Medal Cheats

Medal Cheats

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.

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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.

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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: Astridge
Christian Names: Peter
Country: Australia
State or Province: New South Wales
City or Town: Gladesville
Service: Army (Citizens Military Forces)
Branch: Infantry
Commencement of service: 1957
Case Notes:

 

Peter Astridge is the Secretary/Vice President of the Gladesville Returned and Services League (RSL) Sub Branch.

 

Astridge

 

Notice that Astridge wears relatives medals on his right breast, a red sash over his left shoulder, a Commando Beret and Badge, and two medals on his left breast. Sometimes he wears the red sash on his right shoulder.

 

Astridge

Astridge3

 

Astridge spent some time as a part time soldier in the Citizens Military Forces and served with Commandos, for which he may have been awarded an Australian Defence Medal (ADM) and the Commando Beret and Badge. The second medal on his left breast is a New South Wales unofficial State Emergency Services Medal and should not be worn at all. The "Tin" medal and the red sash are just "bling", perhaps to enhance the perception of his military service.

 

Traditionally, a red sash is worn in the Australian Army by serving Royal Australian Infantry Corps Sergeants and Warrant Officers on ceremonial parades. It was a tradition adopted from the British Army where the sash and its colour derived from it being used to drag wounded soldiers out of the battle line and to the rear, when fighting was at close quarters..

 

An RSL executive has no duties that may require the application of the red sash.

 

We suggest to Astridge that he gets rid of the sash, and the medal.

 

RSLs' are places where Veterans and the members remember the sacrifices of those who have served in the Australian Defence Force. It is not a place where people like Astridge can don fancy dress to massage their ego and their public persona.

 

Welcome to the website Peter Astridge.

 

Surname: Shortis
Christian Names: Christopher Neil
Country: Australia
State or Province: Victoria
City or Town: Melbourne
Service #: Nil
Service: Nil
Case Notes:

 

Christopher Shortis is an extremist politician with a bent for “Hitler” like rants at public rallies. It appears that Shortis likes to identify himself as "warrior". In a political party he was known as "Lieutenant" and wears medals on his right breast.

 

Shortis1

 

At rallies there is quite a bit of clanging as the rack of medals on his right breast jostle about.

 

Shortis

 

It is assumed that the medals are those of a direct deceased relative.   Protocol for wearing medals as a descendant of the original recipient is as follows:

 

"Allowance is made for family members of a deceased recipient to wear that person's medals on commemorative occasions such as Anzac Day. When worn by others, the usual protocol recommended is that the medals are worn on the right side to show that the wearer is not the original recipient".

Note that protocol directs that relative’s medals may be worn on commemorative occasions. Extremist political rallies are not such occasions and Shortis is grossly insulting traditions and protocols.

Shortis spruiks lots of fighting words in his tirades, but he has never served in the Defence Force. Here is an example of his aggressive rhetoric:

Shortis

Perhaps Shortis wears the medals to give evidence, to the unwary public that he not only talks about his sweat blood and tears, but is the relative of a sweater, bleeder and weeper.

Fortunately for the Australian public this firebrand has been deprived of his weapons of close destruction, which thankfully leaves him with only mean rhetoric in his armoury.

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This entry is a bit out of the ordinary, however we believe that Shortis has well earned a position on this web site for his abuse of protocol and tradition in the wearing of Australian military medals

Surname: Mueller
Christian Names: Frank Fred
Country: Australia
State or Province: Queensland
City or Town: Bundaberg
Service #: 313522
Service: Army
Branch: Royal Australian Medical Corps
Case Notes:

 

Frank Fred Mueller of Bundaberg is a medals cheat. He is entitled to wear three military medals, however he wears four medals together with thirteen badges, buttons and bows.

 

Mueller

 

Muellers medals are:

 

Australian Active Service Medal (AASM)   Entitled

Vietnam Medal (VM) Entitled

Australian Defence Medal (ADM) Entitled

Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal (RVCM) Not Entitled

 

Mueller does not meet the criterion to wear the RVCM as he served only 88 days in Vietnam instead of the required 181 days.

 

Mueller2

 

Initially Mueller was contacted direct, but he responded with a tirade of swearing and abuse.

 

Advice was then sought from the Bundaberg Returned and Services League (RSL) where he is a member. That RSL was aware of his offending but chose to protect him by refusing to participate in checking Mueller's medals entitlement.

 

They advised a researcher as follows inter alia:

 

"Bundaberg RSL has neither the resources nor the access to records and further we are here to support veterans not dishonour them. This member is a veteran of the Vietnam War, he has health issues and he needs our support.

 I urge you to handle your concerns with great caution, and suggest you refrain from undertaking any action other than that recommended by the Department of Defence."

 

We would aver that the Bundaberg RSL was dishonouring all veterans by knowingly allowing a medals cheat in their midst. They were operating against their own constitution and trashing long established Veterans protocols and traditions.

 Fortunately, and after some prodding, sanity prevailed at Bundaberg RSL and another communication was received which says inter alia:

 

Re my correspondence of 17 August regarding the wearing of a medal by Mr Mueller.

 I have been advised that Mr Mueller sought clarification of his eligibility and now accepts that he is not entitled to wear that medal and will refrain from doing so.

 

The situation at Bundaberg was indicative of the ever increasing laissez faire attitude in some RSL Clubs throughout Australia.

Mueller has well earned his place on this website and can settle in for a long stay.

 

 

Surname: Woodward
Christian Names: Roy Gerald
Country: Australia
State or Province: South Australia
City or Town: Victor Harbour
Service #: 447746
Service: Army
Branch: Royal Australian Infantry Corps
Case Notes:

 

Roy Gerald Woodward did hard service in Vietnam as an Infantry soldier. Arguably the hardest job in the Army.

 

Woodward

 

Woodward was well rewarded for his service by being presented with four medals. For reasons known only to himself he has purchased and attached a fifth unauthorised "Tin" medal to his rack. It is the medal nearest his left shoulder.

 He wears:

 Australian Active Service Medal (AASM) - entitled

Vietnam Medal (VN) - entitled

Australian Defence Medal - entitled

Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal -entitled

Front Line Medal - A non official medal that must not be worn on the left breast.

 

The "Front Line Medal" is occasionally seen mixed with legitimate medals. There is no reason for any person to wear it, particularly a Vietnam Veteran. It is an unofficial medal that was created by the 2/18 Infantry Battalion Association after WW2 to raise money, and as an "In house" memorial to members of the 2/18 Battalion who were captured by the Japanese in Singapore in 1942 and suffered brutal hardship.

 

Here is the controversial medal:

 

Woodward

 

He and all those who flaunt protocol and tradition by wearing unofficial medals will be allocated space on this website.

 

Surname: Pitts
Christian Names: Kevin William
Country: Australia
State or Province: Victoria
City or Town: Myrtleford
Service #: Army
Service: 37958
Branch: Royal Australian Infantry Corps
Case Notes:

 

Kevin William Pitts is the President of the Myrtleford RSL, he along with his Secretary Bryan Meehan are medals cheats.

 

Pitts

 

Pitts is wearing:

 

Australian Active Service Medal (AASM)

General Service Medal (GSM) Malaya

Vietnam Medal (VM)

Australian Defence Medal (ADM)

Pingat Jasa Medal (PJM) Malaysia

Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal (RVCM) - NOT ENTITLED

 

He has earned all the medals except the RVCM, which he has "tacked" onto his rack.

 Being an RSL President and having done hard service he should be the epitome of a preserver of protocol and tradition. Here is a photograph of Pitts and his Secretary Bryan Meehan, both are wearing non earned RVCM medals

 

Pitts

 

His Secretary Bryan Meehan is separately listed on this website.

 When contacted, Pitts could not accept that he is a medals cheat and strongly and wrongly defended himself and his mate Meehan. When asked if he would like a copy of the criterion for the medal he refused to discuss the matter further.

 Pitts served for 133 days in Vietnam which is 48 days short of the required 181 days. In addition he was not returned to Australia as a Battle Casualty.

 

Pitts3

 

Here are the rules for the RVCM, these rules have stood for the fifty years that Pitts has worn the medal.

 

Pitts

 

As both are senior executives of the Myrtleford RSL, perhaps an audit of membership medals is in order, however neither Pitts nor Meehan should be involved as they are known offenders.

 Kevin Pitts is welcomed to this website where his behaviour as a medals cheat is recorded for posterity.

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