Surname: Tanaka
Christian Names: Cody
Country: Australia
State or Province: Victoria
City or Town: Narre Warren South
Service: Nil
Case Notes:

Cody TANAKA, Alias BRYDEN, 36 years old of NARRE WARREN SOUTH, Victoria was caught out impersonating an army officer when he attended at the Narre Warren Police Station.


With his 15 years old son facing alleged car theft charges at Narre Warren Police Station through the front door marched his father - Cody TANAKA fully rigged out in Service Dress with the rank of Lieutenant, Sam Browne belt and a chest full of medal ribbons. What Unit badges did he wear I hear you ask - why none other than those of the Special Air Service Regiment (SASR) of course.


In the past two years the SAS Special Forces fighting in Afghanistan have been awarded two Victoria Crosses for Australia and countless other bravery medals - TANAKA proudly strutted his stuff into the police station and to the knowledgeable military observer he wore a Gallantry and Bravery ribbon as well as other ribbons depicting service in Iraq, Mozambique and East Timor.

The medals from left to right which were seized from his house are;

  1. Star of Gallantry

  2. Bravery Medal

  3. Australian Active Service Medal 1975, clasps ICAT, East Timor

  4. Iraq Medal

  5. Australian Service Medal 1975 clasp unknown

  6. Australian Defence Medal

  7. United Nations Medal Mozambique ONUMOZ

  8. United Nations Medal East Timor, UNAMET/UNTAET

  9. Timor Leste Solidarity Medal

ICAT stands for (International Coalition Against terrorism)

Whilst poncing around the police station an observant policeman clocked TANAKA and alarm bells rang inside his head...here was a known offender from the neighbourhood who had spent time in prison for offences involving dishonesty - what the Hell was he doing all trussed up like Audie MURPHY in his police station? 

The long arm of the law grabbed TANAKA and what unfolded from that moment has become the stuff of legendary proportions. With a search warrant the boys in blue invited themselves into TANAKA's home and confiscated uniforms, medals and no doubt other items of interest from burglaries in his local area including illegal firearms- it follows that the police communicated with the Defence department and it came as no surprise that the only uniforms their suspect ever wore were a school uniform and prison denim blue.

As can be seen in the photograph from the newspaper article, uniforms, medals, a Slouch hat, SAS beret and other military items were seized. On the slouch hat he is wearing the colour patch of the 1st Commando Regiment with the SAS badge, on his service dress jacket he is not wearing the SAS parachute wings, but the standard parachute wings normally issued to those completing a basic course and not to special units with their own design parachute wings. He is also wearing the wrong coloured lanyard and on the wrong side.


Charges of impersonating a Commonwealth public official, unauthorised use of defence emblems, improper use of defence service decorations, and impersonating a returned soldier were laid as stated in the article and he made his first Court appearance in November 2011.

TANAKA appeared again before the Dandenong Court in August 2012 and pleaded guilty to a number of burglaries, firearms offences, impersonating a Military officer and wearing military uniforms, insignias and decorations. He was subsequently sentenced to do 150 hours community work and ordered to seek assessment for treatment for alcohol, drug and mental health issues.

At his most recent court appearance TANAKA played the "sick card" and did all but swoon with fear because of his charges.

A Vietnam veteran with many years in the Victoria police (now retired) attended the court cases and in his expert opinion states that TANAKA will re-offend - the thrill of posing for photos at the Shrine of Remembrance whilst mockered-up is too tempting for him.

Tanaka has impersonated a Special Forces soldier which serving and ex serving members of Special Forces Units would find offensive and disrespectful to those who have served in those units. This would be even more offensive to relatives of Special Forces members who have died both in training and in action.

Cody TANAKA aka BRYDEN - you are a disgraceful recalcitrant who has earned perpetual placing on our wall of shame - sadly you are not alone and join the ranks of hundreds of others who would steal the honour of those who had the intestinal fortitude to do what you can only fantasise about.

This is published in the public interest, particularly that of the Vietnam Veteran Community. All information presented here is fact and the truth. Reports from private citizens are supported by statements of fact and statutory declarations.

Located in: Stolen Valour
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