10 July 2014

Stolen Valor: Carolina Panther Gives Seat to Fake Marine


About one week ago, Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams saw what appeared to be a highly decorated senior Marine in a combination of dress blues alpha and bravo in the airport. Mr. Williams quickly gave up his first-class seat to the Marine in honor of his apparent service to the nation. The photo quickly went viral and fellow Marines had a field day picking apart the countless errors in uniform procedure, medal placement, and general disregard for real soldiers’ service.  

It is not even disregard, it is outright disrespect. Thousands of service members have died defending the nation and fighting to uphold the values represented by the uniform. There have been far too many instances in the last several years of military imposters trying to take advantage of the public respect given to those who have served.

For that reason, President Bush signed the Stolen Valor Act of 2005 which worked to defend and protect the distinction of the Medal of Honor and other military decorations.  The law made it a federal misdemeanor to falsely represent oneself as having received any U.S. military decoration and, if convicted, could be imprisoned for up to one year.  Unfortunately, the law was struck down in U.S. v Alvarez in 2012, citing that the law impeded Freedom of Speech.

If there was ever a time where freedom of speech should be curbed, this might be the one. America’s service members deserve proper recognition which should not be tarnished by imposters and attention seekers.

American service men and women deserve the highest appreciation and gratitude from the public for their service and sacrifice to the nation, especially during the last decade of war. Because of that sacrifice, many people and places have instituted benefits that service members and veterans can enjoy as a small token of appreciation for their commitment to defending the freedoms of everyday Americans. Unfortunately, there are the inevitable leeches that try to take advantage of the praise on honor bestowed upon actual soldiers.

If you saw this Marine imposter, how would you dress him down? Why is it so important to respect the sanctity of the uniform?

Weigh in on the discussion here and connect within the military network.


  1. You do not wear shooting badges (Pistol Expert) on the Dress Blues with medals. The Shooting badges are to be worn left side only with ribbons. You do not wear your Cover indoors. EVER, unless under arms or for ceremony. His belt is rolled on the left versus being cut to length. From the salad bowl of medals, he should have a nice sized ribbon rack on the right, as some ribbons do not have a corresponding medal, for instance, the Combat Action Ribbon, which if he as a Bronze Star with Valor device (V) and a Purple Heart, would be assured as these are both COMBAT AWARDS. If you were going to faux pas and wear a shooting badge, you would also wear your rifle qualification badge. With 27+ years of service (as his stripes purport), the chances of this "Master Guns" having a single pistol marksmanship badge, en lieu of at lest 10 to 12 as it is an annual qualification seems unlikely.

    Background. I am a former Marine NCO, SGT, E-5, served 1990-1996. MOS 0341. 1/8 Aco Wpns 90-94, AITC 94-96. That was 18 years since I have been on active duty. I still remember more than the basics of dress uniform regulations, after only 6 years of service nearly 2 decades ago. The chances of a Master Guns with nearly 30 years of service missing ONE DETAIL of the Dress Blues Regulations? ZERO-POINT-ZERO Percent.

  2. Dag on nasty. I would love to take this man to the tree line and have him experience me losing my mind.