Posted on October 13, 2014
Stripped of his Military Cross: The Major who took credit for others’ bravery becomes first soldier in armed forces history to have medal rescinded
- Major Robert Michael Armstrong handed medal after Taliban ambush in 2008
- Awarded it ‘for his consistent bravery and inspirational leadership’ under fire
- However investigation was launched after fellow soldiers labelled him a fraud
- Five-year probe found Major Armstrong had helped write his own citation
- Was dismissed from service in 2012 and has now had his medal withdrawn
An officer who was awarded one of Britain’s most coveted gallantry medals for his bravery in Afghanistan has been stripped of it after he exaggerated his heroism.
It is the first time the Queen has rescinded a gallantry medal issued to a serviceman and the case could undermine confidence in the awards system in the armed forces.
Major Robert Michael Armstrong had been accused of taking credit for others’ bravery after Taliban gunmen ambushed a convoy in Helmand in 2008.
Armstrong was awarded the Military Cross for dodging bullets and inspiring Afghan troops to fire rockets at the enemy.
But a five-year investigation by defence chiefs concluded he helped to write the medal citation.
As a result, the medal will be withdrawn in a decision due to be announced by the London Gazette – the journal which publishes official notices.
Former Army Major Charles Heyman told the Mail: ‘It raises questions on the whole awards process.
‘It is good to hear that the Army has come clean and withdrawn his award. Nothing annoys a soldier more than people getting awards that they are not entitled to.’