Date of Entry: 19/02/2020
Surname: Hughes
Christian Names: Justin E.
Country: Australia
State or Province: Western Australia
City or Town: Bassendean
Service #: 142818
Service: Royal Australian Navy
Case Notes:


Justin E Hughes served aboard HMAS Westralia on operational duties during the Gulf War. For Gulf War service, and for his general RAN service, he wears five medals. He is entitled to wear only four:

The medals he wears are;

Australian Active Service Medal (AASM)
Australian Service Medal
Australian Defence Medal
Saudi Arabia Liberation of Kuwait Medal
Kuwait Liberation Medal. Not an official medal and breaches medals protocol.

This is the offending medal.

Hughes wears five medals for a single RAN deployment, three are for the Gulf deployment, one is for his defence service. The fifth is an unapproved duplication of the fourth.

Hughes is wrong in wearing a medal, not approved to be worn.

The RAN generally, and individual ex RAN members, have made monumental protocol errors, starting from the incorrect issue of the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal (RVCM) to thousands of sailors, who do not fill the criteria to wear it. That blunder has been proven by an inquiry, however the matter is so far entrenched, that the mistake cannot be rectified.

Over the past fifty years there have been dozens of ex RAN members exposed for wearing unauthorised association "Tin" medals, such as the FESR Medal, HMAS Sydney medal, and the Vietnam Logistic Support medal.

Now we have Sailors wearing two medals for the one deployment. These are the approved Saudi Arabia Liberation of Kuwait Medal and the not approved, Kuwait Liberation of Kuwait medal

The Kuwait Liberation Medal was offered to the Australian Government in 2000. In line with policy, the Kuwait medal could not be accepted.

It is not approved for wear by the Governor General, and if worn at all, should be worn on the right breast. Simply put, the Saudi Arabia medal is worn for participation in the Gulf War and if the unapproved Kuwait Liberation is worn it is a direct duplication.

It is disappointing that some RAN Associations provide incorrect information to members. This has been a pattern since Far East Strategic Reserve (FESR) operations in Singapore Malaysia then following Vietnam, through to the Gulf War. We are constantly reporting ex Sailors wrongly wearing unapproved "medals". Usually they wrongly wear the medals on advice from RAN Associations.

ANZAC protocol and tradition has been cherished for the past one hundred years. If we wear whatever we like, we will end up looking like North Korea Generals and the value of our medals will be meaningless.

It is most likely that Hughes has been advised by an RAN Association to wear the medal, which makes both him and the association wrong.

Justin Hughes of Bassendean Western Australia is allotted a bunk on the good ship ANZMI with others of the same ilk.

Randall THURLEY Brisbane Queensland
Frederick STEWART Huskisson New South Wales
Trevor CRAINE Northam Western Australia
Simon OGDEN Melbourne Victoria
Brendan EMERY Devonport Tasmania
Gary CROSBY Logan, Queensland

We have plenty of Hammocks up forward near the bilge pump for these medals cheats.

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