Using a service badge on a private memorial

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Find out how to get permission to use a service badge on a private memorial.

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What you can do

The family of a veteran who has died may choose to acknowledge their loved one’s service on a privately arranged memorial at the site of burial or ashes placement.

All ADF personnel are entitled to have their service badge inscribed on their private memorial. For most veterans, this will be the Navy, Army or Air Force badge. Those who served in the Merchant Navy are entitled to an Australian Merchant Navy badge.

You will need to get permission to use the badge from us first.

Unlike an official commemoration, a private memorial is arranged and paid for by the next-of-kin or executor. They are also responsible for its care and maintenance.

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What you will need

You will need to request permission from us to incorporate the service badge on a private memorial.

We will ask you to provide the veteran’s:

  • full name
  • service number
  • type of service (Navy, Army or Air Force)
  • proof of service.

Proof of service can include any of the following:

  • a copy of the veteran’s discharge certificate
  • a copy of the veteran’s pay book
  • supporting documentation from the relevant Defence office.

We already have the veteran’s details if they are listed on our DVA Nominal Rolls. You won’t need to provide this information to us again.

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How to apply

If the veteran served in the Second World War, Vietnam or the Korean War, you can get permission from us by using the DVA Nominal Rolls.

Once you’re on the veteran’s Service Record page, select the ‘Permission to Use Service Badge’ link. Then select the ‘Generate Letter’ button and print the permission letter from the roll yourself. You now have permission to use the service badge.

For all other conflicts, or as an alternative to searching the Nominal Roll, you can complete and return Form D9081 Request for permission to use the Service Badge to us.

You should also include one of the following with your request:

  • a discharge certificate
  • a statement of service
  • any official document showing their service number.

You may be able to request these from Defence.

You can email the form and other documents to us at wargraves [at] Or you can post them to Office of Australian War Graves, GPO Box 9998, Brisbane QLD 4001.

Other badges

The Department of Defence can provide copyright permission if you want to use an Australian badge or emblem other than the Navy, Army or Air Force badge. An example would be the badge of a particular Corps, such as the Infantry Corps.

To apply for permission, send your request to:

Defence Community Organisation
Russell Offices
Canberra ACT 2600

Or you can send an email to:

  • army.brandmanager [at]
  • raaf.brandmanager [at]
  • navy.brand [at]

To use emblems of foreign services, you can contact the relevant Embassy or High Commission.

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What happens next

After we have received your application, we will send you a letter of permission by post or email.

Once you have permission, it is up to you to arrange for the service badge to be included on the private memorial.

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What else you can do

You can:

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