The Canine Operational Service Medal was introduced on 8 June 2017 to recognise the contribution Military Working Dogs make whilst serving on operations. The Medal forms part of Defence's internal recognition scheme and is not part of the Australian Honours and Awards System. The Australian Defence Force is the first Defence Force to implement recognition of this nature.
The Medal will be awarded to Military Working Dogs who have 30 days service continuous or aggregated on a declared operation.
Phase one of the project will focus on identifying Military Working Dogs with service on operations from East Timor (1999) to current day. Phase two will focus on Defence conducting research to identify Military Working Dogs with service from Vietnam onwards.