Surname: Buchtmann
Christian Names: John William
Country: Australia
State or Province: NSW
City or Town: Penrith
Service: Citizen Military Force
Case Notes:

John William BUCHTMANN DOB 6 December 1945 of Penrith New South Wales enlisted in the Citizen Military Forces (CMF) in 1965, and who like his twin brother Gerard like to wear a lot of medals which means nothing other than to impress people who know nothing about medals.

We first came across John Buchtmann on the internet which shows his history with the Volunteer Rescue Association in Penrith NSW. Now we are not saying his has not done a great job there and give him credit for the work he is doing. The only thing wrong which caught our eye is he is wearing ribbons which he should not be. This is what is written about John at the following web site.


John William Buchtmann has lived in the Penrith community for the past 48 years.

A founding member of the Nepean Rescue Organisation (NRO Inc.) and Nepean Rescue Squad, John was instrumental in meetings with Emergency Service Heads, Police Rescue and VRA prior to the first meeting of NRO Inc. held on 7 July 1975.

John joined the New Rescue Service Penrith as a volunteer at the initial meeting on 7 July 1975.

John joined the Training Squad on the initial training day 12 July 1975 and the Rescue Squad on the 13 December 1975.

An initial Committee Member of Executive until 1976, John was elected President of the Organisation in 1976 and remained so until elected as Captain in November 1980. John has been an Executive Member of the Organisation since its inception 33 years ago.

John has been a member of the Nepean Rescue Squad / Penrith V.R.A. Rescue Squad for 33 years and has been Squad Captain for 28 years, since November 1980 and is currently Squad Captain of NSW Rescue Service – Penrith, and is still a member of Nepean Rescue Organisation Inc. Executive.

John was on the V.R.A. Executive as Treasurer for five years and as Captain has always represented the V.R.A. in Penrith area as a Member of the Local Emergency Management Committee, Local Rescue Committee, District Emergency Management Committee and District Rescue Committee.

John has done thousands of presentations to local community, school and business groups about road safety and Penrith V.R.A. Rescue Squad.

Over the last 33 years, the VRA Rescue Squad has completed 6941 jobs - 5000 of which have been attended by John including the Glenbrook train accident in 1976, Granville train accident in 1977 and the Thredbo Landslide in 1997.

2257726 John William Buchtmann enlisted in the CMF and joined a Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineer Unit (RAEME). There is no entry on his service records to show he attended a Recruit Course or an Initial Employment Course to qualify in any trade. His record shows he was unsuitable for Tropical service of Infantry work.

The only thing that shows up in his record is that he received an injury on 28 March 1966 and the rest of the entries relate to that injury. He was discharged on 19 October 1967.

On 11 November 2010 both John on the left as you look at the photo and Gerard to his right attended and laid at wreath at the Penrith Remembrance Day Ceremony and a photo was taken showing them wearing numerous medals on both sides of their chests, also both are wearing a beret with the RAEME badge. As there is no record of John having completed a Recruit or IET Course he should be wearing the Rising Sun Badge.

They are also wearing military head dress with civilian uniforms so they could salute after laying the wreath and the head dress should only be worn with a military uniform.

When not in military uniform, the correct gesture of respect for the fallen is that after bowing the head, one's medals are covered with the right hand or headwear.  It's called "the veterans' salute", but it's also appropriate for non-veterans.

This tradition is explained below.

The Salute by Veterans at the Cenotaph or Wreath Laying Ceremony (Remembrance Service)

It will be noticed at any Remembrance Service or when passing a Cenotaph Veterans will place their Right Hand over their “Left Side” many may believing that they are placing their ‘Hand over their Heart” in Respect or Remembrance of their Fallen Comrades”;- this is not so.

The Veterans Salute to their “Fallen Comrades” originated in London on Armistice Day in 1920, during the ceremony to unveil and dedicate the Cenotaph in Whitehall at the same time a funeral procession accompanying the remains of the “Unknown Soldier” halted at the Cenotaph during the ceremony before proceeding to Westminster Abbey for internment. Those present included the senior Soldier, sailor and many Victoria Cross winners. The ceremony concluded with a march past. The Regimental Sergeant Major of the Guard Regiment conducting the ceremony, faced with a gathering of highly decorated and high ranking military men (including many Victoria Cross winners), all wearing rows of medals, decreed that all would salute the Cenotaph as they marched past by placing their hand over their medals, signifying that “No matter what honours we may have been awarded they are nothing compared with the honour due to those who paid the supreme sacrifice”.

I will now cover the medals John is wearing starting from left to right on his left breast.

National Medal(official entitled)

Australian Defence Medal(official- entitled due to the fact he enlisted in the CMF and was discharged due to injury before completing his service)

National Service Commemorative Medal(official-entitled)

Conscript Medal(un-official purchased medal. Should not be worn at all)

CMF/Reserve Forces Medal(un-official, same as above)

Simpson Medal (un-official, same as above)

Emergency Services medal(un-official, same as above)

The last four medals have been made up by either individuals or organizations and sold to persons willing to purchase them. They are commonly called tin medals as they are not recognized medals by Honours and Awards or the Defence department who are the only people who can issue Australian Medals produced officially by the Federal Government. Those last four medals should be removed immediately.

The CMF/Reserve Forces Medal should not be mistaken for the official Reserve Forces Medal which is issued after 15 years service. The National Service Commemorative Medal covers all those that carried out National Service in the 1950’s, 60’s and early 70’s, when the Vietnam War ended. The Simpson Medal is supposed to represent persons injured during military service. There is no such official medal.

There is an official Emergency Services Medal if persons have completed the requirements.


The Emergency Services Medal recognises distinguished service by members of emergency services across Australia, and people who are involved in emergency management training or education. 

How it is awarded

The Governor-General awards the Emergency Services Medal on the recommendation of the responsible Commonwealth, State and Territory Ministers.  The medal may be awarded to a person who has given distinguished service as a member of an emergency service. 

The medal my be awarded regardless of whether the person is eligible for any other award because of the service.  However, a person who is already a holder of the medal is not eligible for another award of the medal. 

Each Australian emergency service organization may award:   

One medal for every 1,000 full-time members, or part of 1,000, full-time members in every calendar year.

One medal for every 5,000, or part of 5,000 part-time, volunteer or auxiliary members. 

One medal may be awarded in a calendar yearfrom each of the following: 

Australian Capital Territory.  

The Northern Territory and

One medal from all external Territories. 

Awards are announced on Australia Day (January 26) and the Queen's Birthday (June) each year. 

Only one award can be made to an individual. Recipients are entitled to the post-nominal ESM. 

Persons can be nominated for the award at the following web site. http://www.itsanhonour.gov.au/honours/awards/inded.cfm

The medals on the right breast of John, top row are:

Granville Train Disaster Medal (This is an official NSW State Government Award and is worn on the correct side, (blue and white in colour.

Volunteer Rescue Association Service Medal (un-official should not be worn) 

Information from the above site:

Q14.  How do I wear my state awards?

A14.  State awards are worn on the right breast because only national awards in the Commonwealth Government "Order of Wearing" are worn on the left breast.  Also from the above site:  Unofficial medals: 

Ex-service organisations sometimes commission their own unofficial medals to mark participation in  particular military campaigns, periods of service or types of service that have not been recognised through the Australian honours system.  Awards made by foreign governments which have not been approved by the Governor-General for acceptance and wear are also "unofficial".  There is no impediment to wearing such medals in appropriate private settings, such as a meeting of the relevant ex-service association, or a reception hosted by the relevant foreign government. Ideally, unofficial medals should not be worn at public ceremonial and commemorative events, but if they are worn as the occasion demands, the convention is that they are worn on the right breast. 

Order of wearing.

There is an established order of precedence for the wearing of Australian decorations.  You can download a copy of the Order Of Wearing Australian Honours and Awards document.  The Order of Wearing Australian Honours and Awards - RTF 325KB/PDF 61KB. 

Now you will notice that John is wearing Next of Kin Medals, any un-official medals should always be worn below Next of Kin medals.  Even in that set of medals there is an un-official tin medal which is the last on the right.  It is know as the Gallipoli Star.  It originally was approved by GeorgeV to be awarded to Australian and New Zealand troops who landed on the Peninsula.  As it was not going to be issued to British troops there was an outcry and it was abandoned.

As John William Buchtmann shows total disregard to the Order of Wearing Medals as well as showing no respect to Veterans who wear their correct entitlement which can easily be seen in the photo taken on Remembrance Day with Veterans in the background, he will grace our pages for the world to see.

29th May 2011

With regard to our cases on both John and Gerard Buchtmann we have received further information regarding the medals they are wearing. The blue and white medal which we have recorded as the Granville Train Disaster Medal is incorrect. It is in fact the 25th Anniversary Granville Train Disaster Medal.

The original medal had a hand stitched ribbon similar in colour to the United Nations Medal ribbon.

When John and Gerard had their medals Court mounted which means the medals are mounted in such a way that the medals are next to each other and do not move, whereas the old method of mounting medals had them over lapping each other and they would swing as you marched.

The ribbon the Buchtmann twins used was the UN ribbon for their anniversary medals and they never served with the United Nations.

In actual fact, no medal was ever issued for that disaster, only a medallion by the New South Wales Government was issued.

National Service

Both twins wear the Conscript Medal which is what we refer to as a tin medal as it is an un-official medal. John however wears the official commemorative National Service Medal. We cannot find a list of all those that were called up for National Service and We cannot say whether he was officially awarded that medal.

On their service records there is no mention that they were serving with the Citizen Military forces (CMF) in lieu of full time National service of two years.  At the time, which I know from personal experience as I was in the CMF prior to joining the Australian Regular Army, we were advised that if you registered for National Service, you could do six years CMF and not be called up.

We cannot get a copy of the original Act which states that as it has been repealed and the only copy of the Act on line is the Act dated 1971 which had a large number of amendments to some sections and some were sections were repealed.

We did manage to find a document from National Archives which shows that in 1964 the Act had an amendment to make it six years CMF and also information on the Australian War Memorial web site which backs this up. This was done to stop persons joining the CMF before the ballot was drawn and then resigning from the CMF after finding out they had not been called up.



Appendix: The national service scheme, 1964-72
by Sue Langford

Two provisions enabled youths to enlist in the Citizen Forces rather than undertake national service. They could enlist before their twentieth birthday and give at least one year's effective service, and were required to continue to give a further five years' service. Alternatively, they could join the Citizen Forces before the ballot for their age group and, provided they were accepted for service in the Citizen Forces, were obliged to serve for six years.

The Government soon became aware of a loophole in these provisions. If balloted out, youths were able to resign from the Citizen Forces immediately afterwards. The Government soon closed the loophole and from 8 December 1965 registrants who had enlisted in the Citizen Forces had to serve a total of six years irrespective of whether they were balloted in or out. In addition, youths who did not serve efficiently in the Citizen Forces were liable for call-up.

The following document is from the National archives web site.

As you will see from the following information, both had to register for National Service as their birthday was on 6 December 1945 and ballot they would have been in was drawn on 10 September 1965.

Birthdates drawn in the second National Service ballot: 10 September 1965

Men included in the ballot who were born in the period 1 July 1945 to 31 December 1945.

July 3, 6, 7, 8, 16, 22, 25, 26, 31

August 3, 6, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26

September 2, 4, 5, 6, 14, 17, 21, 25, 26

October 2, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 13, 16, 17, 23, 25, 29

November 3, 4, 12, 14, 15, 16, 22, 24, 27

December 6, 10, 12, 14, 17, 18, 19, 21, 24, 25, 26, 28, 31

John enlisted in the CMF on 20 September 1965, 10 days after the ballot was drawn for two years only, and not the required six years if he was serving in the CMF in lieu of full time National Service if he had been called up.

Gerard enlisted in the CMF for two periods 3 September 1963 to 10 December 1964 and 6 September 1965 to 31 August 1967, notice he re-enlisted 4 days before the ballot was drawn which means he did not do the required six years in lieu of National Service if he had been called up.

The amendment for six years service was made on 8 December 1965 and had they been called up and serving in the CMF in lieu of full time National Service it would have been recorded in their service records as they were both in the CMF at the time of the amendment and would have had to change their time of enlistment to six years.

On the evidence provided, we will leave it up to you the reader, to decide if they had in actual fact been called up for national service.

29th May 2011

Regarding our case on John William Buchtmann, you will notice that in the photograph at the start of the case page, John is wearing a set of gold wings. At the time of the investigation we could not identify the wings. Thanks to a reader of our web site we have received information on what the wings are.

We also received information the John is or was a pilot. He is not wearing the wings of either a Private Pilot or a Commercial Pilot, but John has the audacity to wear the wings issued to a lot of brave men who flew aircraft during World War 2 under the RAF Bomber Command as Path Finders. These men would fly ahead of the main bomber group and mark the target with incendiary bombs to start fires on the target so the main group had a marker to aim for and improve the chances of dropping the bombs on target at night.

If john was a private pilot he should be wearing pilot wings similar to the one below.

But no John has purchased for some reason the Path Finder Wings which can only be worn by men who served as Path Finders during WW2 and then only when issued a certificate to authorise the wearing of such wings. The wings are worn on the right breast pocket of the RAF or RAAF tunic below the medal ribbons.

John has by wearing those wings shown no respect to the brave men that earned the right to wear those wings and especially to those that never returned from their missions. One Australian RAAF pilot who earned those wings was the late Air Marshall Sir James Anthony Rowland, AC, KBE, DFC, AFC, KStJ who was a past RAAF Chief and Governor of New South Wells.

How much lower can this person get by insulting the men and relatives of those who earned them?

This is published in the public interest, particularly that of the Vietnam Veteran Community. All information presented here is fact and the truth. Reports from private citizens are supported by statements of fact and statutory declarations.



Update of John William Buchtmann of Wyong New South Wales. (NSW) 25th June, 2015.

We originally exposed John William Buchtmann of Penrith New South Wales a few years back when he was sporting an array of tin purchased medals on his left side that had never been awarded to him. He was at the time a member of the Penrith Volunteer Rescue Association.

Buchtmann and his brother Gerald Buchtmann, who was also a member of the same organisation loved dressing up with all their false trinkets and attending functions and ceremonies to impress onlookers that they are something above the ordinary run of the mill volunteer rescuer.

Well we guess that we have heard it all before. However, it just keeps happening.

Below from our original exposure of the Buchtmann brothers is a photograph of them in all their glory at a Penrith ceremony some years ago. John is the one on the left. John is always the easiest to identify because he wears more tin medals than his brother.

Also below are the tin purchased medals John Buchtmann was wearing on that day.

They are described individually above in the initial exposure. He is only entitled to the 1st National Medal and probably 2nd Australia Defence Medal.

Well, not content with being exposed as a medal cheat and a wannabee years ago, John William Buchtmann is still at it. Some people just never learn that by wearing tin medals over a considerable period of time, you will eventually be reported to Anzmi where you will be exposed to the world for what you really are. A fraud.

Since our last exposure, John Buchtmann left Penrith in Western Sydney and moved to Wyong on the NSW Central Coast. He then joined the Central Coast VRA Rescue Squad where his experience is obviously appreciated. Not being content with being a member of this respected Volunteer Rescue Association, Buchtmann has seen the need to continue to wear all the tin fake medals he was caught wearing before on the left side of his uniform.

Below is a photograph of John Buchtmann at a recent yearly state-wide conference dinner attended by Senior State Emergency and Rural Fire Service Executives.

As you can see, Buchtmann must have been on the urgent call out list that night as he can be seen wearing his uniform with radio handpiece above his tin ribands at the dinner table. We would not be surprised if he organised a couple of incoming calls over his radio during dinner to impress those sitting at the table with him.

Now the senior State Emergency and Rural Fire Service executives would have no doubt been impressed by all his tinnies. He wore more than anyone else so he may even get a promotion out of it.

A close up photograph of the ribands is shown below.

They can be identified as -;

1. National Medal riband Entitled.
2. Australia Defence Force Medal riband (2 years part time Citizens Military Forces. CMF) probably entitled.
3. Unofficial CMF/Reserve Forces Medal Riband. Tin purchased riband
4. Unofficial Simpson Medal riband. Tin purchased riband.
5. Unofficial Emergency Services Medal. Tin purchased riband.

Buchtmann has removed two medal ribands from his rack from his Penrith days.

1. The official Anniversary of National Service Medal 1951 -1972.

2. The unofficial tin purchased “Conscripts Medal.”

We were always suspicious of his wearing the official Anniversary of National Service Medal 1951-1972. His records indicate that he only completed two years part time Citizens Military Forces. There was some uncertainty in our previous write up of him as to whether he was entitled to wear the official National Service Medal. It is obvious he has no entitlement to wear that one or the tin Conscripts medal.

Buchtmann continues to wear pilot’s wings of some sort above his tin trinkets. It just adds a bit more colour and glamour to his uniform.

Below is another photograph of Buchtmann following the Central Coast Rescue Squad AGM. The clarity of the medals is not clear but we have been assured by several of those at that meeting that he is wearing the same tin medal ribands as in the top photos. He is also wearing pilot wings in this photo.

Below is another photograph of Buchtmann that appeared in the local media a few days ago in early June 2015. He certainly appears to have taken a liking for having his photo in the media wearing all is non awarded purchased tins.

Volunteer Rescue organisations do a necessary and vital job for the community. We mean no disrespect to the important work that they do.

John Buchtmann however is a long time medal cheat and fraud. He sets a bad example to those younger members of the organisation that he trains. He is entitled to wear two medals. The National Medal and probably the Australia Defence Medal for his two years part time Citizens Military Forces service.

John William Buchtmann, remove all those unearned medals and ribands that you bought immediately, and show some respect to those who have earned genuinely awarded medals the hard way.

If this Medal Cheat continues to bring discredit to the Central Coast Rescue organisation, like he did at Penrith, he should be shown the door by those he is trying to impress.

If his superiors do not demand that he remove the tin medals from his left side, then they have no respect for Australia’s Honours and Awards protocols either.

We will keep an eye on Mr John William Buchtmann of the Central Coast VRA Rescue Squad and provide another update in the future if and when required.





Located in: Stolen Valour
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