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In certain cases, equivalent training was recognised as National Service SERVICE NUMBERS Navy National Service numbers were followed by NS (i.e. 2/771128 or A111409 ) usually indicated the State in which the trainee was called up: 1 Queensland, 2 New South Wales, 3 Victoria, 4 South Australia, 5 Western Australia, 6 Tasmania and 1 (later 8) Papua New Guinea..

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In the first scheme from 1951 to 1959, National Servicemen could nominate a Service preference but in practice most were allocated to units near their homes.

The Navy and Air Force gave preference to family of former personnel or members of Cadet units.

National Service was part of Australia’s defence preparedness for three decades.

THE BACKGROUND National Service was a product of the post-World War Two global and regional conflicts facing Australia.

National Servicemen were on Naval ships that visited Korean waters during hostilities.

They also were at the atomic bomb tests in 1952 at Monte Bello Islands in Western Australia and in 1956 at Maralinga in South Australia. TRAINING PERIOD Under the National Service Act 1951, all young men turning 18 on or after l November 1950 were required to undertake 176 days standard recruit training in the Navy, Army and Air Force, followed by five years in their respective Reserves. The first call-up notices were issued on 12 April 1951 and the first National Servicemen, for the RAAF, marched in during July. The Navy required its National Servicemen for 124 days continuous training and then thirteen days training each year for four years in the Naval Reserve. These began with the Berlin blockade by the Soviet Union in 1948, the first Arab-Israeli war the same year, Communist insurgencies in Malaya and Vietnam, Communist North Korea’s invasion of South Korea in 1950, the Suez Canal crisis of 1956, confrontation with Indonesia in Borneo in 1963 and the Vietnam War. The threat of nuclear war hung over the entire world. It also reduced the call-up through a birthday ballot from the second intake of 1957.

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