We here at This Ain’t Hell know how difficult it is to prove that people aren’t who they say they are. Jesse Bernard Johnston seems to have been able to bring that point home to the Army;
Jesse Bernard Johnston III, 26, joined the Army Reserve in February as a sergeant and was assigned to the Corps Support Airplane Company based at the Fort Worth Naval Air Station. But he wasn’t qualified to hold that rank, according to military records obtained by the AP. The records show that Johnston’s only military experience was attending part of a 12-week Marine officer candidate course for college students in 2004.
He managed to award himself a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. He even convinced, for two years, an Army Reservist who married him of his false story. The Associated Press outlines the consequences of the Army’s failures;
The matter, currently under investigation by the Army, means a soldier received a security clearance and was in position to lead troops in combat even though he hadn’t gone through basic training or spent any time in the service.
I don’t think it was quite that dire – he perpetrated the fraud earlier this year and was busted on it within a few months.
If it’s proven that Johnston gained his Army rank based on a phony Marine record, it would be the first documented case of so-called “stolen valor” in which the military was duped during the enlistment process, according to watchdogs of such fraud.
It was a family court case rhat busted him, though;
In a recent court proceeding, Johnston’s former wife, also an Army reservist, accused him of using falsified documents to make it appear he’d served in the Marines. Melanie Rolfing, 24, made the claim in a sworn statement filed last month in Fort Worth family court when she had her two-year-old marriage annulled, alleging fraud. Johnston did not contest the annulment.
Thanks to Paul for the link.