Reserve Force Decoration

Reserve Force Decoration front

Reserve Force Decoration front
Reserve Force Decoration back

Reserve Force Decoration back


The Reserve Force Decoration was awarded to Reserve Force officers for 15 years efficient service by members of the Defence Force.

The decoration is one of three Defence Force Service Awards that recognised long-service. The other two awards were:


The Reserve Force Decoration is part of a long tradition of rewarding long service and good conduct by a member of a nation’s armed forces.

Britain has the most developed system with the oldest Imperial award for naval long service introduced by King William IV in 1831.

The Defence Force Service Awards were established on 20 April 1982 by Letters Patent, providing distinctive Australian military long service honours.

Between 1975 and 1982, defence force long service came under the arm of the National Medal, which now primarily recognises civilian service in hazardous occupations. Prior to this, Australians in the reserve and defence forces were eligible for Imperial awards.

Along with the Reserve Force Medal and the Defence Force Service Medal, the Reserve Force Decoration was replaced by the Defence Long Service Medal in 1998.

Those who meet medal criteria have an ongoing entitlement to clasps for continuing service.

How it is awarded

The Governor-General awarded the Reserve Force Decoration on the recommendation of the Chief of the Defence Force Staff or his/her delegate.

Fifteen years efficient service as an ADF officer (that includes service as an officer of the Reserve Forces for a period of not less than 12 years), commencing on or after 14 February 1975 is required for the award of the RDF. Clasps were awarded for each additional five years.

The Reserve Force Decoration carries the post-nominal, RFD. It is the only long service award in the Australian honours system that carries a post-nominal entitlement.

Medal Design

The Reserve Force Decoration features the joint service emblem, which is surrounded by a gilt wreath of wattle.

The oval, cupro-nickel medal is ensigned with the Crown of Saint Edward.

On the back of the medal, the words ‘For Efficient Service in the Reserve Forces’ are inscribed.

Medal Ribbon

The 32 millimetre-wide ribbon has three equal vertical bands of azure-blue/gold/azure blue.