Medal Cheats

Medal Cheats

Surname: Neath
Christian Names: Kenneth Edward
Country: Australia
State or Province: NSW
City or Town: Eden
Service #: R65781
Service: RAN
Branch: Marine Engineering
Commencement of service: Oct 66
Completion of service: May 69
Case Notes:

 

 

 

Just when we thought we had cleaned up the Navy's propensity to wear tin medals, along comes Kenneth Edward Neath a prime example of wearing "Vanity" medals that are nothing more than worthless tin junk.

Neath has been awarded four medals for his service, but wears six.  The last two are self purchased duplications of the second and third medals. 

He was awarded these:

They are:

Australian Active Service Medal(AASM) for service in Vietnam

VietnamLogistic and Support Medal(VLSM), for service as a member or crew of a ship  in the prescribed area of operations of Vietnam in support of Australian forces

Australian Service Medal(ASM) with Clasp FESR for his service with the Far East Special Reserve for service in South East Asia and

Australian Defence Medal (ADM)for completing his enlistment period in the RAN

Here are the worthless duplications of his second and third awarded medals:

These medals are Commemorative self purchased junk created by Navy Associations.  As such if they are to be worn at all, they should be worn on the right breast. These two medals would have cost Neath more that $120 and do nothing more than feed his vanity to be seen as a Veteran  with six medals instead of four.

Neath also wears his Return from Active Service Badge (RASB)  together with his genuine and fake medals.

This is a common fault in the Veteran Community and whilst not a big offence it is not what the badge was meant for. See here:

Despite our efforts to eradicate the wearing of "Tin" Vanity Medals we are sure that soon we will be publishing more offenders

We welcome Kenneth Edward Neath to our ever expanding list of medals cheats.

 

UPDATE ON KENNETH EDWARD NEATH 19 Dec 2016

The appearance of Neath on the ANZMI site in 2014 does not seem to have fazed him at all. On top of that, successive RSL Sub-Branch Executives seem to have turned a blind eye to his continual attendance at commemorative services in Eden and Merimbula, wearing the abomination medals and perpetuating his dishonesty.

Neath pops up at the 2015 Centenary of ANZAC service in Eden, still with all his medals on show.

 

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In 2016, Neath once again pops up, this time at the Vietnam Veterans Day service in Merimbula. Once again he is wearing his dodgy medals. He even gets interviewed for the local media (Merimbula Magnet online), with the following being reported about his Vietnam service:

“Vietnam War veteran Ken Neath from Eden was in the crowd. He worked in the engine room of the HMAS Melbourne in 1967 while it was flying night operations into north Vietnam, then on the MV Jeparit in 1968 – the “most controversial ship in the war”

 

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Neath was posted to HMAS Melbourne for the period February to August 1967.

Every month, the Commanding Officer of HMA Ships will provide a Report of Proceedings (ROP), to the Admiral, summarising the activities of that ship and other noteworthy items. ROPs for vessels involved in all Australian conflicts, up to Vietnam, are a matter of public record and can be viewed on the Australian War Memorial website.

An inspection of HMAS Melbourne’s ROPs for the period of Neath’s posting, shows:

February 1967

Alongside Garden Island undergoing refit.

March 1967

1-17              Alongside Garden Island undergoing refit.

17-31            Sydney/Jervis Bay area performing workups.

April 1967

1-30              Workups and exercises on East Coast.

May 1967

1-9                Passage to Rabaul (commence FESR duties).

10-18            Passage to Subic Bay, Phillipines.

19-25            Passage to Yokohama, Japan.

29-31            Passage to Kure, Japan.

June 1967

1-3                At Kure, Japan.

3-21              Passage to and alongside Hong Kong.

21-30            Passage to and alongside Singapore.

July 1967

1-5                Singapore to Manila, Phillipines.

7-26              Exercise SEADOG with US Navy.

26-31            Passage to and alongside Singapore.

August 1967

1-8                Singapore to Fremantle (cease FESR duties).

8-11              Alongside Fremantle.

11-31            Passage to and alongside Sydney.

As you can see, there were no “flying night operations into north Vietnam” during this deployment. How long Neath has perpetuated this falsehood is anybody’s guess, but they say that if you lie to yourself often enough, you start believing that lie.

One may think that is all, but as they say on the TV, “But wait, there’s more”!

Neath can also be seen wearing the Australian Defence Medal (ADM).

 

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The Australian Defence Medal was established on 20 March 2006 by Letters Patent. It recognises qualifying efficient service of current and former Australian Defence Force (ADF) Regular and Reserve personnel, including National Servicemen, who have served since the end of World War II.

As for any medal, there are regulations and criteria for its award, namely:

The eligibility criteria requires completion of an initial enlistment period or four years service, whichever is the lesser. The criteria also includes those who could not serve the four-year qualifying period or complete an initial enlistment period for one or more of the following reasons:

  • he death of a member during service;
  • the discharge of the member as medically unfit due to compensable impairment;
  • 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.

The Service Records for sailors who joined the Royal Australian Navy prior to 1970, are digitised and available to the public on the National Australian Archives (NAA) website.

 

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The above copy of the front page of Neath’s “Ratings Record of Service Card” shows that he enlisted on 22 October 1966 and that enlistment period was for 9 years.

 

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The rear of this document shows quite clearly that Neath received a “Free Discharge” (being one at own request) on 29 May 1969.

Neath did not complete his initial enlistment, nor did he complete at least 4 years service, having discharged just over 2 years and 6 months after enlistment. In no way has Neath qualified for the award of the ADM, another lie he has perpetuated.

Kenneth Edward Neath, you have already been called out once for your behaviour, but you have continued your charade and brought yourself attention once again.

To have been detected on the day of the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan Commemorations, makes it even worse in the disrespect you have brought on your fellow veterans.

However, the blame cannot lay entirely with you. The fact that successive executives of various RSL Sub-Branches have knowingly and willingly let you partake in commemorative services is a clear indictment on their own integrity and fitness to hold such responsible office.

Surname: Bryant
Christian Names: Stan
Country: Australia
State or Province: NSW
City or Town: Kandos
Service #: Nil
Service: Nil
Branch: Nil
Commencement of service: N/A
Completion of service: N/A
Case Notes:

Stan Bryant was born in New Zealand on the 12 June, 1949. He emigrated to Australia and worked in various jobs before settling at Kandos, near Mudgee, where he became the proprietor of Bryant's Saddlery, 1 George Street, Kandos. From all accounts he was a well respected member of the community.

 

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In particular, all his friends and acquaintances in the town of Kandos and surrounding towns believed that Stan Bryant was an Australian Army Vietnam War Veteran, who had been awarded the Military Medal for his bravery in that war.

Below is a photograph of Bryant wearing the following medals,

From left to right -;

1. Australian Active Service Medal 1945-1975 (AASM) with clasp Vietnam.Not entitled.
2, The Vietnam Medal, Not entitled.
3. The Australian Defence Medal,Not entitled.
4. The Vietnam Campaign Medal,Not entitled.
5. The Military Medal. Not entitled.

The photograph is from his current Facebook page and had been posted there since at least 2012.

 

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The above photograph is the Military Medal.

Until 1993, the Military Medal (MM) was a military decoration awarded to personnel of the British Army and other services, and formerly also to personnel of other Commonwealth countries, below commissioned rank, for bravery in battle on land.
The medal was established on 25 March 1916.[2] It was the other ranks' equivalent to the Military Cross (MC), which was awarded to commissioned officers and, rarely, to warrant officers, although WOs could also be awarded the MM. The MM ranked below the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM), which was also awarded to non-commissioned members of the Army.[3]

Wikipedia.

The Face Book photograph of Bryant was tagged,“Here is a photo of me with my Nam medals.”Then followed a stream of congratulatory emails from his friends and acquaintances complimenting him on his service to the Nation and some saying how poorly, he and his Vietnam Veteran friends were treated on their return home from the War Zone.

Bryant revelled in these comments, most likely feeling like the Kandos town war hero.

Bryant however is just an out and out fraud. An imposter of the highest order. An immoral person, who has stolen the honour of all those who have served in the Australian Army in Vietnam, and other fields of conflict.

Bryant has never served in any capacity in the Australian Army, Navy or Air Force, let alone serving in the active war zone of South Vietnam. To make matters worse, he poses in the photograph with the prestigious Military Medal for bravery.

Coincidentally, it was the Military Medal that aroused the suspicions of genuine veterans that reside in the Kandos-Mudgee areas of New South Wales. Bryant wears the Military Medal last in the set of medals he purchased. The Military Medal should have priority and be worn first. Not having any idea about military medals wearing protocols, Bryant just pinned it to his chest as he saw fit.

Posting fraudulent photographs of themselves wearing un-awarded medals, imposters like Bryant, thrive on the attention they receive. They use words like “Nam” to project an image of their false military service.

Bryant did nothing to correct the wrong. He accepted the adulations of his friends and colleagues on Face Book on Anzac Days, Remembrance Days and Vietnam Veterans Days, for many years.

We sent Stan Bryant an email and invited him to respond to allegations that the medals he wears were not awarded to him.

This is his reply -;

Guilty as charged.
I have never served in the army.
I can offer no explanation for posting that photo other than stupidity.
I had no idea of the signifcance (sic) of the medals and had allways (sic) thought they were not real.
The photo was taken about 1998 and was part of a comercial (sic) photo shoot.
I was given the jacket with medals attached, the walking stick the dark glaseses (sic) and told how to pose etc.
I appoligise (sic) if I offended anyone and will never post this again.

Like all imposters we expose on this site, Bryant is a liar. The only thing Bryant is sorry for is the fact he was caught out. He now faces a mammoth task, trying to convince all of his family and friends that he is not a Vietnam Veteran at all, but only wore the medals as some sort of "photo shoot".

Also, the problem for his story, is that in the photograph that we have edited, two young ladies also appear either side of Bryant. However, they correctly wear ancestor’s medals on the right hand side. Would they have been given their coats and medals to wear as well for a “photo shoot?” Not likely.

Another problem for Bryant is that on his Face Book page he has posted the following entry on the 1 April, 2016.

Stan Bryant
April 1 •
I wore this with pride!!! so will post as often as I bloodywell like

 

Bryantarmybadge





From Andrea (surname deleted) - You have a lot to be proud of Stan.
From Sue (surname deleted) - Yes, you should and Andrea is right , you do.
From Val (surname deleted) - Go for it.


So by his own admission, Bryant was claiming false Vietnam service in the Australian Army in 1998 when the original photograph was taken, up until the above Face Book entry with the supportive comments from his friends, Andrea, Sue and Val, who obviously believe his lies in 2016. Bryant has therefore been a Vietnam Veteran Imposter since 1998, or 18 years. So much for his "photo shoot excuse."

Following our communication with Bryant, he has now removed his Face Book page photo, where he wears purchased Vietnam medals, and all the praiseworthy comments from his friends, along with it.

Stan Bryant, you are a low life military imposter, who steals the honour of all those who have been to war, and those who have been awarded the Military Medal, both living and deceased.

You have never laced up an Australian Army boot, and you would have no idea what servicemen and women endure to qualify for the medals that you illegally wear.

Bryant has committed offences under the Defence Act 1903, Sections 80A and 80B in falsely representing himself to be a returned serviceman and wearing military medals that have not been awarded to him. These offences each carry a $3,000 fine and or six months imprisonment.

Bryant, you are more than worthy of having your name placed on this website forever.

Surname: Smets
Christian Names: John Mark
Country: Australia
State or Province: QLD
City or Town: Brisbane
Service #: 8080553
Service: RAN
Branch: Combat Systems
Commencement of service: 07 Mar 1983
Completion of service: 2014
Case Notes:

John Mark Smets is 51 years of age. He resides at Arana Hills, a suburb of Brisbane. He had 21 years service in the Royal Australian Navy, where he performed the duties of a Combat Systems Operator. (Sonar) He discharged in 2004 as a Leading Seaman and then joined the RAN Reserves.

John Smets is Medal Cheat, a Valour Thief, a Fraud and a Love Rat. He has preyed on vulnerable generous women, who have believed his heroic war stories of being a Naval Clearance Diver, in Iraq and Afghanistan. He uses the disability of war caused Post -Traumatic Stress Disorder to convince these women to give him money and lodgings. When he cannot use them anymore, or they refuse to give him more cash, he moves on to next victim.

Below is a photograph of John Mark Smets.

 

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In the above photograph, Smets is wearing the following medals -;

1. Australian Active Service Medal (AASM) with 3 clasps. (East Timor – ICAT – Iraq 2003.) Entitled to AASM with one clasp only – East Timor.. He is not entitled to wear the ICAT clasp (International Coalition against terror) or the Iraq 2003 clasp.
2. Interfet Medal. - Entitled.
3. Afghanistan Medal. – Not entitled.
4. Iraq Medal – Not entitled.

5. Australian Service Medal (ASM) with 3 clasps. (Unknown) - Entitled to ASM with one clasp- Kuwait. Whatever the other two clasps are, he is not entitled to them.
6. Defence Force Service Medal with a 5 year clasp. (DFSM) - Entitled.
7. Australian Defence Force Medal. (ADM) - Entitled.
8. United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor Medal (UNTAET) – Not entitled.

Above his medal rack, Smets is wearing a Royal Australian Navy Parachute qualification badge. He is not entitled to wear this adornment. He never commenced or completed this course.

 

Smets2jpg2 Copy


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.

 

Smet8


He is also not entitled to wear the above blue coloured United Nations beret and hat badge.

Smets served on a number of ships during his RAN service as a Combat Systems Operator (Sonar). However, he never served in Iraq or Afghanistan in a prescribed war like period, and he is not entitled to wear those medals. He also did not serve for 90 consecutive days in East Timor to be eligible to wear the UNTAET medal.

 

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The above medal is the un-awarded Iraq Medal.

 

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The above medal is the un-awarded Afghanistan Medal.

 

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The above medal is the un-awarded UNTAET medal.



UNAMET/UNTAET medal was established on 9 December 1999. The ribbon has two outer bands of UN blue, representing the UN presence in East Timor. Inside the two bands, there are two equal bars - closest to the blue, the bar is crimson, with the bar closest to the center being sunrise yellow. These colours represent the brilliant and spectacular sunrises and sunsets experienced in East Timor. The center of the ribbon is a band of white, traditionally the colour of peace and hope, the goal this Mission seeks to achieve. Qualifying time of service for the reception of UNAMET/UNTAET medal is 90 days.
(Wikipedia)


Smets was never a Clearance Diver with the Royal Australian Navy. That statement is also false.

Smets has been an incorrigible liar for many years. We have been sent statutory declarations from a number of extremely generous women who invited him to live in their homes, because of his alleged acute battle fatigue and lack of finances.

We know that we have only touched the surface with these statutory declarations and we have been assured, that there are many other ladies out there, who are willing to provide further statutory declarations about this Fraud, and his despicable behaviour.

The statutory declarations we have been provided, detail outlandish lies by Smets to ladies to ingratiate himself with them, gain their trust and sympathy and then request financial assistance from them, that he never repays. This behaviour has continued over many years and he has left a trail of disheartened and angry people in his wake.

His lies include -;

• He was a qualified elite RAN Clearance Diver for 20 years.
• He was “dux” of his class at the Clearance Divers Course, and his name is engraved on their Honour Board.
• He became a RAN Clearance Diver Instructor and trained and tested potential clearance divers in Sydney Harbour.
• He served in war like theatres in East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan as a RAN Clearance Diver.
• He shot a female in Afghanistan who was subsequently found to have explosives on her.
• Whilst in Afghanistan, he held down the femoral artery of a wounded colleague, and applied pressure for as long as he could, before watching his colleague die.
• He cleared IED’s (Improvised explosive devices) in Iraq and Afghanistan by laying on his stomach and scratching the ground with his fingers, to recover the device.
• He suffers acutely from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
• Due to the clandestine operations he was involved in, all his military records are classified as “Secret”, and they cannot be accessed by anyone.
• He was a RAN Clearance Diver during the Brisbane Floods.
• Although he has acute PTSD, he went to Bond University and qualified as a Solicitor and a Barrister. He came first in his Law Class.
• He is a qualified DVA Pension Officer and Advocate.
• He needs money to send the body of his recently deceased father back to Belgium to be placed in the family vault.
• He is suffering Testicular and prostate cancer, and needs money to pay for his ongoing treatment.
• He does not attend Anzac Day ceremonies now, as he gets too depressed.

We have also been advised by senior Redlands Returned & Services League (RSL) Sub Branch (Qld) officials, that Smets tried to ingratiate himself in their Sub Branch affairs. He claimed that he was a Barrister, and was giving advice on Department of Veterans Affairs pensions, to their members. Most of the time, the information supplied was was found to be incorrect. It was subsequently revealed that he was never a Barrister, a Solicitor, a qualified Pension Officer or an Advocate. He was immediately given the boot by the Redlands RSL, once his fraudulent claims were discovered.

 

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Above are further recent photographs of Smets for the information of any other women or RSL Sub Branches, who could fall prey to John Mark Smets.

We welcome Mr Smets to the growing list of frauds, military imposters and love rats who appear on this site.

Surname: Starcevich
Christian Names: George Edward
Country: Australia
State or Province: WA
City or Town: Esperance
Service #: R94731
Service: RAN
Branch: Chef
Commencement of service: 06 Jan 1965
Completion of service: Unknown
Case Notes:

George Edward Starcevich is the current President of the Esperance RSL Sub-Branch in West Australia.

He has been a member of the Esperance community for many years, even serving as a Shire Councillor. In fact, the Starcevich name is well known in the area, with several generations having gone off to serve their country in every major conflict since World War One. His uncle, Private Leslie ‘Tom’ Starcevich, was awarded the Victoria Cross in World War Two.

Starcevich joined the Royal Australian Navy as a Junior Recruit in 1965, eventually qualifying as a Chef. He had a number of sea postings, the most notable being on HMAS Sydney, where he accumulated 182 days Vietnam service, transporting troops and supplies between Australia and Vietnam.

Starcevich 1 2

The above photo of Starcevich is just one of a number since 2013, when he has attended veterans commemorative services and other public events where he has represented the Returned Services League (RSL). In each photo he is wearing a number of medals for all to see.

Starcevich served his country, saw active service, and was awarded the appropriate medals for that service. However, he has gone just that little bit further and added two commemorative medals to his rack (medals 3 and 4 on the bottom row). Why he did this is anyone’s guess, but it is usually out of vanity and a need to feel important.

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Ex-service organisations sometimes commission their own unofficial medals to mark participation in particular military campaigns, periods of service, or types of service that have not been recognised through the Australian Honours and Awards system. Protocol dictates that unofficial medals should not be worn at public ceremonial and commemorative events. However, if they are worn as the occasion demands, the convention is that they are worn on the right breast.

The two medals above are commemorative ‘tin’ originally commissioned by a Naval association associated with HMAS Sydney, “The Vung Tau Ferry”. Before the early 1990’s there was no recognition for the Navy personnel who crewed the support ships serving Australians in Vietnam. Because of this, Naval associations produced their own. The VLSM was later instituted by the Commonwealth to provide official recognition.

The medal on the left was only available to association members who had served on the Sydney and the other is the Australian Logistic Support Forces Medal. These are purchased medals, commonly referred to as ‘tin’ medals. They are mere trinkets.

Of note, the directive, that clearly displayed on the front page of the HMAS Sydney Association website, in bold red lettering, is the following:

“It is advisable that members do not wear commemorative medals alongside their awarded medals. Commemorative medals should be worn on your right breast”.

Time and time again, RSL Sub-Branch executive members appear on the ANZMI site due to their total lack of integrity through failing to uphold basic rules, regulations and protocols. This is compounded by the fact that at State level, the RSL seems to turn a blind eye to such behaviour, in fact, there are no references to the wearing of ‘tin’ medals on the website of any State RSL Branch.

George Edward Starcevich, please take your place on the increasing parade of like-minded cheats and wannabees.

Surname: Jackson
Christian Names: Douglas James
Country: Australia
State or Province: NSW
City or Town: Swansea
Service #: R65128
Service: RAN
Branch: Quartermaster Gunner
Commencement of service: 12 Mar 1966
Completion of service: Unknown
Case Notes:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The above photograph was taken at the 2015 Swansea ANZAC Dawn Service. It is the sort of picture that media photographers love – a veteran, deep in reflection for mates lost, as the sun rises on a new day.

Perhaps Jackson is really thinking, “Here I am at another ANZAC service and nobody has noticed I am wearing a couple of worthless medals”.

 

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Jackson accrued 330 days Vietnam service, shuttling personnel and equipment between Australia and Vietnam as a crew member of HMAS Jeparit and HMAS Sydney. For this service he was awarded the appropriate medals, which he can wear with pride.

However, Jackson has chosen to embellish his awards by adding two worthless commemorative medals. These medals are nothing more than trinkets to satisfy one’s vanity, and should never be worn alongside official medals.

 

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Ex-service organisations sometimes commission their own unofficial medals to mark participation in particular military campaigns, periods of service, or types of service that have not been recognised through the Australian Honours and Awards system. Protocol dictates that unofficial medals should not be worn at public ceremonial and commemorative events. However, if they are worn as the occasion demands, the convention is that they are worn on the right breast.

The two medals above are commemorative ‘tin’ originally commissioned by a Naval association associated with HMAS Sydney, “The Vung Tau Ferry”. Before the early 1990’s there was no recognition for the Navy personnel who crewed the support ships serving Australians in Vietnam. Because of this, Naval associations produced their own. The VLSM was later instituted by the Commonwealth to provide official recognition.

The medal on the left was only available to association members who had served on the Sydney and the other is the Australian Logistic Support Forces Medal. These are purchased medals, commonly referred to as ‘tin’ medals. They are mere trinkets.

Of note, the directive, that clearly displayed on the front page of the HMAS Sydney Association website, in bold red lettering, is the following:

“It is advisable that members do not wear commemorative medals alongside their awarded medals. Commemorative medals should be worn on your right breast”.

Douglas John Jackson, it is often quoted, “One picture is worth a thousand words”. Not that many words have been written about you here, however, many may be spoken by the veterans you have disrespected through your actions. That one opportune picture has now earned its place in the ANZMI gallery.

Surname: Doyle
Christian Names: Harley Stewart
Country: Australia
State or Province: SA
City or Town: Adelaide
Service #: R58376
Service: RAN
Branch: Stores Victualling
Commencement of service: 25 Sep 1961
Completion of service: Unknown
Case Notes:

Harley Stewart Doyle JP, is the State Vice-President of the Vietnam Veterans of Australia, South Australia Branch. This is an important and well-respected organisation for ensuring support to Vietnam Veterans in times of need, lobbying Government, and other forms of advocacy.

Doyle should be commended for his years of faithful service to fellow Veterans.

Doyle, however, should be condemned, for perpetuating dishonesty over many years by wearing medals he has not been awarded.

 

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The above photograph appeared in a number of syndicated publications throughout Australia, commemorating Vietnam Veterans Day in 2014. Here, Doyle can be seen wearing the following medals:

1. Australian Active Service Medal (AASM) 1945-75 (2 clasps) – only entitled to one clasp for this medal.
2. General Service Medal (GSM) 1962 (1 clasp) – no entitlement.
3. Vietnam Logistic Support Medal (VLSM) – entitled.
4. Australian Service Medal (ASM) 1945-75 (1 clasp) – no entitlement.
5. Australian Defence Medal (ADM) – entitled.
6. Pingat Jasa Malaysia Medal (PJM) – no entitlement.

Doyle joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1961 from the Adelaide Police Barracks, where he was a Probationary Constable, swapping one uniform for another.

 

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Pre-1970 Navy personnel records are publicly available from the National Australian Archives (NAA). Those records, in the case of a sailor, took the form of a “Ratings Record Card”. This item followed them throughout their career, until 1970, when this information was transferred to an electronic record.

 

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On the rear of the card is recorded all postings of the member. This information was recorded meticulously by administrative staff to ensure that every day was accounted for in regard to where the sailor was at that time.

Doyle’s first sea posting was to HMAS Duchess.

On 24 February 1964, just two weeks after the Voyager disaster, the Australian Government accepted the British offer of a replacement ship.

Duchess arrived in Sydney on 19 April 1964 with a combined RN/RAN ship’s company and a week later sailed for Williamstown Naval Dockyard for a much needed refit. She was commissioned into the RAN as HMAS Duchess (I) at Williamstown on 8 May with Commander Ian Burnside, RAN, in command.

The RN component of the crew returned to the UK leaving the ship completely in RAN hands for the first time. Duchess remained at Williamstown undergoing refit until 20 November 1964 when she departed for her homeport of Sydney. She arrived two days later and immediately began work-up in preparation for her first deployment on 19 January 1965.

Doyle served on the Duchess from 08 May 64 to 03 Jan 65.

The Australian War Memorial (AWM) keeps copies of the Report of Proceedings (ROPs) for HMA Ships, from both World Wars, the Korean War, and up until the end of the Vietnam War. Those documents are available online on the AWM website for public perusal.

An inspection of the ROPs for Duchess over the period Doyle was posted there, shows that the ship was in Australia undergoing refits and sea-trials. Duchess did not leave Australia on operational deployment until 19 Jan 65, as the extract of DVA records below discloses. Doyle posted off the ship 12 days before this deployment.

 

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Doyle was next posted to HMAS Sydney from 04 Jan 65 to 04 Apr 65. During this period Sydney did not leave Australian waters.

Doyle returned to Sydney on 28 Mar 67, completing three trips to Vietnam, as shown on the Vietnam Service Certificate below. These were the only operational deployments undertaken by Sydney in that year, spending from June to December alongside in Australia, undergoing refit.

 

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From the information provided so far, it can be seen that the three deployments to Vietnam were the only warlike, or non-warlike, service by Doyle. This becomes very relevant when Doyle’s entitlement to the medals he is wearing is scrutinised.

AASM 1945-1975: In the photograph Doyle can be seen to have two clasps to this medal. As his only warlike operational service was onboard HMAS Sydney, the medal should only have one clasp, namely ‘VIETNAM’.

GSM 1962: The GSM is an Imperial (UK) Award, instituted in 1964 to replace the Naval General Service Medal 1915-62, and the General Service Medal 1918-62. As is with all General Service Medals, it is issued with clasps, which define the operational service for which the award was made.

The clasps most commonly awarded to Australians are ‘MALAY PENINSULA’, ‘BORNEO’ and ‘SOUTH VIETNAM’, the latter awarded exclusively to Australian troops.

There are a number of qualifying criteria for the award of this medal. Doyle did not see any relevant operational service in those areas between 1962 and 1966 and is therefore not entitled to that medal.

VLSM: In 1993, the Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal was established to recognise those who had served in Vietnam during the time of the Vietnam War, for relatively short periods of time in support of Australian operations and who had not received any recognition for that service.

Doyle is entitled to the award of this medal for his deployments to Vietnam on HMAS Sydney.

ASM 1945-75: Doyle is also wearing this medal, to which is attached one clasp.

The ASM 1945-75 was approved in 1995, and may be awarded for service in, or in connection with, prescribed non-warlike operations during the period commencing on 3 September 1945 and ending on 16 September 1975.

For the time of Doyle’s service, the appropriate clasp would be ‘FESR’ for service with the Far East Strategic Reserve, between 02 July 1955 and 31 October 1971. However, Doyle did not see service in this area of operation. Doyle is not entitled to the medal or the clasp.

ADM: The ADM recognises ADF personnel who have efficiently completed either an initial enlistment period, or four years’ service, which ever is the lesser, and all of the relevant service was after 3 September 1945. Doyle is entitled to this medal.

PJM: In 2004, the Malaysian Government offered Australia the PJM medal to commemorate ADF personnel who served to uphold the sovereignty of Malaysia during the Malayan Emergency and the Indonesian Confrontation, between 31 August 1957 and 31 December 1966. The Australian government accepted the offer and has issued over 8,000 medals.

Once again, Doyle did not undertake qualifying service and is therefore not entitled to wear that medal.

Harley Stewart Doyle, you were appropriately awarded for your service in defence of our country, but chose to add a further three medals to your rack.

Harley Doyle was contacted by ANZMI. He was requested to provided an explanation as to his wearing of non awarded medals. He replied that in respect to the General Service Medal, he was on the HMAS Duchess when it sailed close to the qualifying area for the medal, so he thought that he would buy the medal and place it on his rack.

In respect to his purchasing and wearing the non-entitled second clasp on the Australian Active Service Medal, the non-entitled Australian Service Medal with one clasp and the non-entitled Pingjat Jasa Medal, he stated that it was "just something that he did at the time."

Harley Doyle, your actions have sullied all of your work with the VVAA and call into question your fitness to hold an executive position within that organisation and also fitness to remain as a Justice of the Peace. You are a Medals cheat and you should stand down immediately as the Vice President, South Australia State Branch of the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia.  You have no credibility.

You are now among good company on the ANZMI website.

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