Date of Entry: 01/8/2016
Surname: Coret
Christian Names: Gerardus Cornelius
Country: Australia
State or Province: TAS
City or Town: Lilydale
Service #: 37866680
Service: Army
Branch: Infantry
Commencement of service: Unknown
Completion of service: Unknown
Case Notes:




Gerardus (Gerry) Coret, Justice of the Peace and President of the Lilydale (Tasmania) RSL Sub-Branch, served 376 days in Vietnam as part of the 5th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment.

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The above photo of Coret was taken in December 2015 at the Lilydale District School, where the Avenue of Honour, a garden area that honours fallen soldiers from the Lilydale region, was officially opened as part of local ANZAC Centenary commemorations. Coret can be seen here with his campaign medals proudly displayed.

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In September 2015, Coret attended a wreath laying at the Lilydale Cenotaph as part of the “Centenary Experience” display in that town. This was just one of the hundreds of commemorative events conducted throughout Australia for the Centenary of ANZAC.

Again, Coret can be seen displaying his medals and one could assume he wears these same medals to all official RSL-related functions, and has done so for some time. He should be proud of the medals he received for his active military service, and also his continuing service as a member of the RSL Sub-Branch Executive.

Coret, however, cannot be proud of the fact he has attached a commemorative, or as more commonly known, a ‘tin medal’, to his Service medals. Doing such may impress those that do not know, however, you do not fool your fellow veterans, who would recognise you had no association with the 2/12 Infantry Battalion whatsoever.

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The Front Line Service Medal was issued by the 2/12 Infantry Battalion Association, based in Queensland, to identify those who took part in World War Two front line actions with the Infantry, differentiating them from other units. It was manufactured and sold by that Association as a funds raising exercise. They made a lot of money selling this tin trinket to gullible people, who had no association with the 2/12 Infantry Battalion whatsoever.

Defence Honours and Awards has this to say about such medals:

“Medals not listed in the order of wear may be worn officially, on an unrestricted basis, only with the express permission of the Governor-General. As a general rule, such permission is extended only to official awards of foreign governments. It has never been extended to private commemorative medals. Those medals should not be worn at all, and certainly never on the left hand side and mounted with officially issued medals”.

Coret has deliberately flouted Government policy in order to give himself just that little more recognition and set himself apart from other Veterans. What he does not seem to understand is that he does not need that piece of ‘tin’ to show his ‘front line’ service as that has been adequately recognised by the Infantry Combat Badge he also wears on his suit.

Perhaps Coret could take onboard some advice from his Hobart cousins, who for a number of years have put out an instruction before each ANZAC Day, regarding dress, saluting and etiquette, stating at section 7:

“Occasionally a person will wrongly claim to be a returned veteran and wear medals to which they are not entitled. This practice is deceitful and disrespectful to the veteran community. Further, there are a number of unofficial medals not recognized through the Australian Honours system which should not be worn at events such as ANZAC Day”.

Gerardus (Gerry) Cornelius Coret, your Vietnam service has earned you the medals that you can be proud to wear. However, by adding a worthless commemorative 'tin' medal, you have earned yourself a place, in the ever-increasing numbers of RSL Sub-Branch Executives, who choose to flout protocol and convention, and in doing bring discredit on the Honours and Awards system and Veterans who have been awarded legitimate medals.

Located in: Medal Cheats
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