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The Wearing of Medals in New Zealand Table – a guide to the correct order of wear

The Wearing of Medals in New Zealand Table below attempts to include past and present State Honours and Military awards arranged in the correct order of precedence. Its purpose is to assist medal recipients to determine the correct order in which their medals should be mounted and worn. The table is based on the official New Zealand Order of Wear dated 18 November 2013 (which is administered by the Honours Unit, Cabinet Office).

Further important information about the Wearing of Medals in New Zealand Table can be found at the end of this page, as can information on some of the awards not listed in the table.

Information for lateral recruits about wearing medals on NZDF uniform is also provided.

Other information about wearing medals is on the 'Wearing Medals' page of our website.

  Name of the Order, Decoration, or Medal (post nominal)
THE VICTORIA CROSS AND THE VICTORIA CROSS FOR NEW ZEALAND
  The Victoria Cross and the Victoria Cross for New Zealand (VC)
THE NEW ZEALAND CROSS (1869) AND THE NEW ZEALAND CROSS
  The New Zealand Cross (1869) and The New Zealand Cross (NZC)
THE GEORGE CROSS
  The George Cross (GC)
ORDERS OF KNIGHTHOOD AND OTHER ORDERS
  Knight or Lady of the Most Noble Order of the Garter (KG/LG)
  Knight or Lady of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle (KT/LT)
  Knight or Dame Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (GCB)
  Member of the Order of Merit (OM)
  Member of the Order of New Zealand (ONZ)
  The Baronet's Badge (Bart or Bt)
  Knight or Dame Grand Companion, or Principal Companion, of the New Zealand Order of Merit (GNZM or PCNZM)
  Knight or Dame Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG)
  Knight or Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO)
  Knight or Dame Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (GBE)
  Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour (CH)
  Knight or Dame Companion, or Distinguished Companion, of the New Zealand Order of Merit (KNZM/DNZM or DCNZM)
  Knight or Dame Commander of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (KCB/DCB)
  Knight or Dame Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG/DCMG)
  Knight or Dame Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO/DCVO)
  Knight or Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE/DBE)
  Knight Bachelor's Badge
  Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM)
  Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (CB)
  Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (CMG)
  Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO)
  Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE)
  The New Zealand Gallantry Star (NZGS)
  The New Zealand Bravery Star (NZBS)
  Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
  Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order (LVO)
  Companion of the Queen's Service Order (QSO)
  Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM)
  Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE)
  Companion of the Imperial Service Order (ISO)
  Member of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO)
  Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM)
  Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE)
  The New Zealand Gallantry Decoration (NZGD)
  The New Zealand Bravery Decoration (NZBD)
DECORATIONS
  The Royal Red Cross (1st Class or Member) (RRC)
  The Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)
  The Military Cross (MC)
  The Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
  The Air Force Cross (AFC)
  The Royal Red Cross (2nd Class or Associate) (ARRC)
THE ORDER OF SAINT JOHN
  Bailiff or Dame Grand Cross of the Order of St John (GCStJ)
  Knight or Dame of Justice or of Grace of the Order of St John (KStJ)
  Chaplain or Commander of the Order of St John (ChStJ/CStJ)
  Officer of the Order of St John (OStJ)
  Serving Brother or Serving Sister of the Order of St John (SBStJ/SSStJ)
  Esquire of the Order of St John (EsqStJ)
MEDALS FOR GALLANTRY AND BRAVERY
  The Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM)
  The Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (CGM)
  The George Medal (GM)
  The Queen's Police Medal for Gallantry (QPM)
  The Queen's Fire Service Medal for Gallantry (QFSM)
  The Distinguished Service Medal (DSM)
  The Military Medal (MM)
  The Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM)
  The Air Force Medal (AFM)
  The Queen's Gallantry Medal (QGM)
  The New Zealand Gallantry Medal (NZGM)
  The New Zealand Bravery Medal (NZBM)
MEDALS FOR MERITORIOUS SERVICE
  Royal Victorian Medal (Gold, Silver, and Bronze) (RVM)
  The Queen's Service Medal (QSM)
  The New Zealand Antarctic Medal (NZAM)
  The New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD)
  The British Empire Medal (BEM)
  The Queen's Police Medal, for Distinguished Service (QPM)
  The Queen's Fire Service Medal, for Distinguished Service (QFSM)
CAMPAIGN MEDALS - INCLUDING WAR, OPERATIONAL AND PEACEKEEPING MEDALS (worn in order of date of participation in campaign, operation or peacekeeping mission for which awarded).  This includes United Nations, NATO mission and European Union mission medals.
  The New Zealand Medal
  The Queen's South Africa Medal
  The King's South Africa Medal
  The 1914 Star (also known as the Mons Star)
  The 1914 - 1915 Star
  The British War Medal 1914 - 1920
  The Mercantile Marine War Medal
  The Victory Medal 1914 - 1918
  Second World War campaign stars and war medals worn in exactly the following order:
  a)  The 1939 - 1945 Star
  b)  The Atlantic Star
  c)  The Air Crew Europe Star
  d)  The Arctic Star
  e)  The Africa Star
  f)  The Pacific Star
  g)  The Burma Star
  h)  The Italy Star
  i)  The France and Germany Star
  j)  The Defence Medal
  k)  The War Medal 1939 - 1945
  l)  The New Zealand War Service Medal
 

Campaign medals for service since 3 September 1945 (including United Nations, NATO mission and European Union mission medals).

Explanatory Notes:

1. Worn in order of date of participation by the recipient in the campaign, operation or peacekeeping mission for which awarded.

2. It is relatively common that different individuals with the same campaign medals will wear them in different orders, due to when they served in each theatre. For example, someone who served in the Sinai in the 1980s will wear the NZGSM 1992 (Non-Warlike) with clasp 'Sinai' before their NZGSM 2002 (Timor-Leste). However, if a person who served in the Sinai after their service in Timor-Leste will wear the NZGSM 2002 (Timor-Leste) first and then the NZGSM 1992 (Non-Warlike) with clasp 'Sinai'.

3. The order below for campaign medals is therefore a guide (unless otherwise specified below), which needs to be interpreted for each individual based on when they served in each theatre.

4. All campaign medals listed in this section are worn before any New Zealand Special Service Medal.

5. Lateral recruits, re-enlistees and some seconded / exchange NZDF personnel: If given individual approval to wear on NZDF uniform by the relevant NZ authority these persons wear their British, Australian, Canadian and Indian campaign medals following the same order of wear rules as for NZ, United Nations, NATO and European Union campaign medals. Also see Note 3 for lateral recruits below. A list (for medal mounters) of many of the British, Australian and Canadian campaign medals worn on NZDF uniform by lateral recruits, re-enlistees and some seconded / exchange NZDF personnel is provided below.

  The New Zealand Operational Service Medal
    (The NZOSM is always worn before any of the medals listed below, except for awards of the Naval General Service Medal 1915 - 1962 or the General Service Medal 1918 - 1962 for service prior to 3 September 1945.  Ex-British military personnel who served in the UK Armed Forces in the 1920s and 1930s and later joined the New Zealand military are the most likely group to have the unusual situation of an NZOSM being mounted after the NGSM or the GSM 1918-1962). Also see Note 2 for lateral recruits below.
  The New Zealand Service Medal 1946 - 1949 (always worn before the Korea Medal if both medals have been awarded)
  The Korea Medal
  The United Nations Medal for Korea (always worn after the Korea Medal if both medals have been awarded)
  The United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation Medal - (as this service covers 1948 to the present, also see the Explanatory Notes above)
  The United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan Medal
  The United Nations Medal - (as this service covers 1948 to the present, also see the Explanatory Notes above)
  The United Nations Special Service Medal - (as this service covers 1989 to the present, also see the Explanatory Notes above)
  The Naval General Service Medal 1915 - 1962
  The General Service Medal 1918 - 1962
  The New Zealand General Service Medal 1992 (Non Warlike) with clasp 'Korea 1954-57'
  The New Zealand General Service Medal 1992 (Warlike) with clasp 'Malaya 1960-64'
  The General Service Medal 1962 with clasps 'Borneo' and 'Malay Peninsula'
  The Vietnam Medal
  The New Zealand General Service Medal 1992 (Warlike) with clasp 'Vietnam'
  The New Zealand General Service Medal 1992 (Non Warlike) with clasp 'Indian Ocean'
  The New Zealand General Service Medal 1992 (Non Warlike) with clasp 'Sinai' - (as this service covers 1982 to the present, also see the Explanatory Notes above)
  The New Zealand General Service Medal 1992 (Warlike) with clasp 'Kuwait'
  The New Zealand General Service Medal 1992 (Non Warlike) with clasp 'Somalia'
  The New Zealand General Service Medal 1992 (Non Warlike) with clasp 'Rwanda'
  The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Medal for the Former Yugoslavia
  The East Timor Medal
  The New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Solomon Islands)
  The New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Korea)
  The New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Afghanistan - Primary Operational Area) - (the Primary and Secondary medals are never worn together)
  The New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Afghanistan - Secondary Operational Area) - (the Primary and Secondary medals are never worn together)
  The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Medal for Kosovo
  The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Medal for Non-Article 5 Operations in the Balkans
  The New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Iraq 2003)
  The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Medal for the Non-Article 5 ISAF Operation in Afghanistan
  The European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) Service Medal
  The New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Timor-Leste)

THE NEW ZEALAND SPECIAL SERVICE MEDAL (worn in order of date of award).

Explanatory Note: This means that they are worn in order of date of participation in the special service mission for which awarded.

  The New Zealand Special Service Medal (Nuclear Testing)
  The New Zealand Special Service Medal (Erebus)
  The New Zealand Special Service Medal (Asian Tsunami)
POLAR MEDALS (worn in order of date of award)
  The Polar Medal
THE IMPERIAL SERVICE MEDAL
  The Imperial Service Medal
JUBILEE, CORONATION MEDALS AND NEW ZEALAND COMMEMORATION MEDALS
  King George V's Coronation Medal 1911
  King George V's Silver Jubilee Medal 1935
  King George VI's Coronation Medal 1937
  Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation Medal 1953
  Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee Medal 1977
  Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee Medal 2002
  The New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal
  The New Zealand Suffrage Centennial Medal 1993

MERIT, EFFICIENCY AND SERVICE AWARDS (including Long Service Awards)

Note: Lateral recruits and re-enlistees should see the Notes about Long Service Awards worn on NZDF uniform by lateral recruits and re-enlistees below.

  The New Zealand Meritorious Service Medal
  The New Zealand Defence Meritorious Service Medal
  The New Zealand Police Meritorious Service Medal
  The New Zealand Armed Forces Award
  The New Zealand Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
  The Royal New Zealand Navy Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
  The Royal New Zealand Air Force Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
  The New Zealand Police Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
  The New Zealand Fire Brigades Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
  The New Zealand Prison Service Medal
  The New Zealand Traffic Service Medal
  The New Zealand Customs Service Medal
  The Efficiency Decoration (ED)
  The Efficiency Medal
  The Royal New Zealand Naval Reserve Decoration (RD)
  The Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve Decoration (VRD)
  The Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
  The Air Efficiency Award (AE)
  The Queen's Medal for Champion Shots of the New Zealand Naval Forces
  The Queen's Medal for Champion Shots of the New Zealand Military Forces
  The Queen's Medal for Champion Shots of the New Zealand Air Forces
  The Cadet Forces Medal
THE NEW ZEALAND DEFENCE SERVICE MEDAL
  The New Zealand Defence Service Medal
THE AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE MEDAL
  The Australian Defence Medal (worn by ex-Australian Defence Force personnel, who subsequently joined the NZ military)
THE RHODESIA MEDAL
  The Rhodesia Medal
COMMONWEALTH INDEPENDENCE MEDALS
  Papua New Guinea Independence Medal
MISCELLANEOUS MEDALS
  The Service Medal of the Order of St John
COMMONWEALTH MEMBERS' ORDERS, DECORATIONS AND MEDALS
i.  Instituted by the Sovereign as Head of State, other than in right of New Zealand or the United Kingdom
 

Explanatory Notes:

1. At the discretion of the holder [see Notes 2 and 3], a Commonwealth award (from a country where the Sovereign is the Head of State, excluding the United Kingdom - see Note 4) may be worn in a position comparable to, but following, the equivalent New Zealand or British Order, Decoration or Medal.

2. For uniformed military personnel of the NZDF, the Chief of Defence Force directs whether or not the discretion at Note 1 will be applied for each type of award when worn on NZDF uniform. For example, the position of wear of Australian or Canadian Long Service Awards, and of the Australian Defence Medal. This ensures consistency on NZDF uniform of the order in which these awards are worn.

3. Ex-Service personnel are able to make their own decision on whether to exercise the discretion at Note 1 or whether to instead wear the relevant Order, Decoration and/or Medal in the Commonwealth section of the Order of Wear. That is, after the NZ Defence Service Medal, but before the Pingat Jasa Malaysia, or any Foreign awards.

4. United Kingdom Orders, Decorations and Medals are either worn:

a. as individually specified above in the Order of Wear (since the same awards were issued by both the British and New Zealand governments up to the 1990s); or

b. if not individually listed above, in a position comparable to, but following, the equivalent New Zealand Order, Decoration or Medal.

5. Questions on the Order of Wear should be made through our electronic contact form.

  ORDERS (worn in order of date of award)
  ----
  DECORATIONS (worn in order of date of award)
  ----
  MEDALS (worn in order of date of award)
  The International Force East Timor (INTERFET) Medal
ii. Instituted by Commonwealth countries of which the Sovereign is not Head of State. Instituted since 1949, otherwise than by the Sovereign, and awards by the states of Malaysia, and the State of Brunei.
  ORDERS (worn in order of date of award)
  The Royal Military Order of St George (Tonga)
  DECORATIONS (worn in order of date of award)
  ----
  MEDALS (worn in order of date of award)
  The Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM) Medal
  The Tongan Coronation Medal (2008)
FOREIGN ORDERS (worn in order of date of award)
  ----
FOREIGN DECORATIONS (worn in order of date of award)
  United States Bronze Star Medal

FOREIGN MEDALS (worn in order of date of award)

Explanatory Notes: 1. For foreign campaign medals, e.g. the MFO Medal and the Timor-Leste Solidarity Medal, this means that they are worn in order of date of participation in campaign, operation or peacekeeping mission for which awarded. 

2. For foreign medals to individuals, e.g. for meritorious service, such as the United States Army Commendation Medal, this means that they are worn in order of date of approval for award by the foreign Government(s).

  The Korean War Service Medal
  The South Vietnamese Campaign Medal
  The Zimbabwe Independence Medal (Approved for restricted wear only)
  The Kuwait Liberation Medal (Approved for restricted wear only)
  The Multinational Force and Observers Medal
  The Timor-Leste Solidarity Medal (Medalha Solidariedade de Timor-Leste)
  United States Meritorious Service Medal
  NATO Meritorious Service Medal
  United States Army Commendation Medal

Important Information about the Wearing of Medals in New Zealand Table

Considerable effort has been made to ensure that the Order of Precedence above is correct, however, there are some complex issues surrounding the wearing of medals which do not fit easily into a fixed list.

Campaign, War, United Nations, NATO mission and European Union mission medals are worn in order of the date of qualifying for the award. Medals such as the General Service Medals 1915 , 1918 , 1962 and the Vietnam Medal are worn in date order of the campaign for which they were awarded. Because medals are awarded at different times and for different campaigns, the Wearing of Medals in New Zealand Table needs to be interpreted for each individual medal holder. (Also see the Explanatory Notes about campaign medals above).

It should be noted that this website does not feature all of the medals listed in the Wearing of Medals in New Zealand Table. Featured medals are listed in blue or purple type and those which are not included in the website are listed in grey type. Clicking on any featured medal (blue or purple type) in the Wearing of Medals in New Zealand Table will take you directly to that medal page.

Notes for lateral recruits from other countries militaries who have subsequently enlisted in the NZDF

1.  Permission to wear foreign awards for service in another country's military on NZDF uniform. Lateral recruits must receive the permission in writing of their Chief of Service (or designate) before they may wear on NZDF uniform any medals earnt while serving in another country's military. These requests are to be staffed through their chain of command. For more information see DFO 4, Ch.15, Section 6, paras 15.61 to 15.65 (available on the NZDF intranet - see Publications). Not all non-NZ awards will be given permission to be worn on NZDF uniform.

2.  Further information for lateral recruits from Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. (added on 14 November 2013)

If you were allowed to wear a particular medal on your previous Commonwealth military uniform, you will normally be given permission to wear that medal on NZDF uniform.

If you were not permitted to wear a particular medal on your previous Commonwealth military uniform, you will not be given permission to wear that medal on NZDF uniform. NZDF will respect the medallic decisions of the Governments of Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom and of Her Majesty as Queen of each country.

Example 1. The United Kingdom Government do not permit the NATO Medal ISAF to be worn by UK military personnel. For the reason that there is a British medal awarded for this service (the UK OSM Afghanistan), and allowing the NATO Medal to be worn as well would be double-medalling under British medallic rules.

Consequently, the NATO Medal ISAF awarded for service undertaken while in the UK military does not meet the requirements of DFO 4, Ch.15, Section 6, para 15.63.

Example 2. There is no British medal specifically recognising service in the Former Yugoslavia or Kosovo, which is why these two NATO Medals are permitted to be worn on UK military uniform. Consequently, lateral recruits from the United Kingdom will be given approval to wear on NZDF uniform their NATO Medal(s) for service in the Former Yugoslavia and/or Kosovo.

3.  The Order of Wear of the NZOSM in the case of NZDF personnel who have previously served in overseas armed forces and have campaign medals which are authorised for wear in NZ (as per the process in Note 1 above). When they become eligible for the award of the NZOSM by serving on operations with the NZDF the NZOSM will take precedence over these medals. The NZOSM will be the first medal for operational service worn, followed by others in order of date of award to the individual.

 

British, Australian and Canadian campaign medals worn on NZDF uniform by lateral recruits, re-enlistees and some seconded / exchange NZDF personnel

Note 1: Individual approval for each service person by the relevant NZ authority must be given before any of the British, Australian and Canadian campaign medals listed below may be worn on NZDF uniform.

Lateral recruits and re-enlistees need to follow the process listed in Note 1 for lateral recruits above.

Seconded / exchange NZDF personnel should advise Medals Policy, Defence Personnel Executive, HQNZDF (please select the 'Medals Policy queries' option on the 'Regarding' field of the online contact form) if they are offered and/or receive a British, Australian or Canadian campaign medal while on secondment, exchange and/or Third Country Deployment.

Note 2: Campaign medals approved as at Note 1 above are worn following the same order of wear rules as for NZ, United Nations, NATO and European Union campaign medals.

Note 3: The list below is not complete, especially for more historic awards (e.g. for service before 1980). Awards of the British GSM 1918-62, NGSM 1915-1962, (British) Korea Medal are not listed below as these medals are already listed above in the Campaign medals for service since 3 September 1945 section of the Table. The Rhodesia Medal is also already listed above. The more common clasps to the British GSM 1962 held by lateral recruits are listed below for clarity.

List of British, Australian and Canadian campaign medals worn on NZDF uniform by lateral recruits, re-enlistees and some seconded / exchange NZDF personnel:

 

Country

Campaign Medal (Note: For the order of wear on NZDF uniform see Note 2 above)

a) Britain  
  The General Service Medal 1962 with clasp 'Northern Ireland'
  The General Service Medal 1962 with clasp ‘Air Operations Iraq’
  The South Atlantic Medal (1982)
  The Gulf Medal 1990-1991
  The Operational Service Medal (OSM) for service in Sierra Leone
  The Operational Service Medal (OSM) for service on Operation Veritas (Afghanistan)
  The Iraq Medal (2003)
  The Iraq Reconstruction Service Medal
 

The Accumulated Campaign Service Medal (instituted in 1994)

(Note: The ACSM has a different position in Order of Wear. It is worn on NZDF uniform between the MSM and the NZAFA, as per the official British Order of Wear - http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/56878/supplements/3351 - Order of Wear, London Gazette, 14 March 2003, see p.3352)

 

  The Accumulated Campaign Service Medal 2011
b) Australia  
  The Australian Active Service Medal
  The Australian Service Medal
  The Afghanistan Campaign Medal
  The Iraq Campaign Medal (2003)
   
c) Canada  
  The Canadian Special Service Medal with 'Peace-Paix' Bar
  The Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal
  The Canadian General Campaign Star with 'ISAF + FIAS' Bar

 

British, Australian and Canadian Long Service Awards worn on NZDF uniform by lateral recruits and re-enlistees

Note 1: Individual approval for each service person by the relevant NZ authority must be given before any of the British, Australian and Canadian long service awards listed below may be worn on NZDF uniform.

Lateral recruits and re-enlistees need to follow the process listed in Note 1 for lateral recruits above.

Note 2: United Kingdom long service awards are worn in a position comparable to, but following, the equivalent New Zealand Order, Decoration or Medal.

For example, a British Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal is worn on NZDF uniform in the same position as listed for the New Zealand Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. If the lateral recruit or re-enlistee subsequently qualifies for the New Zealand Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, then the New Zealand award will be worn before the British award.

Questions on the Order of Wear should be made through our electronic contact form.

List of British, Australian and Canadian Long Service Awards worn on NZDF uniform by lateral recruits and some re-enlistees:

 

Note: The table is still under construction and will be completed in the near future.

Country

Long Service Award

a) Britain  
   
  Royal Navy Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
  Royal Air Force Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
   
   
   
   
   
   
b) Australia  
   
   
   
   
   
c) Canada  
  The Canadian Forces Decoration (CD)

 

Notes on Awards not listed in the Wearing of Medals in New Zealand Table

1.  Chief of Defence Force Commendation, Chief of Navy Commendation, Chief of Army Commendation, and Chief of Air Force Commendation. Citation insignia are worn on the right breast. Further information on, and images of, the insignia are in the Chief of Defence Force Commendation and Service Chiefs Commendations section of our website.

2. Unit Citations and Unit Commendations. Citation insignia are worn on the right breast by eligible personnel and veterans. Further information on, and images of, the insignia are in the Unit Citations awarded to NZ military units section of our website.

3.  International Committee of the Red Cross. The medal or ribbon of the Florence Nightingale Memorial Medal (instituted 1912) of the International Committee of the Red Cross is worn on the right side, including when in official uniform.

 

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 This page was last reviewed 11 March, 2014 and is current.

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