Date of Entry: 05/03/2021
Surname: Dennis
Christian Names: Ryan
Country: Australia
State or Province: New South Wales
City or Town: Sydney
Service: Royal Australian Navy
Branch: Medical
Commencement of service: Unknown
Completion of service: Still Serving
Case Notes:


Ryan Dennis is currently a Chief Petty Officer in the Royal Australian Navy. (RAN) According to his long service badges, he has at least twelve years service with the RAN. He is also a member of St John Ambulance Australia in Sydney, NSW..

Ryan Dennis, for some time now has been a medal cheat. The below photograph was posted on his Facebook Page in 2016, however, the photograph was taken much earlier, when he was a more junior Leading Seaman.



He is wearing the following medals.

1. The Officer of the Order of St John Medal. . (Civilian award)
2. Australian Active Service Medal with unknown clasp. AASM. Not entitled.
3. Australian Service Medal with unknown clasp ASM
4. Australian Defence Medal. ADM
5. The Service Medal of the Order of St John. (Civilian award.)

The Australian Active Service Medal recognises the service of members of the Defence Force and certain other persons in specified warlike operations since 14 February 1975.



Dennis has never been awarded the Australian Active Service Medal.




In the above more recent photographs, Chief Petty Officer Ryan Dennis wears the identical awards. In the last photograph he also wears the Defence Long Service Medal. (15 years service) Therefore, he has been wearing the un-awarded AASM for well over four years. As of March, 2021, these photographs still appear on his Facebook page.

Dennis came to the notice of ANZMI from concerned colleagues, who for the past number of years, queried his AASM medal entitlement. He responded to his colleagues, that he was entitled to the AASM for his service on HMAS Darwin when it left Australia for the Middle East on Operation Catalyst in December 2004. Operation Catalyst was at that time a Warlike area proclaimed by the Australian Government.


On 28 December Darwin departed HMAS Stirling, Perth, Western Australia bound for the Middle East.

After fuelling at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, Darwin entered the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO) on 9 January 2005., where eligibility for the Australian Active Service Medal commenced. Ryan Dennis was not then on the ship.

Following information received, a Researcher then contacted Ryan Dennis and invited him to respond to allegations, that he was not entitled to wear the AASM, as it had not been officially awarded to him.

He replied -; 
The AASM was incorrectly recorded in PmKeys, for Operation Catalyst, whilst providing Op relief, on review minimal service in area was not conducted. Of which I did not realise either. This was discovered when a query was raised as to why it was recorded but no medal was issued. The subsequent changes to my medal rack have been conducted, occurring late last year; (2020) and PmKeys has also been corrected.

Further -

The medal was not awarded by Defence Honours and Awards, which is how the PmKeys error was discovered. It however was present on my PmKeys and correlated with correct year that I was onboard. It appeared to be a clerical error from perhaps the ships staff however due to the age and information being ported into PmKeys and my discharge (now rejoined). It was incorrectly believed that I had been awarded the medal and therefore entitled to wear it, a replica was purchased by myself, until the original caught up with me. (Bolded comments inserted by ANZMI)

Further –

I was a member of HMAS Darwin as an Op Relief in December 2004, I departed in late December, as it turns out prior to Inchop onto OP Catalyst.

Further -

I left the ship in Diego Garcia, it may have been early January by that stage, but I thought it was December.

Diego Garcia is a British administered island in the Indian Ocean and a United States Naval Base. It is not in the Middle East Area of Operations for Warlike Service. Dennis states that he left the ship at Diego Garcia. That was prior to the ship entering the Warlike area on the 9 January, 2005.

Unfortunately, there is no entitlement to the AASM for a crew member visiting an allied Naval Base in the Indian Ocean. You do not get an AASM, for nearly being in a prescribed warlike MEAO area. He would have known that, as would have every other Crew Member on the ship.

ANZMI has also been advised that the AASM entitlement was never recorded on his records. Either incorrectly, or correctly. Dennis has never provided any evidence to support his version that the medal was incorrectly recorded on his personal records.

Another problem for Ryan Dennis is that we know that he has been wearing the replica AASM on his RAN uniform for well over a four year period.

2016 was the year the first photo was posted on Facebook. The photo would have been taken many years before that when Dennis was a more junior sailor, a Leading Hand. That is supported by the fact that he is now a Chief Petty Officer.

He states that he purchased the replica medal and wore it “until the original caught up with me.”

If that statement was true, you would think that he would have made one phone call to Australian Honours and Awards in all that time, and said, “Where is my AASM, I have been waiting for many years”.

Alternatively, he could have applied for the medal through official channels as normal, instead of purchasing a replica and have it court mounted on his medal rack.

It is difficult to conclude, other than C.P.O. Ryan Dennis is a Medal Cheat and an Honour Thief, who has illegally worn the AASM for many years until his alleged entitlement was recently challenged by colleagues and ANZMI.

Our readers can make their own conclusions on the facts presented.

Dennis now joins a number of other current and former RAN colleagues who appear on this site.

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