What Has Happened to our Warrior Ethics?

I am getting increasingly concerned and disappointed in the foul language, hostile vitriol, playing the man and the woman, instead of the ball with what I see and read on social media.  In normal circumstances I would simply ignore this nasty and focused attack on the employees of the Department of Veteran Affairs but when it not only reflects on them but the many ex members of the veteran community who are working with DVA trying to make a difference for the greater good I find this behavior and the language directed towards a female employee of the Department abhorrent and cowardly and not what is expected of the warrior class. Free speech is a given and the airing of complaints is a right when deserving but unfortunately so much of the vitriol is misinformed and incorrect and it would pay for some of these very brave “keyboard warriors” to take a look at themselves and through the access that they all have to seek the truth on some of these areas of complaint.

Everything in life is subject to review and DVA is no different to any other enterprise and is currently going through the most extensive review ever executed in the history of the Department and there will be major and very beneficial outcomes but one must be cognizant of the fact that DVA is in principal governed by legislation and we have all been on their case to review that confusing and at times destructive legislation and that is happening but perhaps for some not fast enough and that is understandable but a legislation fix is somewhat complicated and in that regard we just need to be patient.

I appreciate that there may be valid reasons why some people are hostile towards DVA but cowardly conduct behind a keyboard, hurling profanities and the foulest language at individuals working within the department is in my view nonproductive, gutless and most importantly a slight on all veterans which is unfair and unwarranted, because there are so many out there who are trying to make a difference either inside the tent or outside in their everyday lives.  If those guilty of this behavior consider themselves such a hot shot and champion of veterans issues, get inside the tent and present your arguments in a professional and acceptable manner . I am sure you will be listened to but your argument must be based on fact not emotions.   

All I can say to the mud and rock slingers vent your anger certainly where warranted but play the ball not the man or woman. None of them deserve that.  It’s totally against our warrior ethics!

Michael von Berg MC OAM

Chairman and National President  


  1. George Newton says

    Michael, your words are words of a wisdom, there is a large number of ex ADF members who do not want to play by the rules, expect to be treated like princess because they wore a Uniform. The days of respect for some sections of the Veteran community has long gone. With a certain Senator making hay while the sun shines.

    • Andrew Foskett says

      George Newton, you had me believing right up to dropping the ball and playing the woman……..

    • Mike,
      I agree with you about swearing and abusing the staff of DVA,however I have in the past been treated like excreta by some of the staff.Soldiers are not officers and some are in a high state of stress after waiting for a claim to be processed for up to well past a year!!A majority of suicides stem from this delay and to the fact that the applicant cannot talk to them,most of these Delegates in senior positions have been in the system for 15-20 years and are covert in the information they give the serviceman. DVA play GAMES because they are told from Canberra to save money,consequently they go slow on applications up to 1-2 years if the member pursues it to the AAT. Then the AGS employ Barristers ,usually the applicant is awarded his or her claim. I certainly hope that you are correct in saying that the system in DVA has changed….IT SHOULD!! There are always two sides to a story,the government one and the real one…I personally could write a book on the DVA and there unfair actions . There are excellent people in DVA and there are many A-Hs,I will give some advice to the later brave men of the recent wars …..PLEASE do not get stressed about DVA to the point of SUICIDE .Remember its ALL A GAME!! Pursue it to the AAT ,if you have a case YOU WILL WIN WITH THE AAT.
      They are not in bed with the DVA!!.I hope my views can help some fellow soldier who has done his /her BIT and now feels like the GOVERNMENT has used them..DONT LET THE BASTARDS GET YOU DOWN….I speak from experience.

      • Mike von Berg says

        We are all trying. There is too much at stake and we all deserve better. So much can be done better but nobody deserves personal attacks and in particular to a female in the crudest of manner.

    • Kim Porter says

      I have read article and agree with you entirely.

      Duty First

  2. Simply outstanding. Couldn’t agree more.

  3. Seems to me you just did exactly what you were complaining about. The words, accusations and personal attacks (cowards); was playing the man, not the ball. You came across as the ‘keyboard warrior’ here mate.

    • What rubbish? You are not understanding the point MvB is making and you should not feel badly if you don’t fit the category.

    • Mike von Berg says

      I dont hide my true identity, I am up front about it and if you read some of the posts and perhaps read my post again you may have a different view.

  4. I’ll put my two bobs worth in, I didn’t do as long as some put still came away broken, these have caused my physic problems, and after three + years an still battling. But to have a well known Physic tell you that their are three employee’s of DVA and he named them. I happened to get one and that was two years ago. That’s my fair go and they have all my evidence, I can image what effect it takes on the younger generation. DUTY FIRST

  5. DVA is a joke the RSL has lost it’s way. I’ve lost too many mates due to waiting 3 years plus for support (and some of those lost served for more than 20 year with multi tours……) absolutely tragic & miss representation of vets

  6. Another Number says

    Did you know that using big words and stringing all those sentences together achieved nothing more than proving you yourself are an egotistical pig. You claim hard work and toe the line and be patient.

    Why then are we not hearing more in depth and more often about what you actually are doing, rather than your vague attempt at placation and corp de esprit.

    I personally find they way in which you’ve broached this repugnant, who are you to play judge and jury on other veterans. You’ve not lived there lives, nor been put through the wringer by the DVA process. You simply get paid extremely well to be nothing more than another empty promise prophet.

    Shame on you and your colleagues. Blame, excuse and denial. These you have represented well in your spout above. Not one positive I’m or we’re doing everything we can to address said issues. NO YOU JUST DANGLED A BIG FAT CARROT WITH “THERE WILL BE MAJOR AND BENEFICIAL OUTCOMES”

    Who am I? Another one of the no ones or numbers you falsely claim to represent.

    No the staff at DVA don’t deserve to be abused not all, however when all veterans are tarred by the same brush!!…..

    • Mike von Berg says

      Mate you know nothing about me or what I have done or what I have gone through. Just ask around. More to the point I am up front, I dont hide behind anonymity and I dont get paid and if I do its all donated to my association so that ill informed individuals like you cant ever point the finger that I do what I try to do for veterans for money or a blazer. Perhaps if you took the time to read my post with a bit more empathy you may see where I am coming from. Abusing individuals where they are not in the position to retort of fight back is in my view gutless and not what we are all made of. Appreciate your views however but dont agree with them

  7. Dave Apples says

    Great story mate! Just another Ex Officer who doesn’t care about his boys.
    Duty First

    • Mike von Berg says

      You dont know a damn thing about me Dave. If you did you would not suggest that I dont care about my boys. I have been in touch with all of my boys that are left for over 50 years and we all look after one another. And now in later live I view my boys being all veterans post that era and being an ex officer has got nothing to do with it mate. Its whats in your heart and soul and a matter of morals and I dont believe you would take kindly to your mother or wife being called a “lying c….t!” That’s the point of my message. Fight mate for your rights but keep the personal attacks out of it.

  8. So you think that Veterans should accept a lack of diagnosis and a lack of treatment for what can only be service related. They have to deal with life threatening medical situations without any help. They and their families are left abandoned. These things go on for 3-5 years and in some cases 15-30 years. No one in public life would accept this. Why should Veterans? Veterans end up bankrupted, homeless as do their wives and children. Most public cases are handled within 6 months. The pay outs in some cases in the millions of dollars and extensive medical coverage… In many cases for something as simple as falling off a chair or slipping on a floor… slight dislocations and pimples on bottoms! However many jobs that Veterans do are the jobs that many civilians would not an could not do. Most service pay outs for extremely dangerous medical conditions (plural) are at their highest $110000 and having to meet part costs for necessary MRI’s and nuclear medicine. For example an airport refueller using fuel that is 10x less dangerous for 6-7 years gets a pay out of $490000 and a pension of $49000 plus full (100%) medical cover. Their treatments starts from claim date and incap payments also under WOHS. That after 27 years from stopping work. The same person ex RAAF is usually dead before the claim is dealt with having gone 7-10 years in the process. The claim is still denied even after death and the family left homeless and destitute. This makes me (a highly educated person) wonder what sort of human being you are…not what sort of Veterans advocate… that you are obviously not! A for the RSL…simply read the news… a full investigation and loss of DGR and non tax status…I can go on but there is no use. Great Britain used diggers as cannon fodder and nothing has changed. … and not one swear word or rant!

    • Mike von Berg says

      Sean, if you read my message again you will see I do not suggest that you have no rights to rant or rave. That I make abundantly clear. What I do object to is individuals singled out by name and abused. How would you handle your mother, wife, sister or lover called “a lying c……..t!”

  9. MVB – read the majority of responses; the hurt, the anger, the fustration. What is it you just don’t seem to understand? Your so far out of step mate. Hang your head.

    • Mike von Berg says

      Rob, believe me I do understand and if you read my post you will see that I do understand and that I am very much in step. In fact a few steps ahead in what we are trying to achieve. I stated that its your right to complain but I object to a female staff member being called a “lying c…..t!” and worse. I dont suppose you would appreciate any female in your family would appreciate that.

      • I knpe ypu think your’in step’ mate; however if you cant see the majprity of responses don’t concur – and can’t see why – I guess there’s little point in trying to get you to understand. Best of luck in your world.

  10. I dont usually get into the firing line the second time on these matters ,however, I believe what MVB is SAYING is do not get to the the point of abusing , swearing and e-mailing these DVA personnel .When you contact DVA ,you are speaking sometimes to Perth or anywhere in Australia.They are only the messengers. I am sure MVB knows how DVA work ,as he has explained the regulations they have to work with.The fact is that when one gets stressed to the point of swearing,its hurting us more than them…They just hang -up. I am not defending the man, he dont need me to do that!! We ex -servicemen are in a much better situation with DVA than with Centre link!! We all cringed with almost fear when we heard we were going to lose DVA!! I REITERATE ,ride the storm ,go through the stages of knock backs,
    until you can go to the AAT….If you have a case……YOU WILL WIN. I have always won most that way. Remember to them……ITS A GAME!!YOU CAN PLAY IT TOO!!!

  11. M.J. Rollins says

    While I do have enormous respect for MVB, I disagree with much of his statement, inasmuch as, behind all the swearing, name calling and anger, there are people who, for many years’ kept their mouth shut, just ‘sucking it up’.

    There comes a time with DVA, where you wake up to the fact, that colleagues the ‘ball’ and the ‘man’ are one and the same.

    That is to say; DVA fraud, conscious-maladministration, tortious interference and malfeasance-in-public-office (Administrative Crimes) are created, nurtured, overseen and managed directly out of the DVA Star Chamber i.e. the pensioned off (Insulated & Cushioned) DVA Generals Club!

    As for this ‘other’ tired old myth ‘it’s just the Acts/legislation’ what a load of crap!

    The MRCC, the so-called ‘guardians of the Repatriation Acts’ only works in lock step with DVA’s legal department and Tier 1 contracted law firm Sparke Helmore, to further make the ‘Acts’ into their own personal Barrier, Exhaustion & Exploitation systems i.e. weaponising them into indirect machines to drive Poverty, Isolation & Suicide.

    On top of that, we see all the Equity, Due Process, Complaints Systems, Redress, Reviews, Reconsideration processes and Administrative review e.g. Defective Administration investigative systems, all co-opted, undermined and essentially rigged so as to Preserve DVA Wrongdoing and Protect DVA Wrongdoers.

    People want to know where anger, swearing, and name calling come from: they come from ripping away peoples’ basic democratic rights to The Rule of Lawn and cunningly removing their ‘other’ basic rights to Due Process and Procedural fairness…. of which was often the only remaining items folks have left after losing health, being held and maintained (by DVA) in extreme stress and poverty, where families and personal situations imploded in spectacular fashion… that DVA staff knowingly relied upon to exploit to enormous benefit, as a cunning staff member worked his/her magic so as to help themselves achieve a secret DVA-APS KPI.

    I have names for these people myself, but of course won’t be able to share those names here…. as I have to ‘play the ball’ and not the person kicking the ball!

  12. Ginger Bartlett says

    How about you step out side your ivory tower and make contact with the very people who have a foul word to say. You might be surprised to find out that their are some seriously distressed and frustrated claimants who are fed up with protection and support DVA are afforded: while ignoring the plight of the disabled service user who seeks to ameliorate their crisis situation.. Its called discrimination and you are effectively breaching that act. If you do so feel inclined, I invite you to contact me, so that I can tell you all about my appalling experience whilst dealing with DVA customer service and claims processing that has got my ‘goat up.

    • Mike von Berg says

      No problems. Please contact me at grass roots level through messenger on Facebook where you can get in on my page. Leave your number and I will most certainly call you from down here in the weeds; not an ivory tower. Mike

  13. Jim Duffield says

    Words of some wisdom, however I do believe that some effort needs be applied to to making Diggers being no less than their Squaddie military cousins. We need a Military Covenant similar to the UK. A useful comparison is the treatment of our KIA.

    ALL Brit KIA since 2000 have had the courtesy of a public inquest in their town of enlistment, no such grace for our war dead, and in the UK, in front of a Jury with a Barrister appointed by the Royal British Legion to represent the interests of the Warrior and their grieving family.

    Till then we remain, as ever, second class POM’s….

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