Diggers being diggers
ONE of Australia’s leading combat battalions employed topless waitresses to serve drinks during an “Oktoberfest” party held at the unit’s Townsville base. OMG the horror! Hetrosexual behaviour – have to put a stop to that! The event, at which the four civilian women were encouraged to remove their clothes in defiance of direct orders from the commanding officer of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, is the latest in a line of recent military scandals. OK, that’s a bit different then – the Corporal should be charged and punished but we shouldn’t be reading about it. A minor disciplinary matter makes the national press because of an agenda that is not necessarily in the interests of the Army. He was charged;
During a disciplinary hearing, Colonel Bassingthwaighte found the corporal guilty of this breach, stripped him of his rank and sentenced him to 14 days detention.but it was thrown out.
After serving his time in a cell at Sydney’s Holsworthy Barracks, the corporal lodged a petition against his conviction with a senior army officer independent of 2RAR. This review found flaws with the legal advice provided to the battalion’s commanding officer, including that he should not have been able to pass judgment on a charge of disobeying his own order. The corporal’s sentence was quashed and his rank reinstated.I would hazard a guess that the Corporal has peaked and I can’t see him making sergeant any time soon. Not because he was involved with girls taking their tops off; not that he disobeyed a lawful command; but because he took the Commanding Officer to court and won on a legality that smells of political correctness. That’s strange and puts aside hundreds of years of military discipline. I would have a few charges from my wild youth that I should be able to have set aside based on this finding. A lot of minor administrative matters within a battalion are detailed in what was known as Routine Orders and it was a chargeable offence to disobey Routine Orders. These orders were signed by the CO. Is this still the case – maybe a current serving soldier could comment. Was the senior army officer independent of 2RAR within the Corporal’s chain of command and if not, does this now set a precedence where every soldier charged and disciplined by his Commanding Officer has the right to complain to any passing officer and have offences set aside. Not good. Seems to me that lawyers are making it harder for Officers and NCOs to apply discipline and and that can only be bad for a professional army.