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Today's Honour Roll

February
27
Today's Honour Roll recognizes 91 Australians who fell on this day in history.
See Full List
Name Date of Death Conflict
DYSON, John Henry 27 Feb 1942 World War 2
SOURIS, Euripides 27 Feb 1945 World War 2
WILLIAMS, David Newland 27 Feb 1917 World War 2
FIELD, Stanley John 27 Feb 1943 World War 2
IRVING, Donald Atherton 27 Feb 1942 World War 2

National Serviceman's Day - 14th of February

Each year February 14 commemorates National Serviceman's Day, a time when we honour the invaluable contributions of those who heeded the nation's call to service.

From the early 1950s through the tumultuous years of the Vietnam War, over 280,000 individuals proudly bore the title of "Nasho," signifying their commitment to the defence of their homeland.[1] The inaugural National Service scheme, spanning from 1951 to 1959, stands as a testament to the dedication of more than 220,000 men who underwent three months of rigorous training across various branches of the military, including the Royal Australian Navy, the Australian Army, and the Royal Australian Air Force.[2] These young Australians placed their personal aspirations and pursuits on hold, prioritizing the needs of their country above all else.

The subsequent National Service scheme, which ran from 1965 to 1972, called upon over 60,000 young men to serve, with more than 15,300 participating in the Vietnam War whilst the remainder did their duty and helped expand the strength of the Army at home when it was most needed.[2]

These young soldiers seamlessly integrated into regular army units, and although initially trained by regular soldiers were over the years trained by fellow Nashos as well. In Vietnam and Borneo, the regular Officers, NCOs, and soldiers quickly found the Nashos were equal to any task and demonstrated courage and resilience as together with the “Regs” they navigated the challenges of war.

Tragically, more than 200 National Servicemen were killed or died during their service in Vietnam and Borneo, like all those who have their names etched on the Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour their sacrifice is now part of Australia’s proud history. The debt owed to the 1200 Nashos who were wounded and all who have served and suffered for the nation can never be repaid.[3]

Today, as we reflect upon the legacy of these 280,000 individuals, we pay tribute to their indomitable spirit, unwavering dedication and courage in the face of adversity. To all of them we say thank you for your contribution to the defence of our nation.

We will remember you.


The end of the line. Unidentified men from C Company, 13th National Service Battalion line up at the counter to the Orderly Room (hut D57) to be demobbed at Bardia Barracks, Ingleburn. These men have completed their national service and most will soon return to civilian life.

References

[1] National Servicemen’s Association. SHRINE OF REMEMBRANCE. (2024). https://www.shrine.org.au/national-servicemens-ass...

[2] Keogh, M. (2023, February 14). National Servicemen’s day. National Servicemen’s Day | Minister for Veterans’ Affairs. https://minister.dva.gov.au/news-and-media/ministe...

[3] DVA (Department of Veterans' Affairs) ( ), Australians in the National Service Scheme from 1951 to 1972, DVA Anzac Portal, accessed 6 February 2024, hhttps://anzacportal.dva.gov.au/stories/national-se...