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RSL welcomes consideration of further recognition for Somalia veterans

The Returned & Services League of Australia (RSL) has welcomed the review by the independent Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal of unit recognition for Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel who served in the Somalia conflict.

The Federal Government has asked the Tribunal to reassess the matter following representations from the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment Association.

RSL National President Greg Melick said the Tribunal would consider the service of all ADF units that served in Somalia through 1992-95, having regard to the eligibility criteria for the Meritorious Unit Citation.

“The operation was previously deemed to be war service and ADF personnel involved were awarded the Australian Active Service Medal,” he said.

“But for some time, there have been numerous suggestions to add a ‘Meritorious Unit Citation’ for all ranks who served in the Australian contingent.

“This unit recognition is appropriate given the outstanding work of the 1st Battalion Group on this difficult task for which the Battalion Group received accolades for professionalism and dedication to duty.

“The RSL is fully supportive of the awarding of the citation, as suggested by many RSL members across Australia.

“It is important that the service of the ADF Somalia veterans is fairly and comprehensively assessed and the review by the independent Tribunal will provide this.

“The Tribunal is now receiving submissions as part of the review, with a closing date of 31 August 2021 and the RSL urges anyone with an interest to ensure their views are heard,” Greg Melick said.

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