THE HON ANDREW HASTIE MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR DEFENCE
FEDERAL MEMBER FOR CANNING
THURSDAY 8 SEPTEMBER 2022
50th ANNIVERSARY OF THE ABOLITION OF NATIONAL SERVICE
This year we mark the 50th Anniversary of the abolition of National Service and pause to pay tribute to the sacrifice of Australia’s National Servicemen who served between 1951 and 1972.
Introduced in 1951, Australia’s National Service training scheme required young men aged eighteen to undertake 176 days of military training. This scheme was expanded in 1964 during the Vietnam War (1962-1975), when young men were required to register their names for a ballot at twenty years old.
If selected in the ballot, they were required to complete two years' continuous full-time service in the Regular Army Supplement, followed by three years' part-time service in the Regular Army Reserve. Many of these National Servicemen were sent overseas to serve in Vietnam and in the Indonesian Confrontation (1963-1966).
From 1965 to 1972, over 15,300 national servicemen served in the Vietnam War, some 200 were killed and 1,279 were wounded.
Following public outcry, the scheme was suspended in 1972.
Many of our National Servicemen and Vietnam Veterans were not appropriately recognised and were not welcomed home to Australia as they should have been following their war time service.
Today we remember the sacrifice of our National Servicemen – those who have died for our country, those who have been wounded in the course of their service, and all of those who carry the emotional scars of war.
To Australia’s “Nasho’s”, we honour your service.
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