RSL closely monitoring Afghanistan honours issue
The Returned & Services League of Australia (RSL) is closely monitoring moves for the return of honours and/or medals awarded to Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel who served in the Afghanistan war.
This follows the reported demand from the chief of the Australian Defence Force, General Angus Campbell, for senior officers to justify why they should keep awards, an outcome of the Brereton Inquiry into alleged war crimes and subsequent inquires.
The Brereton Inquiry recommended a review of the honours handed out to ADF personnel who served in Afghanistan and General Campbell has now given some veterans 28 days to provide reasons for keeping their honours.
RSL President Greg Melick said this issue was one of significant concern to the Defence and ex-service community.
“Because little is known regarding the specific allegations accompanying the demands, the RSL will refrain from making any detailed comment at this time although as a general rule we consider it more appropriate to await the result of all investigations before undertaking such a course of action. In any event this issue should not detract from the brave and dedicated service of Australia’s Afghanistan War veterans.
“The RSL will keep a close watch on developments and in the meantime, offer its support for the wellbeing of any veterans affected.
“Support can be accessed through RSL Branches and Sub-Branches and through the Open Arms counselling and support service. Contact details are available at www.rslaustralia.org/after-hours-care.
“Our position regarding the call on the honours and medals will be reviewed as more information comes to hand,” Greg Melick said.