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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:

  1. sea areas in the Middle East where New Zealand ships and aircraft undertook maritime interdiction patrols to intercept weapons and other contraband being transported to support international terrorist groups; and
  2. areas of countries near Afghanistan in which forces were based to support the operations in Afghanistan or support the maritime interdiction patrols against international terrorism.

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.

Amended policy. The new Regulations approved in December 2018 allow personnel who completed the required amounts of qualifying service in both the secondary and primary operational areas to wear both the NZGSM (Afghanistan: Primary Operational Area) and the NZGSM (Afghanistan: Secondary Operational Area). Previously they were only awarded one NZGSM (Afghanistan), and wore it with the ribbon for the primary operational area. See Regulation 10 of the 2002 Regulations for the NZGSM (Afghanistan).

How to apply:

1) Still serving military or civilian NZDF personnel: Please use the online Contact Form to ask NZDF Personnel Archives and Medals to check the SAP and ATLAS records and issue any additional NZGSM.

2) Ex-NZDF personnel: Please complete NZDF Personnel Archives and Medals Form No. 1 - MD1050.

Further information. 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.

Service on maritime interdiction patrols in the Middle East since 7 December 2014. This service is recognised by a different medal, either the NZGSM (Greater Middle East) or the NZGSM (Counter-Piracy) depending on the main operational purpose of the maritime interdiction patrols.

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 2018 Regulations for the New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Afghanistan: Secondary Operational Area) (pdf file, 372kb) can be downloaded here. The Regulations can be viewed as text / html at http://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2018/0277/latest/LMS84348.html?src=qs (on the Parliamentary Counsel Office's New Zealand Legislation website).

The 2018 Regulations for the New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Afghanistan: Primary Operational Area) (pdf file, 369kb) can be downloaded here. The Regulations can be viewed as text / html at http://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2018/0276/latest/LMS84954.html?src=qs (on the Parliamentary Counsel Office's New Zealand Legislation website).

The previous Regulations for the New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Afghanistan) from 2002 can be viewed here. The 2002 Regulations were revoked in 2018.

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