DEFENCE LIVES MATTER
Stop the revocation of the MUC
Restore 2 Squadron SASR to the SASR Order of Battle
June 9, 2021
Defence Minister Peter Dutton has defended overruling senior officials and allowing special forces troops to keep their meritorious unit citations from Afghanistan despite credible allegations of war crimes. Mr Dutton was warned failing to strip the unit of its citation would harm the reputation of the Australian Defence Force at home and abroad. (Read Article)
Kerry Danes, CSM
I created this petition to ask that the Governor General of Australia protect the rights and reputation of the thousands of members of the multiple SOTG rotations who gave Meritorious service to our Nation.
These brave men and women were being punished as a collective by military Commanders who created a false narrative around their service. The majority of ADF personnel who deployed on those “multiple” rotations served with great distinction and honour.
I believed it was a flawed decision to strip the MUC and clearly Defence Minister Peter Dutton agrees.
We appealed to our Governor General to demonstrate good leadership, by rejecting the decision to remove the Meritorious Unit Citation from those who served to protect the rule of law and our way of democracy.
The Command argue: “If we knew then what we know now the unit wouldn’t have been awarded the MUC ... “
This logic is flawed on several levels.
1. The SOTGs are not a single UNIT. They are multiple rotations, denoted by designated rotation numbers.
2. The SOTGs operated under their own autonomous Command structures, and deployed thousands of ADF members.
3. The SOTGs are from all Corps and services of the ADF, and deployed over multiple periods (several years).
4. Senior Commanders at varying levels received Distinguished Service medals for commanding those multiple deployments. Yet these commanders demand that they retain their own medals.
The logic of this is that the Commanders retained their distinction for leadership over thousands of ADF personnel who they grouped together in punishment, and in disgrace, for the alleged actions of only a few ADF personnel who are yet to have their day in court.
In other words, the commanders took great kudos for themselves from the meritorious service of thousands who served on multiple rotations: those honourable and distinguished men and women, and those who have fallen to our enemy, and who have died as a result of mental illness, those who have sacrificed everything, including precious time with their families, to serve the will of the Command unquestionably. That command sought to dishonour the sacrifices of that service.
Had the command applied that same logic to themselves then they would not have been awarded medals of distinction. In their own words “If we knew then what we know now... the [the Commanders] would not have been awarded [these medals]!”
Fortunately, the new Defence Minister rectified part of the mistake and reversed the decision to strip the MUC. Sadly, our 2 SAS Squadron is still disbanded.
Kerry Danes, CSM
RSM SOTGs 2006,2008