Never leave a mate behind.

By Bert Hoebee
As the sun rises on Friday 18 August, many of the 60,000 Australians who served in Vietnam will be looking forward to the day, which this year also commemorates the 50th anniversary of the end of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War. They will proudly wear their full array of medals during the activities around the country to reflect on the bravery, teamwork, and endurance that Australians displayed throughout the war, and to honour and recognise every individual who served in Vietnam. That is only right and proper.



You may also like


  • Hans-Joachim (John) SAHARIV September 18, 2023   Reply →

    Have to agree that it is not right by our standards that there is a time limit, unless of course you were KIA or repatriated Home WIA should this occur within the181day time lag before being eligible to the RVCM. Some years ago I supported the NS Association in their attempt to gain approval for the alteration of this time limit to be able to award the medal to those who served under the 181 criteria. The result of my efforts ceased when it was put to me that (not word for word) as the SVN regime no longer
    existed they can not agree to their caveat agreement of this question. THE DECISION TO THE 181 DAYS WAS NOT AN AUSTRALIAN ONE, BUT ONE BY THE THEN GOVERNMENT OF SOUTH VIETNAM. IT IS MY GUESS THAT (THAT) IS THE STICKING POINT AND ISSUE. It is logical to assume that as a FOREIGN AWARD our government can ACCEPT or NOT ACCEPT the CONDITIONS of awarding by the awarding government. The US Gov (I believe has, as our governments Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal 2014) not agreed to any change to the issue of this award. If interested the Tribunals report can be found on Common logic should prevail, and I agree with Brig Mannford’s comments and efforts regarding this award, and a Poet of Military writings, a man I would follow to hell and back. Let the battle continue. PS: Those who belittle our National Service Vietnam and non Vietnam Veterans deserve to rethink their position.

  • Bob Buick September 19, 2023   Reply →

    Bert Hoebee (Lieutenant Colonel, Retired), a Vietnam Veteran has not given any insight as to why he was returned to Australia after less than 181 days in the country as he was not wounded. Those who qualified and issued the RCVM need to protect this service medal and Bert needs to explain so all veterans understand.
    It is my understanding that Bert was not RTA due to health problems like a mate of mine in 1RAR (1st tour) who returned to Vietnam and served his time with the AATTV to qualify for the RCVM.
    Bert, stand tall for what you achieved, as a retired LtCol you have to obey the rules and as an offer expected to set an example for other ranks.
    This comment from Attorney General, Mark Dreyfus: ‘I can assure you that Federal Labor supports your campaign to have the RVCM awarded … … , on the grounds of individual justice, fairness and equity.’ – is political smoke and mirror spin!
    Please reply to my question, “Why did you return with less than six months of service in the country”?

  • Noel Fairley September 20, 2023   Reply →

    I agree with Mr Bob Buick Comments As we all new the rules prior to departing Aust.
    Lets all except the rules at that time fm over 50 years ago.
    Why are still winging about it after the event. That the whole country finds fault with everything.

  • Richard Barry OAM September 23, 2023   Reply →

    I am amused that the only one or two naysayers are former regular soldiers who have this campaign medal. And yet there a long list of Vietnam Veterans career soldiers, who have the medal, are 100% in favour of their fellow comrades in arms being officially recognised- more especially since it wasn’t their fault that their lawful and honourable service was cut short.

    These men are NOT asking to change or amend the eligibility criteria but to look at the personal equity and fairness of the situation.

Leave a comment