Date of Entry: 17/03/2020
Surname: Armstrong
Christian Names: David
Country: Australia
State or Province: South Australia
City or Town: Millicent
Service #: R166556
Service: Royal Australian Navy
Branch: Cook
Commencement of service: 03 March 1998
Completion of service: 11 November 2003
Case Notes:



Having been cornered, David Armstrong has lowered his flag and comprehensively apologised for his deceit. The following was published in the South Eastern Times, Millicent, South Australia on 19 March 2020.

The work of the Millicent RSL in dealing with this matter is commended.

Armstrong is also commended for his apology, however he will remain on board HMAS ANZMI as a Cook for ever more.



Here is "Petty Officer" David Armstrong of Millicent South Australia, according to his photograph he is a highly qualified Submariner and RAN Special Forces veteran

Note that when the photograph was taken Armstrong claimed to have served for twenty five years and was awaiting a medical discharge. In reality Armstrong is a dud pretending to be someone he never was, nor ever could be.

On his shoulder he wears the rank of Petty Officer:

On his left breast he wears a name tag that includes a Clearance Divers Badge, Mine Clearance Diving Officer's (MCDO) badge, a Submariner badge Dolphin Badge.

Beneath the name tag he wears five medals.

The medals are:

Australian Active Service Medal (AASM) with clasps, ICAT, Iraq, East Timor and Somalia: Not Entitled
International Force East Timor (ICAT) Not Entitled
Iraq Medal (IM) Not Entitled
Australian Service Medal (ASM) Not Entitled
Australian Defence Medal (ADM) Entitled

He is entitled to wear only the fifth medal which is the ADM. The other four are self purchased fakes.

Armstrong wears eight medals on his right breast, and states they were earned by his father, his uncles and his grand father.

These medals are:

Australian Active Service Medal 1945-1975 (with clasp KOREA);
Korea Medal (U.K.);
Korea Medal (U.N.);
Australian Service Medal 1945–1975 (with 2 clasps: JAPAN?, PNG?);
Australian Defence Medal;
Unidentifiable (unofficial “tin” medal);
Korean War Veterans Association Medal (unofficial “tin” medal).
Australian Service Medal 1945–1975 (no clasps).

An RSL executive and a Police Officer visited Armstrong at his residence in early March 2020. During the visit, Armstrong continued to claim he was a Clearance Diver. The visiting executive, told him that he had received advice from the RAN Clearance Diver Association and the Submariners Association of Australia that there was not, and never had been, a David Armstrong in either employment.

To that , Armstrong claimed "that he had trained at HMAS Penguin and was a senior instructor and had friends who could verify it".

Armstrong then produced a White Ensign flag to the visitors. The flag had his uncle's name endorsed on it, and he said his name would soon be on it and that was proof of his service. At that time, Armstrong claimed that, “you people” have got it in for me and are putting in the knife when a bloke is down.

When previously contacted by an ANZMI researcher, Armstrong acted in a similar way and stated that, "he did serve in the RAN for nine years but all the badges including the rank of Chief Petty Officer were earned by his father, uncle and grandfather", however, he claimed, "to have been awarded all of the left breast medals and clasps".

Here are details of Armstrong's actual service:

Armstrong enlisted in 1998 and was medically discharged in November 2003. Armstrong served "sea time" as an Able Seaman Cook, aboard HMAS Adelaide, HMAS Bunbury and HMAS Geraldton. He also had the following shore postings, HMAS Cerberus, HMAS Stirling, HMAS Cairns and HMAS Penguin. In addition he served as a temporary Cook aboard Submarine HMAS Rankin, but only whilst in dock.

He was never deployed on any overseas Operations.

Armstrong has committed offences under the Defence Act 1903 Part VII Sectionss 80A and 80B, which are:'

80A. Falsely representing to be returned sailor
80B. Improper use of service decorations

Each of these offences have Maximum penalties of $3,300 fine, or six months imprisonment or both.

Armstrong's behaviour is as bad as it gets, and like most wannabes, he sought media attention to broadcast his false prodigious RAN service. His actions, like those of all wannabes have misfired, and instead of fame he has found derision. Psychologists say,

"Someone who's impersonating, generally what it means is they don't perceive themselves as having sufficient personal value
It might be someone who has a somewhat regular life and isn't really pleased with themselves, and so they try to associate with a higher status or an admired role or group."

From a returned veterans perspective, buying the medals and accoutrements to create an image, is a hell of a lot easier than going out and doing the hard yards of a deployment, or even going through the training.

Armstrong now has a secure berth on HMAS ANZMI, where he can skulk in the bilge with many others of his ilk.

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