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Army major held over ‘medal fiddle’

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Army major held over ‘medal fiddle’

Old 3rd May 2009, 08:49
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Army major held over ‘medal fiddle’

This may be of more interest to ARRSE members; however, I hope that there's no substance to this........

From The Sunday Times May 3, 2009

Army major held over ‘medal fiddle’ Michael Smith

MILITARY police are investigating whether up to 17 medals and honours awarded to soldiers fighting in Afghanistan were given on the basis of false evidence.
They are examining medals granted to members of the 1st Battalion, the Royal Irish Regiment who were training Afghan soldiers in the southern province of Helmand during the period April to October 2008.
It follows the arrest of Major Robert Armstrong, a Royal Artillery officer attached to the regiment, after a complaint from an officer. Armstrong was awarded the Military Cross for saving the lives of his men when his convoy was ambushed in Helmand last year. His citation read: “As a result of his calm leadership under fire, losses were prevented and the lives of those injured were saved.”
The officer questioned the “under fire” part of the report and claimed the actions of others, including himself, had been attributed to Armstrong.
As part of the investigation all medals awarded as a result of citations written by Lieutenant Colonel Edward Freely, who commanded the battalion in Afghanistan, could be scrutinised. Freely did not himself receive an award.
Three Royal Irish Regiment soldiers serving under Freely received the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross, second only to the Victoria Cross. The award was deemed at the time to be remarkable.
It is understood this is the first time the British Army has conducted such an investigation. The revelations come amid growing concern of medal inflation in the armed forces.
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said last night: “The integrity of the operational honours system is a matter of the utmost importance to us.
“Any suggestion that it has fallen short of the very high standards that we have set ourselves are taken extremely seriously.”
Any disciplinary proceedings brought would be for “bringing the army into disrepute” and dealt with under military law.
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Old 3rd May 2009, 09:04
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[QUOTE][the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross, second only to the Victoria Cross./QUOTE]

I always thought the George Cross was the second highest military award, and the highest civillian award.
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Old 3rd May 2009, 09:13
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DG

The George Cross would be awarded for actions "not in the face of the enemy"; for example - conspicuous gallantry in fighting a fire in a munitions dump. In the 19th C at least one VC was awarded for that deed (except it was a Train rather than a dump).
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Old 3rd May 2009, 09:44
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IF this is true, then shame on these individuals.

HOWEVER, am I the only one to be concerned that the name of the bloke arrested has been leaked? What happens if he's cleared? He's doubtless going through hell at the moment - which if guilty, is wholly justified - but spare a thought for the guy if he's innocent.

For me, shame on whoever leaked his name: innocent until proven guilty still means something here.

S41
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Old 3rd May 2009, 10:21
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may be of more interest to ARRSE members
am I the only one to be concerned that the name of the bloke arrested has been leaked
What happens if he's cleared
innocent until proven guilty
all of which is why the mod's over on the Army site lock / delete threads on subjects such as this inorder to stop the wild speculation, conspiracy theorists and hang 'em high brigade going off on one.

The same goes for aviation accidents and incidents - wouldn't it be better to wait until the investigation is over and the facts are available before commenting.

Just a thought.
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Old 3rd May 2009, 11:12
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Indeed chaps, that's why I hope that it's not true and is just in-house mud-slinging within the Army. I happen to know Ed Freely and he is a very good bloke indeed.
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Old 3rd May 2009, 11:53
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innocent until proven guilty
Thats only for civvies mate.... It doesn't form part of the Armed Forces act.
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Old 3rd May 2009, 11:54
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Wasn't it Churchill who said of the divisive side effect; "Medals glitter, but they also cast long shadows"?
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Old 3rd May 2009, 11:54
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[QUOTE=Dan Gerous;4901985]
[the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross, second only to the Victoria Cross./QUOTE]

I always thought the George Cross was the second highest military award, and the highest civillian award.
According to truth central, Ministry of Defence | Defence For... | Veterans | Medals | Conspicuous Gallantry Cross the CGC is second to the VC. The CGC replaced the DSO, DCM and CGM in 1993.

The MC, DSC and DFC are the level below the CGC.
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Old 3rd May 2009, 12:06
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wouldn't it be better to wait until the investigation is over and the facts are available before commenting.
Awwww, come on... Everyone likes a nice bit of gossip...

On the bright side, the fact that the accusation has been made will serve to ensure that the issuance of medals is more strictly scrutinized thus ensuring there is no "medal inflation". There is a silver lining to every cloud, one just needs to step back a little to see it.
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Old 3rd May 2009, 12:06
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I always thought the George Cross was the second highest military award, and the highest civillian award.
To clear up the position of the CGC. Cazatou is quite right about conditions for award of the George Cross, and it should be added that it remains one of only two decorations (the other of course being the Victoria Cross) which take precedence over oll other orders, thus even a Knight of the Garter who also held the George Cross would put the letters ''GC' after his name first. The Conspicuous Gallantry Cross is a purely military decoration awarded to all ranks and is the next decoration, taking precedence over all other decorations, but coming after all orders, even the relatively lowly MBE. Less than 25 CGCs had been awarded by the end of 2008, since its institution in 1993.
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Old 3rd May 2009, 13:16
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And if you are arrested for shooting a line . . .
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Old 3rd May 2009, 13:25
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Cazatou,Tankertrashnav, thanks for that. Not as straighforward as I thought.

Last edited by Dan Gerous; 4th May 2009 at 19:29. Reason: Speeling
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Old 3rd May 2009, 17:49
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This is a very sorry business and should be conducted in private. If the medals have been wrongly awarded it would not be for the first time. Over the years I have heard a few stories about medals going to the wrong man. But and it is a huge one, I have never read about it. That is how it should remain. Any officer winning a medal will tell you that it is an award for all his men. If any other officer has a problem with an award, maybe he should look at him self first.
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Old 3rd May 2009, 17:53
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It may display a little more sympathy and compassion to delete this thread until after the Officer concerned has been investigated. All this thread will do is speculate and feed journo trolls. The Major is at this moment innocent.

I bet the soldiers of 1st Battalion, the Royal Irish Regiment feel really great now after all their efforts in the sandpit. The Mil Police will be even more popular after this.
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Old 3rd May 2009, 18:04
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Delete this thread.

Amen to the previous post.

This thread has nothing to do with MA.
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Old 3rd May 2009, 18:10
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While I agree that the thread is potentially feeding journos, remember the story will have originated in truth central and appeared in full in the papers before it appeared in PPRuNe.
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Old 3rd May 2009, 23:47
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I bet the soldiers of 1st Battalion, the Royal Irish Regiment feel really great now after all their efforts in the sandpit.
This major was actually reported to be in the Royal Artillery and only attached to the RIR so they don't have to feel so bad but, if the accusations are ever proven, then the RA won't be too pleased.

Quite possibly the evidence, statements etc. of the enquiry will remain confidential and only the result will be published in the LG, no need to air the dirty linen, if, indeed, there is any.

Last edited by parabellum; 4th May 2009 at 00:00.
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Old 4th May 2009, 01:57
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We have ours too!

Bronze Star: Many Winners Weren't in Combat

This was from WW Kosovo!
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Old 4th May 2009, 09:27
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Interesting stuff, and food for thought as the way we deliver state sponsored violence and support combat operations is changing radically. Troops in contact are now closely supported by int and fire support from service people in other continents via RPVs, satellites etc, who though not themselves in harms way can directly effect the battle.

The whole UK system needs careful review, by the military, NOT civil servants. There must be a clear destinction between awards for actions in harms way and those earned more remotely. The system must be fair, be approved and be accepted by those in uniform, otherwise what's the point.

As far as the Gunner Major is concerned, wait, do not pass judgement and, above all, DO NOT TRUST WHAT THE MOD AND PRESS ARE PUTTING OUT. Read Col Tim Collins' book "Rules of Engagement" to see how the system we work for is out to get us, not support us. Disgraceful, shameful treatment of warriors who give their best and deserve better. Makes my blood boil.
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