ADF chief Angus Campbell has given officers 28 days to prove their service in the Afghanistan war was “distinguished” but it has sparked ire from veterans.

Chief of the Australian Defence Force Angus Campbell AO DSC
Chief of the Australian Defence Force Angus Campbell. (James Brickwood)

Retired Army major Stuart McCarthy, who did two tours of Afghanistan, has questioned the timing of Campbell’s action as the royal commission into veteran suicide recommences this week.

”Call me a cynic, probably justified by this time, but I’m of the suspicion the government is throwing out the issue of Afghanistan medals again to distract from the serious issues that will likely come out of the royal commission hearings this week,” he told Nine’s radio station 2GB.

“The issue I’m red hot on is the command failures that led to this situation go all the way to the very top at General Campbell himself.”

McCarthy questioned Campbell’s Distinguished Service Cross as he believes it should not have been awarded.

“In the citation on his Distinguished Service Cross, he said he was given that award for ‘distinguished command and leadership in action’ – the key phrase is ‘in action’ and what that means is he was serving in action against the enemy in combat in Afghanistan.

“That, quite simply, is not the case.”

McCarthy said the defence force’s campaign was “devastating” and “doesn’t pass the pub test at all”.

Earlier, NSW Veterans Affairs Minister David Elliott said questioning officers’ honours could have “devastating consequences”.

”There are no winners when you humiliate veterans,” he said.

“I can tell you if one of these veterans self-harms because they’ve been treated or embarrassed, the blood will be on the hands of those who wear the brass.”

The Defence All-hours Support Line can be reached on 1800 628 036 and the Defence Member and Family Helpline on 1800 624 608.

You May Also Like

Bag of cash left scattered over Perth highway after falling from car

Police said at about 11.30am (AWST) yesterday, a bag containing cash been…

Severe storm warnings across multiple states

The heat and humidity that’s clutched much of Australia in recent days…

Urgent call for help to find woman and boy missing from Labrador

Police are calling for urgent assistance to find a woman and boy…

Two wounded in new Jerusalem shooting as Australia condemns deadly attacks

The two men injured in the City of David area of Jerusalem…

Government to force streamers to make Australian shows, movies

Streaming services will be forced to spend money on local shows and…

‘We crawled though mud screaming their names’

A New Zealand family of seven is grateful to be alive after…

Surf Life Saving urges public to beware of rips after man dies in Cronulla

The three men were pulled from the water at a beach in…

Police unit officers who allegedly beat US man Tyre Nichols belonged to disbanded after death

The SCORPION unit, launched in 2021, was tasked with tackling rising crime…

The global movement giving pre-loved items a new life

If you’ve broken a beloved lamp or uncovered a hole in your…

‘We are not trying to find the small capsule by eyesight’

It’s the modern equivalent of a needle in a haystack. In this…

Anthony van Dyck St Jerome study sells for $US3 million

Once abandoned in a farm shed, a rediscovered Anthony van Dyck painting…

Flights delayed, diverted at Sydney Airport after evacuation

Flights have been delayed and diverted at Sydney Airport after an air…