The Australasian Military Fraud
Often called by the
derogatory term "wannabe" these are men and women who may or may not have served
in the armed forces, but who fraudulently misrepresent themselves as having served; often
in a theatre of war by their words and actions, and by wearing of medals and other
accoutrements to military service to which they have no entitlement.
In recent years there has been uncertainty about who is
entitled to wear US and Vietnamese decorations. The Australian government has instituted
an application and verification method for all those who believe that they are entitled to
foreign awards. Those without government notification or approval must be classified as a
fraud, a "wannabe."
The impostor or fraud will push the line saying that they
were "given" decorations in the field. This does not legitimise the wearing of
the award. Official recognition was and still is supported with documentation and the
written citation. It is known that some Vietnamese Commanders "awarded" American
and Australian servicemen decorations for being nice, or for a favour, not for gallantry
or service rendered.
Under the Defence Act, 1903 as amended, it is a federal
offence to claim to be a returned soldier, sailor or airman, subject to six months'
imprisonment and a fine of up to $3300. Further it is an offence to wear a service decoration to
which you are not entitled, attracting additional penalties.
Worse though, is the cost to Australia's taxpayers who are
picking up the tabs to the tune of perhaps million of dollars in payments and pensions to
'veterans' who have no legitimate claim to the title.
Worse still is the insult to genuine veterans of any
conflict, who find their courage, honour and valour stolen by imposters both from within
and outside their ranks. We will continue to ferret out those who misrepresent their
service. More here.
There is no grey. Only black or white.