De Wet Decoration

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De Wet Decoration
De Wet Decoration.jpg
Awarded by the State President and, from 1994, the President
Country South Africa  South Africa
Type Military long service decoration
Eligibility Members of the Commandos
* Officers only from 1965 to 1986
* All ranks after 1986
Awarded for 20 years loyal service and good conduct
Status Discontinued in 2003
Clasps 30 years service
Post-nominals DWD
Statistics
Established 1965
SADF pre-1994 & SANDF post-2002 orders of wear
Next (higher)
SADF precedence:
SANDF precedence:
Next (lower)
SADF succession:
SANDF succession:
Ribbon - De Wet Decoration.gif Ribbon - De Wet Decoration & Button.png
Ribbon bars for 20 and 30 years of service

The De Wet Decoration, post-nominal letters DWD, was a military long service decoration that was instituted by the Republic of South Africa in 1965. It was awarded to members of the Commandos, the rural civil defence component of the South African Defence Force, for twenty years of efficient service and good conduct. The decoration was initially reserved for officers, but it was made available to all ranks in 1986. A clasp could be awarded after thirty years service.[1][2][3]

The South African military[edit]

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).[1]

Orders, decorations and medals[edit]

In April 1952 a series of military decorations and medals was instituted, consisting of substitutes for many of the British and Commonwealth awards which had earlier been used. More decorations and medals, as well as an emblem for being mentioned in dispatches, were added between 1953 and 1970. In July 1975 the military decorations and medals of the Republic were revised. Some decorations and medals were carried over from the earlier series of 1952-1975 and new awards were instituted, followed by more between 1987 and 1991. Finally, all but one of these earlier awards were discontinued in respect of services performed on or after 27 April 2003, when a new set of nine decorations and medals was instituted to replace them.[1][2][4][5][6]

Fount of Honour[edit]

Until 1958 the top three awards were reserved for conferment by the Queen while the rest were awarded by the Governor-General, but in 1958 the Governor-General was authorised to also award the top three. In 1961 the State President became the Fount of Honour, and in 1994 the President.[1][7]

Award criteria[edit]

The De Wet Decoration, post-nominal letters DWD, was instituted by the Republic of South Africa in 1965 for award to officers of the Commandos, the rural civil defence component of the South African Defence Force, for twenty years of efficient service and good conduct. The decoration was made available to all ranks in 1986. It was named after Second Boer War General Christiaan de Wet. The De Wet Decoration was one of only three South African military awards for long service that entitled the recipient to the use of post-nominal letters, the others being the John Chard Decoration (JCD) that was awarded to Citizen Force members, and the defunct Efficiency Decoration (South Africa) (ED).[1][3][8]

A clasp could be awarded to holders of the De Wet Decoration after 30 years service. When medals are not worn, recipients of the clasp wear a button with the encircled letters "DWD" on the ribbon bar.[2]

Order of wear[edit]

The position of the De Wet Decoration in the official order of precedence was revised three times to accommodate the institution or addition of new decorations and medals, first with the integration into the South African National Defence Force on 27 April 1994, again when decorations and medals were belatedly instituted in April 1996 for the two former non-statutory forces, the Azanian People's Liberation Army and Umkhonto we Sizwe, and again when a new series of military decorations and medals was instituted in South Africa on 27 April 2003, but it remained unchanged on all three occasions.[9][10]

John Chard Decoration (JCD) De Wet Decoration (DWD) Cadet Corps Medal

Official SANDF order of precedence
Official national order of precedence
  • Preceded by the John Chard Decoration (JCD) of the Republic of South Africa.
  • Succeeded by the Cadet Corps Medal of the Republic of South Africa.[9][10]

Description[edit]

Obverse

The De Wet Decoration is a medallion struck in silver, 38 millimetres in diameter and 3 millimetres thick, depicting Second Boer War General Christiaan de Wet on horseback, surrounded by a wreath of proteas and inscribed "DEKORASIE ~ DE WET ~ DECORATION".[1]

Reverse

The reverse has the pre-1994 South African Coat of Arms, with the decoration number stamped or engraved below.

Ribbon

The ribbon is 32 millimetres wide with a 3 millimetres wide green band, a 2 millimetres wide white band and an 8 millimetres wide yellow band, repeated in reverse order and separated by a 6 millimetres wide dark blue band in the centre.

Clasp

30 years clasp version 1 30 years clasp version 2

The clasp is in silver, with the encircled letters "DWD" embossed in the centre. Two versions of the clasp exist, the original with the tops and bottoms of the characters "DWD" following the circumference of the circle, and a second version with the bottoms of the characters in line. Members who had been awarded the clasp wear a silver button, 8 millimetres in diameter and inscribed "DWD", on the ribbon bar when medals are not worn.

Discontinuation[edit]

Conferment of the De Wet Decoration was discontinued in respect of services performed on or after 27 April 2003.[6][11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f South African Medal Website - SA Defence Force : 1952-1975 (Accessed 30 April 2015)
  2. ^ a b c South African Medal Website - SA Defence Force : 1975-2003 (Accessed 30 April 2015)
  3. ^ a b South African Medal Website - Post-nominal Letters (Accessed 28 April 2015)
  4. ^ Suid-Afrikaanse militêre dekorasies: 1952-1975
  5. ^ Suid-Afrikaanse militêre dekorasies: 1975-2003
  6. ^ a b Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 457, no. 25213, Pretoria, 25 July 2003
  7. ^ Alexander, E.G.M., Barron, G.K.B. and Bateman, A.J. (1986). South African Orders, Decorations and Medals. Human and Rousseau.
  8. ^ a b c Republic of South Africa Government Gazette no. 15093, Pretoria, 3 September 1993
  9. ^ a b c Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 477, no. 27376, Pretoria, 11 March 2005, OCLC 72827981
  10. ^ Republic of South Africa Government Gazette no. 26778, Pretoria, 17 September 2004