Commendation for Distinguished Service


The Commendation for Distinguished Service is awarded for the distinguished performance of duties in warlike operations to members of the Australian Defence Force.

It is the third level of the Distinguished Service Decorations.


The Distinguished Service Decorations recognise command and leadership in military action. They are awarded primarily to members of the Defence Forces.

The Distinguished Service Decorations were introduced in 1991 and replaced a number of Imperial decorations.

There are three levels of decoration:

Past recipients

Major Michael Moon of the Australian Army was awarded the Commendation for Distinguished Service for confident and resolute leadership in action. Major Moon was in command of C Company on operations in Somalia. He dealt with a difficult military-civil environment in 1993.

Search the Australian Honours List for past recipients of the Commendation for Distinguished Service.

View the numbers awarded for the Commendation for Distinguished Service.

How it is awarded

The Distinguished Service Decorations are awarded by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Minister for Defence.

Distinguished Service Decorations may be awarded posthumously.

Second and subsequent Commendations for Distinguished Service are made by warrant.

The Commendation for Distinguished Service are announced on Australia Day (January 26) and the Queen’s Birthday (June) each year.

Insignia design

Commendation for Distinguished Service - front

Commendation for
Distinguished Service

The insignia of the Commendation for Distinguished Service is a central Federation Star on a nickel-silver row of flames that taper at each end.

Insignia ribbon

The insignia is attached to an ochre-red ribbon.

Print fact sheet

The information on this page is available as a printable fact sheet.

Last Updated: 29 September, 2008