Latest Cases

Latest Cases

Surname: Reeman
Christian Names: Graham John
Country: Australia
State or Province: Tasmania
City or Town: Circular Head
Service #: 6708703
Service: Army
Branch: Infantry
Commencement of service: 1966
Completion of service: Unknown
Case Notes:

 

 

WUReeman 1

The above photograph was taken at the Circular Head Vietnam Veterans Service in August 2016. It was actually part of a group photo taken on that day, one of the others in that photo is Michael FRENCH, who also appears on this site.

Reeman enlisted in the Australian Army as part of the first call-up of National Servicemen in 1966. He served a total of 322 days in Vietnam from 10 Jun 1967 to 26 Apr 1968, as part of 1 Australian Reinforcement Unit, and 7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment.

 

WUReeman 2

 

 In the above photograph, Reeman is wearing the following medals:

1. Australian Active Service Medal 1945 – 1975, (AASM 45-75) clasp Vietnam. Entitled.
2. Vietnam Medal. (VM) Entitled.
3. Australian Defence Medal. (ADM) Entitled.
4. Vietnam Campaign Medal. (VCM) Entitled.
5. Regular Force Service Medal. Tin junk medal, purchased.
6. Army Service Medal. Tin junk medal, purchased.

As a result of his service, he was appropriately awarded the above AASM 45-75 clasp Vietnam, VM, ADM and VCM. The same as everyone else who served for six months or more in Vietnam.

 WUReeman 3

WUReeman 4

The last two medals are tin worthless trinkets that should not be worn on the left side with genuine awarded medals. They are purchased adornments that have no standing whatsoever for military service in the Australian Defence Force.

They are -;

1. Regular Force Service Medal. Purchase price. $70.00. (RSM Awards)
2. Army Service Medal. Purchase Price $140.00 (English Tie and Medal Company)

These Medal Manufacturers make a lot of money plying their trade and selling tin medals to gullible and vain Australians who like to increase their rack for no other reason than to impress people.

Non ex-service individuals would have no idea that Reeman wears two tin purchased medals on his impressive rack.

There is one thing that the untrained eye may not notice in Reeman’s photo – that he is actually wearing miniatures of the above medals, exactly the same combination as the full size ones worn by French. Could we assume that on this particular day a photo opportunity arose and Reeman did not have his medals, and so borrowed French’s instead.

We say to Mr. Reeman, you have been amply rewarded for your respected military service. Your decision to wear those medals on that day, whatever the reason, is disrespectful and earned you a place on the ANZMI site along with your mate.

Surname: Watson
Christian Names: Dean
Country: Australia
State or Province: South Australia
City or Town: Port Elliot
Service #: Unknown
Service: Royal Australian Naval Reserve
Branch: Seaman
Commencement of service: 1966
Completion of service: Unknown
Case Notes:

 

WUWatson 1

Dean Watson is the President of the Port Elliot RSL Sub-Branch in South Australia.

The above photograph was taken on ANZAC Day 2016, just one of many taken over the years, where Watson has been wearing the following:

1.       Australian Service Medal 1945-75.

2.       Reserve Force Decoration.

3.       National Medal

4.       Australian Defence Medal.

5.       FESR Commemorative Medal (unofficial ‘junk’ medal).

Watson served for many years as an officer in the Royal Australian Naval Reserve (RANR) and retired with the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

Watson did, however, serve a short period of continuous service in 1966, when he was part of the officer complement on the survey vessel HMAS Diamantina.

It is this period of sea service that underpins this particular case and clearly evidences that, apart from Watson wearing an unofficial medal, he also has no entitlement to be wearing the ASM 1945-75.

Watson was contacted regarding his entitlement to the ASM 1945-75, and provided the following response:

“I was a Reservist on full time service during 1966 on HMAS Diamantina. Subsequently, I found out that it had been attached to FESR while carrying out oceanographic work Up Top in the second half of the year.

I assume everyone in the ship in that period would have qualified for the ASM 45-75 if they had not already or later qualified in other ships”.

All of HMA Ships supply a monthly report to Naval Headquarters, listing significant events in the day-to-day operation of each vessel. These are known as a Report of Proceedings (ROPs) and are available for the public to access on the Australian War Memorial website. These reports go on to make a lasting history of our Australian Navy and its’ involvement in all conflicts up to, and including, Vietnam.

The ROPs for Diamantina, for the period August to November 1966, were examined and relevant entries, regarding ships’ location, are as follows:

August

2                  Set sail for Christmas Island

3 to 10          Surveys conducted off Christmas Island

10                Crossed Australian Station limit CHOPPED to COMFEF

12 to 24        Singapore, Scientific Operation MONSEA

25 to 29        Singapore

29                Sail to commence OP MONSEA in South China Sea

September

1 to 11          Trials between Hong Kong and Singapore

12 to 13        Subic Bay

14                Gulf of Lingayen

22 to 30        Hong Kong

October

1 to 6            Hong Kong

7 to 17          South China Sea surveys

18 to 22        Singapore

23 to 31        OP MONSEA

November

1 to 5            OP MONSEA

7 to 8            Singapore and slip at 1600h

8                  Sail for Fremantle

15 to 30        Alongside Fremantle for refit

Nowhere in the ROPs is Diamantina recorded as being assigned to FESR as part of the Australian Far East Fleet. The entry on 10 August 1966, “CHOPPED to COMFEF” however, could give rise to the mistaken belief of the crew that the ship was performing duties as part of the FESR. COMFEF refers to ‘Commander, Far East Fleet’.

Confirmation has been received from the Navy Historical Unit in Canberra, confirming Diamantina was never attached to FESR. In relation to the reference ‘CHOPPED to COMFEF’, this indicates signal handling procedures in that all signal traffic for Diamantina came under the distribution list of COMFEF for as long as the vessel was in that area.

Watson was again contacted, this time with the new information, and the following response was received:

“When I became aware of the FESR award, I applied to Defence Honours and Awards stating my period in the ship and much later received the medal. Consequently, I am unaware of the exact period the ship was attached to FESR. There would have been a CHOP signal after the ship sailed from Singapore for Fremantle in late October/early November, but I am unaware of it”.

The involvement of the ADF, be it Navy, Army or Airforce, during the ‘Indonesian Confrontation’ has been a very contentious issue, specifically in the determination of type of service rendered – ‘warlike’, ‘non-warlike’ or ‘peacetime service’ and the appropriate entitlements for each type of service.

In 1999, a review examined possible anomalies in service entitlements, affecting members of the ADF who served in South-East Asia during the period 1955-75. The review was chaired by Major General R.F. Mohr, the final report, at 176 pages, became known as ‘The Mohr Report’.

The following extract from this report concerns Diamantina:

During the review there had been a number of enquiries regarding the involvement of Diamantina in the Indonesian Confrontation and the FESR in general.

Submissions argued that Diamantina served in the South-East Asian region, including in areas of conflict, and that its crew’s service should therefore be recognised as qualifying service. Submissions added that the fact that personnel serving with the ship were not allotted for service as part of a conflict should not disqualify them from having their service recognised as qualifying service.

The review thoroughly investigated the service of Diamantina and determined that the ship, although it entered the operational area, did not have a mission to pursue military objectives in connection with Confrontation. There was no evidence to suggest that Diamantina had active rules of engagement allowing the use of lethal force or that the level of threat was such that there was an expectation of casualties. Given the similar circumstances of HMAS Moresby, it was concluded that these two ships did not render warlike service in connection with confrontation. Moreover, as the roles of Diamantina and Moresby were to conduct scientific research and surveying respectively, it was concluded that the classification of ‘non-warlike’ service under the VEA would not be appropriate.

In summary: HMAS Diamantina was not involved in the Confrontation, nor was it ever allotted for duty with the FESR, therefore the crew would not be entitled to the award of the AASM 1945-75 (with clasp MALAYA) or the ASM 1945-75 (with clasp FESR).

In 2003, this was further confirmed in the Review of Veterans Entitlements – Department of Veterans Affairs.

 

WUWatson 2

 Once again, Watson was contacted, with the suggestion, he may have been awarded the ASM 1945-75 in error. Watson was also asked if an official letter was received and were his service details engraved on the edge of the medal.

Watson replied:

“I received the ASM with FESR clasp accompanied by SOM, DNPS(M) letter through MHQ advising the Governor General had approved the award”.

Watson did not respond to the question why a man of his experience would be wearing a commemorative medal alongside official medals. One would assume that an ex-serviceman, RSL Sub-Branch President and former Secretary of the Naval Association of Australia, would be well aware of medal protocol.

Dean Watson, the evidence is overwhelming – you do not have an entitlement to the ASM 1945-75, for your service in 1966 onboard Diamantina and have now earnt the award of appearing on the ANZMI site.

Surname: Welbourn
Christian Names: Anthony (Tony) Paul
Country: Australia
State or Province: Victoria
City or Town: Horsham
Service #: 4719397
Service: Army (National Service)
Branch: Royal Australian Engineers
Commencement of service: 1967
Completion of service: 1969
Case Notes:

 

 

Tony Welbourn blames ignorance and bad advice for his medals offences. His excuse is "lame" and he is either a liar or the only Vietnam Veteran in history to not know about this simple medals protocol.

 Welbourn 1 2017 04 08

Here is a close up of the medals Welbourn is wearing.

 

Welbourn 2 2017 04 08

The medals are:

Australian Active Service Medal with Clasp Vietnam

Vietnam Medal

National Emergency Medal

National Medal

Australian Defence Medal

Commemoration of National Service Medal

Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal (RVCM) Not entitled.

Vietnam Veterans Medal (VVM) Tin Trinket that has no integrity.

 

Welbourn earned Four medals for his service in the Defence Force and Two for his civilian Community Service, a total of Six, but added the last Two with the excuse,

that before his discharge from the Army, a couple of Army Officers told him it was OK to wear the RVCM and the VVM medals.

 

Here is what he said in response to our request to provide information about his entitlement to wear the medals

"VCM (sic)

You are correct I did not serve the 180 days requirement however on departure from Vietnam (November 68) I was clearly advised by the OC of my Unit Major xxxxxxxx that as my original posting was for 12 months (May 68-May 69) and I was being sent home to Australia, for a medical procedure, I was entitled to be awarded this medal.

This same information was passed to me on my completion of N S (June 69) by the Adelaide holding unit O C (Capt xxxxxxxxxx. Basis (sic) this information / advice at the time I have worn same.

 

Here is the criterion for the RVCM:

Welbourn 3 2017 04 08

Welbourn served only 141 days in Vietnam not the required 181 days and was not returned to Australia for any reason relating to enemy activity

Here is what he said about the VVM

Welbourn 4 2017 04 08

"Vietnam Veterans Medal –

This medal was issued (No.739) in the early 1970’s.

At the time I was advised the wearing of this medal was approved by the Govt of the day as long as same was positioned on the far left of all / any other service medals.

Having seen, over time, other Veterans wearing the same medal I have just assumed all was in order."

Regarding the VVM, despite Welbourn saying "The medal was issued (No739) in the early6 1970s" the VVM was never issued to any person, it is, and always has been a self purchased bit of "Bling" that has no integrity whatsoever.

As soon as we contacted him he agreed to remove the medals. Here is what he said:

"Given the above I hereby declare that at no time was I aware the two medals in question should not have been worn as per medal protocol. The medals have been worn in nothing but good faith. Should you advise / instruct these medals be withdrawn / removed I shall guarantee to immediately make contact with my medal provider and have same removed."

We are pleased that Welbourn has chosen to stop embarrassing himself by wearing false medals, however because he wore them for Forty Eight years and now promises to remove them, we will go easy on him and promise to remove him from this website after Forty Eight years. We have made note on our Calendar for the year Twenty One Seventy Five.

ANZMI has been operating in one form or another for Twenty years and still the message does not penetrate that if you falsify any aspect of your Defence Service you will end up occupying space on this website.

Every town in Australia has Returned Veterans, ex Servicemen and Women and Citizens who will report medals' offenders and Wannabes. Our work will continue until the last cheat is exposed.

Surname: Ouchirenko
Christian Names: Alexander
Country: Australia
State or Province: Victoria
City or Town: Mildura
Service #: R45480
Service: RAN
Branch: Seaman
Commencement of service: 02 Jul 51
Completion of service: 13 Feb 55
Case Notes:

 

 

Alex Ouchirenko, has, for many years faithfully served the Returned Services League (RSL) and is currently the President of the Mildura RSL Sub-Branch.

One would expect that the President of a Sub-Branch would be a person of integrity and honour, unfortunately in the case of Ouchirenko, things are not quite what they seem.

 WUOuchirenko1

 

Ouchirenko has been photographed at several commemorative services, both in Mildura and at the Australian War Memorial, during a National service for the end of the Korean War.

At such events, it is a given, protocol dictates that dress of the day includes ‘full service medals’ are to be worn. On each occasion he has been photographed wearing only ribbons, representing the following medals:

1.       United Nations Service Medal (Korea).

2.       Australian Service Medal 1945-75.

3.       Australian Defence Medal.

 

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Ouchirenko is entitled to the first two medals, given his service in Korean waters on HMAS Arunta from January to October 1954.

The medal in question, is the Australian Defence Medal (ADM), and an examination of records discloses that Ouchirenko has no entitlement to this medal.

Prior to the computer era, personal records of Naval Ratings and Officers were maintained on an A3 sized form. The service records for all RAN sailors and officers who served in the Korean and Vietnam periods are now digitised and available for public access on the National Archives of Australia (NAA) website.

The NAA record for Alexander Ouchirenko, R45480, was obtained and extracts appear below.

 WUOuchirenko3

Ouchirenko first entered the RAN on 02 Jul 1951. At that time, new entrants did not have to enter into a period of engagement until completion of basic training.

On 27 Jan 1952, he commenced an engagement of service for a period of six years. This is also known as an ‘initial enlistment period’.

The qualifying periods of service for the award of the ADM are set out in the Australian Defence Medal Regulations 2006.

 1                    Award of the Medal

  1. The Medal may be awarded to a member, or former member, of the Defence Force who after 3 September 1945 has given qualifying service that is efficient service:
    1. by completing an initial enlistment period; or
    2. for a period of not less than 4 years service; or
    3. for periods that total not less than 4 years; or
    4. for a period or periods that total less than 4 years, being service that the member was unable to continue for one or more of the following reasons:
      1. the death of the member during service;
      2. the discharge of the member as medically unfit due to a compensable impairment;
      3. the discharge of the member due to a prevailing discriminatory Defence policy, as determined by the Chief of the Defence Force or his or her delegate.

 Although he had an initial enlistment period of six years, he only required four years of service to qualify.

 The Regulations specify ‘efficient’ service, as such, time forfeited whilst absent without leave (AWOL) and/or serving a sentence of detention is not included.

WUOuchirenko4

During his service, Ouchirenko was AWOL several times, for which he received a total of 47 days’ detention, of which 10 days of a 42 day sentence were remitted.

For these punishments, he forfeited 37 days ‘efficient’ service.

Unfortunately, some areas of his NAA record have deteriorated over time due to being completed in pencil, and are unclear. What should appear is how many days Ouchirenko was AWOL, on each occasion, these days also not being included as ‘efficient’ service as the member forfeits pay also whilst absent.

WUOuchirenko5 

 

Here the record shows ‘DIA 13-2-55’. This indicates that at some time in early 1955, he again went AWOL. As is RAN policy, where a sailor is AWOL for more than 30 days, they are subject to a Discharge In Absence (DIA) and a warrant issued for their arrest. The warrant for Ouchirenko was cancelled on 21 May 1957, a clear indication that the Navy did not want him back.

Not only did he fail to complete his initial enlistment, he was also at least five months’ service short of qualifying for the ADM, due to his disciplinary issues and subsequent discharge for being absent.

Alexander Ouchirenko, you have given many years of dedicated service to an organisation that has honour and integrity as its’ very foundation. You have betrayed your own service by your deceit and earned a place amongst like-minded RSL executive members on the ANZMI site.

Surname: Boyd
Christian Names: Michael David
Country: Australia
State or Province: Queensland
City or Town: Toowoomba
Service #: R95822
Service: RAN
Branch: Writer
Commencement of service: 04 Jan 67
Completion of service: Jan 87
Case Notes:

 

 

Michael Boyd is presently assisting ex-service members as an Advocate with Veterans Services, RSL, Queensland Branch, based in Toowoomba.

Boyd has had a long career in public service, first, serving with the Royal Australian Navy from 1967 to 1987, and followed by several positions with the State and Federal Public Service.

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The above photograph was not taken at any ex-service commemoration or official function, but is however, available on the internet for all to see.

 It is said “A picture can paint a thousand words”, however, in this instance only one word springs to mind, namely “Peacock”!

 Boyd looks resplendent with 10 medals on that rack, along with the huge star on his lower breast, and a charming neck decoration.

The first five medals may be quite relevant to Boyd’s Naval service, the remaining five medals, along with the accoutrements, are purely for ‘dress-ups’ and should never be seen mixed with official Australian awards for service.

 WUBoyd 2

The shiny trinkets relate to Boyd’s membership of The Most Honourable Order of Christian Knights of the Rose. Boyd has been invested as , no less than, a Knight Commander of the Rose.

The Most Honourable Order of Christian Knights of the Rose (KoR) was created at the beginning of the third millennium with the intent of upholding values that precede the second millennium. That is, Christian standards of conduct known simply as ‘chivalry’. A ‘Code of Chivalry’ was never really written down, but passed down through the ages. Old stories of Camelot, Charlemagne and Crusader Orders like the Knights Templar all added to its being. The KoR was created with the belief that the need for chivalry is as great today as is was in those older times in which these stories take place.

The above certificate also confers on Boyd the designation of ‘DSR’, for his public service to defence and Government. DSR is the abbreviation of ‘Dagger Sub-Rosa’.

Dagger Sub-Rosa; this is an insignia featuring a crusader's dagger set behind an heraldic rose. It may be worn or displayed on cards and stationery by those members who have a bona-fide service history involving intelligence or investigative work in a military, law enforcement, or church related role. Internally, the member may use the post nominal DSR to indicate their personal qualification within the Order.

The question to be asked is what is Boyd’s ‘bona-fide service history involving intelligence or investigative work’?

Boyd’s LinkedIn profile shows his employment history, starting with the Navy, where he was, apparently, quite a ‘Terror of the Seas’, but no mention of intelligence or investigation. This would be reasonable as he was a ‘Writer’ or administration clerk in civilian terminology.

 

 WUBoyd 3

Nor does the rest of his employment history disclose any hint of relevant derring-do.

 WUBoyd 4

Available records do not disclose any service by Boyd for the awarding of the Australian Service Medal 1945-75, or the Papua New Guinea Independence Medal. However, that does not discount his service as records beyond 1970 are not available in the public domain. Boyd was given the opportunity to confirm his entitlement to those service awards but chose not to respond.

The KoR Standard of Conduct, known simply as ‘Chivalry’, is the foundation of that organisation. Chivalry includes ‘honesty’ and parading around with pretend medals is far from honest behaviour, no matter what the time or place.

Michael David Boyd, you may now hold Court with fellow Princes’, Knights, Lords and Ladies, who grace the pages of ANZMI.

Surname: Beren
Christian Names: Arthur Black
Country: New Zealand
State or Province: North Island
City or Town: Kerikeri
NZ -Which Island:
  • North Island
Service #: R63055
Service: RAN
Branch: Electrical
Commencement of service: 08 mar 64
Completion of service: Unknown
Case Notes:

 

 

Arthur Black Beren (formerly known as Arthur Taiono) was born in the Cook Islands, spending his early years there before moving to Australia, where in 1964, he joined the Royal Australian Navy.

Postings included HMAS Melbourne, HMAS Duchess and HMAS Yarra, involving operational service as part of the Far East Strategic Reserve, and later off Vietnam.

 

WUBeren1

 

The above photograph appeared in several online articles, both in the United States and New Zealand in 2014 and 2015. Arthur can be seen wearing the following medals:

1.       Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75 (entitled)

2.       Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal (entitled)

3.       Australian Service Medal 1945-1975 (entitled)

4.       Regular Forces Service Medal (unofficial ‘tin’ medal)

 

WUBeren2

 

The Regular Forces Service Medal is a commemorative item, more aptly described as ‘junk’. Protocol dictates that such items are never to be worn with official medals and if they are to be worn (though never at an official function), it is on the right breast.

Arthur eventually retired from the RAN and moved to New Zealand, where he is the Honourary Welfare Treasurer of the Kerikeri Returned Services Association (RSA). The wearing of this offensive medal surely denigrates his own service history and his position within the RSA Executive.

The issue here, although seemingly minor, is that Arthur, along with so many others who grace the ANZMI site, have seen fit to add a piece of ‘junk’ to their medal rack to look just that little more impressive and important.

Arthur, if you feel so strongly that you need another medal, ditch that worthless piece of tin. Instead, write to Defence Honours and Awards to receive your Australian Defence Medal, for which you are very much entitled to for your service to Australia.

In the meantime, welcome to the ANZMI site.

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