Good Service Medal, Gold

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Good Service Medal, Gold
Good Service Medal, Gold.jpg
Awarded by the State President and, from 1994, the President
Country South Africa  South Africa
Type Military long service medal
Eligibility All ranks
Awarded for 30 years of good service
Status Discontinued in 2003
Statistics
Established 1975
SADF pre-1994 & SANDF post-2002 orders of wear
Next (higher)
Next (lower)
SADF succession:
Ribbon - Good Service Medal, Gold PF.png Ribbon - Good Service Medal, Gold CF.png Ribbon - Good Service Medal, Gold C.png
Original PF, CF and Commando ribbon bars
Ribbon - Good Service Medal, Gold.gif
Ribbon bar from 1993

The Good Service Medal, Gold, originally named the South African Defence Force Good Service Medal, Gold, is the senior of a set of three military medals which was instituted by the Republic of South Africa on 1 July 1975. It was initially awarded to members of all elements of the South African Defence Force for thirty years of exemplary service, but was restricted to Permanent Force personnel from 1993.[1]

The South African military

The Union Defence Forces (UDF) were established in 1912 and renamed the South African Defence Force (SADF) in 1958. On 27 April 1994, it was integrated with six other independent forces into the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).[1][2][3]

Institution

The Good Service Medal, Gold was instituted by the State President in 1975 and was named the South African Defence Force Good Service Medal, Gold until 1993. The medal is the senior of a set of three military medals for long service, along with the Good Service Medal, Silver for twenty years of good service and the Good Service Medal, Bronze for ten.[2][4]

Award criteria

The medal was initially awarded to Permanent Force, Citizen Force and Commando members of the South African Defence Force for thirty years of good service, but was restricted to Permanent Force personnel from 1993 and renamed.[1]

Order of wear

The position of the Good Service Medal, Gold in the official order of precedence was revised twice after 1975 to accommodate the inclusion or institution of new decorations and medals, first upon the integration into the South African National Defence Force in 1994 and again upon the institution of a new set of awards in 2003.[5]

South African Defence Force until 26 April 1994

Medal for Distinguished Conduct and Loyal Service Good Service Medal, Gold John Chard Decoration (JCD)

South African National Defence Force from 27 April 1994

Medal for Distinguished Conduct and Loyal Service Good Service Medal, Gold Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct, Gold

South African National Defence Force from 27 April 2003

Medalje vir Troue Diens and Bar, 40 years Good Service Medal, Gold Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct, Gold

Description

Initially all South African military orders, decorations and medals were minted by the South African Mint, but with effect from c. 1980, the manufacturing of all new awards as well as the further production of older awards were put out to tender by private enterprises. Since the tooling of the older awards was retained by the Mint, private manufacturers had to manufacture their own tooling, which resulted in several variations in appearance. Poor quality control and cost cutting by manufacturers resulted in the acceptance and award of a large number of medals which were only 2 millimetres thick, with no raised rim and an undecorated ribbon suspender on the reverse.[7]

Medals minted from 1991, were once again compliant with the description in the warrant in terms of which the medal was instituted, but they were struck in one piece with the ribbon suspenders. The suspenders were shaped slightly differently from before and the bottom arms of the suspender met the medal inside two of the scalloped valleys on the rim, instead of on two of the apexes as before. The medal number was impressed on the reverse instead of at the bottom of the medal on the rim. An example is the one depicted.[8]

Obverse

The Good Service Medal, Gold is a medallion struck in silver-gilt, with a scalloped edge and a raised rim, 38 millimetres in diameter and 3 millimetres thick at the rim, depicting the pre-1994 South African Coat of Arms. The ribbon suspender is decorated with proteas and leaves. The obverse is identical to that of the Permanent Force Good Service Medal of 1961.[7]

Reverse

The reverse is inscribed "VIR TROUE DIENS" and "FOR GOOD SERVICE". The original medals, minted by the South African Mint, have a raised rim and decorated ribbon suspender, similar to those of the obverse. The medals and ribbon suspenders were minted separately and soldered together. The medal number was impressed at the bottom on the rim.[7]

Ribbons

When it was instituted as the South African Defence Force Good Service Medal, Gold for award to all elements of the South African Defence Force, three separate ribbons were used for the three elements of the Force. They were all 32 millimetres wide and green, with three 1 millimetre wide bands, 2 millimetres from each side and spaced 1 millimetre apart, in white to indicate Permanent Force service, in dark blue to indicate Citizen Force service or in orange to indicate Commando service. Orange, white and blue are the colours of the pre-1994 national flag.[1]

These three ribbons were replaced by a single new ribbon in 1993, when the award of the medal was restricted to Permanent Force personnel and it was renamed the Good Service Medal, Gold. The new ribbon was 32 millimetres wide and green, with two yellow bands, each 7 millimetres wide and spaced 6 millimetres apart.[7]

Discontinuation

Conferment of the Good Service Medal, Gold was discontinued in respect of services performed on or after 27 April 2003.[3][9]

References

  1. ^ a b c d South African Medal Website - SA Defence Force : 1975-2003 (Accessed 30 April 2015)
  2. ^ a b South African Medal Website - SA Defence Force : 1952-1975 (Accessed 30 April 2015)
  3. ^ a b Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 457, no. 25213, Pretoria, 25 July 2003
  4. ^ a b c d e Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 477, no. 27376, Pretoria, 11 March 2005, OCLC 72827981
  5. ^ a b Republic of South Africa Government Gazette no. 15093, Pretoria, 3 September 1993
  6. ^ a b c d Good Service Medal, Bronze, version 2, the thin so-called faxable medal
  7. ^ Good Service Medal, Gold with the original Permanent Force ribbon
  8. ^ Republic of South Africa Government Gazette no. 26778, Pretoria, 17 September 2004
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