Our friends at POW Net asked if we can help them bring down this phony. He’s Michael RS Teilmann. He’s the Executive Director of the Bob Hope Hollywood USO. But there’s some funny stuff going on in his records. For example he claims he’s a general, but his records show he was discharged in 1978 as a major.
Nor does it mention any assignments to Vietnam, or outside of California for that matter;
Apparently, this one shares with General Ballduster McSoulpatch a love for mess uniforms and foreign awards around his neck;
Now I found this quote from an article about a D-Day book;
The books’ author, Larry Collins, died in France last year, but Michael Teilmann calls himself an avid fan.
Teilmann had a long career in the army and National Guard, and achieved the rank of Brigadier General in the South Carolina State Guard.
The South Carolina State Guard is the state militia commanded by the governor, a separate entity from the SCNG. But there’s no real indicator of Teilmann’s service in South Carolina since he lives in California. Why do they need a figurehead 1-star general in South Carolina when there are more unemployed generals per square mile in South Carolina than any where else in the country?
Well, I found more documentation that he “retired” from the SCSG in 2001 and the in 2002 founded something called the 9th brigade US Army Volunteer Reserve which is a legitimate VSO and apparently does good work for veterans and service members.
Before writing this, I sought the counsel of fellow milbloggers who echoed my sentiment – this guy may have done a lot of good stuff, but that doesn’t mitigate the fact that he wears medals and ribbons he didn’t earn, and he’s probably not a real general.
You’re probably wondering about the photo at the beginning – it was taken in the US Embassy in China and Teilmann was there at some sort of ceremony honoring Chinese veterans who maintained Flying Tiger airstrips during WWII, listed as an Army general. Obviously, he isn’t;
From ……. firstname.lastname@example.org
Date Sat, 11 Sep 2004 104713 -0700
Subject US Embassy, Beijing Brigadier General Teilmann
Thank you for the attached news article and photos of Mr. Teilmann, apparently at the United States Department of State Embassy in Beijing, China, and wearing what appears to be a United States Army uniform with the rank of Brigadier General.
Mr. Teilmann is not a member of either California’s National Guard or State Military Reserve. He is retired from the Reserve of the United States Army (National Guard) as a Major. The patches on his beret and shoulder do not appear to be those of any units associated with California’s National Guard or State Military Department.
I speculate that Mr. Teilmann joined an unofficial militia (perhaps in South Carolina). I also speculate that he is using his association with the USO to impersonate a General Officer that is recognized by the United States government, in the types of activities depicted in the photographs.
If you scroll down the POW Net page on Teilmann you’ll see countless instances of his fakery, including pictures with stars and the California governor. TSO tells me that Teilmann once escorted some American Legion luminaries around the USO.
Another press release on POW Net reports that there are several guys in California that belong to this Army Volunteer Reserve who just pinned on some rank and started wearing the uniform;
In response to public appearances on federal property and at local civic events by a group known as the U.S. Army Volunteer Reserve, the Orange County Chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America today asked the FBI and California State Department of Corporations to investigate this group for wearing military uniforms and imitation decorations which are in violation of the United States Code that prescribes the regulations and penalties for wearing the uniform of a member of the armed forces. The volunteers have been appearing in Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego Counties, and also have been distributing uniforms and rank to immigrants in Southern California that served in the former Soviet Union and Vietnam, that have never served in the U.S. armed forces.
What a malignant practice – it’s like teaching people how to steal others’ valor. Doing good work doesn’t immunize anyone from the TAH phony soldier label.