Carter

Date of Entry: 08/07/2020
Surname: Carter
Christian Names: Leonard William (Len)
Country: Australia
State or Province: New South Wales
City or Town: Menai
Case Notes:

 

“Give a man a uniform and you will see his true character.”
                                                                                          (Anon)


Case notes:

Medal Cheats and Wannabes are fairly easy to detect. They are easily identifiable by their peers, particularly in the Military because the Wannabe is usually the loud mouth, know it all who wears honours and awards they are not entitled to and attempt to create a persona they have no right to claim. Our website is full of these characters.

While ANZMI tend to only investigate ‘military imposters’, every now and then a case comes along involving someone in the Emergency Services whose stupidity and arrogance is such that we could not refuse to investigate the case.

This the story of Len Carter, AFSM a senior member of the NSW Rural Fire Service who has come to our attention by wearing a plethora of fake ‘tin’ medals and worse, a specialist badge only able to be worn by uniformed members of the United States Armed Forces.

Here are a selection of images of Mr Len Carter, AFSM (as he likes to be called):



The problem that confronted our researcher who was looking into the case was the fact that every photo has him wearing a different medal rack so identifying the ‘tin’ has not been easy, but we were able to pin most of them down.

It is probably easier to start with the medals we believe he is entitled to wear.

Left Breast
Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM)
National Medal

Right Breast
NSW Rural Fire Service Medal (plus clasps for years of service)
NSW Rural Fire Service Commendation for Service
Year of the Volunteer Medal

And now to the rest…On the left breast, Carter displays the following:



Left Breast
QE2 Dimond Jubilee Medal (NO Entitlement) – not accepted for general wear by the Australian Government
QE2 Golden Jubilee Medal (NO Entitlement)
Foreign Service Medal (Tin)
AFSM (Entitled see above)
National Medal (Entitled see above)
National Defence Medal (Tin)
Cadet Forces Medal (Tin)

Right Breast:
NSW Rural Fire Service Medal (plus clasps for years of service)
Unknown (Tin)
Year of the Volunteer Medal
NSW Rural Fire Service Commendation for Service
Unknown (Tin)
Unknown (Tin)


In one of the images, Carter is seen wearing an unknown neck decoration, we have tried to identify it and there are a number of possibilities including the Maltese Cross of Order of St John , a popular choice among Wannabes already on our website.

'Tin' is the generic term we at ANZMI use to describe any unofficial commemorative medal that can be purchased rather than issued by the Federal or State Government, recognised philanthropic organisation or Foreign Government (and approved for wear by the Governor General of Australia). There are a number of organisations that 'create' a commemorative medal specific to the needs of that organisation but they are NOT official medals and should never be mixed with Officially sanctioned and properly issued medals.

Examples of the ‘Tin’ being worn by Carter are seen above. These type of ‘medals’ are becoming harder to find in Australia, but they are still very much in circulation overseas. While the above are predominately designed to align with service in a Defence Force, however further research indicates they could ‘loosely’ be linked to Emergency Services as well.

For example, the ‘award criteria’ for the Foreign Service Medal states:



Note the line The Medal is to commemorate overseas service in both War and Peace, that has not been recognised by any award’. We know that Carter has traveled extensively overseas attending numerous firefighting related events, but we don’t believe that constitutes foreign service in any shape or form. In any event, as a representative of the NSW Rural Fire Service, he has already been awarded the National Medal, NSW RFS Medal and not to mention the Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM).

In truth, the only real criteria for the award of these ‘medals’ is to have a valid credit card or PayPal account.

In some of the images, Carter can be seen wearing two of the medals awarded to recognise the Golden and Diamond Jubilees of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Both are genuine medals but neither medal is approved for wear by Australians, except for a small select number approved by the Governor General. When approved for issued by The Queen, the medals were awarded across the Commonwealth to the Defence Forces, Emergency Service personnel and numerous others. However, Australian governments at the time decided not to accept the awards, other than for a select group of citizens.

The select few who are authorised include winners of the Victoria Cross, George Cross, Cross of Valour (Australia) and State Governors. Mr Len Carter, AFSM does not qualify and should not be wearing these ribbons/medals.



Len Carter, AFSM does not limit his wearing of illegal medals to his RFS duties, he is also a member of the local Light Horse
Re-enactment Group. Not surprisingly, he has a different rack for this role. We wonder how he keeps up with what medals to wear when and why.



Now to the matter of improper use of Military Badges.

On the left breast, above the medal racks, Carter can be seen wearing the prestigious Master Explosive Ordnance Disposal Badge. He has absolutely no entitlement to this award.

 



There can be no reason or excuse to explain why Carter has decided to wear this badge on his RFS uniform, other than to portray the image of a person highly trained in explosive ordnance disposal (EOD). As may current and former service personnel know, EOD work is one of the most highly dangerous roles that can be undertaken, and EOD operators make up a high percentage of modern day battle casualties.

For Carter, for whatever reason, to wear this badge is offensive to the veteran community. Notwithstanding the fact he has no military service that we can find, the Master EOD Badge he wears can only be awarded to qualified members of the United States Armed Forces only.

Yes, Carter is a wannabe and the fact that he wears medals, badges and bling that is either not authorised or simply tin rubbish is bad enough but the fact that he does so while wearing the uniform of the NSW Rural Fire Service is of serious concern to ANZMI and should concern the Commissioner of the NSW RFS.

The NSW RFS is made up of volunteers who desire to protect their communities from the threats of bush fire and natural disaster. Many volunteers are young and impressionable men and women who would generally expect that a senior officer of the RFS wearing a chest full of medals and badges has the ‘runs on the board’ so to speak to justify the wearing of those awards.

Carter is not that sort of leader. He has chosen to embellish his uniform with tin rubbish and stolen the valour of the United Stated Armed Forces EOD personnel.

Cater was awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM), a prestigious medal of no small significance in 2004. He should be satisfied that by granting him that award, his country is acknowledging his service with the RFS. If he thinks so little of that award that he chooses to mix it in with cheap, fake medals then he should return the AFSM immediately. Better still, perhaps the RFS could move to have the AFSM taken from Cater because of his offensive and illegal behaviour.

It is fortuitous for Carter that he is unlikely to be prosecuted for his actions. The Defence Act 1903 does have provision to prosecute for the improper use of service badges, but as the EOD badge is an American award, it is unlikely that a successful prosecution could be achieved.

Carter will have to be judged in the Court of Public Opinion by his peers and those who read this report. If one of those who read this is the Commissioner of the NSW RFS, perhaps he could take the appropriate action to ensure that the RFS uniform is not belittled by persons wearing unauthorised badges and bling and take action to remove Len Cater, AFSM from positions of responsibility in the Rural Fire Service.

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