Rick Kryza, or Doctor Rick Kryza as he likes to be known is a military fraud, a wannabee, a medal cheat and a false pretender.
He is a Patron member of the Gay Polo Club in the USA and likes to fraudulently dress in Australian military uniforms with medals and ribbons, to impress his inner circle of male friends.
Kryza was born in Rhodesia in 1959, to an Australian father and American mother. They later moved to the rural township of Griffith in the State of New South Wales, Australia.
Kryza appears to be a versatile wannabee with claimed military service in -;
1. The Royal Australian Air Force as a Group Captain, Pilot. Six months service in Iraq and six months service in Afghanistan.
2. The Australian Army as a Captain, with Iraq and Afghanistan active service.
3. The Royal Australian Navy as a Captain,
4 The British Army as a Captain.
In the above photograph, Kryza is wearing a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) uniform with the rank of Group Captain. He also wears purchased Pilots wings above his purchased replica medals.
The non awarded medals he wears in this photograph are -;
1, The Rhodesian Medal. (For 30 days service in Rhodesia before Independence - December 1979 - March 1980.) Not entitled.
2. General Service Medal 1962. (Awarded for various campaigns) Not entitled.
3. South Atlantic Medal with Rosette.(For service in the Falklands War) Not entitled.
4. The British Golden Jubilee Medal created 2002. (Not awarded or listed on "It's an Honour".) Not entitled.
5. The Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal, created 2012. (Not awarded and not listed on "It's an Honour".) Not entitled.
In respect to the RAAF uniform that he is wearing, the following irregularities are present -;
a) He is wearing an RAAF uniform plain blue shirt that was superseded about twenty five years ago.
b) The aiguillette (lanyard) is not worn by Group Captain rank, unless they were an Aide De Camp (ADC) to the Governor. Kryza would not qualify even if his claim was genuine.
c) The waist sash is also not worn by Officers of his claimed rank of Group Captain. He is two ranks short to qualify for wearing this uniform item.
The above photograph is Kryza wearing an RAAF shirt, with the rank of Group Captain and the word Australia on his epaulettes. He also wears Pilot's wings.
He wears the following medal ribbons -;
1. Australia Defence Medal ribbon. Not entitled.
2. Rhodesia Medal ribbon. (upside down) Not entitled.
3. Australian Service Medal ribbon. Not entitled.
4. Unknown. Not entitled.
Not knowing medals protocols, Kryza has mounted these top row ribbons incorrectly. If genuine, the Australian Service Medal ribbon would be mounted first, followed by the Rhodesian medal ribbon, (correctly mounted and not upside down), then the Australian Defence Medal ribbon. We are unable to identify the last medal but assume it is a tin.
5. General Service medal ribbon. Not entitled.
6. South Atlantic medal ribbon with Rosette. Not entitled.
7. The British Golden Jubilee medal ribbon. Not entitled.
8. The Queens Diamond Jubilee medal ribbon. Not entitled.
Kryza has never served in the RAAF or the RAF and his claims are lies.
In the above photograph, Kryza is wearing an Australian Army uniform with the rank of Captain.
The unearned ribbons that he wears on this uniform are -;
The Australian Active Service Medal. (AASM) Not entitled.
The Afghanistan medal. Not entitled.
The Iraq medal. Not entitled.
The NATO International Assistance Security Force Medal. (ISAF medal) Not entitled.
The above photograph is Kryza wearing an Australian Army uniform with the rank of Captain, but different unearned ribbons.
1. Afghanistan Medal ribbon. Not entitled.
2. Australian Defence Medal ribbon. Not entitled.
3. Rhodesian Medal ribbon.(Mounted incorrectly - upside down), Not entitled.
4. Australian Service Medal ribbon. Not entitled.
5. Unknown medal ribbon. Not entitled.
A glaring irregularity in these photographs is his wearing of an observable white T shirt under the uniform shirt.
Kryza has never served in the Australian Army and these claims are also lies.
The above photograph is Kryza wearing a Royal Australian Navy (RAN) uniform with the rank of Captain.
Kryza has never served in the RAN and these claims are also lies.
In the above photographs Kryza is claiming Commissioned Officer rank in the British Military.
We are unable to identify the ribbons he wears in the top photograph, but that does not matter. He is not entitled to any of them.
In the second photo he is again wearing the following non awarded medals.-;
1. General Service Medal.
2. South Atlantic Medal with Rosette.
3. British Golden Jubilee Medal
4. Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal.
We have contacted our British counterparts and ascertained that his claims of British Military service claims are also lies.
We then contacted Kryza and invited him to provide details of his military service.
He stated that he was a Group Captain in the RAAF with six months service in Iraq and six months service in Afghanistan. He stated that he was also the owner of a sheep station in Griffith, New South Wales, Australia, but had to move to Painesville, Ohio when his mother took ill. He stated that he took leave from his military duties to take care of his mother. This is where he joined the United States Gay Polo Club as a Patron member. His Face Book page is littered with admiring male friends who lavishly praise his claims of military greatness and adoration for his conceited self display of photographs in various military uniforms.
He now claims that he returned to his sheep station ownership duties and the military. However, he informed us, that he has now been posted to the United Kingdom for six months with” Inter Commonwealth Military duties”. He also claims membership of the British Army.
Kryza has never laced up a military boot, in Australia or any other country.
We should all be grateful for that.
We subsequently invited him to explain his unique experience of being a Commissioned Officer in the three services of the Australian Defence Force, the Air Force, Navy and Army. His response is below -;
8:16 PM (1 hour ago)
When I attended military college for officer's training, since day one I made it known to my superiors that I wanted to learn all aspects of the Military Services. Even though I consider myself Royal Australian Air Force first (my first love is flying) I had to convince high ranking officers that having a knowledge in the navy and army is essential in the time of war or military conflicts. Thus, through special orders, I was able to see service in all branches. As you said, it is an unique situation, but one I thoroughly enjoy. Besides, my father was RAN, my grandfather was Light Horse. So, I was able to gain a little insight in military life at a young age.
I never did like how the different branches of the services had a natural dislike for each other. After all, the RAAF recruited members from the army and navy at it's formation. So, why not have an air force pilot learn aspects of the running a naval ship, or taking part in Iraq/Afghanistan as an RAR officer.
Hope this satisfies your inquiry.
Rather incredible that the RAAF would allow a fully trained pilot, in whom they have invested so much time, money and training, to transfer to the Royal Australian Navy and the Australian Army to further his knowledge about those two Services. In addition, also send him to Iraq and Afghanistan as an Australian Army Captain.
They could have just bought him a couple of books to read !!
Kryza is a ridiculous self conceited show pony who steals the valour of brave men and women who have served honourably in theatres of war. Particularly Iraq and Afghanistan. All this to impress his close circle of admiring male friends.
Kryza should be ashamed of himself for purchasing and wearing bemedalled Australian military uniforms for his own self- adulation, and his pursuit of military aggrandisement and attention.
The only people who wear the uniforms of multiple services are Royalty. Perhaps Queen like !
He has committed offences under the Australian Defence Act 1903, sections 80A and 80B, for falsely representing himself as a returned serviceman, and wearing non awarded medals and decorations. Penalty - 6 months imprisonment and/or $3000.00 fine.
In addition to his fraudulent behaviour by illegally claiming to be a returned Australian Serviceman, Kryza has also lied to all his friends on Face Book regarding his University of Sydney educational qualifications.
The above entry appears on his Face Book page. He also claims that he has completed a degree in Australia/Commonwealth Constitutional Law and Zoological Veterinary Medicine.
See below -;
As a result, we made inquiries with the University of Sydney, to confirm or refute his claims. The result is detailed below -;
Student Centre Academic Records
Dear Mr (Name deleted)
Thank you for your email regarding Richard/Rick KRYZA.
Unfortunately, I am unable to locate any record of a graduate
under the name provided.
Academic Records l Student Administration Services
THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY
Level 6, Jane Foss Russell Building (G02)
University of Sydney NSW 2006 l Australia
T +61 2 8627 1444 l Eacademic.email@example.com
In the below document Kryza even recently claims to the Cleveland Zoological Society, Ohio, United States, that he is a Doctor.
CLEVELAND ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY - OHIO.
ADOPT AN ANIMAL DONORSKaren & Alan Wilber $1,000+ Mrs. Marilyn Callaly Mrs. Frederick C. Crawford Mr. & Mrs. Jeff Halpern Dag Hammarskjold Elementary School Dr. Rick KryzaMr. Myron D. Moorhead Mr. Gary M. Novotny Ms. Michelle M. Orenick Mr. & Mrs. Steve Spilman Mrs. Jeanne D. Tyler Mr. & Mrs. Alfred E. Werman Me
Kryza is just an extraordinary fake without honour. A Walter Mitty living in a world of fantasy.
Welcome to this site for evermore, Rick Kryza,
Boulter is one of the worst of the worst. He is a "Big wheel” in the Northern Territory town of Tennant Creek. He has been involved in local Government for
many years and has been admired as a Returned Veteran.
These are the medals he is wearing:
Australian Active Service Medal (AASM)Not entitled
Korea Medal Not entitled
United Nations Korea Service Medal Not entitled
General Service Medal (Clasp Malaysia) Not entitled and worn in the wrong place
Australian Service Medal (Clasp PNG) Not entitled
Australia Defence Medal - Unlikely to be entitled
Commemoration of National Service Medal - Unlikely to be entitled
Papua New Guinea Independence Medal 1975. Entitlement unknown
Papua New Guinea Anniversary of Independence 1975 - 1985 - Entitlement unknown
Most of his medals are false.
We have a Statutory Declaration detailing what Boulter has said about his service:
"he has stood up stated his name number and rank with the Papua New Guinea Volunteer Rifles (PNGVR) Korea," He further said:
"no there were only 4 or 5 of us that volunteered and we made our way up to Malaysia and worked with the Australians. I asked who were you attached to? his reply was. We just joined in with the Australian units and then went to Korea. He states he was in the Battle of Kapyong, He wears Korean medals/Malayan and PNG medals, I asked who issued the Australian medals he straight away said the Australian Government. He is not listed on the Department of Veterans Affairs Nominal Roll as being a Korea Veteran. When asked about this he stated it's because he was PNGVR and not registered with the Australian Army."
Boulter was born in July 1935. He could not have been serving with Papua New Guinea Volunteer Rifles (PNGVR) "before making his way to Malaysia" as he would have been only Fifteen years of age and could not have enlisted in PNGVR . In any case PNGVR was disbanded after WW2 and reformed in March 1951. So at Fifteen years of age Boulter would have to joined PNGVR in March 1951, then did some fighting with Australian units in Malaysia before arriving in Korea to fight in the Battle of Kapyong in April 1951 one month later, aged Fifteen years.
He also said that "PNGVR personnel were not registered with the Australian Army" PNGVR was, and until again disbanded in 1973, a unit of the Australian Citizens Military Forces (CMF) and very much part of the Australian Army, Order of Battle. . It was disbanded in 1973 as a lead up to PNG Independence in 1975.
What Boulter says is simply "hogwash" and deceitful lies, these cheats are always way behind Australian Veterans and ANZMI in splicing their lies into actual military facts and history.
The writer had the pleasure of speaking to Boulter on the phone on the 31 January 2017.
Boulter was asked "what years he had served in PNGVR". He hummed and hawed and then said "from late 1968 to 1972 when he returned to Australia". He went back to PNG in 1975 when he claimed to again serve in PNGVR. The problem is that PNGVR was disbanded in 1973. What he said, completely disproves his service in Malaysia and Korea and proves the medals he wears are false. We have been advised that Boulter is listed with the PNGVR Association as having served with PNGVR, however they were unable to advise dates of service.
Over the years he has received much kudos from the falsehood that he is a Returned Serviceman who served in war zones in Malaysia and Korea and wears all the medals to prove it. Claiming to have been present at the famous Korea Battle of Kapyong where the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment brought great credit to the ANZAC spirit through their tenacious fighting is indeed an immoral act. Here is an official Australian War Memorial excerpt:
"3 RAR lost 32 killed in action. Along with its Canadian, British, New Zealand and United States allies, 3 RAR managed to hold the advancing Chinese divisions in the Kapyong River valley for 24 hours, allowing United Nations forces further south to shore up a defensive line. It then successfully conducted a fighting withdrawal to extricate itself from encirclement and rejoin its parent brigade, exemplifying the discipline, courage and skill required to succeed in its mission. For their courageous actions, both 3 RAR and 2nd PPCLI were awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation by the United States Government."
He has his name on the Tennant Creek Returned Services League (RSL) Honour Board. He is listed in the second row, fourth from the bottom. We anticipate the Tennant Creek RSL will remove him from their prestigious Honour Board.
Boulter was never in Korea and his persona in Tennant Creek for the past 30 years has been a complete sham. Because of his explanation of "making his way to Malaysia and working with the Australians" it is a sure certainty that he never served anywhere near an Australian Army unit in Malaysia or Korea.
There is a definitive Department of Veterans Affairs Nominal Roll that lists all servicemen who served with Australian units in Korea. Boulter is not listed.
A few years ago Tennant Creek, Northern Territory Police charged Mr Jooitson "Dutchy" Van Asson for falsely wearing Defence medals. He was found guilty and fined $1,000 and given a twenty four month good behaviour bond. See here: https://www.anzmi.net/index.php/cheats-thieves/list/alpha/v
Boulter has committed the same offence of falsely claiming to be a returned serviceman and wearing false medals. We have advised the Tennant Creek Police and will let events unfold.
See the Defence Act 1903 Section VII, Parts 80A and 80B.
80A. Falsely representing to be returned soldier, sailor orairman
80B. Improper use of service decorations
Boulter has had thirty years of false fame as a returned Serviceman. Doubt that he will enjoy his richly deserved future days as his Resume has turned very sour.
Welcome to the Hall of Shame William Charles (Tony) Boulter, you have used your false military service to gain favour in the Tennant Creek community and deserve your infamy.
Anthony Desmond Tolcher was born on the 20 June, 1956. He also uses the name Timothy Diamond. This is the pseudonym he uses as an author.
Tolcher is a shameless military fraud, without moral principles or integrity, and is a blight on the veteran community. He has deliberately told numerous lies, about his false military past, to sell books that he has written, and to profit from the proceeds.
Although he claims that this trilogy of books are “fiction”, he has publically stated that the information regarding the main character is based “loosely on his own life experiences.” Nothing could be further from the truth.
To support his outrageous lies, he had the following plaque manufactured and mounted in his office. We are aware that when he ordered this item, he convinced the gentleman concerned, that he served in the Australian Special Air Service Regiment at the dates nominated.
There are a number of anomalies present in this plaque.
1. The service number provided 0216811 is not an Australian Army number. It is actually Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) series, NSW Enlistment via circa 1955 – 1956. (Tolcher was born in 1956.)
2. He then claims “Service 1969 – 1970 Basic Training (6 weeks) – Continued at Swanbourne.W.A. ” (As Tolcher was born in 1956, he would have been 13 years old. )
3. All of the claimed Army service details displayed on the plaque are fabricated.
4. He also claims that he served with the “Australian Secret Intelligence Agency” from 1981 to 2000. You would think that after an alleged 19 years in the employment of one of our National Security organisations, he would get the name correct. It is either ASIS or ASIO.
5. His claimed medals and citation awards are rubbish. The dates he has nominated for his receipt of the awards are totally inconsistent with the dates that these medals were officially proclaimed and awarded by the Australian Government..
(i) Australian Defence Medal (ADM), Proclaimed. 30 March, 2006. - Not 1970.
(ii)Vietnam Medal (VM) Proclaimed 8 June, 1968. - Not 2005.
(iii) Australian Active Service Medal (AASM). Proclaimed 13 September 1988.. - Not 2005.
(iv) The Vietnam Star Campaign Medal should be the Vietnam Campaign Medal. Approval to award - May, 1966.
'In addition, the United States Purple Heart has never been accepted by the Australian Department of Defence as an award to Australian Defence Force personnel.'
According to Honours and &Awards, -
The Purple Heart is one of only two US military decorations that may not, by law, be awarded to non-US personnel (the
other is the Medal of Honor).
The U.S. Bronze Star has only been approved by the Department of Defence as an acceptable foreign award for issue to a handful of Australian Army personnel, who served in the former Republic of South Vietnam .
We are also aware that the two black and white photographs appearing at the top of the plaque are not photographs of Tony Tolcher, but other Australian Army service personnel who have identified themselves to us.
In respect to Tolcher's medal rack above, he has not been awarded one of them.
They are -;
1.Australian Active Service Medal 1945 - 1975.
2. Vietnam Medal.
3. Australian Defence Medal.
4. Vietnam Campaign Medal. (Awarded for 181 days or more in Republic of South Vietnam)
5. United States Bronze Star. (Awarded for heroic achievement in a combat zone.)
6. United States Purple Heart. (Awarded to those wounded or killed in action)
7. Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm. (Awarded for heroic conduct while in combat with the enemy.)
Tolcher gave an interview on Youtube detailing his false military claims to enhance the sale of his books. We will not name the books here, as we do not wish to provide this charlatan with any more free publicity.
In this video, he tells the interviewer that, inter alia, - “on returning home from the South Coast, my wife was asking me about my life". He states that he then started telling her what he had done and she said that “You should write a book.” Later when I got home, I put it all down on computer. “It was all there in my head.” He then points to his head and says, “It is all loosely based on my own life, it is here, (pointing to his head again), all I had to do was punch it out.” We have a copy of this video.
As a result of this interview, where he claims SASR service, a number of former members of the Special Air Service Regiment contacted Tolcher and questioned his credentials and claims of military service. Below is his reply -;
Email reply to a former SASR vet- Well Hi xxxxxx (name deleted),
To answer your email, your name means jack shit to me too, and as i am in regular contact with a couple of former regiment bosses that have since risen to prominence, as governor generals. Mike who is one of the two, has advised me to verify your bonafides, and he is going to be doing the same. So i will ask for your former rank and, sabre squadron number.
If, as you claim of being an ex regiment member, you would also know about sealed records, obviously you haven't read any of my published books, that take a swipe at the govt to get them unsealed, which would benefit me greatly with my claim against the dva. As ex SASR you should be aware of the fact that no one is told everything, never make a bold statement that you no nothing about!
Oh, and yes i'm aware of the mentioned website, and other offences, get me your answers and i will be happy to talk to you, once you've been checked out, until then, cheers and up the regiment.
This pompous imposter is nothing but a low life arrogant individual who has stolen the valour of the Special Air Service Regiment for his own financial gain. He has absolutely no credibility whatsoever.
We tried to contact Tolcher by email on two occasions and invited him to explain his version of events. He failed to respond on both occasions..
We urge all our followers on this site to spread the word about Tolcher aka Diamond and not purchase any literary articles that he is associated with.
Tolcher needs to go public and apologise to all Vietnam veterans out there, without qualification. He should also apologise to all those people who have purchased his books, and who see him as some sort of “war hero.”
He should then donate all the profits of his sold books to Legacy.
Tolcher claims membership of the Springwood Queensland RSL Sub Branch. When asked by Sub Branch officials, he could not produce necessary proof of military service to that body, due to what he said was the “Official Secrets Act”. You know, "nudge nudge, wink wink." That is also a lie.
Anthony Desmond Tolcher, Military Imposter, from Springwood in Queensland, Australia will remain here for a long time to come.
Elwin Evans is British and now resides in Manitoba, Canada. He claims to have been attached to the Australian Army and fought in Vietnam. See what he said in the caption under this photograph.
Although Evans is a long way from home his lies and dishonour have not escaped the world wide web of Veterans.
Evans did not serve in Vietnam with Australian 2 Squadron, Special Air Service (2 SAS Sqn)
2 SAS Sqn were never involved in a pitched battle with 1600 enemy soldiers.
Here are the real facts about SAS operations in Vietnam:
SAS Operations - South Vietnam
580 SAS soldiers served in South Vietnam. There were 298 contacts with the enemy, inflicting 492 kills, 106 possible kills, 47 wounded, 10 possibly wounded and 11 taken as prisoners. 5366 enemy were sighted in 801 separate sightings. The Australia and New Zealand casualties were one(1) killed in action, one(1) died of wounds, one(1) killed in a grenade accident, two(2) accidentally shot on patrol, one(1) missing on a hot rope extraction and one(1) died of illness.
Australian SAS are an elite unit, consisting of expertly trained soldiers, who since 1957 have achieved outstanding results in all that they have done.
Notice in this photograph, that the first medal Evans is wearing is a Military Cross (MC). It is, like everything else about Evans, a fake. At the time he would have been awarded that medal, it was only awarded to Commissioned Officers and Warrant Officers. In addition, had it ever been awarded it would be promulgated in the London Gazette. He is not listed in that definitive publication.
Evans will not be strutting his war hero persona for quite a while. Since the newspaper article appeared he has been sentence to six years imprisonment, for manufacturing automatic weapons for Canadian Organised Crime. See the reports here:
Here is another photograph where Evans mixes with other genuine uniformed people:
Many who read the newspaper report about Evans being a Vietnam war hero would have believed it. He is no more than a disgusting fraud, liar and wannabe and now a convicted criminal who should be shunned by society and particularly ex service organisations.
A Canadian friend of ANZMI has described him as follows:
"This dude is filthy lying sack of $#** who has worn a pseudo-uniform adorned with bull$#** insignia and spews tales of his adventures in SE Asia for a most appreciative but gullible audience!"
Our world wide readership will now be aware that, no matter where they are, any person making false claims about Australian service will be exposed and spend the rest of time on our web site, in the same manner as Elwin Evans.
Richard John Robinson hales from Boulder in the Gold Fields of Western Australia.
Robinson was a National Serviceman who claims he served in Vietnam, hence the array of six medals.
The photograph is a bit "blurry" but we believe he is wearing:
Australian Active Service Medal - Not entitled, was never on active service.
Vietnam Medal - Not entitled never served in Vietnam
National Medal - Entitled for work with Fire Brigade
Australian Defence Medal - Entitled
Commemoration of National Service Medal - Entitled
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal - Not entitled never served in Vietnam.
For many years Robinson has been spinning his Vietnam yarns around the Gold Fields. From the quality of what he says most veterans realize that he is a liar, cheat and wannabe, however generally, citizens of the area believe he is a returned Serviceman, which he is not.
To prove his "story" he claims in the local paper that he met a now deceased Gold Fields man in Saigon whilst serving in Vietnam. There is no evidence in any official government nominal rolls to show that either Robinson or the person he has named ever served in Vietnam.
The newspaper article is of poor quality, but here is what was said:
"Long time friend Rich Robinson will be attending todays shoot to honour his mate who he first met in Saigon whilst on National Service. He was on leave and someone said there is a guy from Kalgoorlie over there."Robinson said he came over and introduced himself and we spoke for a while. One day I walked into the Boulder ex Servicemens Club and there he was. We have been mates ever since.""
We sent Robinson a letter requesting information about his service. We have not received a reply.
"Mr Richard John Robinson 9 May 2016
Boulder WA 6432Dear Mr RobinsonOur organisation works on behalf of Australian and New Zealand Defence Force Veterans.We have been advised that you are a well known Vietnam Veteran, however we have been unable to find any evidence of your service.We have no leanings one way or the other and therefore thought it best to ask you direct to advise about your service. This matter will be easily resolved on receipt of details from you.Please respond to the above email address before the 17th May 2016.Should you not answer we will proceed without your input.Sincerely
Robinson claims service with Army Small Ships, these ships worked in Vietnam waters and also carried supplies from Australia to Vietnam. See detailed information here:
We made and enquiry to 32 Small Ship Squadron Association and below is the reply we received.
Thank you for your enquiry. We have no record of Richard John Robinson as having served in 32 Small Ship Squadron or Vietnam.
I hope you nail him if he is an impostor (he is the second person you have identified who has claimed to have served in 32 and Vietnam).
All the best,
We will advise the Boulder police that Robinson is illegally wearing Defence medals which is an offence against the Defence Act 1903 and has a maximum penalty of a fine of $3,300 or six months imprisonment or both. Throughout Australia, State Police have successfully prosecuted many wannabes under this legislation
We ask Gold Fields Veterans to keep a watch for Robinson on commemorative occasions and if seen, tell him to remove the Vietnam medals and depart the event.
We however, are pleased to welcome Robinson to our website as another liar, cheat and wannabe. The ex Service community is very large and wide spread, if you are faking your military service it is most likely that you will be noticed and end up with Robinson and the hundreds of other guests reposing on our website.
This is the story of Ronald Frederick Holden.
It details how an individual can convince the Department of Defence, 42 years on, that he had qualifying active service in the Republic of South Vietnam, following an alleged tropical cruise to Vung Tau, for a few days, as a guest of the Commander of HMAS Derwent.
His story has only been published after careful deliberation, examination of current records, enquiries with Honours and Awards, Canberra, the Department of Defence and communicating with Ronald Frederick Holden himself on numerous occasions over the past couple of months.
It is complex, a little long, but we hope that our readers can understand the issues involved and the facts uncovered.
From Holden, we have been given the run around, stalling tactics, false information, and an incredible tall story of a 50 calibre machine gun manning, Australian Army 2nd Lieutenant, officially on deck, and officially on duty, in Vung Tau Harbour, South Vietnam, defending the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) ship HMAS Derwent, from enemy attack, whilst she lay at anchor.
Originally, ANZMI received information from concerned former servicemen, who reside in the Cairns area of North Queensland, Australia. Their concern was that a photograph of Holden had appeared on social media wearing Vietnam medals and the Returned from Active Service Badge, when he had no entitlement to do so. (Photo above.)
At the initial stage of our inquiries, we had been given advice from Mr Alex Garlin, President of the Queensland National Serviceman’s Association, (NSA), that Ronald Frederick Holden, who is on the “Nasho Roll” Queensland, as a Vietnam Veteran, was accredited on their records, with Vietnam War service awards.
The below document is the official National Serviceman’s roll, and is dated the 16 November 2016. It is compiled by administrative members of the National Serviceman’s Association, following information they receive from applicants, who have completed application forms, providing their particulars of military service and medals awarded.
In this case, former Australian Army 2nd Lieutenant Ronald Frederick Holden.
Name Holden , Ronald Frederick
Service Number 1736273
Rank 2nd Lieutenant
Date of Birth 20 06 1947
Place of Birth Cairns Qld
Date of Intake 28/1/1970
NS Training 3 T B
Follow Up Training 6 RAR Singapore Platoon Commander
Basic Training Singleton NSW
Next of Kin at time of Service Mr Holden
Operational Service Vietnam
Medals AASM 45-75 / Vietnam Medal / ADM /ANSM / Vietnamese Campaign Medal
On the application form, Holden has notified the National Serviceman’s Association, that he was a 2nd Lieutenant 6 RAR Singapore Platoon Commander. He also claims "Operational Service Vietnam".
In regards to medal entitlement, Holden then detailed in his application that he has been awarded the -;
AASM 1945 – 1975 Vietnam Medal/ ADM/ ANSM/ Vietnamese Campaign Medal. (Should be Vietnam Campaign Medal)
Note.- Vietnam Medal.
Qualifying service for the Vietnam Medal for the relevant period 29 May 1964 to 27 January 1973 includes:
• 28 days in ships or craft on inland waters or off the coast of Vietnam;
• one day or more on the posted strength of a unit or formation on land;
• one operational sortie over Vietnam or Vietnamese waters by air crew on the posted strength of a unit; or
• official visits either continuous or aggregate of 30 days.
Note - Vietnam Campaign Medal is awarded for 181 days or more service in the Republic of South Vietnam.
Following our initial contact with Alex Garlin, he informed us that he had then made inquiries from Holden’s service records and ascertained that Holden was not really a Vietnam Veteran at all, but must have had his name and medals placed on the roll by his staff in error.
Garlin stated that he then adjusted his records accordingly, and removed all reference of Holden’s Vietnam service and medal entitlements. Garlin has now told us however, that Holden is indeed a Vietnam Veteran and served for a short time in Vietnam. He has now re-adjusted his records again ! It is clear there has been communication between Garlin and Holden, following our initial contact.
Interestingly though, when we initially contacted Holden, regarding the particulars he supplied to the National Serviceman's Association, (NSA) he confirmed all the information, but stated that he may not be entitled to the Vietnam Campaign Medal. (For 181 days service in South Vietnam or S.V waters.). He also claimed that they omitted to place on their records the fact that he attended Scheyville Officer Cadet Unit, information that he had also provided.
Ronald Frederick Holden was born on the 20 June, 1947. He completed an Engineering Degree at Queensland University. In 1970, at age 22, Holden was conscripted into the Australian Army under the provisions of the National Service Act. The normal age for conscription was 20 years. Holden was deferred for 2 years due to his studies. He attended 3 Recruit Training Battalion (3RTB) at Singleton, New South Wales. He extended his two year commitment by six months and was discharged on the 27th July, 1972.
During 1970, Holden attended Scheyville, an Officer Training Unit in New South Wales, where he underwent further training. He graduated as a 2nd Lieutenant. He was then posted to 6 Battalion RAR , at Townsville, North Queensland.
In the above photograph Holden is wearing the following medals.
1. Australian Active Service Medal 1945 – 1975. With clasp Vietnam (AASM.) Not entitled
2. Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal. (VLSM.) Not entitled.
3. Australian Service Medal 1945 – 1975 with clasp South East Asia. Entitled.
4. Australian Defence Medal. (ADM.) Entitled.
5. Anniversary of National Service Medal. (NSM) Entitled.
He is also wearing the Returned from Active Service Badge (RASB) above his medal rack. He is not entitled to wear this badge.
The name of Ronald Frederick Holden does not appear, and has never appeared on the Vietnam Nominal Roll, Australian War Memorial, Canberra. This roll has been available for public knowledge since 1998.
We made inquiries with 6 Battalion RAR Association. We were informed that Holden was a 2nd Lieutenant, Platoon Commander in Singapore, during his time with the Battalion. However, he did not serve in an official capacity in Vietnam with 6 Battalion RAR, or any other Infantry Battalion during his time in the Australian Army.
We have been reliably informed that Holden has indicated to others that he served in Vietnam about May, 1972. He has also varied this story and indicated that he served for only 3 days in Vietnam. Even this statement flies in the face of his claim to the Vietnam Campaign Medal, which is awarded after serving a minimum 181 days or more, in South Vietnam.
In fairness, we contacted Holden and invited him to provide us with details of his Vietnam War service, dates, Unit, Commanding Officer etc. A simple request. He told us that he was on holidays in Vietnam at the current time and he could not provide any answers until he arrives home in late December, 2016.
Following a further request, he stated that whilst based in Singapore with 6 Battalion RAR, he volunteered for service in Vung Tau (Vietnam) for a "particular operation". He states that he then went to Vung Tau in May, 1972, from Singapore.
The problem with this “particular operation” in Vietnam, is that the last Battalion of Australian Infantry left Vietnam on the 7 November, 1971. A handful of Australian Army Advisors and Signallers of the Australian Army Assistance Group Vietnam AAAGV, remained in Vietnam until late 1972. A few Infantry personnel also stayed on in Saigon as security for the Australian Embassy
Importantly though, 1 Australian Logistic Support Group Base (1ALSG) at Vung Tau, where Holden claims he went in May, 1972, was vacated and closed in late February - March, 1972. What was left of the Australian Army 1ALSG component had departed. They had boarded HMAS Sydney for home. This was two months before Holden claims he went there on a “particular operation", in May 1972.
FROM DVA WEBSITE. AUSTRALIAN MILITARY INVOLVEMENT IN VIETNAM WAR - TIME FRAME.
5 March: The last units of 1ALSG depart Vung Tau. Australia’s commitment to South Vietnam is now limited to about 150 troops of the AATTV and Australian Army Assistance Group Vietnam (AAAGV).
Holden’s name also does not appear on the Australian Army Assistance Group Vietnam Roll - AAAGV, that remained in Vietnam from 6 March, 1972 until the 18 December, 1972. Also, he was never a member of the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam. AATTV
In a follow up email to ANZMI he stated -;
"If DoD (Department of Defence) have stuffed up in awarding me something I am not entitled to, let’s let them explain that to us both. From what you say, I may not be entitled to the Vietnam Campaign Medal and if this is the case they will be able to confirm that. I need the file reference to be able to contact them and I do not have that with me".
Holden was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Australian Army. The Vietnam Roll has been available to the public on line now for almost 20 years. It is accurate. He would know that his name has never appeared on it in all that time. He now says that he MAY NOT be entitled to the Vietnam Campaign Medal (181 days service in Vietnam) and he is now blaming the Department of Defence. He knows that he was never entitled to that award.
Holden must have been concerned about what he had told us, and he then sent another email to ANZMI claiming that -;
"The operation to which I was attached was the withdrawal of an RAE unit by the RAN. I was assigned to HMAS Derwent to provide assistance to the RAN through and under the command of its Captain, Cdr McNaught. My main duty on board was to man one of the 50 cal machine guns whilst we were in the war zone including in Vung Tau harbour and to assist the skipper in any other way that he directed. My service was later certified by Cdr McNaught. I do not have the dates with me but I recall that the operation is on the public record somewhere.
I have not committed my discharge date to memory but it was late July 1972. I have a record of this at home but I do not think that it mentions the above. Many years later someone advocated that I apply for my medal entitlements which I did and I believe that I allowed DoD to determine what my entitlements were, if any. That is how I ended up with what I have".
So here we have a 2nd Lieutenant in the Australian Army - 6 Battalion RAR based in Singapore, seemingly ending up on HMAS Derwent in Vung Tau Harbour, whose main duty was manning a 50 calibre machine gun in May, 1972. Also, the last recorded visit to Vung Tau by HMAS Derwent was 6 - 8 November, 1971. It is also surprisingly apparent that there was no Derwent crew member qualified to man the ships 50 calibre machine gun, so Army 2nd Lieutenant Ron Holden was recruited from the Army in Singapore to travel with the ship to Vung Tau Harbour.
Another problem for Holden in his story is that there was indeed a Lieutenant Donald McNaught, (Vietnam Nominal Roll), Seaman Branch, who served on the Derwent from the 4 November, 1971 to the 8 November, 1971, (4 days) , calculated from the time Derwent left Singapore until it returned to Singapore. However, McNaught was not the Ship's Captain, and he certainly should not have signed anything to certify Holden's alleged operational Vietnam service. Holden's assertion that Lieutenant McNaught was the Commander of Derwent is a lie.
The Ship's Commander from 1971 until early June, 1972 was Commander Rory W. Burnett. He was replaced by Commander Malcolm D. Jackson about the 2nd June, 1972. (Derwent's Report of Proceedings.)
The below information is from Wikipedia.
- After spending the early part of 1971 on training exercises in Australian waters, Derwent sailed to South East Asia in June. In late September, Derwent met Sydney en route to Vietnam for the ship's twenty-second time, delivering a cargo of defence aid and recovering equipment and personnel from multiple units during 6 to 8 October. Derwent returned home late in the year, and visited multiple Australian ports before docking at Williamstown for refit. The refit continued until March 1972, and Derwent remained in Australian waters until August, when a four-month deployment to South East Asia commenced. In addition to port visits and SEATO exercises, Derwent and HMAS Brisbane took part in the first Australian-Indonesian naval exercise in November.
Note. The dates Wikipedia have detailed regarding Derwent's visit to Vung Tau Harbour from the 6 - 8 October 1971 are incorrect. Derwent did not visit Vung Tau in October, 1971. The last recorded visit to Vung Tau Harbour by Derwent was the 4 - 8 November, 1971. On this occasion the ship accompanied the HMAS Sydney. Derwent anchored in Vung Tau Harbour at 6.45am on the 6 November, 1971 and departed 16 hours later at 11pm that night.
Derwent was nowhere near Vietnam in May, 1972. Holden's assertions are lies.
*** If however, we accept the fact that Holden has his dates wrong, and he allegedly visited Vung Tau Harbour on Derwent’s last deployment between 4 - 8 November, 1971, (6 months earlier), the following information, some of which he provided to us, must be taken into consideration.
1. From Holden - He initially informed us by email that when he was on Derwent, it accompanied HMAS Melbourne to Vung Tau Harbour. That is false, the Melbourne never went to Vung Tau Harbour.
2. From Holden - As a 2nd Lieutenant in the Australian Army, he was ordered to man a 50 calibre machine gun on Derwent, whilst the ship was in Vung Tau Harbour.
3.. FACT - He was never a crew member of this ship.
4. From Holden - He claims that another Army Officer was with him, but he cannot be contacted to verify anything, because he is suffering from PTSD over this visit.
5. From Holden - He knows two former Brigadier Generals who can verify his story, but they are in their eighties now. He cannot contact them as they deserve their quiet time.
6. From Holden - His Commanding Officer, who provided written confirmation to him of his Vietnam active service was Commander McNaught.
7. FACT - A Lieutenant McNaught served on the Derwent at the time. Commander Rory Burnett was the Commander, and Captain of the ship.
8. FACT - There are no official records available of Holden’s trip to Vung Tau, including his personal Service Record or Discharge Certificate, which he claims he has lost.
9. FACT - There is a “HMAS Derwent Record of Ships Proceedings for the month of November, 1971”, where Commander Rory Burnett indicates that several unnamed members of the Australian Army were on board his ship for the trip to Vung Tau as a “reciprocal gesture” for the Army, jungle training some of his sailors in Singapore. He states, that a small number of Army personnel were permitted to land briefly to visit Army installations.
FACT -This was not an official "Staff visit or inspection of Australian Forces or equipment in Vietnam" as required by Department of Defence for operational service. Any claim that it was, is false.
10. FACT - Holden was not “allotted for Duty” to a Unit, or as an individual to the operational theatre of South Vietnam. Any claim that he was, is also false.
11. FACT - At the most, he would be classified as a guest of Commander Burnett, due to the “reciprocal gesture”.
12. FACT - He was never posted to Vietnam for a “particular operation” as he has claimed. That is also a lie.
13. FACT - We asked Holden to provide us with evidence that should appear on his discharge certificate, detailing the number of active service days accredited to him on that certificate?
14 From Holden - inter alia, I do not have my discharge certificate. I have moved many times over the last 44 years, and it is the only thing that has gone missing.
15 FACT - Holden’s presence on a tropical voyage, if he did go at all , as a guest of Commander Burnett, was not known by the Department of Defence until 2013, following his application for the AASM 1945-1975, the VLSM, and the RASB.
16. FACT - These trips were commonly known and described by Army personnel during the Vietnam War as "Swannies" or "Junkets".
17. FACT - Therefore, 42 years later, Holden must have arranged some written documentation from "someone", that he was either force assigned or allotted for duty to South Vietnam as an individual, for his application to be accepted, and Vietnam medals awarded.
18. FACT - If this has occurred then one could conclude, that something has taken place, perhaps a conspiracy, by Holden and others, to falsify or embellish his role, e.g. to place him on official duty, in a War Zone, manning a HMAS Derwent 50 calibre machine gun, in order for him to receive those medals and the RASB, from Department of Defence, with all the ensuing Department of Veterans Affairs active service benefits, including service and disability pensions etc, that he will be now eligible to claim for life.
For example, his unnamed Army Officer colleague, who Holden cannot now contact because of his PTSD, caused by this "Swannie."
19. FACT Holden, on request, has failed to provide ANZMI with any supporting documentation from Lieutenant McNaught, or anyone else that confirms his alleged visit to Vung Tau Harbour, Vietnam.
On the 15 December, 2016, Holden sent the following email to ANZMI following his return from his overseas holiday -;
I am home and I have opened my file to be reminded that I have not been awarded the Vietnam Campaign Medal or the Vietnam Medal. I do not have copies of them. I could therefore never have worn them. I have also checked my actual full size and miniature medals and they are correct.
Amazing! In December, 2016, Holden has finally realised that he was never awarded and has no entitlement to the Vietnam Campaign Medal or the Vietnam Medal. (As per the National Serviceman’s application information he provided).
However, he continues to claim operational Vietnam service.
On the 19 December, 2016, he sent the following email and attachment to ANZMI -;
I have never shared this letter before since I regard it as being private and personal to me. I have had to have it scanned since I got back to make this copy. I could not have sent it to you without the scan. Defence awarded these based on their own research but obviously failed to update the Nominal Roll. It is this information and that update that I am seeking from them.
Holden states that "Defence awarded these based on their own research but obviously failed to update the nominal roll" That statement is also not true. The Department of Defence awarded the medals and RASB, based on information that was provided to them by Holden. It was his responsibility to provide the proof, not the Department of Defence.
The Department of Veterans Affairs Repatriation Handbook specifies that -;
“Where the claimant contends that he was allotted for duty in an operational area , and this is not confirmed by his service documents, further information will need to be obtained from the relevant service”
As there was no confirmation of Vietnam service on the records of Holden, or his Discharge Certificate, Department of Defence have obviously awarded him the medals, and the RASB following false documentation submitted by Holden in the year 2013.
Holden by his actions, has contended that he was officially allotted for duty to Vietnam. If you disregard his ridiculous assertion, that his main duty was assignment to a 50 calibre machine gun for the entire time the ship was in harbour in the War Zone, then he had no other allotted duties to perform. He was not there for an official visit or inspection. He was not a HMAS Derwent crew member. He was there following an invitation by Commander Burnett as a good will gesture. Thats all.
ANZMI say documentation submitted by Holden is false and dishonest. He should not have been awarded the AASM 1945- 1975 and the Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal (VLSM) by Department of Defence.
In a previous email to ANZMI, Holden categorically denies ever having claimed to have been a Platoon Commander in 6 Battalion RAR in Vietnam.
However, we located the following current document. -;
The below resume is from a Health Care Action Group website named COUCH WELLNESS CENTRE, based in Cairns, North Queensland.
Holden, who is a Director of this organisation, also claims on the Directors section of the website that he served for two years as a Pioneer Platoon Commander in the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment in Townsville, Singapore/Malaysia and South Vietnam.
Ron Holden – Director Since 2013
Ron Holden was born in Cairns and attended the University of Queensland and completed a Bachelor of Engineering. After earning a commission at the Officer Training Unit, Scheyville in 1970, Ron Served for two years as a Pioneer Platoon Commander in the 6th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment in Townsville, Singapore/Malaysia and South Vietnam.
Holden never served as a Platoon Commander 6 Battalion RAR in South Vietnam. That statement is also a lie.
We believe that Holden is entitled to wear the -;
1. Australian Service Medal 1945 – 1975 with clasp South East Asia, for 30 days or more peacetime service in Singapore.
2. The Australian Defence Force Medal,
3. Anniversary of National Service Medal.
He is not entitled to wear the rest, and if he has been officially awarded them, then he should hand them back. They were issued on false information provided by Holden to the Department of Defence.
In our last communication with Holden, he informed us that "one of the other 6RAR Officers who was on the same deployment has been awarded the same medals. He is being treated for PTSD and I will not be consulting with him either."
If you believe Holden, it must have been one traumatic trip. Manning machine guns in Vung Tau Harbour could cause all sorts of mental health problems. Especially when it was an in country Rest and Convalescence (R & C.) town for our genuine fighting troops.
We hope that the entire crew of Derwent, who were there at the same time, are not suffering identical effects as Holden's colleague from that traumatic visit.
Incidentally, Commander Rory Burnett in Derwent's Record of Proceedings, for that day, does not indicate that any traumatic incident occurred at all in the ships short 11 hour visit to Vung Tau Harbour.
We have notified Honours and Awards, Department of Defence, Canberra, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. They have advised us to also notify the Police with the factual evidence that we possess.
It is these Departments that should be commencing their own inquiries into investigating alleged evidence of outlandish false claims of "active service" by individuals or groups, We did it all on the public record.
So should they.
Holden is a shameless imposter, who has had the gall to apply for Vietnam Active Service Medals in 2013, that he knows he did not earn, 42 years beforehand.
As a former Commissioned Officer with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant in the Australian Army, Holden should apologise to all his former colleagues in 6 Battalion RAR, the National Serviceman’s Association, Queensland, and everyone else he has treated with contempt, including his friends at COUCH WELLNESS CENTRE, for wearing unearned Vietnam campaign medals, the RASB, and claiming active service in South Vietnam, when, at the very most, he was a guest of Commander Burnett as a good will "gesture." His PTSD colleague should do the same.
Welcome to the site, former 2nd Lieutenant Ronald Frederick Holden, 6 Battalion RAR.