Vets vs. Vets in Florida

| September 14, 2011

So there are these two guys in Florida who call themselves the Stolen Valor Task Force. Their names are Chuck Winn and Ed Maxwell, and as near as I can tell they’re the only two guys in the SVTF. I’ve emailed with them and they’re the only two who answer at the email address.

Somehow they got the idea that I want to join them, so they asked me for my DD214 and I sent it to them with a request that they send me theirs. After stalling for a few days, they finally did that and they are who they say they are. They sent me links to newspaper articles to prove that they are a legitimate Stolen Valor organization and they claim they outed eight phonies. But their main focus these days seem to be thwarting Republican Mike McCalister’s run at a Florida Senate seat.

As I’ve written before, McCalister was a colonel at SOCOM – that part is indisputable. But somehow, that’s crime enough for retired Colonel Chuck Winn and former Captain Ed Maxwell to pester the living shit out of McCalister for petty-ass bullshit. Last time it was because he wore his uniform to a Republican Party dinner. When I showed Winn that he was completely authorized to wear his uniform to the function, it was as if I was writing to a retarded child. Winn sent the same quotes to prove I was wrong.

Well, today i read that Ed Maxwell is making the allegation that McCalister joined the National Guard to avoid the draft and Vietnam – the same old shit they tried to use against Dan Quayle;

I can not conclusively prove Mike’s actual motives for initially joining the Guard in 1971, but I can offer some strong evidence to base conclusions on. The facts are that in 1971, Guard units were extremely unlikely to be activated and sent to Vietnam. Joining the Guard gained exemption from the draft. After 4 to 6 months of active duty, a Reservist or Guardsman returned to their communities as part-time soldiers and resumed their normal lives. During the draft lottery, Selective Service drafted young men who drew lottery numbers, based on birth dates. Mike McCalister’s number gave him a very high probability of being drafted, at about the same time he joined the Guard.

Of course, the Miami Herald is more than willing to give Maxwell and Winn a platform from which they can launch these specious attacks. But, I can’t let this bullshit go unanswered. If joining the National Guard was such a good place to hide from service in Vietnam, it didn’t work for 6,140 Guardsmen who served in the country, and it certainly backfired on the 101 who were killed. And hiding out in the Reserves didn’t work for the 5,977 Reservists who were killed in that war.

Winn wrote that he couldn’t “conclusively prove Mike’s actual motives for initially joining the Guard”, but that doesn’t stop him from shooting off his big mouth about shit he couldn’t prove.

Maxwell and Winn, both Vietnam veterans, should give up their vendetta against another veteran and instead work to help get someone from our team in the Capitol. I know this will just start another flurry of emails telling me how illiterate I am, but it’s not anything I’m not accustomed to.

Category: Veterans in politics, Veterans Issues

Comments (24)

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  1. TSO says:

    Why do you hate America and her veterans?

    This entire thing is a tempest in a thimble.

  2. DaveO says:

    Goes back to the question: how truthful does the truth have to be?

    No matter how much some folks explain their careers, folks (civvies and vets) are going to misunderstand, or throw the BS flag.

  3. Sig says:

    I’m less concerned with why someone put on the uniform as I am with what they did while wearing it. My own motives were not exactly unadulterated altruism.

  4. UpNorth says:

    Jonn, have them come on here and post their stuff. Or, post their e-mails. They shouldn’t have any trouble posting why they’re doing what they’re doing, for vets, to vets.
    Or, are they like the VFW PAC?

  5. Ed Maxwell says:

    You can start with this:

    Then read the statement below and follow the link in the statement. This is only a small part of it.

    Sent: Wednesday, September 07, 2011 7:54 PM
    Subject: SVTF Response to 6 Sep 2011 Tea Party McCalister Statement

    The non partisan Stolen Valor Task Force (SVTF) of South Florida Steering Committee has his reviewed the Tea Party Press Release dated September 6, 2011, regarding retired Army Reserve Colonel Mike McCalister. The Headquarters Department of the Army (HQDA) Human Resources Command (HRC) is the repository of retired Army records, not USSOCOM. The SVTF has received his Missouri Army National Guard (MO ARNG )records for the first 24 years of service and we anticipate receiving the FOIA response from HQDA HRC for his final ten years in the Army Reserve within a week so.

    Your attention is invited to quotes in the 27 August Miami Herald article from retired Army Lieutenant General W.P. Tagney, who said about McCalister false claim about Congressional testimony: “He could’ve been in the back of the room someplace holding a brief case. There were no ‘bright lights’… it’s a gross embellishment and exaggeration, if he was indeed even there,” Tangney said. He said McCalister’s statement “sounds like he had a position of prominence and importance. And he didn’t.” This article also noted “Army Major Gen. Eldon Bargewell and Army Lieutenant Gen. Bryan D. Brown who also said they barely recall McCalister, who cited snippets of their praise in the press release. Like Tangney, they said, they didn’t directly supervise McCalister.” These quotes from general officers certainly do not indicate they ever believed that McCalister was general officer material.

    The 27 August Miami Herald article revealed the following additional information about McCalister’s service at USSOCOM. “Tangney said he heard McCalister’s name about a week-and-a-half ago when a high-level officer in Tampa who served under the general told him that there was “this flake… apparently claiming he had done things that didn’t ring true with people in the community.” For instance, McCalister has repeatedly said he was involved in “black ops” and has seen “scary things.” But he never served in combat and was really a “paper pusher,” said Jeffrey Shera, an Iraq war vet and former sergeant major who served in Special Forces. Shera said he worked with McCalister from about 2001 to 2003. “Anything he said associated with black ops is not the truth,” Shera said. He said McCalister was in charge of a team evaluating fire-and-training range capacity and “most of that work was done by a marine reservist major who worked for him. McCalister spent most of his time going to the MacDill Air Force Base gym and sitting at the juice bar at the time.” On McCalister’s first day on the job at MacDill, McCalister wore the wrong cap to work, Shera said. Shera said the first time he met McCalister made him suspicious because the then-lieutenant colonel wore a name badge that said “Mike McCalister, PHd.” Shera researched McCalister’s record and found he obtained the higher-education degree from a correspondence school. Another co-worker, Kat White, said McCalister was good at delegating responsibilities and at climbing the ladder of promotions, going so far as to outmaneuver a well-respected colonel in the office. “

    The SVTF Steering Committee commends Miami Herald reporter Marc Caputo for his tenacity, attention to detail, and integrity in researching his latest August 27th Miami Herald Article about Mike McCalister’s false and misleading claims pertaining to military service.

    We initially were focused on having McCalister issue a clarification that he was not a Special Forces (SF) officer; and that his involvement with any “black operations” was as a senior staff officer managing programs pertaining to them on the USSOCOM staff at McDill, and not in a deployed SF unit performing clandestine missions. Mr. Caputo’s outstanding research brought additional inconsistencies in his bio to our attention which, compared to McCalister’s press release revealed even more deception about his military background. His statement “I did it all. PVT E1 active duty, PV E2 active duty” was a blatant misrepresentation of Active Duty for Training as a National Guardsman to imply he was an enlisted active duty veteran. We would be excessively nit-picking if this was merely a matter of a few misstatements. However, even without this and the quote’s in the Miami Herald Herald article from Lieutenant General Tangney, Major General Bagwell, and Sergeant Major Jeff Shera, we are comfortable in making public out findings to date.


    (1) Mike McCalister deliberately misrepresented a duty assignment title of “Special Operations Action Officer” used at the 4 star USSOCOM Hqs to define the functional staff actions he was responsible for coordinating support of and defining certain aspects of subordinate units that performed “black operations”, to give the impression that he was a Special Forces “i.e. green beret” officer performing covert operations in a deployed SF unit. His official MOARNG enlisted and commissioned records revealed that he was an Engineer officer and never completed any Special Forces qualification training.

    (2) Mike McCalister attempted to create a false impression of being qualified to be a general officer by deliberately misrepresenting his Air War College Correspondence Program to imply that the met the HQDA Military Education Level I (MEL-I) requirement for promotion to brigadier general, by falsely indicating it required a TOP SECRET Clearance like the Army War College Corresponding Studies Program (MEL-I qualifying). He compounded this by selectively releasing OER comments to give the impression that he was general officer material. McCalister’s embellished statements also indicated that representing general officer superiors of his command on Pentagon General Officer Steering Committees and other DoD panels was extraordinary for a colonel.

    (3) Mike McCalister deliberately embellished his description of routine Colonel-level duties on his bio, web site and in speeches that involved the preparation of Congressional Reports, responses to GAO Investigations, Information Papers and preparation documents for his general officer superiors, to create the impression that he testified before Congress.

    (4) Mike McCalister made a claim in a speech that Marc Caputo caught in reviewing McCalister’s YouTube video: “I did it all. PVT E1 active duty” to deliberately create an impression of serving on extended active duty as an enlisted man. McCalister’s enlisted DD214 revealed that as he served only in an active duty for training status while going through basic and advanced individual training for 4 months and 10 days, but never in a federal extended active duty status to qualify as a Vietnam-Era Veteran. SVTF member Ed Maxwell, a former Army Captain and 19 month Vietnam combat vet, emphasized that “in reality he joined the Guard as an alternative to being drafted during the Vietnam era.

    (5) McCalister violated federal statutes and DoD policy by wearing a uniform to a partisan political fund raiser and as a candidate for public office no less. SVTF member Chuck Winn, a retired Army Colonel and Vietnam Vet, commented: “Although a misdemeanor, and understandable by an enlisted man or junior officer, this violation by a full colonel, indicates a total lack of appreciation of the fundamental Constitutional principal of civilian control of the military that guarantees our individual, economic and political liberties. I find it inconceivable that a full colonel and PhD did not know this.”

    (6) McCalister inaccurately misrepresented his 1974 Officer Candidate Status on his bio identifying himself as a SGT E5. SVTF member Tim Taylor, a retired USMC Lt Colonel and Desert Storm vet, noted that “although Officer Candidates are temporarily promoted to the pay grade of E5 while in OCS to defray the additional expenses (unless they already hold that or a higher grade), this was obviously phrased to imply that McCalister served as a Non Commissioned Officer, i.e. an enlisted leader of troops in a unit.” Taylor continued “His own bio describes his last duty assignment in a unit prior to attending OCS as a lineman, PFC E3. Although it is possible for an enlisted soldier to be appointed an acting NCO on orders and authorized to wear sergeant’s stripes, National Guard units in those days were at full strength, so it is highly unlikely that this was the case.”

  6. Jeff Hinton says:

    I don’t agree with you on this one Brother, that said I’d still fight by your side.

    McCalister is friggin lucky I didn’t catch him first.

    David Oh is not so lucky, neither is Willaim Hillar, National Guard SGM John Letuli and many others. (Hillar will be sharing a federal jail cell with bubba very soon.)

    I don’t ask or care what party they are in when I go after a Special Forces fraud.

    If you fraudulently use our reputation for personal or political gain pray I don’t find out.

    Good job Ed Maxwell and Chuck Winn.

    De Oppresso Liber,
    Jeff Hinton
    MSG, SF (ret)

  7. OWB says:

    They kind of lost me at “retired Army Reserve Colonel” and it went down hill from there. Is that supposed to be a rank? What?

    If someone is filing a critical assessment of another vet (or really anyone), shouldn’t there be some effort made to at least use accurate terminology? Maybe a bit of simple logic applied as well?

    Let’s say he is guilty of having enlisted in one service to avoid another. Uhhhh. Guess everyone who enlisted in the Navy to avoid the Army, or vice versa, is also guilty of whatever that crime might be?

    I have long since lost all patience with anyone (including vets) who denigrates the military service of another. Calling anyone who served honorably in any military service of this country a “draft dodger” is beyond reprehensible.

    That said, can we get back to our usual tipping a few while we poke at each other about our assorted branches of service? Teasing is part of what we do. Attacking each other is quite another thing.

  8. Jonn Lilyea says:

    To give you an idea of what a bunch of crackpots these “Stolen Valor Task Force” guys are, they’re now accusing me of sending them a “redacted” DD214. The only thing “redacted” was my social security number, but they’re claiming that I’m hiding shit from them. In other words, they hate veterans and they have no problem making shit up to disparage veterans.

  9. Brian says:

    I’m going to have to go with Maxwell on this one. The guy’s story is being misrepresented.

  10. Claymore says:

    You think that’s bad, I got kicked out of the 501st Stormtrooper Legion because they say I lied about my participation at the battle of Endor…I mean c’mon, I’m allergic to fucking Ewoks, ok?

  11. AW1 Tim says:

    I have to say that I am beginning to believe that these two fellows in Florida are really leftists who are trying to work to get Stolen Valor overturned.

    I mean, the amount of nit-picking these two guys are doing is simply making them look foolish. They obviously have a vendetta, for whatever reason, against McCalister, and their constant picking at this little sore is irritating.

    With all of the poseurs out there, they pick this battle to fight?

    Judging from the sheer amount of writing these two are doing, it’s as if they were imitating the Paultards with their verbosity, like word count somehow equals a winning argument.

    Let it go. Some battles aren’t worth the fight. Ask Pyrrus how his name got associated with winning the battle and losing the war.

  12. TSO says:

    So, there basic claim is he embellished his record to get elected. Jesus, you don’t see that every day, huh?

    I’d be more inclined to accept the premise of their argument if I hadn’t seen the jackass emails they sent Jonn. The paulbot analogy is exactly right. Even when Paul is right now i assume he’s full of shit just because his followers are such assmonkeys.

  13. Old Trooper says:

    I guess I’m lost on this one, to be honest, because I have no idea why a retired O-6 would engage a retired E-7 in such a manner. We’re all on the same team and when we start fighting amongst ourselves, it lessens the credibility of everything that is trying to be accomplished for all concerned.

    Did McCalister’s embellishment go farther than that Air Force chick that would wear a ribbon rack full of purchased ribbons on civilian attire while campaigning? Did it go as high as that doofus that claimed to be a Vietnam Vet, rather than a Vietnam Era Vet? Can’t we all just get along?

  14. NHSparky says:

    Sounds like some major butt-hurt coming out of Flori-DUH. Jesus, if that’s all it takes for some people to stand there with mouth agape and scream, “J’ACCUSE!!!!” then count me out.

    So what’s next for SV accusations? The guy telling sea stories? “No shit, there I was, walking over Shit River Bridge…”

  15. Brian says:

    @NHSparky: The Flori-DUH stuff is getting old. I wish people would stop using it, as they have since the 2000 elections.

  16. NHSparky says:

    Do a Google search on the Florida papers and some of the shit that goes on down there.

    I rest my case.

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it many times again: I’ll act nicer when they act smarter.

  17. Eleven_Bravo says:

    It seems to me that if you 2 have so much time that you can chase down jackasses who embellish their individual military records then you have way to much time on your hands. There are many more important Stolen Valor issues out there than one or 2 who may have done nothing more than simply overstated something about their military career. It’s quite possible that McAlister never even said what is being attributed to him but someone merely took it upon themselves to embellish the story to make Grandpa, Dad, Uncle etc look more the hero than he actually was. Whatever the case is what he did is not Stolen Valor in the sense of the Law from what I can tell. He has not gained monetarily from these statements and his embellishments are nothing different than what other Politicians who have served in the military have not also done.

    One last bit of advice for you two doorknobs and that is if you wish to start redirecting your incoming fire onto Jonn or TSO be prepared to have return fire impacting in your AO in short order. Stick to your lanes and what you know before the entire state of FloriDUH finds out what tools you 2 really are.

  18. UpNorth says:

    “The paulbot analogy is exactly right. Even when Paul is right now i assume he’s full of shit just because his followers are such assmonkeys.”. I agree, if Ronpaul or his cult told me tonight that the sun will rise tomorrow, I wouldn’t believe him, or them.

  19. UpNorth says:

    Um, Ed? “why they’re doing what they’re doing”. Seemed like a simple request. And, I look forward to your next expose’ of someone who got a trip to Vegas from Glock, or benefitted monetarily from stolen valor.

  20. Jeff Hinton says:

    @Jonn Lilyea,
    I hear ya brother. I guess we can call these individuals a bit overzealous… I did laugh when I read their organization name; “Stolen Valor Task Force of South Florida Steering Committee”.
    And that they “stood-up” this org to go after one guy? “non partisan Stolen Valor Task Force” really…. no political agenda? LOL
    I’m guessing they just wanted their 15 minutes……

    Keep on blogging Brother. We’re in overwatch.

  21. NHSparky says:

    Oh, and memo to Ed: Must be nice having that much fucking time on your hands worrying about something that’s at best a non-issue. Did the guy claim to be a special operator? Not from where I sit. Did he claim any awards not earned? Nope. Has he received any renumeration, recognition, or special consideration from any claims he may have made? Yeah, good luck with that one.

    Sand. Vagina. Commence removal process.

  22. Sig says:

    For anyone reading this, I will absolutely rent out my service record for free firearms.

  23. ChuckLies says:

    “The non partisan Stolen Valor Task Force (SVTF) of South Florida Steering Committee”. LOL

    Non-partisan? Seriously, these clowns have attacked every single candidate that ran against their own candidates.

    And Chuckie can deny it all he wants, too many people have it and seen the email where he called Marco Rubio a “wet back”.

    Disturbing behavior coming from someone who served.

    Chuck and Ed need a TRUE inquiry by the REAL Stolen Valor group. This way we will find out their true motives of trashing McCalister. Dumb and Dumber simply need to step away and stop insulting our honorable veterans.