For the first time in "living memory", Launceston's Anzac Day dawn service was conducted without a catafalque party.
As about 9000 people gathered to pay their respects, the Australian Defence Force sentries who traditionally guard the cenotaph were absent.
Instead, Scout members stood in their place.
As the service commenced, Launceston RSL sub-branch president Lieutenant Colonel Graeme Barnett took to the microphone to say it was "not the army" he had served.
Speaking later, Mr Barnett said he only learned five minutes before the service started that the sentries would not be there.
"I know there will be someone who will be very red-faced by all of this, but I don't know who," he said.
"Anybody in the military knows they should have been there. I don't know if we will get all the answers, but it's very disappointing."
Sub-branch secretary Peter Williams said the club had followed the the proper process of request through the ADF's Joint Operational Support Sections and would be following it up.
Veterans' Affairs Minister Guy Barnett said he had spoken to the Launceston RSL president about the concerns and would be making further inquiries.