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Unitas Medal
File:Unitas Medal.jpg
Awarded by the President
Country Flag of South Africa.svg South Africa
Type Military commemorative medal
Eligibility All ranks on active SANDF strength on 27 April 1994, BMATT personnel
Awarded for Commemoration of the establishment of the SANDF
Status Discontinued in 1994
Statistics
Established 1994
First awarded 1994
Last awarded 1994
Precedence
Next (higher) Flag of Transkei Military Rule Medal [1]
Next (lower) Flag of South Africa Closure Commemoration Medal [1]
Ribbon - Unitas Medal
Ribbon bar

The Unitas Medal was instituted by the President of the Republic of South Africa on 4 November 1994. It was awarded to all ranks on the active strength of all seven constituent military forces from 27 April 1994 to 10 May 1994, to commemorate their amalgamation into the South African National Defence Force. It was also awarded to personnel of the British Military Advisory and Training Team that served in South Africa at the time.[2][3][4]

The South African militaryEdit

The Union Defence Forces (UDF) were established in 1912 and renamed the South African Defence Force (SADF) in 1958. On 27 April 1994 it was integrated with six other independent forces into the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).[5]

The Fount of Honour for all South Arican military decorations and medals is the President of South Africa.[6]

Award criteria for the Unitas MedalEdit

The Unitas Medal was instituted by the President on 4 November 1994 to commemorate the unification of defence forces and armed forces into the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) on 27 April 1994. The seven constituent military forces that were amalgamated were:

The Unitas Medal was awarded to all ranks that were on the active strength of these seven constituent military forces on 27 April 1994 and until at least 10 May 1994, and also to the President, the Minister of Defence and the Deputy Minister of Defence. Personnel of the British Military Advisory and Training Team (BMATT) that were serving in South Africa at the time were subsequently also awarded the Unitas Medal.[2][3][4]

Order of precedenceEdit

The position of the Unitas Medal in the official order of precedence was revised on 27 April 2003, when a new set of awards was instituted.[1]

From 27 April 1994
From 27 April 2003

DescriptionEdit

Obverse

The Unitas Medal is a medallion struck in bronze, 38 millimetres in diameter and 3 millimetres thick at the rim, displaying a sevenpointed star, charged with an embossed Greek lower case letter alpha within a circle. The star represents the seven constituent forces that formed the South African National Defence Force.[2][3]

Reverse

The reverse displays the embellished pre-1994 South African Coat of Arms above the year inscription "1994" and the word "Unity" in ten official languages around the perimeter, from the top, "BONGWE", "BOTEE", "BUNYE", "EENHEID", "KOPANO", "UBUNYE", "UMANYANO", "UNITY", "VHUTHIHI" and "VUN'WE", all in relief. The medal number is stamped below the Coat of Arms and the year inscription.[2]

Ribbon

The ribbon is 32 millimetres wide, with an 8 millimetres wide arctic blue band and a 4 millimetres wide white band, repeated in reverse order and separated by an 8 millimetres wide spectrum green band.[2][3]

DiscontinuationEdit

Conferment of the Unitas Medal was discontinued in respect of services performed on or after 10 May 1994 and the medal was officially discontinued on 27 April 2003.[2][7]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 477, no. 27376, Pretoria, 11 March 2005, OCLC 72827981
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Warrant of the President of the Republic of South Africa for the Institution of the "UNITAS MEDAL-UNITAS-MEDALJE", Gazette no. 16087 dated 25 November 1994.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 South African Medals Website - SA Defence Force : 1975-2003
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ministry of Defence (May 2008) (Adobe Acrobat). JSP761 - Honours and Awards in the Armed Forces (2nd ed.). London: UK Ministry of Defence. http://ndm-pr.webs.com/jsp761%5B1%5D.pdf. Retrieved 2010-06-05. 
  5. South African Medals Website - SA Defence Force : 1952-1975
  6. Republic of South Africa Government Gazette no. 26778, Pretoria, 17 September 2004

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