Stolen Valor Act Revisited

Posted: April 6, 2012 in General, Rants
Tags: , , , , ,

A little additional info I found.  These are a few photos of people who have either been charged or should be for publicly representing themselves as something they are not.  After is a bunch of links that I got the images from.  Keep in mind this is just a teeny, tiny sampling of service/hero fraudulence.

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http://jonathanturley.org/2009/10/13/tall-tale-or-felony-crime-colorado-man-charged-with-stolen-valor-after-making-up-heroic-stories/

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2007/11/army_medals_faker_071125/

http://amarillo.com/stories/110207/new_8811253.shtml

http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/10/12/fake.veteran/index.html

http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/local&id=7261240

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/supreme_court_dispatches/2012/02/xavier_alvarez_lied_about_winning_the_congressional_medal_of_honor_.html

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=474

Thanks to all the groups out there dedicated to outing all the fraudsters who would use fictitious service and heroic acts to benefit themsleves and their careers.

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Back in December I published a posting entitled Stolen Valor.  This was about a less than honorable person who decided to use a falsified United States Marine Corps career and his even more false, awarding of the Medal of Honor as a springboard for his political career.  Not long after he was tried and convicted of the Stolen Valor Act.  One of the few bipartisan laws Congress has managed to pass over the last four years.  Basically, it makes it a criminal offense to pretend to be a member of the military and use awards not received as a means to promote yourself.

The case of Xavier Alvarez has made it to be heard by the U.S. Supreme court and we are waiting on the disposition of their finding.  Alvarez’s attorneys allege it is a violation of his freedom of speech to have been charged and convicted; they also hope the Stolen Valor Act is found overall un-Constitutional and struck down by the court.

Making the rounds on Facebook over the last week is a picture of an older male in his United States Marine Corps dress uniform.  I am not familiar with my sister services regulations on wear and appearance of uniforms, but I hope this gentleman is dressed to go to a costume party rather than trying to represent his years of dedicated service.  I am not familiar with the awards and decorations that are specific to the Department of the Navy and the USMC, or specific qualification badges either for that matter.  I can tell you  however, based on observation of the common service awards and better known badges, that is one bad-ass S.E.A.L qualified, IED defeating E.O.D technician with a multitude of Bronze and Silver Stars.

Here, you be the judge of whether or not this is what awesome looks like:

I do not intend this to be a slight to the USMC.  I realize this guy has some serious issues and is grossly misrepresenting his qualifications and awards if not down right impersonating a finely tuned machine of military might.  It is quite possible that he may have even served in the Marines at some point, like I said, I do not know the story behind this one.  The point is, this should not happen, EVER, too many of our brothers and sisters in arms have given their lives or parts of in defense of our nation.  They should be honored and their achievements protected.  Those who choose to exercise their 1st Amendment rights and perpetrate a whammy on the public with their fictitious military service and achievements should at a minimum be exposed and publicly humiliated.  At best I hope the USSC maintains the Stolen Valor Act as a Constitutional piece of legislation rather than a right of self-expression.

I will be looking for photos of others who have misrepresented their service in the other sister services and see if I can put together a “fair and balanced” gallery of offenders.

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Comments
  1. […] States to have the Stolen Valor Act overturned.  The first two posts The Stolen Valor Act and Stolen Valor Act Revisited dealt with trying to explain the cause for which Alvarez has felt justified in questioning his own […]

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  2. […] and the 2005 Stolen Valor Act.  Feel free to peruse some prior articles on the subject here and here.  SCOTUS as is th popular acronym of the day, determined that it was indeed okay to lie about your […]

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  3. JDBiGC says:

    So I stumbled on this picture and came to the website to see who this guy was. I concur with the author of this article that I hope this gentleman was going to a costume party. I spent 4 years in the Marine Corps on active duty and 3 years on the reserves. The picture quality is low but based on the picture, this man is presenting himself as a Master Gunnery Sergeant (E-9) with the following:

    1. Gold jump wings (on top of his ribbons).
    2. He is wearing a French Fourragère (the green braided thing over his ribbons). The only two units allowed to wear this are the 5th and 6th Marine Regiments (I was with 6th Marines in the 1990s).
    3. His senior-most ribbon is a Navy Cross, the highest award in the Navy. A Navy Cross is second only to a Congressional Medal of Honor (CMH). Most people awarded the Navy Cross aren’t alive to receive it.
    4. I can’t make out his second senior-most ribbon as it’s behind the Fourragère. The light blue color leads me to think it’s a CMH, but I can’t tell. His third senior-most ribbon (second row far left) is a Silver Star and it looks like he may have a device on there, but I can’t tell.
    5. He has one or more Bronze Stars I think (third row far left) but it’s hard to make out. There appears to be a device on there.
    6. Other ribbons I see are: Presidential Unit Commendation (the one with the horizontal stripes), and Meritorious Unit Commendation.
    7. He’s wearing a Sea Service Deployment ribbon with what appears to be only one bronze star. This means that he earned all of those ribbons in two deployments.
    8. He is conspicuously not wearing a Purple Heart that I can find. That means he earned all of those ribbons and medals without being wounded. To be fair, the purple heart may be hidden by the Fourragère.
    9. He’s wearing a what appears to be a United Nations Korea Service Ribbon, Kuwait Liberation ribbon, Global War on Terror and a South West Asia (SWA) ribbons but not any Viet Nam campaign ribbons that I could find. Maybe he was on vacation in the 1960s.
    10. The two silver badges directly below his massive ribbon stack are shooting badges. They indicate that he qualified as expert multiple times with the rifle and pistol. The tell though is that the badges are horribly aligned. No Marine would be caught dead wearing their badges like that.
    11. As the author noted, he’s wearing an EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) badge and a Navy Seal badge. This is obviously ridiculous.
    12. In addition to all of the above, his ribbons appear to be horribly out of order.
    13. Perhaps the funniest thing of all is that he’s wearing all of those badges, yet he’s a Master Gunnery Sergeant (3 up, 4 down, with the exploding bomb in the middle) and not a Sergeant Major (3 up, 4 down, with a star in the middle). Typically Masters Guns are pogues and non-Infantry. To be fair, he could have changed his MOS after receiving his many awards, but it’s highly unlikely that a guy that decorated would suddenly be in the rear with the gear.

    I know this guy has been debunked, but I thought I’d add a little color from a Marine’s perspective. I’m actually surprised he’s wearing the correct cover and not a green beret.

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    • Thank you for the reply. This has been one of my all time most visited topics and I truly appreciate some perspective from my Marine friends out there. Stolen Valor is a huge issue which for the most part can be addressed with a little public shaming. As long as there are professionals like us who care about the uniform, there will be people trying to emulate us without the blood, sweat and tears that it takes to earn it.

      I do not write as often as I used to or should, but please visit again and pass the word on.

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