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Australians who Served in Commonwealth or Allied Forces

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Introduction

This topic covers service recognised for Australians who served in [glossary:Commonwealth or Allied forces:].

Qualifying service

Qualifying service for a member of the forces of a Commonwealth or allied country who was domiciled in Australia immediately before his or her service in those forces is determined on the criteria for a member of a Commonwealth or allied force for that period of service.     

Operational service

To have service with the forces of a Commonwealth or allied country during WWI or WWII recognised as operational service a veteran must have been domiciled in Australia immediately before his or her appointment or enlistment in those forces and:

rendered continuous full-time service during WWI or WWII with a Commonwealth or allied force; and

served outside that Commonwealth or allied country; or

within that country but in such circumstances that the service should, in the opinion of the Commission, be treated as service in actual combat against the enemy[glossary:.:]

Operational service after WWII for a member of the forces of a Commonwealth or allied country who was domiciled in Australia immediately before his or her appointment or enlistment in those forces is:

continuous full time service in an operational area.

It should be noted that the concept of allotment for duty does not apply to persons who served with Commonwealth or allied forces. Allotment is a process administered by the Department of Defence and is applicable only to the defence forces of Australia.     

Domicile

A person's domicile is a key point in determining periods of service with other armed forces. A person acquires an originating domicile from their country of birth. If they permanently move (migrate) to another country, then their current domicile changes to that country.     


A member of the forces is a person who served in the defence force for a continuous period that commenced after 7 December 1972 and has the type of service required in sections 69, 69A and 69B of the VEA.

A Commonwealth country is a country, other than Australia that is, or was at the relevant time, a part of the Dominions of the Crown.

An allied country is a country, other than Australia or a Commonwealth country, whose forces were engaged in an operational area against an enemy, at the relevant time, which was also engaged against forces of the Commonwealth.

Continuous full-time service in relation to a member of the Defence Force means that a person must have served on a continuous full-time basis, as opposed to a part-time basis.

A period of continuous full-time service is required by a member of the Defence Force if they are to be considered as having eligible war service, operational service or defence service and access to the benefits associated with those forms of service.

“enemy means

  • in relation to World War I or World War II - the naval, military or air forces, or any part of the naval, military or airforces, of a State at war with the Crown during that war; and
  • in relation to service in, or a period of hostilities in respect of, an operational area - the naval, military or air forces against which the Naval, Military or Air Forces of the Commonwealth were engaged in that operational area; and
  • persons assisting any of those forces.”

For the purposes of determining a person's eligibility for entitlements under the VEA, being allotted for duty in an operational area (schedule 2 VEA refers) is a reference to a person or unit of the Defence Force, that is allotted for duty by written instrument issued by the:

  • Defence Force,
  • Vice Chief of the Defence Force, or
  • Minister for Defence (deemed allotted subsection 5R(1) refers) Allotment may be retrospective or prospective.