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THE inquiry into Spr Jamie
Larcombe's death in Afghanistan last
February has been finalised with rec-
ommendations passed on to Defence.
Spr Larcombe, a combat engineer
serving with MTF 2, was killed in
action during an engagement with
insurgents in the Mirabad Valley on
February 19 last year. An Afghan inter-
preter was also killed in the exchange
One of the inquiry officer's recom-
mendations emphasised the need for
Defence to improve existing proce-
dures to ensure the fast dissemination
of lessons learnt from incidents.
Two other recommendations are
also being addressed, but will not be
released for operational security rea-
The inquiry officer also recom-
mended that the circumstances sur-
rounding Spr Larcombe's death did not
warrant a commission of inquiry.
A copy of the report has been deliv-
ered to Spr Larcombe's family and
a Defence representative has briefed
them on the inquiry findings and the
circumstances of his death.
In the interest of protecting the
privacy of Spr Larcombe's family, the
report will not be publicly released.
Spr Jamie Larcombe inquiry finalised
Cpl Max Bree
WHEN Maj Ed Wunsch nominat-
ed a corporal for the Conspicuous
Service Medal he received a luke-
warm reception from some people
who believed the award was not
suited to a junior soldier.
"I had to put the effort into
writing the nomination and I had
to push to get it through," Maj
Wunsch said. "But it's not a rank
thing at all. He needed to be rec-
ognised for the excellent work that
"Some commanders don't nomi-
nate their people because they are
busy or think the process is too
hard, but that just means your guys
aren't going to get recognised for
their excellent work."
Commanders have recently
been urged by CA Lt-Gen David
Morrison to consider more other-
ranks, women and reservists when
nominating for honours and awards.
The CA felt these groups were
under-represented in the Australia
Day and Queens Birthday award
nominations for 2011 and urged
senior officers to give soldiers more
consideration for recognition of
outstanding work in this year's hon-
ours and awards.
Nominations for Australia Day
2013 awards from Forcomd units
are now closed, however soldiers
can still be nominated for Queen's
Birthday 2013 honours through
the chain of command, with Army
nominations closing in the last
week of October.
Commanders were also encour-
aged to keep in mind those who
had performed exemplary service in
barracks or in training, as recogni-
tion should not be limited to when
deployed on operations.
As the Secretary of the Army
Honours and Awards Board,
which reviews Army nominations
for Australia Day and Queen's
Birthday honours, Maj Wunsch
said the nomination synopsis and
citation should go well beyond
describing someone who just did a
"It's not a PAR and it needs to
be backed up by examples of excel-
lent work worthy of recognition
for the type of award, otherwise it
probably won't get through," he
Maj Wunsch also urged com-
manders to keep in mind candi-
dates for Soldiers and Australia
Day Medallions and stressed
that commendations could be put
through the chain of command at
Nominations for Australia Day and
Queen's Birthday awards must be submit-
ted through the chain of command using
the AD104. For more information go to
Nominate all ranks
Chief encourages more honours nominations for unrepresented groups
Outstanding work: Commanders are being reminded to look for exceptional performance from enlisted
ranks as well as officers when considering honours and awards nominations.
THE first RSM of the Army, WO1 Wally
Thompson (retd), died at Bankstown Hospital on
April 19 aged 79.
served with distinction
for 37 years from 1950
He undertook sev-
eral high-profile RSM
posts, including at the
School of Inf, before
being appointed the
first RSM-A in 1983.
WO David Ashley
knew WO1 Thompson
for more than 30 years
and said his passing marked a sad day for soldiers.
"For me, personally, he is a role model. [He is]
a role model for all Australian soldiers and some-
basis. His legacy is profound," WO Ashley said.
"My thoughts, and the thoughts of those
across the Army, are with Wally's family at this
Even in retirement, WO1 Thompson remained
engaged with the Army, attending dedication ser-
vices and graduation dinners and other occasions.
At the opening of the Soldier Promotion
Centre at Lavarack Barracks in 2005, WO1
Thompson said he was proud of the current gen-
eration of soldiers.
"I had most of a day going around and talking
to the soldiers at Lavarack and I know I can say
one thing: we're in safe hands," he said.
"They are very fine young men and women
who are a credit to the Army and to Australia."
WO1 Thompson was conscripted in 1950
under the National Service Scheme. Enlisting in
the ARA in 1954 and posted to 2RAR, he contin-
ued to serve with the battalion, including opera-
tional service in Malaya, until being posted to the
British Army Jungle Warfare School in 1961.
Returning to Australia in 1963 and posted to
1RAR, he stayed with the battalion for a year
before heading to Vietnam with the Australian
Army Training Team -- Vietnam from 1964-65.
Posted back to 1RAR in 1968 as the CSM C
Coy for his second tour of Vietnam, he fought and
was wounded in the Battle of Coral.
Promoted to WO1 in 1970, he served as RSM
4RAR for three years, including a third tour of
Vietnam, before being appointed RSM Jungle
Training Centre in 1973 and later RSM School of
Inf in 1974.
After serving as RSM Training Command and
RSM HQ 1 Task Force (renamed 1 Bde during
his tenure), WO1 Thompson was appointed as the
first RSM-A in 1983 and held the position for four
years, retiring in 1987.
Full coverage on WO1 Thompson in the next edition of
Army, out May 10.
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