Today is National Serviceman’s Day

Each year on February 14th, we commemorate National Serviceman’s Day, a solemn occasion dedicated to honouring the selfless and invaluable contributions of those who answered their nation’s call to duty.

Dating back to the early 1950s and spanning through the tumultuous era of the Vietnam War, more than 280,000 individuals proudly bore the title of “Nasho,” symbolizing their unwavering commitment to safeguarding their homeland. The inaugural National Service scheme, extending from 1951 to 1959, stands as a testament to the dedication of over 220,000 men who underwent rigorous training spanning three months across various branches of the military, including the Royal Australian Navy, the Australian Army, and the Royal Australian Air Force. These brave young Australians willingly set aside their personal aspirations, putting the needs of their country above all else.

The subsequent National Service scheme, operational from 1965 to 1972, called upon more than 60,000 young men to serve, with over 15,300 bravely participating in the Vietnam War while others dutifully expanded the Army’s strength on home soil when it was most needed. Seamlessly integrated into regular army units, these Nashos, initially trained by seasoned soldiers, eventually received training from their fellow peers as well. In Vietnam and Borneo, they proved themselves equal to any challenge, displaying remarkable courage and resilience alongside their regular counterparts as they navigated the trials of war.

Yet, amidst their valour, tragedy struck, with over 200 National Servicemen losing their lives or perishing during their service in Vietnam and Borneo. Like all those whose names grace the Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, their sacrifice stands as an indelible part of Australia’s proud history. The debt owed to the 1200 Nashos who suffered wounds and to all who have served and endured hardships for the nation remains immeasurable and unrepayable.

Today, as we pause to reflect upon the enduring legacy of these 280,000 individuals, we pay homage to their indomitable spirit, unwavering dedication, and remarkable courage in the face of adversity. To each and every one of them, we extend our heartfelt gratitude for their invaluable contributions to the defence and prosperity of our nation.

Their memory will forever remain etched in our hearts, and their sacrifices will never be forgotten.

Lest we forget.

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One comment

  • David Kelly February 15, 2024   Reply →

    Who do we contact to suggest the Fed Govt bring back Nashos and School Cadets? We need to do something to strengthen our Defence System.

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