Here’s something that ticks me off beyond reasonable levels:
This is different from the Glenn Beck thing, where someone uses a uniform as a prop. That was annoying, but not nearly as offensive as this particular case, because Glenn Beck never put on that uniform claiming to be an Unteroffizier in the German Army. No, the douchebag featured in this article represented himself not only as a Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant, but also as a recipient of the Navy Cross, the second-highest decoration that can be bestowed on a sailor or Marine after the Medal of Honor.
There’s a way to earn that uniform, and that’s by going to a Marine Corps recruiter, and taking the hard road that goes through Parris Island or San Diego MCRD. There’s a way to attain that rank, and that’s by serving with distinction and working your way up the ranks as a non-commissioned officer. There’s a way to get that Navy Cross, and that’s by performing an action that involves extreme gallantry and risk of life, beyond the call of duty, performed in combat with an enemy force. There’s a way to get that Purple Heart, and that’s by shedding blood and receiving wounds for your country in combat.
Going to an Army/Navy shop and paying money for a USMC dress uniform and a handful of ribbons is not it.
What is it with people who try to leech honor off the people who earned it legitimately? The medals on that dorkwad’s chest are just ribbons without the achievement behind them. A Navy Cross costs maybe $5 to manufacture. I could make up a trophy for any achievement you’d like, and hand it to you to put on your mantelpiece, but if you have any sense of honor at all, that trophy won’t mean a damn thing to you, because you know that you didn’t do anything to earn it.
A possible year in jail isn’t much of a punishment for that kind of douchebaggery. A more fitting punishment would be to let him wear that uniform…and then drop him in the middle of Parris Island or Camp Lejeune, after briefing every Marine present on the precise nature of that gentleman’s transgressions.
Update: Turns out he got busted because he showed up at his 20-year HS reunion in USMC dress blues with Lieutenant Colonel oak leaves. One of his former classmates is a genuine Navy Lt. Commander. She saw the Navy Cross on his chest, and figured he was playing dress-up, since that particular award is a rare honor. So she asked the “Lieutenant Colonel” to pose for a picture with her, which he gladly did. Then she sent the picture to the Feds.
The moral of the story: Don’t claim uniform, rank, and medals you didn’t earn…and if you must try to score some tail at your reunion with a store-bought uniform, trey not to overcook it. When you show up with more ribbons on your chest than Chesty Puller, and top your fruit salad with a medal whose recipients in the last decade can be counted on both hands with fingers left over, you may just arouse the suspicions of any legitimate vets who may be present.
Update the Second: Here’s the picture the tool was sending around online to back up his claims of combat service in Iraq and Afghanistan:
The chevrons on his sleeves are that of a Master Gunnery Sergeant, which is the top of the enlisted rank ladder in the Corps. A 39-year-old Master Gunny would be the youngest E-9 in the Corps, and one with the Navy Cross on his chest would be a Marine Corps legend. The unrealistically high rank for a guy his age, combined with the astounding number of medals in his fruit salad would scream “poser” to any Marine fresh out of SOI, even without the Navy Cross that tripped this moron up in the end.