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Background Information - 11 September 2008 media statement

New medals to recognise service in Korea since 1958

11 September 2008

Background Information

The New Zealand General Service Medal (NZGSM) 1992 was instituted in 1992 and is awarded for a range of operational service which was undertaken between 1954 and 1999. Each award consists of a standard medal suspended from one of two standard ribbons, with a specific clasp identifying the area of operations recognised by the award. The medal and clasp is silver-plated for warlike operations and bronze-plated for non-warlike (peacekeeping) operations.

The NZGSM 1992 (Non-Warlike) has a dark blue ribbon with a light red centre and a narrow central white stripe. This medal has already been awarded for 12 periods of non-warlike operational service including in Korea from 1954-1957, in Thailand from 1962-1971, and in the Sinai since 1982. The medal and ribbon were designed by the New Zealand Herald of Arms, Mr Phillip O’Shea.

The New Zealand General Service Medal (NZGSM) 2002 was instituted in 2002 and is awarded for operational service commenced since 1 January 2000.

Each award consists of a standard medal suspended from a specially-designed ribbon which denotes the specific operation for which the award has been made. The NZGSM 2002 is currently awarded for service in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste.

The ribbon colours for the NZGSM 2002 (Korea) are light blue, yellow, and red. Light blue and yellow were the colours of the ribbon of the British Korea Medal awarded for service by Commonwealth forces during the Korean War of 1950-1953. Light blue also alludes to the United Nations. Red and blue are used in the flags of the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The medal and the ribbon were designed by Mr Phillip O’Shea, the New Zealand Herald of Arms.

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