Meritorious recognition for veterans who served in Somalia

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The Hon Matt Keogh MP

Minister for Defence Personnel

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

Media contact

Stephanie Mathews on 0407 034 485

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18 April 2023

Australian Defence Force personnel who served in Somalia in the 1990s performed extraordinary work in very challenging conditions.

They should be recognised for that.

The Australian Government has accepted the independent Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal recommendations for unit recognition for Australian Defence Force (ADF) service in Somalia.

The Tribunal recommended the award of a Meritorious Unit Citation for the following ADF units who served in Somalia between 1992 and 1995.

  • The four UNISOM Australian Service Contingents (ASC) - ASC I, ASC II, ASC III and ASC IV
  • 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment Group and
  • HMAS Tobruk.

In this 30th anniversary year of ADF operations in Somalia, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel, Matt Keogh, said it is fitting these individuals receive the recognition they have long advocated for.

“I have accepted the Tribunal’s recommendations and have informed the Governor-General,” Minister Keogh said.

“The Meritorious Unit Citation will recognise the service, contribution and sacrifice made by those ADF members that were deployed in Somalia. I express my deepest gratitude to all those who served. 

“Service in Somalia represented the ADF’s largest land and sea operation since Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War.

“I thank the Tribunal for their work and those who have advocated for this unit recognition.

“As we approach ANZAC Day I encourage all Australians to acknowledge and pay tribute to all our service personnel who have engaged in conflict, peacekeeping or humanitarian operations, they each embody the Spirit of the ANZAC. 

The Government will make an announcement later this year on how current and former ADF members can receive the insignia of the Meritorious Unit Citation.

The Meritorious Unit Citation may be awarded to a unit for sustained outstanding service in warlike operations. It is not an individual honour or award. Further information about the Meritorious Unit Citation is available via

A copy of the Tribunal’s report can be found on their website  

Imagery of the ADF’s operations in Somalia are available at:

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