the primary and secondary areas.

The NZGSM (Afghanistan) has been awarded to over 3800 NZDF personnel. Over 3000 personnel have received the medal for service in the primary area; with over 800 personnel having completed the required qualifying service in the secondary area.

Personnel who complete the required amounts of qualifying service in both the secondary and primary operational areas are only awarded one NZGSM (Afghanistan), and must wear it with the ribbon for the primary operational area. See Regulation 10 of the Regulations for the NZGSM (Afghanistan). If a person qualifies for and is presented the secondary operational area medal and ribbon first (for example, for service on HMNZS Te Mana in 2004), then later completes the required service in the primary operational area (for example, with the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Bamiyan in 2011) they do not receive a second NZGSM (Afghanistan). Instead, they replace the secondary ribbon in their medal groups and ribbon bars with the primary ribbon.

Further information on service by New Zealand personnel in Afghanistan and in the surrounding countries can be found in the media statements listed below, on the Current Deployments page of the NZDF website, the NZ Army website, the RNZAF website and on the Medals Listed by Campaign table.

About the ribbon

The proportions of the ribbon for the secondary operational area are based on those used for the New Zealand General Service Medal 1992 and the New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Solomon Islands).

The ribbon is comprised of broad stripes of black, red and green, with a narrow stripe of light blue on each edge. Black, red and green have used as the basic colours of a variety of traditional Afghanistan flags since 1900, and in 1929 were recognised as the national colours of the country. It is generally accepted that black alludes to the past, red to blood shed for independence, and green to hope. Green also represents the Islamic faith and is regarded as a sacred colour. Light blue represents the sea and air service performed by New Zealand personnel in areas surrounding Afghanistan.

Royal Warrant

The Royal Warrant for the New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 can be viewed here.

Medal Regulations

The Regulations for the New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Afghanistan) can be viewed here.

Clasps and Bars

There are no clasps or bars for this medal.

Order of Wear

The position of this medal in the Wearing of Medals in New Zealand Table can be viewed here.

Media Statements and Feature Stories

concerning service by New Zealand personnel operating in the NZGSM (Afghanistan) secondary operational area