It was no coincidence the government let it be known the Special Operations Task Group meritorious unit citation would stand less than 24-hours before its belated announcement of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veterans Suicide.
It is now more than a month since Parliament passed a motion demanding the commission. The Prime Minister had previously opposed such an inquiry. His preferred option has always been a permanent national commission, to be equipped with the powers of a royal commission, to deal with historical, current and future deaths.
This did not pass muster with all on his backbench and, acting in conjunction with newly minted cross-bencher Craig Kelly, former soldiers turned Liberal MPs, Gavin Pearce and Philip Thompson, threw their weight behind the Royal Commission call.
Faced with defeat on the floor of the house the PM waved the motion through. There will now be two separate investigations into the reasons behind the alarming epidemic of defence suicides that has seen more than 400 former and current service personnel take their lives in the last two decades.
That is more than 10 times as many as those killed on active service in Afghanistan over the same period.
There is strong anecdotal evidence to suggest many of the veteran suicides can be linked to service in the Afghan war.
The original recommendation to strip the SOTG of its meritorious unit citation was in the report by Major General Paul Brereton on his four-and-a-half year long investigation into alleged war crimes by Australian troops in Afghanistan.
When the ADF chief General Angus Campbell released the report last November he unilaterally accepted that recommendation, saying he would be writing to the Governor-General, himself a former chief of the ADF at the time some of the alleged war crimes were being committed, asking the award be revoked. General Campbell also held senior command positions in the theatre during the period in question.
The decision, which would have stripped honours from many men who been killed in action, and possibly dozens more who had taken their lives after returning home, did not go down well with the public.
When General Campbell, at the apparent behest of the PM, "walked back" his original announcement on November 30, Senator Jacquie Lambie, herself a former soldier, famously said: "If General Campbell has not felt the bitch slap from all those millions of Australians out there, he needs to pull his head out of his arse".
Given the unfortunate optics of dead soldiers having their honours taken away at the same as two heavy duty inquiries were underway into the circumstances surrounding their deaths new Defence Minister, Peter Dutton, had no option but to clear the decks ahead of the PM's announcement.
While the move, like the Royal Commission itself, has been welcomed by many across the broader defence community, it should not be allowed to divert attention from the broader issue of the alleged war crimes, the many other recommendations in the Brereton report, and the need to see justice done.
It would be a sad day if, in the wake of Australia's final withdrawal from Afghanistan, the powers that be put their feet on the brake and allow investigations to stall until conditions on the ground have deteriorated to the point where it was impossible to determine the truth.
Given that moment may come sooner rather than later, it is time to unearth evidence that will stand up in court.