Medal Cheats

Medal Cheats

Surname: Cowie
Christian Names: Wayne William
Country: Australia
State or Province: QLD
City or Town: Rockhampton
Service #: 1735654
Service: Army
Branch: Artillery
Commencement of service: 09 Jul 1969
Completion of service: Unknown
Case Notes:

 

 

Cowie 1

 

They say that the further North you get in Australia, the more relaxed the people are.

It is certainly true in this picture of a very relaxed Wayne Cowie, taken at a Vietnam Veterans commemorative service, in 2015, at the Cockscomb Veterans Bush Retreat, a nice 30 minute drive from Rockhampton in  Northern Queensland.

Cowie 2

 

Cowie served 277 days in Vietnam as part of the 4th Field Regiment, The Royal Regiment Australian Artillery, as the Vietnam War Service certificate shows.

The 4th Field Regiment was raised at Wacol on 3 May 1960, being the first major Regular Army unit to be raised in Queensland. The Regiment moved to Lavarack Barracks in 1968. As a complete unit, the Regiment served two tours of duty in South Vietnam, as well as sending individual batteries to South Vietnam, Singapore, Malaya and East Timor.

Why this little potted history, you ask? Cowie was part of an artillery unit, a point that will later to prove very important in his undoing.

Cowie 3

At the end of his official medals, Cowie has tacked on a commemorative abomination, this one known as the Front Line Medal. This piece of tin may look pretty, however, you do not fool your fellow veterans, who would recognise you had no association with the 2/12 Infantry Battalion whatsoever.

The Front Line Service Medal was issued by the 2/12 Infantry Battalion Association, based in Queensland, to identify those who took part in World War Two front line actions with the Infantry, differentiating them from other units. It was manufactured and sold by that Association as a funds raising exercise. They made a lot of money selling this tin trinket to gullible people, who had no association with the 2/12 Infantry Battalion whatsoever. You can add Cowie to that list of gullible people.

Defence Honours and Awards has this to say about such medals:

“Medals not listed in the order of wear may be worn officially, on an unrestricted basis, only with the express permission of the Governor-General. As a general rule, such permission is extended only to official awards of foreign governments. It has never been extended to private commemorative medals. Those medals should not be worn at all, and certainly never on the left hand side and mounted with officially issued medals”.

Have you picked up on the glaring inconsistency yet? That’s right, Cowie was attached to an artillery unit, yet he is wearing a thing designed to commemorate service in the infantry.

Yes, they certainly are more relaxed up North, and Wayne Cowie did not have to expend much energy to earn a permanent place on the ANZMI website.

Surname: Coret
Christian Names: Gerardus Cornelius
Country: Australia
State or Province: TAS
City or Town: Lilydale
Service #: 37866680
Service: Army
Branch: Infantry
Commencement of service: Unknown
Completion of service: Unknown
Case Notes:

 

 

 

Gerardus (Gerry) Coret, Justice of the Peace and President of the Lilydale (Tasmania) RSL Sub-Branch, served 376 days in Vietnam as part of the 5th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment.

Coret 1 2

The above photo of Coret was taken in December 2015 at the Lilydale District School, where the Avenue of Honour, a garden area that honours fallen soldiers from the Lilydale region, was officially opened as part of local ANZAC Centenary commemorations. Coret can be seen here with his campaign medals proudly displayed.

Coret 2

In September 2015, Coret attended a wreath laying at the Lilydale Cenotaph as part of the “Centenary Experience” display in that town. This was just one of the hundreds of commemorative events conducted throughout Australia for the Centenary of ANZAC.

Again, Coret can be seen displaying his medals and one could assume he wears these same medals to all official RSL-related functions, and has done so for some time. He should be proud of the medals he received for his active military service, and also his continuing service as a member of the RSL Sub-Branch Executive.

Coret, however, cannot be proud of the fact he has attached a commemorative, or as more commonly known, a ‘tin medal’, to his Service medals. Doing such may impress those that do not know, however, you do not fool your fellow veterans, who would recognise you had no association with the 2/12 Infantry Battalion whatsoever.

Coret 3

The Front Line Service Medal was issued by the 2/12 Infantry Battalion Association, based in Queensland, to identify those who took part in World War Two front line actions with the Infantry, differentiating them from other units. It was manufactured and sold by that Association as a funds raising exercise. They made a lot of money selling this tin trinket to gullible people, who had no association with the 2/12 Infantry Battalion whatsoever.

Defence Honours and Awards has this to say about such medals:

“Medals not listed in the order of wear may be worn officially, on an unrestricted basis, only with the express permission of the Governor-General. As a general rule, such permission is extended only to official awards of foreign governments. It has never been extended to private commemorative medals. Those medals should not be worn at all, and certainly never on the left hand side and mounted with officially issued medals”.

Coret has deliberately flouted Government policy in order to give himself just that little more recognition and set himself apart from other Veterans. What he does not seem to understand is that he does not need that piece of ‘tin’ to show his ‘front line’ service as that has been adequately recognised by the Infantry Combat Badge he also wears on his suit.

Perhaps Coret could take onboard some advice from his Hobart cousins, who for a number of years have put out an instruction before each ANZAC Day, regarding dress, saluting and etiquette, stating at section 7:

“Occasionally a person will wrongly claim to be a returned veteran and wear medals to which they are not entitled. This practice is deceitful and disrespectful to the veteran community. Further, there are a number of unofficial medals not recognized through the Australian Honours system which should not be worn at events such as ANZAC Day”.

Gerardus (Gerry) Cornelius Coret, your Vietnam service has earned you the medals that you can be proud to wear. However, by adding a worthless commemorative 'tin' medal, you have earned yourself a place, in the ever-increasing numbers of RSL Sub-Branch Executives, who choose to flout protocol and convention, and in doing bring discredit on the Honours and Awards system and Veterans who have been awarded legitimate medals.

Surname: Harding
Christian Names: Leslie John
Country: Australia
State or Province: SA
City or Town: Arno Bay
Service #: 4717626
Service: Army
Branch: Infantry
Commencement of service: Unknown
Completion of service: Unknown
Case Notes:

 

 

 

Leslie John Harding served 370 days in Vietnam as part of the 5th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment.

Harding 1

The above photo of Harding was taken at the 2015 Anzac Day service, at Arno Bay in South Australia. Harding can be seen here with his campaign medals proudly displayed, along with an equally impressive scarf in Vietnam campaign medal colours.

Harding 2

Harding, however, cannot be proud of the fact he has attached a commemorative, or as more commonly known, a ‘tin medal’, to his Service medals. Doing such may impress those that do not know, however, you do not fool your fellow veterans, who would recognise you had no association with the 2/12 Infantry Battalion whatsoever.

The Front Line Service Medal was issued by the 2/12 Infantry Battalion Association, based in Queensland, to identify those who took part in World War Two front line actions with the Infantry, differentiating them from other units. It was manufactured and sold by that Association as a funds raising exercise. They made a lot of money selling this tin trinket to gullible people, who had no association with the 2/12 Infantry Battalion whatsoever.

Defence Honours and Awards has this to say about such medals:

“Medals not listed in the order of wear may be worn officially, on an unrestricted basis, only with the express permission of the Governor-General. As a general rule, such permission is extended only to official awards of foreign governments. It has never been extended to private commemorative medals. Those medals should not be worn at all, and certainly never on the left hand side and mounted with officially issued medals”.

Perhaps the message is not getting through, or perhaps more and more veterans are choosing to disregard protocol and in doing so display they have little respect for their fellow veterans.

Whatever the reason, your effort has earned you a place on the ANZMI site along with other 5th Battalion members, such as Gerardus Coret, with history dictating that your numbers will grow as more are exposed.

Surname: Strevens
Christian Names: Stephen Conway
Country: Australia
State or Province: NSW
City or Town: Bega
Service #: R63337
Service: Navy
Branch: Marine Engineering
Commencement of service: 05 Apr 1964
Completion of service: Unknown
Case Notes:

 

 

 

Stephen (Steve) Strevens, Navy veteran, editor, author and historian – and medal cheat.

Strevens 1 2

 

The above photograph was taken on 24 April 2015, where Strevens appeared in an article in the Bega District News, talking about his latest book, this time about the experiences of a Vietnam veteran.

Strevens is best summed up in this biographical piece, issued as part of a media release from publishers Pan MacMillan Australia:

“Steve Strevens joined the Navy two weeks after his 16th birthday. He served in Vietnam, Malay and Borneo and then became a freelance writer. He was a regular contributor to The Age and has been published in many major newspapers and magazines, both here and overseas. He is a multi-award-winning journalist and has edited two regional newspapers. Steve's eight books include Slow River and the critically acclaimed biography of Collingwood AFL legend Bob Rose. He lives on the far south coast of NSW with his partner and their two ageing, loveable, but quite mad, dogs”.

Strevens served in Vietnam, Malaya and Borneo onboard HMAS Vendetta and HMAS Sydney. For this service he qualified for a number of official medals, as did others who served with him.

Strevens 2

In the above picture Strevens can be seen wearing, from left to right, the following medals:

1. Australian Active Service Medal (AASM) 1945-75 with 3 clasps – entitled.

2. Navy General Service Medal 1962 with 1 clasp – entitled.

3. Vietnam Logistic Support Medal (VLSM) – entitled.

4. Australian Service Medal (ASM) 1945-75 – entitled.

5. Australian Defence Medal (ADM) – entitled.

6. Vietnam Logistic Support Forces Medal – commemorative medal and not to be worn with official medals.

7. HMAS Sydney Medal - commemorative medal and not to be worn with official medals.

8. Pingat Jasa Malaysia Medal – entitled.

The two ‘offensive’ medals are shown below:

Strevens 3

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.

If Strevens was such an acclaimed author and news editor, how did he let the ‘facts’ about these ‘tin’ medals slip through the cracks. Or is the truth of the matter Strevens chose to ignore the truth and add another two medals to make that rack look just that little more appealing to unsuspecting readers.

Stephen Strevens, through your own actions you have inadvertently written your own story and entry in the ever-increasing dishonour roll on ANZMI.

Surname: Horn
Christian Names: Darrell Bruce
Country: Australia
State or Province: NSW
City or Town: Sydney
Service #: R66340
Service: Navy
Branch: Underwater Weapons
Commencement of service: 08 Apr 67
Completion of service: Unknown
Case Notes:

 

 

We honour those who made the supreme sacrifice in war, as we do for those who have lost their lives in peacetime. The collision at sea between the HMAS Melbourne and the USS Frank E. Evans is a tragedy engraved into the defence history of both Australia and the United States.

What is known as theMelbourne–Evans  collisionwas a collision between light aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourneof theRoyal Australian Navy (RAN) and destroyerUSS Frank E. Evans of the United States Navy  (USN). On 3 June 1969, the two ships were participating in SEATOexercise Sea Spirit in theSouth China Sea. At approximately 3:00 am, when ordered to a new escort station, Evanssailed under Melbourne's bow, where she was cut in two. Seventy-four of  Evans'crew were killed.

On 03 June 2014, a sombre service was held onboard HMAS Melbourne (III), commemorating the 45th anniversary of the Melbourne-Evans collision. The service was attended by a number of invited former members of the Melbourne’s crew at the time of the incident.

Darrell Bruce Horn was one of the attendees.

Horn 1 2

 

Dress of the day for the service was uniform with medals for ADF members and suits with medals for ex-service members in attendance. On that day, Horn was the only one present wearing only medal ribbons. “Why was this”, you may ask – perhaps Horn did not want anyone questioning the authenticity of the decorations he had on his left breast that day.

Horn 2 2 3

 

In the above image Horn is wearing two rows of medal ribbons, signifying his being awarded the total of seven medals for his service. The first three, and the only official medals actually issued to Horn for his Navy service are:

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

2. Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal (VLSM)

3. Australian Service Medal 1945-75 (ASM).

The remaining four ribbons, on the bottom row, represent commemorative medals issued by various Ex-Service associations. These trinkets are generally known as ‘tin’ medals, they have no credibility and should never be worn with official medals.

Horn appears very grandiose, with extra medals adorning his chest, apparently representing a great deal of service. However, Horn has already been recognised for this service by the issuing of official medals.

Wearing unofficial commemoratives with issued medals destroys the integrity of Australia's honours and awards system, and demeans the genuine service of the wearer.

These pieces of ‘tin’ are shown in full below so that the public may recognise this deception and call to account anyone wearing those abominations.

Horn 3 2

 

HMAS Sydney Commemorative

Horn 4 2

Australian Logistic Support Forces Commemorative

Horn 5 2

 

Regular Force Service Commemorative

Horn 6 2

Far East Strategic Reserve Commemorative

Darrell Bruce Horn: Your attempt to give an impression, of your being some sort of super hero on this solemn anniversary, displayed a total disrespect for your fellow ex-servicemen. That disrespect, is now displayed on ANZMI, for all to see.

Surname: Mallan
Christian Names: James Waters
Country: Australia
State or Province: NSW
City or Town: Gloucester
Service #: Unkown
Service: Unkown
Branch: Unknown
Commencement of service: Unknown
Completion of service: Unknown
Case Notes:

 

 

 

James (Jim) Waters Mallan, President, Gloucester RSL Sub-Branch.

Every now and then at an ANZAC or similar service, you will see someone that causes you from the outset to question the row of medals displayed proudly on their chest. When that person also holds an executive position within the RSL, one must also question their integrity and overall fitness to hold that position.

There are many questions that must be asked of James Mallan.

Mallan 1 2

 

Mallan 2 2

These photographs were taken at the 2015 Gloucester Dawn Service and later ANZAC March in Gloucester, country New South Wales. Mallan can be seen wearing a well mounted rack of medals, namely:

1. NSW State Emergency Service (SES) Director-General’s Unit Citation (State award).

2. National Medal.

3. Australian Defence Medal

4. Centenary Medal

5. Anniversary of National Service Medal

6. NSW SES Long Service Award (State award)

Mallan 3 2 3

Mallan 4 2 3

Established protocols dictate that State awards should be displayed on the right side of the bearers chest  They do not belong, and should never be mixed, with official Federal issued medals.

That now raises further questions in regard to the Federal issued medals. Although the award of Mallan’s Centenary Medal (for service to the SES) is listed on the ‘It’s an Honour’ website, there is no record of his having been issued the National Medal. Although the National Serviceman’s Roll is voluntary, there is no mention of Mallan, nor in general is there any reference to his prior Defence service, which one would expect to find something, somewhere, given his position in the community and on the RSL.

Finally, there is the matter of the order that his medals have been mounted, they should appear, from left to right:

1. Centenary Medal.

2. National Medal.

3. Australian Defence Medal

4. Anniversary of National Service Medal.

James Mallan, President of Gloucester RSL Sub-Branch: You have a number of questions to answer, with regard to your honesty and integrity. However, there is no question that you belong on the ANZMI website.

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