Medal Cheats

Medal Cheats

Surname: Wade
Christian Names: Gordon
Country: Australia
State or Province: New South Wales
City or Town: Goulburn
Service: Reserve Forces
Case Notes:

 

Mr Gordon WADE is the President of the Goulburn RSL Sub Branch and is a former senior NSW Corrective Services Officer. WADE was also a Reservist in the Australian Defence Force.

For his service as a Corrections Officer and for his Military Service in the Reserves, WADE has been appropriately recognised with a number of medals.



In the above image, WADE is wearing:

Medal of the Order of Australia (Entitled)
Reserve Force Medal (Entitled)
National Medal (Entitled)
Australian Defence Medal (Entitled)

All of the above Medals and Awards have been earned by WADE and reflect National recognition of his service. Protocols issued and administered by the Governor General of Australia are quite clear on the wearing of National Awards and specifically forbid the wearing of State Awards with Federal Awards and specify that State Awards are to be worn on the right side. This directive is also to be found in the rules and regulations of the Returned and Services League (RSL) in which WADE holds a not insignificant position as a Sub-Branch President.

The two remaining medals on WADE’s rack are:

NSW Corrective Meritorious Service Medal



NSW Corrective Service Long Service Medal



Unfortunately, like so many other Corrections Officers and indeed, Emergency Service personnel in other States and Territories have taken to wearing State Awards on the left side only, sometimes mixed with Federal Awards. It is the case that in some jurisdictions, approval to mix these awards has been given by the highest level of the organisation but this approval has been given without due diligence and referral to the Governor General’s office who administers the Australian Honours System, including the approved order of precedence for wearing of awards and the list of foreign awards that may be worn by Australian citizens.

WADE is taking the easy way out by just wearing the medals in the current form and as a President of an RSL Sub Branch, and former senior Corrections Officer, he should and must know he is in breach of the rules.

We have some advice for WADE and the many others mixing and matching their Federal and State Awards – DON’T. If, however if you believe you are in the right, then its up to you to do something about it.

If WADE, or the many others like him on our Website feels strongly enough about the issue, he can advocate for change by submitting a motion to his Sub-Branch and seek their support, have the motion discussed and voted upon at the RSL Annual Congress and if his motion is carried, he can expect that the RSL will advocate on his behalf to the Governor General to change the rules as they apply to the Order of Precedence and the wearing of Federal and State Awards. The same avenue is available to any Ex-Service Organisation, or individual if they feel strongly about the issue.

Of course, the easier way to deal with this is to either remove the State medals from his rack and wear them on the right side, or sit back like many others and whinge about ANZMI being a pedantic bunch of bastards with nothing better to do. Unfortunately, that is the normal response when all that ANZMI is doing is defending the rules as they stand. We cannot expect to swear our allegiance to the Queen or Australia on one hand and then pick and choose what rules we will follow to suit ourselves on the other. It doesn't work that way.

Welcome to our Website Mr WADE, the ball is now in your court.

Surname: Keeley
Christian Names: Douglas
Country: Australia
State or Province: New South Wales
City or Town: Candelo
Case Notes:

 

Douglas Keeley served for two years in the second National Serviceman scheme, between 1964 and 1972. For his service he was awarded two Defence Medals, however he wears three.


He wears the following medals.

Australian Defence Medal (ADM)
Anniversary of National Service Medal (ANSM)
Citizens Military Service (CMF) medal - Unauthorised self purchased medal.

He received the first two medals from the Australian Government for his Army service.

The third medal, he purchased, and had it spliced to his rack by a "shonky" medals mounter. Most Australian medal mounters know and obey tradition and protocol, but some will do anything for a dollar.


Keeley is a high profile ex serviceman who actively participates on commemorative occasions in his home town of Candelo NSW. To wear a fake medal and seek media attention is simply not wise as the consequences are obvious.

We welcome Keeley, and suggest he disconnects thirty three and a third percent of his medals to make him an honest ex serviceman.

 

Surname: Stacey
Christian Names: Geoff and Sue
Country: Australia
State or Province: New South Wales
City or Town: Adaminaby
Service: Army
Branch: Dental & Nursing Corps
Case Notes:

 

Here we have a pigeon pair of high achievers, however, medals protocol is not included in their knowledge gained whilst serving in the Army.


Obviously Sue knows how to celebrate ANZAC day with a nip of Rum and an ANZAC biscuit.

Both Geoff and Sue wear medals earned during their Defence service, however both have included a New South Wales Rural Fire Service medal with their Defence medals on their left breasts.

Here is the NSW Rural Fire Service Long Service Award:


Geoff and Sue are both ex senior Army Officers and should be aware, that such State medals are to be worn on their right breast, and should they have any doubt about that, they should phone their neighbour in the ACT, the Governor General.

Both will be kept busy serving in the ANZMI Battalion, by attending to Dental and Medical needs in the minor medals offenders platoon. Sue can also dispense the odd nip of rum whenever she deems it necessary.

Surname: Burns
Christian Names: Adrian "Radar"
Country: Australia
State or Province: Western Australia
City or Town: Perth
Service #: 128113
Service: Royal Australian Navy
Case Notes:

 

Some Royal Australian Navy veterans have a penchant for wearing an extra medal or two. Here is Adrian "Radar" Burns, wearing an extra foreign medal for his Gulf war deployment aboard HMAS Sydney.


In total he wears the following

Australian Active Service Medal (AASM)
Australian Service Medal (ASM)
Defence Force Service Medal (DFSM)
Australian Defence Medal (ADM)
Saudi Arabia Liberation of Kuwait Medal (SALKM)
Kuwait Liberation Medal (KLM) Foreign medal not approved ofr wear by the Governor General

For his deployment aboard HMAS Sydney, to the Gulf region during 1990 and 1991 he wears three medals. In addition he wears an ADM and the DFSM for general service in the RAN. The SALKM medal is a foreign medal that is approved for wear by the Governor General. The last medal on his rack, the KLM Medal has not been approved for wear by the Governor General of Australia. His correct rack is five medals. He should be very satisfied in that he received three medals for his Gulf region deployments.

Here is what the Department of Prime Minister and Honours and Awards, have to say about this medal:

"The medal is not approved for wear by members of the ADF. It is allowed to be retained as a memento by members who received it and worn on civilian clothing on special days such as ANZAC Day and other commemorative occasions. It is recommended the Kuwait Liberation Medal be worn on the right breast".

Unfortunately, RAN Associations, are actively encouraging their members to wear this inappropriate medal on their left breast.

It is cogent that Adrian Burns is a member of a Western Australian, HMAS Sydney Association, that actively encourages members to wear the medal on the left breast. Here is the "political battle strategy" he exposed to us in a recent email

"With the 80th Anniversary if have from the Defence Minister down (sic) backing me Veterans Affairs Minister is well aware, Chief of the Navy, Fleet Commander, WA Premier, WA Tourism Minister (both ex jacks) and many others with a full team in Geraldton and Perth assisting me to bring this together. Fremantle SLSC is involved along with the AFL - West Coast Eagles and Sydney Swans. Once all completed I'm hoping I've set in place a great legacy and helping many Veterans descendants and relatives yes I am blowing my trumpet a bit but mate your mob what trumpet can you blow???"

Simply put, the medal recommended to be worn on the right breast by Department of Prime Minister and Honours and Awards, is not approved to be worn on the left breast by the Governor General, and unless Burns's above luminaries can convince the Governor General to approve it, we will include those who wear it, on this website.

Perhaps those wanting to wear this bit of bling, like Burns, should get their Surf Life Saving and Football Clubs together with their Ministers for Tourism to lobby the Governor General to approve the wearing of the medal.

Welcome aboard Adrian "Radar" Burns.

Surname: Armstrong
Christian Names: David
Country: Australia
State or Province: South Australia
City or Town: Millicent
Service #: R166556
Service: Royal Australian Navy
Branch: Cook
Commencement of service: 03 March 1998
Completion of service: 11 November 2003
Case Notes:

 

UPDATE MARCH 2020

Having been cornered, David Armstrong has lowered his flag and comprehensively apologised for his deceit. The following was published in the South Eastern Times, Millicent, South Australia on 19 March 2020.


The work of the Millicent RSL in dealing with this matter is commended.

Armstrong is also commended for his apology, however he will remain on board HMAS ANZMI as a Cook for ever more.

 

*****

Here is "Petty Officer" David Armstrong of Millicent South Australia, according to his photograph he is a highly qualified Submariner and RAN Special Forces veteran


Note that when the photograph was taken Armstrong claimed to have served for twenty five years and was awaiting a medical discharge. In reality Armstrong is a dud pretending to be someone he never was, nor ever could be.

On his shoulder he wears the rank of Petty Officer:


On his left breast he wears a name tag that includes a Clearance Divers Badge, Mine Clearance Diving Officer's (MCDO) badge, a Submariner badge Dolphin Badge.

Beneath the name tag he wears five medals.


The medals are:

Australian Active Service Medal (AASM) with clasps, ICAT, Iraq, East Timor and Somalia: Not Entitled
International Force East Timor (ICAT) Not Entitled
Iraq Medal (IM) Not Entitled
Australian Service Medal (ASM) Not Entitled
Australian Defence Medal (ADM) Entitled

He is entitled to wear only the fifth medal which is the ADM. The other four are self purchased fakes.

Armstrong wears eight medals on his right breast, and states they were earned by his father, his uncles and his grand father.


These medals are:

Australian Active Service Medal 1945-1975 (with clasp KOREA);
Korea Medal (U.K.);
Korea Medal (U.N.);
Australian Service Medal 1945–1975 (with 2 clasps: JAPAN?, PNG?);
Australian Defence Medal;
Unidentifiable (unofficial “tin” medal);
Korean War Veterans Association Medal (unofficial “tin” medal).
Australian Service Medal 1945–1975 (no clasps).


An RSL executive and a Police Officer visited Armstrong at his residence in early March 2020. During the visit, Armstrong continued to claim he was a Clearance Diver. The visiting executive, told him that he had received advice from the RAN Clearance Diver Association and the Submariners Association of Australia that there was not, and never had been, a David Armstrong in either employment.

To that , Armstrong claimed "that he had trained at HMAS Penguin and was a senior instructor and had friends who could verify it".

Armstrong then produced a White Ensign flag to the visitors. The flag had his uncle's name endorsed on it, and he said his name would soon be on it and that was proof of his service. At that time, Armstrong claimed that, “you people” have got it in for me and are putting in the knife when a bloke is down.

When previously contacted by an ANZMI researcher, Armstrong acted in a similar way and stated that, "he did serve in the RAN for nine years but all the badges including the rank of Chief Petty Officer were earned by his father, uncle and grandfather", however, he claimed, "to have been awarded all of the left breast medals and clasps".

Here are details of Armstrong's actual service:

Armstrong enlisted in 1998 and was medically discharged in November 2003. Armstrong served "sea time" as an Able Seaman Cook, aboard HMAS Adelaide, HMAS Bunbury and HMAS Geraldton. He also had the following shore postings, HMAS Cerberus, HMAS Stirling, HMAS Cairns and HMAS Penguin. In addition he served as a temporary Cook aboard Submarine HMAS Rankin, but only whilst in dock.

He was never deployed on any overseas Operations.

Armstrong has committed offences under the Defence Act 1903 Part VII Sectionss 80A and 80B, which are:'

80A. Falsely representing to be returned sailor
80B. Improper use of service decorations

Each of these offences have Maximum penalties of $3,300 fine, or six months imprisonment or both.

Armstrong's behaviour is as bad as it gets, and like most wannabes, he sought media attention to broadcast his false prodigious RAN service. His actions, like those of all wannabes have misfired, and instead of fame he has found derision. Psychologists say,

"Someone who's impersonating, generally what it means is they don't perceive themselves as having sufficient personal value
It might be someone who has a somewhat regular life and isn't really pleased with themselves, and so they try to associate with a higher status or an admired role or group."


From a returned veterans perspective, buying the medals and accoutrements to create an image, is a hell of a lot easier than going out and doing the hard yards of a deployment, or even going through the training.

Armstrong now has a secure berth on HMAS ANZMI, where he can skulk in the bilge with many others of his ilk.

Surname: Caton
Christian Names: William
Country: Australia
State or Province: Queensland
City or Town: Bribie Island, formerly of Killarney
Service #: R53690
Service: Royal Australian Navy
Branch: Clearance Diver
Commencement of service: 22 November 1957
Completion of service: Unknown
Case Notes:

 

William "Bill" Caton alleges his wearing of false medals over the past twelve years is the fault of an RSL Secretary who is deceased. It is a very lame excuse, considering the Secretary mentioned, cannot defend himself. In any case, Caton would have clearly known he had not been awarded the medals concerned, particularly the prestigious Member of the British Empire Medal (MBE) which, in addition to being a medals cheat also makes him a liar.


The medals are:

Member of the Order of the British Empire MBE. Not entitled
Australian Active Service Medal (AASM)
Naval General Service Medal (NGSM)
General Service Medal (GSM) 1962
Vietnam Medal (VM) Not entitled
Australian Service Medal (ASM)
Australian Defence Medal (ADM)
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal (RVCM) Not entitled
Pinjat Jasa Malaysia (PJM)

Caton is not entitled to three of the medals, but may be entitled to a lesser medal for his two days of Vietnam service out of sight of the Vietnam coast. The Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) Nominal Roll details that Caton spent 23 days aboard HMAS Melbourne in Vietnam. Whether Caton was on board is a mystery, because his RAN service record does not reflect involvement in that voyage. HMAS Melbourne escorted HMAS Sydney to Vietnam waters from 31 May 1965 to 22 June 1965 which was 23 days, as shown on the DVA Nominal Roll of Vietnam Veterans. HMAS Melbourne's actual time in Vietnam waters, consisted of only two days, the 7th and 8th of June 1965 and was out of sight of land the whole time.

"In accordance with information from Ship Movements Sheets – Naval History Section – Sea Power Centre, Australia, I am able to confirm that HMAS Melbourne has qualifying time and eligibility for the Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75 with Clasp ‘Vietnam’ , Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal and Returned from Active Service Badge for the period being 07/06/1965 – 8/06/1965".


Caton's record of service, clearly shows that he was aboard HMAS Supply on the 7th and 8th June 1965. HMAS Supply is not listed as ever participating in the Vietnam war.


His record shows he was located at HMAS Terror in Singapore from 14 March 1965 until 23 May 1965 and then aboard HMAS Supply from 23 May 1965 until 22 June 1965,

On that May/June 65 voyage, HMAS Melbourne escorted HMAS Sydney from the Singapore area to Vietnam waters. HMAS Melbourne never went within sight of the Vietnam Coast, but many years later, after much lobbying, the crew were presented with the Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal (VLSM), which is the medal that Caton could be wearing instead of the VM and the RVCM, if he was in fact aboard HMAS Melbourne at the time.

Which is correct? The DVA Nominal roll that puts Caton on board HMAS Melbourne on 7th 8th June 65 or his official RAN file, which puts him aboard HMAS Supply on 7th 8th June 1965?

The twenty three days in Vietnam shown on the DVA nominal roll was actually the time that HMAS Melbourne departed Singapore until it returned to Singapore. Caton's whole Vietnam experience would have been two days out of sight of land in Vietnam waters. For that service, he wears the same medals as an Infantry soldier who had to serve one hundred and eighty one days on Vietnam soil.

The MBE is a very prestigious medal presented under the previous imperial system for outstanding service in a senior position. All recipients are listed on the London Gazette. Caton is not listed and has never been awarded the medal.


Below, is the "official" reason why Caton wears the three false medals. The information was presented by executives of the Killarney RSL

"Bill was attending a meeting in Killarney when his medals were stolen from inside his car. A week later, Sub-Branch secretary Trevor Smart (deceased) gave him a rack of medals to wear and replace the ones stolen. Some time later, Caton’s medals were returned to his car however he didn’t get around to replacing them and remained wearing the rack given him by Mr Smart".

What a load of codswallop. The above happened around twelve years ago and Caton continued to wear the medals for twelve years.

An investigator was also advised by a Killarney RSL executive, that Caton served on four different ships in Vietnam and there was no record because RAN never kept records. More Codswallop

After trying to contact Caton we received this email from Mr Peter Webster PhD Secretary of the Killarney RSL:

KILLARNEY RSL SUB-BRANCH
Returned & Services League of Australia (Qld)
“The Price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilance”


President: Jim McGee

Ph: xxxxxx

Secretary: Peter Webster

Ph: xxxxxx

Email: rslkillarney@gmail.com
Send all correspondence to: The Secretary, PO Box 69, Killarney, Qld, 4373


Greetings,
Mr xxxxxxx (Investigator?).
I have been informed of your 'investigation' (23 February 2020) and am in receipt of copies of emails initially sent to ex-President (Killarney RSL Sub-Branch) Mr xxxxxxxx and/or ex-Secretary Mrs xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

With the limited information currently available to me, it appears that person or persons unknown to us, (identified in the emails as 'a friend') have asserted that one of our members, Mr William (Bill) Caton, is being investigated by you, for alleged wearing of medals to which the allegation clearly infers, he is not entitled, namely the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal (1965).

Please advise me of your role in this investigation?

It is of concern to us that proper protocol appears not to have been followed, in that this matter has been brought to the attention of Mr John Skinner President of Warwick RSL Sub-Branch, which as you will be aware is a different 'entity' to ours.
Further, prejudicial language such as "He is a 'big noise' in the Killarney (Qld) RSL Sub-Branch" and "I believe this man is a medal cheat", would appear, at least on the surface, to negate any presumption of innocence?

In all further communications, you are requested to contact either myself (as Secretary) or my President Mr James (Jim) McGee, details above on our letterhead.

Peter Webster PhD
Facebook: Killarney RSL Sub-Branch Military Memorabilia Museum.
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Due to member shortages, the problem has now developed within RSL Sub Branches, where persons with not one day of military service can be voted on to Sub Branch Boards, and make decisions that affect genuine veterans. Peter Webster, Secretary, Killarney RSL Sub Branch is a classic example of how the RSL organisation, is being infiltrated by persons who have no affiliation with veterans other than a possible family member.

The signatory, Peter Webster PhD Secretary, is a Citizens Auxiliary member and has never served in the Australian or any other Defence Force. It is incongruous that he should be involved in matters involving Service members of the RSL. For those interested, here is a photograph of Peter Webster PhD:


Caton joined the RAN in 1957. After failing his first Clearance Diver course in 1960, he qualified as a Clearance Diver in 1961. He then served as an Able Seaman and Leading Seaman, then back to Able Seaman, then Acting Leading Seaman by March 1969. Caton was withdrawn from an Advanced Clearance Divers course in 1967 after being deemed unsuitable.

The Killarney RSL also claim to have proof that Caton served on land in Vietnam and therefore was entitled to wear the two Vietnam medals. One of the two medals actually required 181 days, and in any case, they already say his wearing of false medals was a result of a theft from his car. There were forty eight RAN Special Forces Clearance Divers posted to Vietnam between February 1967 and May 1971 who earned the two medals. Caton was not one of them.

Caton is a dishonest medals cheat who dazzled the Killarney RSL with his Clearance Diver background and his false medals rack. Any prestige he was due, has been erased by his big noting dishonesty.

There are Clearance Diver berths, on HMAS ANZMI, these are usually filled by people falsely claiming such service. It is unusual to have one on board, who was a genuine Clearance Diver, but has been blowing false bubbles as a medals cheat.

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