Norbert Keough aka Norbert Basil MacLean III; US Sailor walting in Oz

| July 23, 2017

Someone in Australia sent us the word about this fellow, known here in the US as Norbert Basil MacLean III. In Australia he goes by Norbert Keough. He pretends to be a Navy Aviator who is a veteran of the first Gulf War;

You can see a picture of him in his phony finery at the link, because cry baby whined that I stole copyrighted pictures. Let’s see if he sues the Telegraph.

Yeah, no, he served during the first Gulf War, but the Navy says that he wasn’t there. He was a Navy Cryptologic Technician (CTASR, E-1) with an odd number of months of service (57 months). He wasn’t a Navy Aviator, either;

According to Justia, he was convicted at a court martial for being AWOL and booted from the Navy, and he doesn’t want you to know about it.

Category: Phony soldiers

Comments (76)

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  1. Hondo says:

    Hmm. My handy-dandy decoder ring (AKA Google) says that “CTASR” decodes as “Crytologic Technician (Administrative) Seaman Recruit” and I’m pretty sure that “NAVAPLVACT” translates to “Navy Appellate Leave Activity”.

    Methinks someone got court-martialed and received a punitive discharge. Might explain why he’s lying about his past.

  2. ocean12 says:

    The wings he is sporting are the Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist (EAWS). In my day you had to bust your ass to get them.

    I think he screwed up big time to leave the navy as a SR.

    • Hondo says:

      The wings he’s sporting don’t appear on his FOIA reply. If he ever earned them (questionable), he’s no longer entitled to them now.

      Getting court-martialed (he plead guilty) and receiving a DD would seem to qualify as “screwing up big time”.

      • thebesig says:

        There’s a good chance that he didn’t earn the Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist badge (EAWS), thus the badge not showing up on his FOIA.

        On one of the links provided here, he’s described as being the youngest to earn the EAWS in the Navy, at 18. This would mean that he earned the badge before completing “A School” (AIT). He turned 18 before joining the Navy, and turned 19 before/during A School.

        • AO2(NAC) says:

          Back in the 90’s you had to be at least a 3rd class (E-4) before you could start the PQS.. so yeah he did not get them, he could not even get the books to START getting them. Now everyone has to get them, it’s a requirement e-3 and below included..I never did tho

        • thebesig says:

          I started work on my ESWS when I was an OSSN, intending to be the first E3 on my ship to get it. This was back in 1992. We had to be MOS Q (qualified in rate), PQS qualified in rate, basic 3M qualified, basic and advanced DC qualified, watch-stander qualified both inport and underway. With OSs, getting PQS qualified in rate also meant getting qualified to stand watch underway, as OS is a seagoing rate. :mrgreen:

          I promoted to OS3 before I put ESWS on, both happened in 1992. I started working on my EAWS, and tried to be duel qualified as an OS3, but advanced to OS2 on instead. Both happened in 1993. :mrgreen:

          • Thunderstixx says:

            “For the benefit of an ignorant old planter” What the hell did you just say ???
            (In Harm’s Way)

            • Chief says:

              he began working on his enlisted surface warfare specialist (typically an 18 month qual) when he was an E3 (hard charger!); however, he was promoted to E4 before he earned it. Pre-requisites for earning ESWS include being qualified in all your watchstations, 3M (maintenance, material, management), and Damage Control (everyone on a ship must be a qualified fire fighter). After earning his ESWS and and pinning on E4, he started working on his Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist but was promoted to E5 before he finished that (also a hard charger).

              And just to be a one-upper, I was the only Dual-Qualled E2 on the ship. I earned ESWS as an E1; wanted to get my EAWS as an E1 as well, but I got sent cranking and my ass hole Chief wouldn’t let me take the test and board while I was cranking.

              • AO2(NAC) says:

                I never cranked. Picked up 3rd after being on Indy for about 3 months, picked up 2nd 9 mos after that. Never got EAWS, it was not a requirement like now but highly encouraged. I earned my AC wings in the VP community (flying AO was the best damn job the Navy ever came up with) and thought the silver wings would clash with the gold pair. 🙂

          • Hondo says:

            . . . and tried to be duel qualified as an OS3 . . . .

            Might want to keep quiet about that. I hear the military (and most US civilian jurisdictions) take a dim view of dueling. (smile)

            • David says:

              Gonna puke on Jonn whose headline says ‘walting’ and yourself who spelled ‘pled’ as ‘plead’?… this is TAH, no spelling Nazis allowed!

              • Hondo says:

                Simple typos I generally ignore, and as you point out above I am prone on occasion to make myself. The phrase of mine you referenced should indeed read either “pled” or “pleaded” (since both are correct past tense forms of the verb); take your pick as to which typo you wish to infer.

                However, typos that make an unintentional pun, such as the above, I’m likely to note. I’ll also generally flag it as being for humorous intent in some way for those who are (apparently) humor-impaired. See the (smile) at the end of the comment for an example.

                You might want to look up the use of the term “walt” in the context of military phonies before taking Jonn to task for using a variant of same, though. In British vernacular, that exact term is used for what we here call a stolen valor poser (it derives from the name “Walter Mitty”; why should be obvious). I’m also reasonably sure it’s used in the same way in both Australia and New Zealand. So no, Jonn’s not “wrong” in using the term “walting” above.

                • David says:

                  Never seen it as a verb but happy to accept the correction! (Especially given my own tendency to type about 50 errors per minute.)

                  • Jonn Lilyea says:

                    “Walting” is from our English-speaking cousins – it’s derives from James Thurber’s “Walter Mitty” character in American literature. That’s the term they use for their military imposters.

      • CWORet says:

        “His sentence included a dishonorable discharge and forfeiture of pay and allowances.”

        Pretty harsh for two counts of bad checks. (The count of UA was thrown out.) I’m guessing the dude was an enormous pain in the command’s ass and he was made ‘an example’.

      • Green Thumb says:

        Substandard Discharge = Shitbag.

    • HMCS(FMF) ret says:

      The link in O-4E’s first post above shows that he was Courts Martialed. His claim to fame now is as a SJW fighting for “justice” for military members.

  3. bb says:

    Presidential Service Badge? Of all things to fake, he had to try a serial numbered award.

    A quick check of anyone with a PSB is to ask their PSB number. In case they forget, the number is on the back and should match the certificate.

    In case anyone wonders, mine is 9938. They are sequential so you can tell when they served.

    This numbnuts is hitting close to home!

    • Julio Franz says:

      Nobody wondered.

      • IDC SARC says:

        I dunno I kinda wondered, but without any context I don’t know if that’s a high/low number or if means the 38th badge issued in 1999 or something else.

        What’s the scoop bb?

        • Chief says:

          I would say don’t release that information here, just in case another POSer wants to do some research before claiming an award. They are serialized and there is a method to the madness.

        • SARC88 says:

          Bro, I think it’s directly serial. Not a code. I’ll check mine tonight.

          • Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

            This is correct, it’s a direct serial number starting back with the first ones issued in the 1960s…

            The shitty part is that these are collected by people who like collecting militaria…and they pay decent money for them. It’s conceivable that’s how this guy got his hands on one. If you knew what number badge he had you’d know how he got it and from whom. Also the collectors are able to get their hands on some that are not numbered both from the older style badge and the newer style badge…all another interesting sidebar in how to be a fucking poser.

    • SARC88 says:

      I wear a Post Standing Badge as well; I didn’t even think you could get one outside the system. To my knowledge, you have to request a replacement from WHMO and provide your badge/cert number.

  4. AW1Ed says:

    Naval Aviators are Navy and Marine officers and Warrants who are pilots. Naval Flight Officers are just that. Enlisted fliers are Aircrew. All are Aeronautical!y Designated. Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist is a qualification earned by personnel attached to aviation commands.

  5. 1610desig says:

    The “combat A-brancher” who wasn’t…guess it only fair…a pal of mine mentioned this Australian dude at his gym who brags about his time in the SAS..appears we have a phony exchange program with our friends down under

  6. HMC Ret says:

    This guy was definitely high speed:

    “According to records held by the National Archives and Records Administration MacLean is believed to be the youngest sailor in the U.S. Navy, at age 18, to have achieved Air Warfare wings and be designated an Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist.[24]
    While on active duty MacLean received a Congressional nomination from Rep. Saxton to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland. In 1992 MacLean was due to enter the U.S. Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, Rhode Island prior to attending the Naval Academy. Because of MacLean’s court-martial in 1992 he never entered NAPS.”

    Then he apparently screwed up and ruined his career. Subsequent attempts to have his conviction overturned were unsuccessful. Jeez, I’d be pissed also if the same had happened to me. Well, he did it to himself.

    • O-4E says:

      You realize all of that was written by him correct?

      • Poetrooper says:

        Yes, it’s very self-serving. Sounds to me like he may have had a civilian boyfriend who got him into the bad check trouble. Due to the rather high circles he was serving in and their relaxed attitudes towards gays, he may have been too flagrant about his homosexuality at a time when that was still grounds for separation. With all those friends in high places who didn’t save him, he must have really stepped on his crank or someone else’s.

    • FuzeVT says:

      “According to naval records, Mr. Keogh was the youngest HALO SCUBA diver who jumped out of the Space Shuttle for a daring raid on Pyongyang. ‘When we dove from the Shuttle door during reentry (to throw off the radar) I was a little scared, but Norb? No way!! That guy was a rock!,” said fellow raider Brian Williams.”

    • desert says:

      Youngest sailor at 18? BULLSHYT…I was 17 when I joined in 1959 and I joined one week before my 17th birthday….didn’t turn 18 until on a westpac cruise, spent that birthday in Guam!

  7. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    He fuck-em-up big and long time, no?

    He also looks like a meat-gazer version of Mr. Bean!

    • O-4E says:

      In all fairness Mr. Bean is also a meat gazer

      Not that there’s anything wrong with that

      • USAFRetired says:

        I don’t know if Mr Bean aka Rowan Atkison is a meat gazer or not but apparently he holds an MS in Electrical Engineering from Oxford and a BS in EE from some other UK institution.

  8. Sparks says:

    The three photos from top to bottom say.

    1. I am gazing for meat.

    2. I just gazed some meat.

    3. I just tasted the meat I gazed.


    • 1610desig says:

      Optional 3. I just grazed the meat

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      Naw, he looks/acts like a bernath-in-training. It’s all someone else’s fault, you know.

      I’m curious about his ‘name change’. Is that on his passport, too? Is he using an alias while he’s walting down under? What other scams is he running?

      • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

        “bernath-in-training”, yeah, could be! One thing is for sure and it’s that the Internet is not only everywhere on Earth, it’s FOREVER!!!

      • 1610desig says:

        A PQS with bernath’s signatures? I can almost visualize it…and a bernath chaired qual board staffed with other prominent poser luminaries

    • Green Thumb says:


  9. Ex-PH2 says:


  10. rgr769 says:

    Just another POSer on another continent, who dickstepped himself into the brig and out of the Navy as an E-1. But hey, he can wear a sharpshooter pistol badge, but no aircrew wings.

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      BUT does he have the rare and coveted NDSM? Wait, doesn’t having a DD forbid one from even wearing their decorations?

      • rgr769 says:

        API, I think you are correct about that. I wasn’t sure he had a DD. But if he had a 4 year enlistment, one has to wonder what the extra 11 months was about. Maybe it was all brig time. I am sure he thought he could claim and wear anything he wanted after he moved downunder and changed his name.

        • rgr769 says:

          I just read O-4E’s cited Court of Appeals decision. So it is incontrovertible that our meat gazer at hand received a DD as a result of pleading guilty to a general court martial for writing bad checks. So he was AWOL and a paper-hanger. Maybe he had no brig time but he did the Double Delta. I wonder how much $$ he paid those San Diego lawers for his appeal which was doomed because somebody blew the six year statute of limitation by over 3 years.

  11. O-4E says:

    Apparently he’s claiming to be a lawyer also:

    “The service rapidly outgrew that space, and the branch’s former secretary and president, Norbert Keough, a barrister and American navy veteran whose mother was Australian, explains why he is expecting a “tsunami” of demand as the new centre’s managing advocate.

    “I’m a veteran of the first Gulf war, having done one tour in operational service. My father did two tours in Vietnam. My grandfather did two in World War II. So, between three generations we’ve done five operational tours.”

    • David says:

      Yeah, like my Dad did one tour in WWII… activated Dec 8 1941-1946. Wonder when his squeezed that second tour in.

    • Green Thumb says:

      I am sure he could practice at All-Points Logistics.

    • Jeff bott says:

      This is all very very interesting. He associated himself with my Unit in Australia. He now works for a prominent politican.
      Jackie Lambie

  12. O-4E says:

    I’ve spent some deal of time on this dude today. This turd is nefarious as fuck.

    Search under his original name and you’ll find there’s been a concerted effort made to push bad shit as far down a search return as possible by registering on a bunch of BS websites.

    Like someone would do trying to hide a background

    But search under “Keough” and all kinds of “positive” shit pops up, mostly dealing with Veterans advocacy

    Bottom line this guy has ingratiated himself into the RSL (the Aussies version of the AmLegion and VFW) and appears to hold several high leadership positions and is a post commander.

    One wonders what else this turd is up to

    • rgr769 says:

      I wonder if there is a way online to find out if he is really admitted as a barrister in Oz. I sure as hell don’t believe his father did two tours in Vietnam. And I haven’t ever heard a WWII vet refer to his war experience as “two tours.” As we all know, people serving in WWII were in for the duration. They didn’t do “tours.”

      • rgr769 says:

        I just did a search of 2 Aussie websites for barristers and solicitors (lawers for you non-Anglophiles) and there is no Norbert anything or Norbert Keogh licensed to practice law in OZ. And I did it using both spellings for Keogh with and without the “u.”

  13. Jeff LPH 3, 63-66 says:

    I think this guy is flying too high on a bong.

  14. Airdale (AW) USN ret. says:

    Not on Sea Duty , no Air warfare device and this The Saudi Arabian version of the Kuwait Liberation Medal is awarded to members of the Coalition Forces who participated in Operation Desert Storm and the liberation of Kuwait between the dates of January 17, 1991 and February 28, 1991. No sea service ribbon.

  15. Airdale (AW) USN ret. says:

    Just thought about it, he have to have the ESWS first since he is a CT in the 90’s.

  16. Chris says:

    He has had himself appointed as chief of staff to an Australian Senator, an Independent from Tasmania called Jacqui Lambie’s, who’s a bit off the planet and ex army herself. A few years ago while he was in Sydney he tried to bring a legal case alleging the veterans’ leadership had discriminated against him because of his homosexuality.

  17. Jim says:

    I suppose the FOI could somehow be incomplete or missing information right ?

    If Mr Keogh/Keough/Maclean/O’Connor Keough could provide the following, the issue of his legitimacy or otherwise could be put to bed I assume ?

    1. Documentation from any legitimate jurisdiction or institution confirming his legal qualifications.
    2. Documentation supporting his Military Pilots qualifications.
    3. Documentation and dates of service plus units in theatre confirming the entitlement and awarding of the following Decorations and Awards that he is photographed wearing that do not appear on the FOI.

    Presidential Service Badge with Serial number and corresponding certificate.




    I am sure this would not be difficult for such an accomplished individual.

    • Terry says:

      Mr Maclean Keough has advised Numerous people on many occasions he was a non practicing Barrister and retired from the USN JAG Corps and is still in the inactive reserve USAF as a O5. I bet you 1 million Marsupial coins none of its true. Very Sad.

      • Jim says:

        Harmon “Harm” Rabb Jr. is a former pilot turned lawyer working for the military’s JAG ( Judge Advocate General) does this sound familiar ?

  18. Adam says:

    Chris, where did you hear he is Lambie’s CoS? I can’t find that info anywhere.

    • Daenerys says:

      Adam he does not claim to be the Senator’s CoS. His signature block is as follows.

      Norbert Keough
      Advisor to
      Jacqui Lambie
      Senator for Tasmania