- North Island
You would have to wonder at the sheer audacity of some blokes. Here we have Freddie Scherzer, all ship shape and Bristol fashion as our matelot colleagues would say, proudly graduating from an RAAF Dog Handler’s course. But a not very clear photo taken on the day is very interesting.
On Scherzer’s dress uniform we can see what are believed to be an Australian Active Service Medal (AASM) with 2 clasps, Iraq 2001 and ICAT, the Afghanistan Medal, the Iraq Medal and the NATO medal with ISAF clasp. No doubt a very impressive rack topped off with a Meritorious Unit Citation and the Army Combat Badge.
The only cloudy moment on what was probably a very fine day for Freddie is that he is not entitled to wear any of the medals.
A section of Scherzer’s former LinkedIn profile (since removed) makes for good reading:
“I have been responsible and involved in the planning, management and supervision of high standard construction tasks and continuous training conducted by the Australian Army in Australian and overseas communities; this includes the erection of bridges and other structures, the production of potable water, the management and supervision of over 100 local and foreign soldiers and the accurate advice and direction to superiors throughout various tasks.
In this position, I was able to manage superiors and subordinates effectively and efficiently, work with various government agencies in Australia and overseas and be able to communicate with various groups and individuals. A career highlight was accepting the role and responsibility to detect and disarm improvised or conventional explosives whilst serving overseas with my explosive detection dog.”
Sounds as if Freddy was quite a digger! But what is the real story? From what we have been told, this is the reality of Scherzer’s military service.
In March 2008 Friederich Franz Scherzer joined the Australian Army at the age of 19. Following basic training he was allocated to the Royal Australian Engineers. He successfully completed a number of courses including one which left him qualified as a basic combat engineer. However, from what we are lead to believe we are confident he was not involved in any training in the army which would qualify him as an IED dog handler.
Early in 2011 Scherzer seems to have left the Australian Army and commenced service with the RAAF. He completed a basic security course before finishing training as a basic dog handler. Freddie and his dog then carried out security duties at both Richmond and Amberley RAAF bases. Sometime in early 2012, Scherzer and the military parted company. The only award he is entitled to is the Australian Defence Medal (ADM))
Yet again we have a man who has served his country in 2 arms of the military, an achievement he should be well satisfied with. Unfortunately like many former service personnel whose stories come the way of ANZMI, Friederich Franz Scherzer has decided to guild the lily.
In ANZMI rankings, Scherzer is a first class medal cheat. Not only is this an affront to all Australians who served their country, it’s a disgrace to the RAAF uniform he dishonoured on that graduation day. But you have to ask yourself, why did not one senior NCO or officer present at that graduation parade not asks questions about Scherzer’s impressive awards?
And is often the case with frauds such as Freddie Scherzer, he has regaled a number of his former military colleagues with many tales of daring do. He claimed to have served as an Engineer with 1CER based out of Holsworthy NSW and that he had deployed three times within his short Army career. During his overseas service he claimed to have been involved in fire fights with the Taliban and that he had engaged and took the lives of enemy fighters. We find that this is pretty standard modus operandi of wannabes like Scherzer.
On another occasion in Freddie’s vivid imagination he was involved in a search for explosives when a child came out of a house and began firing at his patrol group. Quick as a flash and with a well-honed veteran’s skill Scherzer returned fire and killed the kid. Fred then claimed that the child’s mother picked up the weapon forcing him to also take her out. Those of us familiar with the film American Sniper will have a sense of déjà vu at this point of Scherzer’s war exploits.
Another tale that seems to also have an American Sniper ring to it is Scherzer claiming to have been on a sat ‘phone talking to his partner back in Australia and coming under fire. Ever cool Freddie ended the call by saying that he ‘had to go’. Quite a man!
This stuff goes on and on; Fred patrolling in board shorts because of the heat, Fred being the first breacher during compound raids, exiting a tunnel and taking enemy fire only to be saved by his body armour and so on and so on! Not content with these fabulous ‘warries’, during the RAAF dog-handler’s course, Scherzer would occasionally flash the legendary sand coloured beret of the SASR. This he said he gained when he was posted to the SAS as a quartermaster! Freddie is obviously versatile as well.
And yet again we get another taste of Hollywood with Freddie claimed that while on patrol in Afghanistan, his patrol entered a building, previously occupied by the Taliban and found a suitcase containing $US 100,000. This is almost a scaled down story very much like the Gulf War movie, Three Kings. Scherzer says that he and his mates shared and pocketed the cash, which was later smuggled back to Australia in their trunks. But Scherzer was always prepared for close questioning about his exploits, hiding behind his ‘PTSD’ to end the conversation.
Over the years ANZMI has exposed numerous medal frauds, cheats and wannabes from virtually all conflicts involving Australian Defence Forces from the Second World War through to Iraq and Afghanistan. But in recent years we have seen a rise in the numbers of myth perpetrators of more contemporary conflicts such as Somalia, East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Sometimes it seems that our work will never be done.
For all his bravado, Freddie has earned his place on this site.