Entries with Surname (Title)s starting with 'C'
Scott Ronald Cooper the case of the Daggy Spy
Authors, poets and artists are allowed a modicum of poetic licence, however when it comes to falsely claiming to be a Vietnam Veteran, ANZMI gives no leeway Scott Cooper, author liar and wannabe, claims to have served in Vietnam and to have been a Spy. Cooper is certainly an author and certainly a liar but he did not serve in Vietnam and was not a spy.
Scott Cooper’s career as a “spy” coincides with the time he was a Signaller (equivalent to Private soldier) in the Royal Australian Corps of Signals. During his six years service he was never promoted and because of his bad behaviour was not allowed to re-enlist – in fact he was sacked. His commanding Officer sent a letter to Headquarters in Brisbane dated 9 July 1973. We hold a copy of the letter but as it contains considerable personal information we will only publish relevant excerpts:
Para 1 of the letter
The above mentioned soldier was reengaged for a further three years on the 16 April 1973.Based on subordinate commanders reports I recommended the re-engagement on the 19 February 1973, three days after assuming command of x Signal Regiment, since that time a number of incidents have occurred to cause me reconsider the situation and I now believe the re-engagement should be vetoed.
After considerable consideration I am of the opinion that Sig Cooper is undisciplined, immature, irresponsible, disloyal and dishonest, and that the word picture of him painted in April 1969 (Annex B) is still fairly accurate.
I therefore recommend that Sig Cooper's re-engagement be vetoed under the terms of MBI 171-1. Pending decision I have taken steps to stop payment of the members re-engagement bonus cheque.
The letter was signed XXXXXXX XXXXX Lieutenant Colonel CO X Sig Regt.
Cooper must have been told of the request to sack him because on the 10 Jul 1973 one day after his Commanding Officers letter to Headquarters he wrote a request to be discharged. As shown in the following document, Cooper’s complaint was that the Army was simply not performing to his standards and therefore he wanted to grab his ball and go home.
Cooper was a junior soldier who carried out the duties of a private soldier – no more no less. We are reliably advised that his postings included working in an intelligence environment, however a Private soldier does what he is told and does it when he is told. Scott Cooper greatly and dishonestly exaggerates his role in the Army with tales of intelligence mystique and skulduggery.
We will deal firstly with Cooper’s claims that he served in Vietnam, he is known to have made these claims from the mid Eighties through to the present time. He started whilst living in Warrnambool, Victoria when he applied to join the local Vietnam Veterans Association. A Veteran from Warrnambool said:
“Scott tried to join the local Viet Veterans group around the time of the welcome home parade, we found out he had never served in Vietnam, he stated the old story about Security reasons for not being listed and papers being lost”
We are also reliably advised that Cooper attended an ANZAC Day parade wearing Vietnam medals, but left the parade at the request of genuine veterans.
We hold numerous Statutory Declarations regarding Cooper’s claims to have served in Vietnam
He enlisted into the Army on the 17th April 1967 in Melbourne and was discharged (sacked) on 1st August 1973. He was sacked because he was undisciplined, immature, irresponsible, dishonest and disloyal and couldn’t be trusted as a Private soldier in the Army let alone be trusted to be a 007 on Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
Ordinary servicemen and ordinary citizens know little of the intelligence fraternity or what individual roles are however we have been advised that a private soldier of Cooper’s ilk would have been employed as follows:
Whilst in the job of Operator Signals (Op Sig) he was not employed on communications duties. As an Op Sig, he was employed on intelligence-related duties - although not in the field and not as an intelligence officer, analyst or other type of operative (or spy) which he claims. His duties in Australia and Singapore would have consisted of helping man a facility within a secure Australian base where they listened in to and recorded foreign signals traffic".
He served only in Australia and Singapore. His Singapore service was as a Private soldier in a communications facility; he was accompanied by his family and was in Singapore for one year and Two Hundred and Twelve Days. The inserts below show his arrival and departure from Singapore.
Cooper has written a novel, which is a work of speculative fiction. He intimates in his publicity blurb that he worked in the murky world of Spies. This is one of his statements
“Former Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt was kidnapped and murdered- by our own people, according to a Sunshine Coast novelist and former spy. Cooper claims he had to write the novel as fiction, not only because of the Official Secrets Act but also because of threats made against his son, a former army officer.”
OK so Cooper is a writer and therefore allowed a bit of poetic licence. But let’s be clear he was a Private soldier in the Army Signal Corps who sat at console jotting down and sending messages of various kinds. Below is information from a person with a similar background who knew Cooper well when they served together.
“I knew Scott Cooper quite well way back in the past and I know about his book. He was an Operator Signals in x Signal Regiment and his rank was Signalman.
I am also aware of his book “Ripple Effect” and although I haven’t read it I have read excepts and it appears to be entirely fiction. Scott was an operator who sat at a console and took down Morse code messages and that would be about the full extent of his job.
He was never a spy in the true sense of the word. The Regiment’s work was classified Top Secret but we were not spies in the James Bond sense.
He did not serve in SVN.”
Another ex Serviceman who served with Cooper and knew him well said
“In his bio in relation to the novel "Ripple Effect", he implies that while the novel is a work of fiction, it is based about his own experience as an "intelligence operative" and he had to present the novel as fiction to avoid prosecution under the Official Secrets Act. To those who are familiar with his background, this is simply posturing and he is considered to be nothing more than a typical "wannabee". He never rose above the rank of Signalman and his experience in the signals intelligence field was minimal to say the least”
Cooper like most authors conducted a book launch tour to various locations, another of his “old friends” told us:
“ Interesting though is a comment my contact passed to me concerning the comments from a friend's daughter ( who has no cause to make an incorrect statement) to the effect that she had attended a book launch by Scott during which she spoke to him and he claimed to have completed two tours of Vietnam although not with xxx Sig Tp.
Cooper is a long term wannabe offender dating from the 1980s to the present time.
He spruiks of the intelligence world and Vietnam service as if he were part of it and once it is understood that he is telling stupid lies his whole book hypothesis falls into a heap. During his Army service and leading up to his sacking his Commanding Officer said of him in a memo to Canberra that he was a known liar, that trait has obviously stuck with him over the years. See copy of the letter:
Below are more lies from Cooper:
“Scott says he actually wrote it nine years ago, alleging a threat to his son’s military career stopped him in his tracks. “My son was going through Duntroon at the time. I had made the mistake of giving it to an ex-intelligence friend who had written books himself. When my son was going through his graduation ceremony two (high-ranking) military army people joined us and we were having a bit of a chat and one of them looked me right in the eye and said ‘Right, now do you have a book or does your son have an army career.’ Immediately I said ‘It’s buried’,” he claims”
It all boils down to the fact that Cooper never served in Vietnam and was never an intelligence operator he was a Private soldier Signals Operator in the Army who from time to time handled secret documents – He was not trusted in that roll and was sacked. All he has said about his book and his Vietnam service are fairy tales and not worth a pinch of goat's dung
Cooper has brought discredit to himself, to the Royal Australian Corps of Signals and has earned the ire of Vietnam Veterans. He is a posturing fool and a known liar. Poetic license is fine in works of fiction. Cooper is living his lies to falsely enhance his reputation at the expense of the honour of genuine Vietnam Veterans.
Veterans will not tolerate wannabes, Cooper is a wannabe, and his acts of make believe and self aggrandisement have evoked Newton’s third law and he now has an equal and opposite (and truthful) account of his Military Service published for the entire world to judge him as a liar and a wannabe.
Finally we say to Scott Ronald Cooper, congratulations on writing a work of fiction but don’t ever again claim to have been a “Spy” and don’t ever again claim to have served in Vietnam.
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.
5/17609 Barry Arnold COOPER, date of birth 21 June, 1940 of Woodlands Western Australia completed National Service in 1958-59 and joined the Citizen Military Forces (CMF) till 1960.
Barry Cooper enlisted for National Service with 17 National Service Training Company at Swanbourne W.A. on 12 August 1958 and allotted to the 11/44 Infantry Battalion. On completing his National Service obligation he was discharged from National Service and transferred to 1 Royal West Australia Regiment (RWAR) CMF till he was discharged on 24 November 1960 at his own request.
On 25 July 1957 the Australian Special Air Service (SAS) Company was formed and based at Campbell Barracks Swanbourne which is where Barry Cooper did his National Service Training and most likely at times came in contact with members of the SAS Company and learnt some information about their roll and tasks.
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.
Vietnam 'impostor' admits medal scam
Mike Cooper a 64-year-old Redcliffe man has confessed to spending years falsely posing as a Vietnam War veteran.
In an exclusive interview with _The West Australian _yesterday, former Belmont Returned and Services League vice-president Mike Cooper admitted he was "living a lie" when he told other veterans he had served in the Vietnam War.
JOSEPH CATANZARO, The West Australian April 30, 2010, 2:25 am
He also confessed to wearing medals during Anzac Day marches between 2006 and 2008 which falsely indicated he had served in Vietnam.
Mr Cooper, who served in the Royal Australian Army in Malaysia and Borneo during the Indonesian Confrontation between 1964 and 1967, became the subject of an RSL investigation this year.
He said he intended to admit his guilt at an RSL tribunal next month. Under the Defence Act, it is an offence to impersonate a veteran or engage in the improper use of service medals.
Mr Cooper faces the possibility of a lifetime ban from the RSL. If the matter is referred to Australian Federal Police and the Department for Veterans' Affairs, he could be fined up to $3000, jailed for up to six months, or both.
Mr Cooper said he "should have known better" than to wear the medals on the left-hand side of his jacket, which is reserved for decorations earned by the wearer. But he claimed there were mitigating circumstances.
He said the replica medals had belonged to a now-deceased friend who had served in Vietnam.
He said the medals, which he had originally intended to wear correctly in honour of his fallen mates, had become mixed up with his after a botched mounting.
"This is a confession. Yes I was wrong. I was actually at 6th Battalion before I went to Malaya and Borneo, and a lot of my mates (from 6th Battalion) died at Long Tan, and I thought 'damn it, I'm going to wear it for them'," he said. "I should have worn them on the right-hand side (of my jacket), and I feel very ashamed about that."
RSL WA branch president Bill Gaynor said he was glad Mr Cooper had come clean but was disappointed about the deception. The WA president of the Vietnam Veterans' Association, Richard Williams, said the community needed to be made aware of the transgression to discourage Mr Cooper from repeating the offence.
The RSL is investigating another alleged impostor veteran described as a high-profile identity from Perth's south-western suburbs.
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.
Shane Cooper enlisted in the RAAF in October 2009. He was 50 years of age. The RAAF accept entry into the service from applicants who are aged approximately 6 years younger than retirement age, in particular if they have a trade. Cooper enlisted with the background trade of a Plumber.
In the above photographs taken in 2015, Cooper is wearing the (i) Australian Operational Service Medal, Border Protection (AOSM) and (ii) the Australian Defence Medal. (ADM). He was awarded the Australian Defence Medal in 2013.
He served in the RAAF mainly in trade positions and was posted to Manus Island on Operation Landscape.
Manus Island is not a qualifying area for the award of the Australian Operational Service medal.
Cooper has been observed wearing the AOSM or the AOSM ribbon on numerous occasions. He has been told by others that he has no entitlement to wear it, however he continues to do so.
We contacted Cooper and invited him to respond to allegations made about him falsely wearing the AOSM.
He replied that -;
I am currently being discharged from the Military because I am not mentally sound. I get mixed up and confused. I thought I was entitled to wear it because I did OP Resolute which is on my PMKEYS. Another member told me he was awarded the metal (sic) who was on the same OP as me for the same period. On ANZAC day Sgt xxxxxxx (name deleted) asked me if I was entitled to wear the Medal. I answered I am not sure but its on my PMKEYS.
I said I will remove the medal from my dress. He said no just wear it its too late now as we were about to start the march.
We have been informed that Cooper did serve on Operation Resolute for a short period, however this service did not render him eligible for the award of the AOSM. This was a fact that he was well aware of.
Lac Shane Cooper is a liar and a medal cheat. The Sergeant, whose name we have deleted, did not give permission for Cooper to wear the medal on Anzac Day. However, he did quite rightly question Cooper’s entitlement to wear it. Rumours had circulated that Cooper was a fraud in respect to his wearing the award of the AOSM. As stated, he had in fact been told by fellow serving members that he had no entitlement to it. He ignored their advice.
Cooper claims he responded to the Sergeant that, "he was not sure if he was entitled to wear the medal". He would have no doubt as to whether he was entitled to it or not. That is why he purchased it from a Medal Shop or on the internet and had it court mounted, as it had not been officially awarded.
We are also intrigued that Cooper states that “the Sergeant told him to leave the medal on as it was too late and the march was about to start.”
Yes we agree, no sense in holding up the Anzac day march for a few seconds!!!!!
About the only part of Cooper’s response that is believable is that he states he is not mentally sound and that he gets mixed up and confused.
Common traits in the plumbing business on the peaceful surrounds of Manus Island we presume, and one that could possibly entitle you to a nice disability pension following discharge.
His superiors need to discipline Cooper for flagrantly disregarding Australian Honours and Awards medals protocols and RAAF regulations, by wearing an Operational Australian Service medal on his uniform that he has no entitlement to.
Our advice to Cooper is get it off immediately and show some respect to those who have genuinely been awarded Operational Service Medals.
Paul Arthur COPELAND served 20 years with the Australian Regular Army in the Corps of Signals and served in Cambodia on a Peace Keeping mission as well as an observer in the SINAI.
For service in Cambodia he was awarded the Australian Active Service Medal 1975 with clasp Cambodia and for the SINAI the Australian Service Medal 1975 clasp SINA.
We also know that Copeland has spent many years working with an Ex Service Organization and is currently the National Executive advisor at the Australian Peacekeepers and Peacemakers Veterans Association which he also served as a National President for that association.
Over the years Paul Copeland has made many submissions to the Federal Government including one that a special medal should be struck and awarded to all those that have served as Peacekeepers or Peacemakers.
Paul Copeland has dishonoured himself for two reasons.
No un-official medals should be worn on the left breast and Copeland should be aware of that having reached the rank of Warrant Officer Class 2.
You will notice that the Peacekeeping medal is nearly identical to the logo of the above banner. The only difference is the letters “UN” have been removed at the top which has “UN: WE BELIVE” and the letters “AISP” have been removed from the bottom.
Paul Arthur Copeland for your years of service in the military you are setting a bad example to other veterans by not following the Medal Protocol as laid down in the Proper Wearing of medals and the wearing of un-official medals which if worn must be on the right breast below Next of Kin medals
If you need a reminder regarding the wearing of medals it can be found here
4th Dec 2012
After doing more research into the worthless tin medal that Copeland is wearing with his official Australian Government approved medals we have located more information about it.
The medal appears to have been manufactured in Europe by the “Soldiers of Peace International Association”. We have even got the application form to purchase it for 55.00 Euros which covers the medal and diploma. Shipping costs are 7,60 Euro for France.
If you live overseas you need to email email@example.com bearing in mind that it is only available if you have served as a Peacekeeper and it can only be worn on the right breast in Australia.
9th Jan 2013
Update Paul Arthur Copeland: Note: Some of the material from the APPVA we have reprinted, contains foul language
3rd Mar 2013
Paul Arthur Copeland - Update 3 March 2013
Who needs enemies when they have friends like Mr Michael Quinn and Mr Torrance Hinkley of the APPVA? See below Quinn’s and Torrance's latest effort to "disprove" the information we have provided about Paul Copeland. Below Quinn’s email, is Hinkley’s threat to “bring on the biff” if he ever meets us, no wonder members are deserting the APPVA, as it appears to be full of disreputable illiterate thugs, and medals cheats.
“michael quinn <firstname.lastname@example.org>
22:22 (10 hours ago)
Why are your network of veterans dedicated to the correct alignment of medals being so quiet now.
Vietnam Veterans working as pension officers and advocates now have to watch their back if they are tied in with you.
Where do you think this will end. Meetings are taking place about your operatives as we speak; these cunts will be hunted down and dealt with. You are not dealing with fucked up faking Vietnam Veterans now; as your last operative said to me "bring it on"; what a gutless fuck. An OAM for collecting old crap and feeding you shit.
You have worked under a secret shroud for so long you can not even report this correspondence. All you can do is watch your fucked up operatives fall by the way side as information is fed out. May be you can "bring it on" as one of your fucked up operative said to me after have his accomplice threaten my child in my absence. Faceless, spineless, cunt; nothing you haven't already heard already.
And by the way I will wear what I fucken like as long as it has nothing to do with Vietnam.
Quinn is an ex Warrant Officer Class 1 who brings discredit and disrepute to all of those who have achieved that rank.
We also point out that at no time, has any member of ANZMI ever contacted him or any member of his family.
Once again this self exulting, crude ex Warrant Officer Class 1 has made his position regarding medals protocol very clear. He stated:
“He will wear what I fucken like”.
Below is the threat from Hinkley
“From: Torrance Hinkley <email@example.com>
Date: 3 March 2013 17:07
Subject: Paul Copeland
I used to think that this was a good site but after seeing your post on Paul Copeland I am absolutely disgusted. You people have nothing better to do with your time than to harass good decent people who have done so much for our veteran community. I believe that there are personal motives behind this posting. You are discrediting (sic) yourselves and are inviting the same kind of attention. Believe me if I ever run into any of you, you will walk away worse of (sic) for it”.
We should also point out that ANZMI is not exclusive to Vietnam Veterans and has members of Peacekeeping Missions working to stop the proliferation of people like Quinn and Copeland who would have Australian Veterans adorned with more medals than a North Korea General.
30th Apr 2013
Update Paul Arthur Copeland - 30 April 2013
You can tell when Copeland is lying because his lips are moving. He is incapable of grasping the notion that he is a chronic lily gilder who likes to wear more than his earned Awards. Recently more evidence of his penchant to distort the truth has come to light.
On the 23rd April 2013 an ANZMI representative was interviewed in his home town by Mike Welsh of radio 2CC Canberra. The next day, Radio 2CC contacted Copeland for an interview
Then the following appeared on Copeland’s APPVA Facebook:.
Copeland to stir up hate against ANZMI amongst his members has lied by saying that our representative said:
“Peacekeepers didn’t go to a proper war and shouldn’t be marching on ANZAC Day”.
He further said “I would like to look at the transcript”
To prove that no such thing was said here is the transcript in original form.
All APPVA members should listen to it and weep for the loss of integrity of the APPVA. As a result of Copeland’s deceit the following emails were sent to, and received from Radio 2CC about the issue:
Email to Radio Station:
to bannerman (This is Welsh's Producer)
Radio Stations response:
Mike Welsh <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I asked Copeland if he thought peacekeepers didn't fight a proper war. I wasn't "quoting" you rather just trying to get him to "extend" a bit."
The APPVA is a very worthy organization however it is being led from the sidelines by Copeland who is a crafty distorter of the truth and he has a group of henchmen behind him who instead of taking action to correct the collapsed integrity of the APPVA also lie, and offer threats of violence against those who point out correct protocols and philosophic values entrenched in the Australian Veteran Community from the time of Gallipoli.
Let’s have a minutes silence to mourn the loss of integrity in the APPVA.
10th May 2013
Update Paul Copeland aka “Copey” - Lost in his lies.
It is a truism that if you tell lies they will come back and bite you on the backside. Mr Paul Copeland (affectionately known as Copey) has done just that, and his rear end is now well scarred.
Copey, thinking he is a Master Public Relations Spin Doctor, launched a dishonest campaign prior to ANZAC Day to discredit ANZMI. He gave the media a story and had himself interviewed during which he planted a seed to incite his Australian Peacekeepers and Peacemakers Association (APPVA) into believing ANZMI do not honour their service. Here is the article:
The article clearly shows it was created by Copey to give him the opportunity to discredit ANZMI..
No ANZMI member “goes out” on ANZAC Day or any other day to “hunt’ Wannabes or medals cheats. The thousands of ex Servicemen including many APPVA members are ANZMI’s eyes and ears.
The Radio Station 2CC Canberra contacted ANZMI in relation to the article planted by Copey and a member of ANZMI gave an open and honest interview – Note there was only one interview.
Here again is the Podcast of the interview:
ANZMI gave 2CC Copey’s phone number so he could be contacted and explain his Canberra Times article. Copey was interviewed, but had his plug pulled by the announcer because he was not making much sense. As soon as Copey got off the phone, he stupidly released his planned announcement to the APPVA that ANZMI had said on radio: “Peacekeepers did not go to a real war and should not be marching on ANZAC Day”
Copeland made that Statement to the Canberra Times prior to the ANZMI interview; at no time did ANZMI say anything remotely similar in the 2CC interview.
The Copeland affair started when he was caught infragante delicto wearing a Tin medal and incorrectly wearing an Army Service Medal. All of his machinations about ANZMI are to deflect his medals cheating.
It is patently obvious that Copey himself created the sentence “Peacekeepers did not fight in a real war and should not march on ANZAC Day” then tried to blame in on ANZMI through the Canberra Times and a radio interview in Canberra, unfortunately Copey’s little PR operation went sour and has bitten him on the gluteous maximus.
ANZMI admires all those who have served in the Australian Defence Force irrespective whether they have been deployed to Wars, Peacekeeping missions, or served within Australia. We make no disparaging remarks about any groups of Servicemen, but we will continue to vigorously pursue those, like Copeland who are medals cheats.
Have no doubt Copeland is a devious person and causing dissention in the APPVA and the Veteran community.
Below are excerpts from a Royal Australian Corps of Signals forum, where this matter was discussed.
Interesting interview on 2CC Canberra. Apparently, Peacekeepers didn't go to a proper war and shouldn't be marching on ANZAC Day according to "Bill Hobson" yesterday on 2CC. I would love to have a look at the transcript... I did mention that "Hobson's" view was not necessarily that of the wider Veteran Community and it displays a lack of knowledge of the service of our 70,000 Peacekeepers since 1947 to the current day who have served non-stop. I also mentioned that their site is illegal and they should be prosecuted (sic) by law.
Top of Form
Chad DobbsKeep fighting the good fight Paul! You've got an entire RASigs community behind you that know "Bill Hobson" is full of lies and hate
Michael BlaineSorry Paul just listened to the interview never heard him say anything like what you have stated must have missed it
Derek Webstersame as Blainey, didn't hear any mention of Peacekeepers in the interview.
Tom VaughanOnly that ANZMI and Peacekeepers had a disagreement.
Dominique KirkmanPaul Copeland, I just listened to the podcast and didn't hear Hobson say the word "peacekeepers" at all, let alone what you allege. Is this the same podcast you are referring to (the link Tom has posted, above, which is also 2CC), or is there another one? I would really like to hear what you referred to.
Tom VaughanThere must be another Podcast that does not appear on the website yet. I will post the link once found
Dominique KirkmanThanks, Tom. I don't believe Copey would have misrepresented the podcast.
Paul CopelandJust to advise about not hearing the matter of PK marching on ANZACDay, it was made on my interview Wed 24 Apr 1540. 2CC have not posted my intetview podcast, where the comment was made by the interviewer Mike Welsh. Hope this clears any confusion. Paul
Derek Websterso Hobson didn't make the statement, this Welsh did?
Paul CopelandDerek Webster, mate, the intereviewer (sic) from 2CC stated that ANZMI did not believe that Peacekeepers went to a Proper war and shouldn't march on ANZAC Day. I am in the process of complaining to 2CC and will take it further to ACMA if necessary.
Derek WebsterYeah but whereabouts in the interview with Hobson does he say that peace keepers/makers should not march?
Paul CopelandDerek Webster, I am not sure if I am explaining myself too well to you and some others and apologise for any confusion. There were two interviews. On on Tues 23 Apr at 2000, which "Hobson" was interviewed by Mike Welsh of 2CC. The Following day on Wed 24 Apr at approx 1540, I was interviewed in response to the one the night before, which I had not heard (Tues - Hobson) till after ANZAC Day.
Paul Booger EllisHey Webby as I can understand it, Hobson said it in a different interview, a copy of which hasn't been put up yet, but the comments were mentioned in interview that Copey is talking about.
COPELAND UPDATE 6th MAY 2014
Since our initial exposure of Paul Copeland almost twelve months ago ANZMI has been subject to a number of foul and abusive comments from supporters of Paul Copeland, most of whom appear to be members of the Australian Peacekeepers and Peacemakers Veterans Association (APPVA). Amongst the vile abuse, offensive comments and name calling from his supporter’s one thing was missing, evidence from Copeland that we were wrong.
Quite a few of our readers also noted this important omission by Copeland and prompted us to look further at this peacock and his impressive display of awards. Indeed, one of his supporters asked us to ‘put up or shut up’, so to that misguided supporter and to the APPVA, we do indeed ‘put up.’
Here is the image of Copeland’s rack of medals. ANZMI has already commented on the last ‘tin medal’ in the rack, it is nothing more than a tin, unofficial medal and is being worn contrary to the policies in place and administered by the Governor General of Australia.
Copeland is also wearing the Australian Active Service Medal (AASM) with clasp ‘Cambodia’ as well as the Australian Service Medal (ASM) with clasps ‘Cambodia’ and ‘Sinai’. The simple fact is this, Copland has no entitlement to wear the ‘Cambodia’ clasp on the ASM. It was his obligation to return that clasp when the circumstances of his service in Cambodia was reviewed and upgraded to the award of the AASM.
At the time this happened, Copeland was still a member of the Army and would have been in receipt of or knowledge of the following letter:
There is no ambiguity, doubt or otherwise with this letter. Copeland was entitled to retain his ASM because of his deployment to Sinai but the letter is clear in its intent. For those Copeland supporters who do not understand, it means Hand back your ASM and/or clasp ‘Cambodia’ and we will give you the AASM with clasp ‘Cambodia’. You cannot wear it twice. Simple.
One of the supporters who felt the need to attack ANZMI was the National Vice President of the APPVA, Mr Michael Quinn who it appears is also a veteran of Cambodia and mate of Copeland’s who famously told us;
” By my own admission I change my medals according to my (sic) of disgust of the treatment of the post 1975 veterans and the ignorance of those veterans who went before us who have been incorrectly classified and then reclassified many of our deployments. If you go through the Anzac day marches you will see me wearing the ASM and the following then the AASM with the Cambodia clasp. You will also notice this occurs in many different variations among the Cambodian Veterans including some wearing both together”
An offensive, but somewhat surprising comment from a so called senior member of the National Executive of an Ex Service Organisation who appears to have an axe to grind against veterans who served prior to 1975. Quinn also told us that ‘he will wear what he likes when he likes’.
During his service in Cambodia, Paul Copeland was a member of the Force
Communications Unit (FCU). As a result of significant advocacy, not surprisingly including the APPVA, this unit has recently been awarded the ‘Meritorious Unit Citation’ by the Governor General, no doubt well deserved for the service performed by members of the FCU, the irony is that the likes of Copeland and Quinn who both blatantly disregard directions given by Government House will turn up with their hand out to receive this award.
No doubt our update on Paul Copeland will again begin the hue and cry from his many supporters. Copeland has over the years, done good work through the APPVA but this does not give him or others in that association carte blanch to do what they like in regard to the wearing of Australian awards. Such awards should be cherished by the recipient and not belittled by wearing them with unofficial medals, and wearing awards that the wearer has no entitlement to. Rather than attacking the messenger, ANZMI suggests to those who support Copeland, simply ask him why he does not remove the ‘Cambodia’ clasp from his ASM, and remove the unofficial tin medal. It’s as plain and simple as that.
We have proven our case and will wait and see what happens.
COPELAND UPDATE - THE FACTS EXPLAINED - 21 MAY 14
Paul Copeland has again taken to various social media outlets to launch an attack against our latest exposure of him. ANZMI is not in the business of tit for tat debates with people like Mr Copeland. We simply present the evidence available to us and after duly verifying the information, we present it on our website. Mr Copeland would have the reader believe he is a victim, he resorts to long winded statements via social media, examples of which are found on the RASIGS Facebook site, and indeed our very own Facebook page. He uses these statements to muddy the waters and attack ANZMI but no where does he address the issues at hand.
We are simply the messenger Mr Copeland.
On the surface, this case may seem trivial when compared to many on our website. As a matter of fact we have been accused of ‘acting as some sort of post-service RSM (of the poorest and most picayune kind) in pursuing this question of whether a bar belongs’ by one of our readers. This is definitely not the case, so please read on as the full story is revealed and the reason for our interest in 'a bar' is explained.
Throughout this saga, all that ANZIM has done is:
1. Prove that Copeland has/was/is wearing an unofficial medal with his official medals. Not a hanging offence, but clearly against the protocols and accepted policies issued by Government House. Defending his right to wear the unofficial medal, Copeland states:
The photo on their trashy site was taken of me at the UNTAC Reunion Group at Wodonga 14 Sep 2012, where the APPVA facilitated a remembrance service for the Reunion Group to remember all PK and in particular our mates who have since left us. In the context of the "Guidelines" to wearing Commemorative Medals, I was correctly wearing the medal on the left breast for such an event, as it was an APPVA, of which they are affiliated with the SPIA, event.
No law broken. I have only worn the medal once from recollection on ANZAC Day and have since decided not to wear it. (Copeland – RASIGS Facebook Site)
Note his comment 'and have since decided not to wear it'
Thank You Mr Copeland. That is all we asked you to do.
2. Seek to ascertain why he wears the Clasp ‘Cambodia’ on both the AASM and the ASM, apparently contrary to available information and defence instructions.
All available evidence available to us indicates that personnel who served in Cambodia as part of the Australian Defence Force component of UNTAC (United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia), were initially awarded the Australian Service Medal (ASM) with clasp ‘Cambodia’.
Following significant lobbying the award was upgraded to the Australian Active Service Medal (AASM) with clasp ‘Cambodia’ in recognition of the special conditions of service with UNTAC. As a result of this upgrade those personnel who served with UNTAC and awarded the AASM were required to return the ASM and Clasp. As we have said throughout, the issue is not that Mr Copeland should return his ASM, simply the clasp;
IRT (in regard to) my situation with the ASM CAMBODIA, the fact that I had a current 12 month posting order which would have taken me up to 14 March 1994; that I was involved in a serious MVA, AME RTA due to save my right leg, and yes, nearly dying from the experience; prior to the eligible time to the ASM. However the legal point to note is the CAG ASM CAMBODIA Regulation c. (vi) & (vi) A. Be sure to read it all, to fully comprehend the matter of why I wear the ASM, with the fact that it is in my PMKEYS and the fact that I would have remained for the eligible period BUT FOR the MVA. (Copeland – RASIGS Facebook Site)
Contrary to Mr Copeland’s vitriol, we have never questioned his entitlement to wear the ASM. He has an entitlement to that award recognising his service in Sinai as part of the Multi National Force and Observers (MFO).
It is the clasp ‘Cambodia’ which is at issue.
The only personnel who may wear the ASM for service in Cambodia are those who have served with the United Nations Military Liaison Team/ Cambodian Mine Action Centre. Start date - 08 Oct 93 End date - 04 Oct 99. (Reference: Defence Honours and Awards Gazette (S111) 17 Mar 99).
By inadvertently or otherwise leaving the Cambodia clasp on your ASM you are in fact claiming another medal of which you have no entitlement, unless of course you served in the above mission and if that is the case you can expect our unreserved apology.
However, by your own admission, you were in in a serious motor vehicle accident while in country and it is therefore assumed you were RTA (Returned to Australia) prior to achieving the qualifying date for the ASM, and as you point out, you none the less qualify for the award by virtue of CAG ASM CAMBODIA Regulation c. (vi) & (vi) which states: (quoting the relevant section only)
(vi) the Chief of the Defence Force or his delegate in exercising his discretion to deem under subparagraph (c)(v) shall take into account whether service in relation to the prescribed operation:
(A) was terminated owing to the death, evacuation due to illness or injury or other disability due to service, of a member as described above;
Again, it is not his entitlement to the ASM that is being questioned, it is only his ongoing use of the ‘Cambodia’ Clasp on the ASM which is at issue. As we have already explained, unless he was a member of the United Nations Military Liaison Team/ Cambodian Mine Action Centre which we know he was not, he was a member of Force Communications Unit (FCU) then to wear the clasp 'Cambodia' on his ASM is to claim an award he is not entitled to.
At no time has he provided evidence to refute the fact that he should not being wearing the ‘Cambodia’ clasp twice. To do so is to claim service he did not perform and that is the only issue we have pursued.
To knowingly wear a clasp for which no entitlement exists could be deemed to be an offence under the Defence Act 1903 - SECT 80B - Improper Use of Service Decorations. It is for that reason that we make such an issue about a clasp (or Bar as our reader called it).
Contrary to Mr Copeland’s assertion, ANZMI does not dispute his entitlement to the Army Combat Badge (ACB). The relevant Defence Instruction regarding this award is out dated and ANZMI would encourage any UNTAC veteran to make application for the award.
We do note however, that he is also wearing the Army AIRN Badge (Army Individual Readiness Notice) contrary to Defence Instructions, but he is not alone in this. This badge is only to be worn by soldiers in uniform to denote their deployment/operational status and is not to be worn with civilian clothes or by persons not eligible (by virtue of operational status) to wear it. It is not an ex-service badge.
Now we must turn to another issue which has been brought to our attention. The following photograph was received by us following our update on the Copeland case. A copy of it was also posted on our Facebook site.
The photo again depicts Mr Copeland, we note still wearing the unofficial ‘tin’ medal but we accept his assurance that it has since been removed.
Our question with this image is however the gold wings being worn by Copeland between his medals and the ACB. In what appears to be a pre-emptive strike, Mr Copeland took to our Facebook site to explain away these ‘wings’, in his words, not ours;
‘…IRT RAN Para Wings. They are not exclusive to RAN CDT. They are awarded to anyone in the RAN who is para qualified. In my case, I served with Coast Guard for 8 years and wore them on my uniform to denote my pride in being a former paratrooper in the maritime search and rescue sector. The photo that XXXX XXXXX has posted was taken in Geneva 2010, where there is a number of former Allied Special Forces and French Paratroopers. I felt at the time that to be involved in such camaraderie that I would openly display my para service. Perhaps inappropriately in some eyes, but I don't normally do this in Australia. To sew the Bogong moth on my right sleeve of my jacket to display my para quals is just wrong…’
What is ‘wrong’ Mr Copeland that you have openly worn a service qualification badge to which you have no entitlement to wear.
The image above is of the Royal Australian Navy’s Parachute qualification Badge awarded to sailors who have not completed the SAS selection and CT training cycle but have completed para training and awarded the standard RAN parachutist wing. This includes the Clearance Divers who now form part of the east coast based TAG-E which is structured around the Sydney based 2 Commando Regiment.
By your own admission, you state that you wore the qualification badge to impress people while overseas, ‘but I don't normally do this in Australia’. But in the same admission, you say: ‘They are awarded to anyone in the RAN who is para qualified. In my case, I served with Coast Guard for 8 years and wore them on my uniform to denote my pride in being a former paratrooper in the maritime search and rescue sector.’
Your trivial dismissal of the protocols and importance of qualification badges does not serve you well. As a result of your own distinguished service, you would appreciate that qualification badges are of immense importance to those men and women who work hard to achieve them. If we accept your argument, anyone attending a RAAF reunion may as well turn up wearing pilot’s wings…it’s the same thing! We note that you proudly wear the Commando Badge, would you not be offended if a person wore that badge having not won the right to wear it?
To wear qualifications insignia which you did not earn is wrong Mr Copeland. Just wrong. We know you are parachute qualified, congratulations on that significant achievement but just because there is no ‘badge’ or ‘bling’ to be worn to signify your skills as yet, even you would agree that to wear that qualification badge in totally inappropriate and disrespectful to the Naval community. Further, to wear it when performing your coast guard duties to denote you as ‘being a former paratrooper in the maritime search and rescue sector’...All ANZMI can ask is why? The last time we looked, the coast guard did not have a paratroop capability, nor is the Coast Guard part of the Royal Australian Navy.
Let this be the end to this matter. Let us be clear on our three points of concern.
Firstly, begrudgingly, you have acknowledged that it is inappropriate to wear the unofficial ‘tin’ medal with your official medals and have taken steps to remove it.
Secondly, you are wrong in assuming our issue is with your entitlement to the ASM, it is simply your entitlement to wear two ‘Cambodia’ clasps when all the evidence suggests you are wrong. Simply remove the ‘Cambodia’ clasp from your ASM and return it (the clasp) as almost everyone else did and that will be the end of the matter. If however you continue to argue that you have an entitlement to the clasp, please put up or shut up. All ANZMI is interested in is for you to produce evidence that we are wrong, that is all.
Thirdly, do not play the pious Victim of a non-existent campaign against you when you openly admit to wearing a Royal Australian Navy para qualification badge you have no entitlement to wear.
That is what this case is about, three simple points which Mr Copeland by his own admission has taken some steps to address. Mr Copland would have everyone believe that ANZMI is in some way aligned to person/s or groups who oppose him. This is totally without foundation. Mr Copeland via one of his numerous Facebook attacks asked what ANZMI does for the Veteran Community. Well, Mr Copeland, ANZMI's only objective is to expose ‘the wannabe’, false pretenders and medal cheats who by their action bring shame to the Veteran Community by belittling the honours and awards so hard won by genuine young and old veterans alike. We have no interest in the politics of organisations such as the APPVA, nor are we waging a vendetta against Mr Copeland. He is the master of his own destiny and it is in his hands alone to resolve these matters by admitting his mistakes and simply acknowledge he was wrong, to his credit he has made some small steps in that direction.
Yes, it is true that Mr Copland’s case is no way near the worst case to cross our desk, but we action every report received fairly, on its merits and without fear of favour. When evidence is provided we act accordingly. Mr Copeland, in his own words has made admissions that ANZMI is correct regarding one of the issues we raised ( wearing unofficial medals), there is no defence for him wearing Navy para wings, he simply did not earn them and all he need do is to provide evidence that refutes the evidence ANZMI has offered in regard to wearing two 'Cambodia' Clasps, he is entitled to wear that clasp on the AASM, not the ASM.
These are the facts of this case, nothing more, nothing less.
N5828/NX102939 Donald Ralph CORBY of Cootamundra served in a number of units during World War 2 in Australia before going to Borneo for a short period in 1945. He should have been proud to have served his country and left it at that. But Corby made a fatal mistake when he spoke to the Cootamundra Herald on Friday 2May 2008.
If you are going to speak to the press, make sure you tell the truth about your service and if posing for a photograph make sure you are only wearing the medals you are entitled to. Unfortunately the photograph from the newspaper article is black and white and not very clear. The one thing that is clear is that Corby is wearing more medals than what he is entitled to for WW2.
Rather than insert a copy of the whole page of the Cootamundra Herald, we have scanned the actual article and inserted that so you can read the lies Corby has told the press.
As some of the statements made are not chronological, we will cover each point in date order starting with Corby joining 21 Light Horse Regiment Citizen Military Force (CMF) in 1937. This is true he did join 21 Light Horse Regiment which was reformed in July 1937 with Headquarter Squadron at Cootamundra, but this did not happen till 30 January 1938, when he was given the Service Number N5828. Part of that document is inserted and you can see that he did use a false Date of Birth which at some time was discovered and changed to the correct DOB.
In September 1941, 21 Light Horse Regiment was placed on full time duty and in December that year was mechanized and renamed 21 Reconnaissance Battalion. According to Corby’s Army Service Record he commenced duty on 1 October 1941, and remained there until 9 July 1942, when he transferred to the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) regular army and was given a new Service Number NX102939. His Attestation Form dated 9 July 1942 shows his correct date of birth and that he held the rank of Corporal. During this period he completed a Machine Gun Carrier Course.
On 13 October 1942, 21 Reconnaissance Battalion became 21 Australian Division Cavalry Regiment (AIF). Corby served with them until he suffered a fracture to a leg and, on discharge from 105 ACCS, was transferred to the 38 Battalion (AIF) where he was promoted to Acting Sergeant. The battalion was a garrison battalion posted in Darwin for the duration of the war until 22 August 1944, when it was disbanded to a Militia Unit.
In January 1944 Corby stated in the Press;
“He found himself stationed at Bonegilla, where he became part of the Z Force Special Reconnaissance. Fourteen other men and I became number one Section of Two Platoon. We went to about 15 different army schools on weaponry and Morse code, as we carried a transmitter with four members in charge of it”. “We were ready to move off, to where we didn’t know.”
The article also states Mr Corby and his men were told to move to Chermside Camp near Brisbane, .
The only true statement in this is that while serving with 38 Battalion, Acting Sergeant Corby did attend Bonegilla to do a Medium Machine Gun Instructors course, which he completed on 12 June 1944.
According to the article, on October 10,1944 Mr Corby and his 14 men left Brisbane on “David C Shanks”, a liberty ship loaded with ammunition. Ten days later the troops arrived at Morotai where they were made welcome with freshly cooked meals by the Americans who were part of the 13 Negro Division commanded by General Lewis II.
Research has shown that there was neither General Lewis II, nor a 13th Negro Division. Black servicemen were not referred to as Negro but Black American Servicemen/women. The only US Units designated as 13 Division were 13 Airborne Division and 13 Armoured Division, which both fought in Central Europe.
Corby actually embarked from Brisbane on the ship “Felix Hathaway” on 20 March 1945 and arrived at Morotai six days later. You will also see that Corby was actually transferred to New South Wales on 20 August 1944. On 7 January 1945 he was stationed at a General Duties Depot before being posted to 14 Australian Works Company on 16 January 1945.
On 1 June 1945 he embarked from Morotai per LST 360 (Landing Ship Tank) for service with a battalion in North Borneo. If he saw any action at all it would have had to have been between June and August 1945 when Japan surrendered. The records do not show if he was posted to a battalion or unit when he first arrived in Borneo, neither does it show what duties he carried out
The article states Mr Corby said;
“On February 28 1945 he was called to move. The troops were not told their destination until they were on a submarine. They ended up in Sandakan in North Borneo, landing on March 7. They spent three days collecting information on fortifications.
Behind the Japanese lines at Sandakan, he and his men met up with the Dihaes (described as the wild men of Borneo) who acted as guides and guarded the soldiers.
Before leaving Brunei in Borneo on March 11, the Dihaes assisted him and his troops, sending a message on drums to another Dihae tribe some 250 miles away informing them that he and his men were on the way.
On April 6 the same year, before the invasion by Japanese, he and his soldiers returned to Morotai, spending two weeks on a submarine.
He was flown to Balikpapan where he joined up with the remnants of a Dutch Battalion, under the guidance of Colonial Vongt Bourgt, and those who were left from Three Section, making a total of 25 men.
We had no officers, I was in charge of the lot. It was here I received my Dutch Cross medal along with the eight remaining Aussie soldiers who also received this honour.
This is a bit confusing as he states he and his men were working behind enemy lines, then left before the Japanese invaded.
We assume that by Dihae Tribes he means “Dyak” (a term Europeans used when referring to head hunters), but are unable to identify anyone by the name Vongt Bourgt.
The Dutch did try to have Australian troops awarded the Dutch Cross but this was rejected by the Australian government as a campaign medal for fighting in that theatre of operations had been issued.
The article also states; In February 1945 the 9th Division of Australian’s landed at Morotai and an all out attack on Labuan Island and Brunei by the Japanese followed.
“Half my section went from Labuan, we lost one man at Brunei and one at Labuan, I had 13 men left.”
Corby had not even left Australia at this time as stated above.
Looking at the last document you will see that Corby was in and out of hospital from 1 October 1945 till he was finally posted to 11 Small Ships Company on 4 December 1945. Mr Corby should read up on the history of the 9th Division as it was not until 10 June 1945 that the landings at Brunei took place.
We have a lot more information of Corby’s lies on hand about being with Special Operations Australia or SOA (code named Services Reconnaissance Department), which he incorrectly refers to as “Z Force Special Reconnaissance Unit”. Everything in the article except his joining 21 Light Horse Regiment is pure fiction.
Research has shown that no submarines went from Morotai to Borneo. The last submarine to convey SOA operatives to Borneo was the submarine Tuna in February/March for operation Agas 1.
If Corby thinks that Z Special Unit was a secret unit carrying out covert operations, he and others have it all wrong. Z Special Unit was not operational. It was an administrative unit.
During WW2 Britain had a Top Secret organization to train operatives to operate behind enemy lines in Europe named Special Operations Executive (SOE), the cover name being Inter Services Research Bureau (ISRB). After Singapore fell, members of an offshoot organization named SOE (Far East), set up a similar organization here known as SOE (Australia), with the cover name being Inter Allied Services Department (IASD or ISD).
An administrative unit, named Z Special Unit, was established to act as a holding unit to cater for the large number of AIF personnel recruited to SOE (Australia) and to other covert units operating under the umbrella of Allied Intelligence Bureau (AIB). Z Special Unit, being an administrative body, had no war establishment, no war equipment table and could neither plan nor carry missions in its own right. However, it was extremely useful, both as a holding unit for the AIF, and because it had carte blanche with which to obtain ordnance etc.
In February 1943, as a result of internal problems, SOE (Australia) went into limbo, but the following April was resurrected as Special Operations Australia (SOA), with the cover name Services Reconnaissance Department (SRD).
No longer under the direct control of AIB, SOA became virtually autonomous, and was answerable only to General Thomas Blamey. Following the split, SOA retained Z Special Unit for its own use. A new administrative unit, M Special Unit, was formed to cater for the needs of AIF serving with AIB’s other organizations.
Personnel for Z Special Unit itself – administrative, instructional and camp staff – were drawn from the ranks of various services
So Donald Corby, you really put your foot in it when you made that press statement by telling all those lies and showing how much you really knew about the history of World War 2. You have shamed yourself, your family and have shown disrespect to Z Special Unit whose task it was to look after the needs and training of the real operatives from Special Operations Australia, a lot of whom never returned from their missions. You will now grace our web site for the whole world to see.
We recommend that readers wishing to learn more about SOA should read the factual book “Deadly Secrets” written by Lynette Ramsay Silver, ISBN: 9781863514101.(pbk)
If any readers have a recent colour photograph of Corby with all his medals, it would be appreciated if you could email us a copy at full resolution.