• There have been several variants of the General Service Badge since its adoption in 1904.

    The wording which appeared on the General Service Badge during both world wars was Australian Commonwealth Military Forces. In 1949, when corps and regimental badges were introduced for the newly formed Australian Regular Army, the wording was then changed to Australian Military Forces. Nevertheless the earlier badge remained in common use with recruit training units until at least the late 1960s.

    In March 1969 approval was given to a new design. This badge featured the Federation Star and Torse Wreath from the original badge and Australia in the scroll. Due to the number of older badges still held in the stores system this badge was not produced for issue until the late 1980s. Having seen limited issue this badge was then replaced in 1991 with the current design which features the title The Australian Army.

    No badge has ever been struck with the wording Australian Imperial Force. However this wording has been used as a headstone design. In 1945, the then Department of the Army recommended to the War Cabinet that: two separate badges for Army war graves of the present war be used to distinguish between members of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) and the Citizen Military Force (CMF). The Australian Imperial Force designation appeared only on the headstone badges of deceased AIF members.

    Headstone for an 'Unknown' soldier : Commonwealth War Graves Commission Headstone for an 'Unknown' soldier : Commonwealth War Graves Commission
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    Written by:
    Peter Aitken – Military Heraldry & Technology Section, Australian War Memorial.