RCB Doc 8. Letter to Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal

ROYAL AUSTRALIAN REGIMENT ASSOCIATION SOUTH AUSTRALIA

13 Beatty Street, LINDEN PARK SA 5065

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Ms Christine Heazlewood

Acting Chair

Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal

Locked Bag 7765

CP3-7-067

Canberra BC ACT 2610

Dear Ms Heazlewood,

My name is LtCol Mike Dennis, MBE (Rtd) and I am the Royal Australian Regiment Corporation representative on the Emerging Issues Forum.

I was originally involved with Alan Griffin prior to the 2007 election in pushing for a review process to Defence Honours and Awards Directorate decisions, which on many occasions were hard to fathom. Regrettably what we have ended up with is worse.

I have studied and critiqued all of DHAAT Inquiring Reports (Positive and Negative) and what I have found, across the board, is, there are major inconsistencies on using one reference to negate a claim, then intentionally not mentioning it in a another claim (in which it would negate the claim) which is successful. Many reports are inconsistent in form, references and the use of evidence.

When I was in the Army and training personnel on report writing and the appreciation process for logical conclusions, when a student came up with a conclusion, then situated the evidence to justify that conclusion, it was called “situating the appreciation”.

This is the most blatant case I have seen of this of “situating the appreciation”, the Inquiry Report into Service at RCB. If this was presented at Army Staff College it would have been a dismal failure for the writer.

Let me highlight some specifics from the RCB report.

  1. The report highlighted the actions against the CT’s in a downplayed 4 lines with a mind blowing statement “there was some internal unrest in Malaysia led by the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM). Written evidence provided which DHAAT neglected to mention was the Malaysian Government, saw the period as “as engaged in operations against an enemy”. Written evidence was also provided that the operations went for 21 years and included 212 CT’s KIA, 150 CT’s Captured, 117 CT’s Captured. Friendly Force statistics included 155 KIA, 854 WIA. A further 8200 incidents or reports occurred. You will note that this is longer and more costly than the current ADF conflict in Afghanistan.

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