Medal Qualification Information

Information for Primary Current (Border War) Medal Applications

SADF & SAP Criteria for the more common medals available to the rank and file National Servicemen and women.
many South African Veterans are not aware that they qualify for medals. Please see criteria below!

South African Veterans who would like to apply for medals owed to them, or replace missing or lost medals can Apply Online via SAMVOUSA.

PRO PATRIA MEDAL: The following conditions were set out for the awarding of the medal: The recipients would have to have been involved in combat or a skirmish or combat situation or an incident caused by enemy activities, or have participated in a specific operation acknowledged by the Minister of Defence, or have served continuous period of 55 days or 90 days non-continuous duty in an operational area. A Warrant dated 18/05/1977 amended the period of service to at least 55 days or for a non-continuous period of at least 90 days in an Operational area as designated by the Minister. The wording on the certificate of award states that the medal has been awarded for: Service in the Defence of the Republic or for the Prevention or Suppression of Terrorism. Although an Operational Clasp was authorized in Rules 2 & 6 (GG# 5171) dated 25-06-1976 it was only in 1986 that the “CUNENE” Clasp was gazetted (For participation in Operation SAVANNAH in 1975-1976). This was the only operation that the clasp to the Pro Patria was awarded for.

SOUTHERN AFRICA MEDAL: The medal was awarded to all Officers and other Ranks of the SADF, or any other armed forces attached to or serving with or rendering service to SADF, whilst on service in the defence of the Republic, on service in the prevention or suppression of terrorism and who have taken part in an identifiable operations conducted across the borders of the Republic of South Africa or South West Africa or took part in actions in preparations for, or in support of such operations, during which such member was exposed to the risk of danger of loss of life, or of being wounded or of being taken prisoner by the enemy.
Further operational qualification for the Pro Patria and the Southern Africa Medals ceased on 21 March 1990 when qualification for these two medals was discontinued.

GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL: The medal was awarded to members of the SADF or the Auxiliary services of the SADF, who from 01 January 1983 to 23 August 1993 had been employed, within the borders of the Republic of South Africa, in the prevention or suppression of terrorism, or in internal disorder in the Republic, or in the preservation of life, health or property, or for the maintenance of essential services, including the maintenance of law and order or the prevention of crime in co-operation with the South African Police. The following was deemed to be qualifying service for the award of the medal: Service rendered within the Borders of South Africa for a continuous period of 55 days, or for a non-continuous period of 90 days. Whilst rendering such service, irrespective of the period of service, was injured or killed and was thus prevented from completing the required period of service. After 23 August 1993 to 26 April 2003 it was awarded for deployment in an internal or external operation for 60 days. A Clasp to the medal, the MALUTI CLASP, was instituted by Warrant on the 09/05/2002, to members of the SADF who distinguished themselves by participation in Operation BOLEAS and Operation MALUTI in Lesotho.

UNITAS MEDAL: This medal was issued to commemorate the unification of defence forces and armed forces on the 27th day of April 1994. The members who qualified for this medal are those who were on active duty (had reported and were on strength) over the period of transition, prior to, during and after the elections. The qualification period for this medal is stated as being from 27 April 1994 to 10 May 1994.
JOHN CHARD MEDAL: The John Chard Medal was instituted with effect from 6 April 1952 to replace the Efficiency Medal and the Air Efficiency Award which was previously awarded to members of the Citizen Force between 1939 and 1952. This bronze medal was awarded to members of the Citizen Force, irrespective of rank, who had completed twelve years’ long and efficient service. It was reduced to 10 years service in 1975. The qualifying service did not need necessarily be continuous. The medal is of bronze and the designation and significance is the same as that of the John Chard Decoration. Distinguishing insignia in silver are worn on the ribbon. A miniature anchor denotes that qualifying service was in the SA Navy, crossed swords in the SA Army and an eagle in the SA Air Force. A member eligible to receive the John Chard Medal after 1 July 1975 could elect to receive the SADF Good Service Medal (Bronze) instead. The member was, however, thereafter restricted to the series chosen. Qualification for this medal ceased on 16 April 2003.