No change to Vietnam medal

The Australian government has accepted a recommendation that there can be no change to eligibility for the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Darren Chester said the independent Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal was directed to inquire into and report on the Australian government’s legal ability to amend eligibility criteria for the medal – and that it had found it was not possible.

“On 25 June 2015, the Tribunal handed its report on the Inquiry into the feasibility of amending the eligibility criteria for the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal to the government, in which it recommended that eligibility criteria for the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal not be amended because the Australian government does not have the legal authority to do so,” Mr Chester said.

“The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal is a foreign award that was offered to Australia by the then Government of theRepublic of Vietnam. Because this government no longer exists, there is no avenue available to seek amendment to the eligibility criteria for the medal.

“I would like to acknowledge the veterans and individuals who made submissions and advocated on the behalf of Vietnam War veterans as a part of this inquiry.

“I recognise their concerns about the existing criteria, I commend them for their service to our nation and I understand that this is not the result that all individuals would have wished for.

“I am however satisfied that a full and vigorous process has been followed.

“The advice from the Australian Government Solicitor is the Australian government does not have the legal authority to amend the criteria for the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

“The Australian government accepts the tribunal’s finding.

“The inquiry into this matter demonstrates the government’s commitment to the independent review of Defence honours and awards issues.”

The Vietnam Campaign Medal is a military campaign medal that was awarded by the South Vietnamese government to members of the Republic of Vietnam Military Forces for direct participation in major military operations and was also awarded to foreign military personnel for service in South Vietnam.

The medal was awarded for two different periods of service – the second being from 1 January 1960 to a date to be determined.

However, the government of South Vietnam ceased to exist before an ending period was decided.

 

 

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

2 thoughts on “No change to Vietnam medal

  • 07/05/2016 at 7:43 pm
    Permalink

    The Government of the Republic of Vietnam in 1973, “reduced the criteria for the RVCM to 60 days”, for the American Forces, (who by the way were members of the Free World Military Forces as, was Australia?
    So, the criteria for the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal was “changed,” at that point for “all” free world military forces!
    The Australian Government has now no part to play in reducing the criteria, it has already been done by the GRVN.
    It’s the same medal same ribbon same award, same war, (it was still going at the time) so, forget the legality, it “HAS” been done by the Government who introduced it, the Government of the Republic of Vietnam in 1973!
    So, please allow our Governor General to award the RVCM to all those service personnel who were rejected for this award because they hadn’t achieved the magical 181 days!
    The Criteria of “30 days” is “now”, and was then in 1973, the updated and “latest”, and “last” set criteria prior to the end of the war.
    We were all in that war together as a FWMF’s coalition. No one can prove otherwise, unless they can find the GRVN’s standing order number that says that we “wern’t” part of it!

    Reply
    • 07/05/2016 at 8:28 pm
      Permalink

      The Government of the Republic of Vietnam in 1973, “reduced the criteria for the RVCM to 60 days”, for the American Forces, (who by the way were members of the Free World Military Forces as, was Australia?
      So, the criteria for the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal was “changed,” at that point for “all” free world military forces!
      The Australian Government has now no part to play in reducing the criteria, it has already been done by the GRVN.
      It’s the same medal same ribbon same award, same war, (it was still going at the time) so, forget the legality, it “HAS” been done by the Government who introduced it, the Government of the Republic of Vietnam in 1973!
      So, please allow our Governor General to award the RVCM to all those service personnel who were rejected for this award because they hadn’t achieved the magical 181 days!
      The Criteria of “30 days” is “now”, and was then in 1973, the updated and “latest”, and “last” set criteria prior to the end of the war.
      We were all in that war together as a FWMF’s coalition. No one can prove otherwise, unless they can find the GRVN’s standing order number that says that we “weren’t” part of it!

      The Australian Government was somehow able to award 1RAR the GRVCGWP, recently, even ‘tho they, 1 RAR, weren’t named in the GRVN ‘original’ Citation? (“Protacol wasn’t followed, as is required for a Foreign Government to offer an award such as this to Australian Forces. Also there was no Diplomatic contact between the two Governments naming 1 RAR as a recipient of this award?
      How can this be done “legally” by our Government, (or did they “use” the Americans in this instance) to circumvent any use of the Australian Government Solicitor?
      In the case for the Australian Government changing the “criteria” to 60 days, for the RVCM last year, (as was done for the Americans by the GRVN in 1973 for the awarding of the same medal) and coming up with “it would be illegal for our Government to alter it because the GRVN no lnger exists, “yet,” they could award a Battalion, 1RAR, a ‘Vietnamese award’, that wasn’t “named” in the original citation by the GRVN?
      There is something very wrong with this. If they, our Gov’t can do “this legally,” they can do it for the criteria change for a simple Campaign medal?
      There are “many” service personnel out there who should have been awarded the RVCM, by our Gov’t and by the reduced criteria (30 days) set by the GRVN in 1973.
      “It is Time”

      Reply

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