Nowra RSL Sub-Branch president Fred Dawson said he and members had been left "dumbfounded" at navy's decision not to allow personnel to march at this year's Greenwell Point Anzac Day dawn service march.
Defence this week confirmed personnel from HMAS Albatross would not march at this year'sAnzac Day dawn march at Greenwell Point on the NSW South Coast due to safety concerns over personnel marching in the dark.
Instead the personnel will be already formed up, waiting for the march to arrive at Anzac Park.
"To say we were dumbfounded was really an understatement," Mr Dawson said "We were all gobsmacked. We were in disbelief."
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Mr Dawson said it was political correctness gone mad: "It's beyond a joke."
We are a navy town and we want to recognise and acknowledge our local service personnel.
"We are very grateful to navy for its participation at the Nowra and Greenwell Point Anzac Day services and the many other commemorative events we stage throughout the year.
"It would be a much diminished Anzac Day if we didn't have navy. We have felt the lack of an army presence over the past few years.
"It is disappointing but it's not really my place to comment on defence protocol. But isn't the armed forces about risk?
This is political correctness gone mad. Isn't the armed forces about risk?
"I assume they are just doing what they are told by some bureaucrat in Canberra.
"And if they have a problem with marching in the dark under street lights, that's their concern not ours."
Mr Dawson said the veterans would continue to march at the Greenwell Point dawn service.
"We'll have guys in the 80s and 90s marching," he said.
"We'll have St John Ambulance officers there to attend to anyone should the need arise."