MY PRIMARY motivation in
seeking an OFFICIAL Roll of Valor is to preserve the history of
our REAL heroes. I would rather see a dozen phony heroes given
undue honor, than see one LEGITIMATE hero slighted, ignored, or
lost to history. But the fact remains, one of the important
functions this Roll of Valor will accomplish is to provide a
readily accessible means of verifying a person's claim to military
awards for such purposes as:
1) Obtaining Veterans Benefits
2) Obtaining distinctive License
3) Verifying news reports and
How prevalent is the PHONY
HERO phenomena? You can't begin to imagine. For an eye-opening
example, simply visit the POW
NETWORK to scratch the surface.
Below I will be posting some
TRUE examples of phonies who have lied to their family, their
friends, and the American public and got away for decades with
Ohio Military Hall of Fame represents a noble and sincere effort
in Ohio to honor and remember that State's military heroes. Among
the rolls of those inducted, I have often found citations I
needed. In January 2008 I found a page from their 2007 inductees
for DSC and Double Silver Star recipient Ray E. Schmidt (WWII).
Mr. Schmidt was not in my DSC database and I contacted the OMHoF
for more information.
The good folks at OMHoF advised me that Mr. Schmidt is
deceased and that his son had submitted his father's DD-214 and
citations for his awards. They provided me copies of these which
you can see HERE.
BOTH the DD-214 and the DSC Citation are FORGERIES. Three DSCs
were issued under G.O. 278, but none were issued to Mr. Schmidt.
To date we are also unable to verify the two Silver Stars, the
citations for which have several items that raise suspicions.
Laudable programs like OMHoF try very hard to insure
accuracy, but without a more reliable and readily assessable means
of verifying, such programs are prone to abuse by phonies.
Army Awards Branch indicates that a total of 40 Silver Stars were
awarded in the 1993 "Blackhawk Down" mission in Somalia.
To date I've only been able to identify 32 of them, and it is
doubtful the Army can identify half that number. Such failure
nearly allowed an Army Reserve Major to fool the Army and use
false claims to a Silver Star in order to promote his career:
Major gets 5 months for faking awards
By Matthew Cox - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Feb 22, 2008 5:44:47 EST
A U.S. District Court judge sentenced Army Reserve Maj.
Anthony Angelo Calderone on Tuesday to five months in prison for
lying about his Army achievements and awards — including his
bogus claim a Silver Star for heroism in battle — so he could
get promoted faster. The Salt Lake City, Utah court also ordered
Calderone to pay $9,300 in restitution to the Army, wages he
earned as the result of his promotion to major, said Assistant
U.S. Attorney Robert Lund.
Calderone pleaded guilty in federal court Sept. 20 to
charges of lying about his awards and qualifications in order to
gain a promotion. The felony charge of knowingly making false
statements carried up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Calderone was also accused of wearing false decorations between
Nov. 22, 2003, and Dec. 3, 2006. That charge, a misdemeanor,
carried a maximum sentence of six months in prison and a $5,000
“I’m pleased the outcome,” Lund said. I think the
offenses were serious … his conduct of falsely wearing a Silver
Star demeans the service and sacrifices of legitimate American
heroes who have fought and died for this country.”
Calderone left the sentencing hearing under orders to return
by a certain date in the future to serve out his sentence, said
Lund, who did not know Calderone’s scheduled return date.
Calderone, who was deployed to Iraq from January 2005 to December
2005, also admitted to knowingly and willfully making false
statements about his tours of duty, qualifications and awards. He
was charged with falsely including unauthorized decorations and
listing tours of duty and military training that he had not
Court documents say Calderone put those false statements,
including that he had a Silver Star, the Special Forces and Ranger
tabs, and the Combat Infantry Badge, on his DA Form 2-1, the
personal qualification record, and on his DD 214, the certificate
of release from active duty. Calderone later submitted the
falsified DD 214 to his Army Reserve unit, according to court
documents. Those false statements on official military documents
led to his promotion to major in July 2006, and led to him earning
more pay, according to court documents.