Matthew Cottom; active duty stolen valor

| March 12, 2015

Matthew Cottom

Our buddy, Coby, sent us a link to the Virginian-Pilot a story about this Navy fellow, Matthew Cottom who was honored at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Military Appreciation Day where he had claimed that he’d been wounded and suffered a heart attack upon his return from combat. He wore a Purple Heart, the Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist insignia among some other stuff. The Navy thought that it was serious enough to hammer his appendage flat;

Cottom was sentenced Wednesday to a reduction to the lowest rank, a seaman recruit; 45 days’ confinement; and half pay for two months.


Cottom told the judge he’d hoped to accomplish something special in the Navy – “to make my family proud, to go above and beyond” – and felt disappointed that he’d been held back by his health.

“I didn’t feel very productive at all,” he said in an unsworn statement during the sentencing portion of the trial. “I responded by wearing the unauthorized ribbons.”

“I realize that was very wrong,” he added. “And I should have just been happy with where I was in the Navy and that I’d be able to do better things down the road.”

This was on his Twitter page and might be considered the understatement of the year, sent to us by one of our ninjas;

Matt Cottom

It looks like that if he hadn’t been busted, he may have come up on Don Shipley’s radar;

Matt Cottom Special Warfare

At least the active duty force takes this stuff seriously.

Category: Phony soldiers

Comments (53)

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  1. FasterThanFastjack says:

    I’m pretty sure AD doesn’t fuck around. If someone in my chain caught blatant fuckery like that, there’d be problems. Problems not immediately solved by 36 hours of wall to wall.

  2. GDContractor says:

    He should buy a catheter now. The price will only go up.

  3. Bobo says:

    I can’t tell by the uniform picture, but the badge on his Facebook site isn’t an enlisted surface warfare badge, but a Special Warfare Combatant Crewman badge. Those are the guys who deliver the SEALs into the hairier parts of rivers and other areas. I’d love to see if he’s actually qualified as a boat guy.

  4. Ex-PH2 says:

    Well, ain’t he just somethin’ special?

    Did he really think he could get away with this story? That no one would notice?
    Well, now he’s permanently famous. I hope he enjoys some real qulity time with the floor buffer mechanism.

  5. Joe Williams says:

    If they had not hammered him for SV. Look at his shirt and how sloppy and wrinkled it is. His PAO and Chief and LPO would all be taking turns ripping his ass for allowing his picture to publised looking likea sack of shit and other words to that effect.Does the Navy still issure knaki shirts and trousers? Joe

  6. Sapper3307 says:

    A new duty station with no social media for a few months. That will called SEAL training after he gets the boot. What is the duffle bag drag called in the Navy?

    • GDContractor says:

      “A new duty station with no social media for a few months […]”

      That tweet was so Chevyesque.

      • Pinto Nag says:

        It sounds like the only thing he’s sorry for, is that he got caught.

        He’ll be back.

  7. QM1 says:

    “works in navigation.”

    Hmm, bet some of my old co-workers in Norfolk know about this guy.

  8. ChipNASA says:

    This takes a Special Kind of Stupid to do this on AD.

  9. ArmyATC says:

    Any hope that moron had for a career in the navy is gone. I expect we’ll see him a few years down the road, once the Navy is through with his ass, making even more outrageous claims.

  10. Combat Historian says:

    I hope this doofus enjoys chipping paint and swabbing the deck for the remainder of what’s left of his enlistment; I have a feeling he will not be invited to re-up again…

    • Hondo says:

      In today’s climate, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s processed for an admin separation well before the end of his enlistment.

      • MrBill says:

        “Brandwein (prosecutor) asked for a dishonorable discharge. Kelly (defense counsel) told the court her client had waived his right to an administrative separation board. It’s likely, she said, that Cottom will receive an other-than-honorable discharge anyway.”

        I’m guessing that he’d requested an admin discharge in lieu of court-martial which was rejected by the government. Since the government didn’t get a punitive discharge, I’ll bet the admin discharge action will be started very shortly if it hasn’t been already.

  11. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Whew. Thank goodness. I thought he had tattoos when all he did was falsely claim a Purple Heart! Dumb bastard.

  12. Martinjmpr says:

    I saw that picture and thought “A Navy Chief got busted for SV? What?” then I saw he joined in 2013. I guess everybody gets Khaki’s now?

    Ah, the Navy. Just when I think the Army has the dumbest uniform policies, the squids come along and take that trophy from us!

    Question: How is it that enlisted sailors have, literally, the least amount of closet space of any of the armed services, and yet the Navy issues the most bewildering array of uniforms possible? Is it a conspiracy to keep sailors out of civilian clothes by giving them so many uniforms that they don’t have any room left for civvies?

    • Combat Historian says:

      Junior enlisted sailors are now issued khaki shirts/blouses and black pants/skirts instead of the crackerjacks of old. I was witness to this uniform transition while assigned to USJFCOM at Norfolk back during 2010-2011. As far as I know, CPOs and above are still wearing the all-khaki outfits they have traditionally worn…

      • Eden says:

        Wait, no more crackerjacks? I thought they just brought those back!

        • Combat Historian says:

          Since I’m an Army-type, I’m no Navy uniform expert. I think the USN has retained the crackerjacks as the formal dress uniform for junior sailors, while the khaki and black outfit has become the regular daily office work uniform.

      • MustangCryppie says:

        Really? No more crackerjacks? The dress blues were the best uniform for a fleet guy. The way they were folded, you could stow them under your mattress and they NEVER got wrinkled. My favorite uniform as a squid and I wore them all.

      • epicinside says:

        Not True. Crackerjacks are still a uniform. E-6 and below have that uniform idiot boy is wearing, crackerjacks (for men, for women it looks way different), dress whites (white version of crackerjacks), coveralls, and of course the lovely Blue camouflage.

      • epicinside says:

        CPOs still wear khakis, also the Blue camouflage, coveralls, a dress blue uniform, dress choker whites, and there’s also a summer white, which is pretty much an all white version of khakis.

  13. Eden says:

    I just don’t understand how anyone could possibly NOT realize that they are sure to be caught if they pull a stunt like this. The mind boggles. . . SMH!!

  14. thebesig says:

    I guess he has more time to train for special warfare now. :mrgreen:

    • Martinjmpr says:

      I’m sure he has what it takes to join the “Very Special Forces.”,645/

      • CLAW131 says:

        Hmmm, a photo of one of the C-130 short buses does have a tail number of CH-01.

        I wonder if the MESNA candidate Heavy Chevy is the pilot?

        Just asking !!

        • GDContractor says:

          Claw- did you get the message from 3/17 yesterday about him coming to your neck of the woods? If not I can give you the link. Just want to make sure you saw it.

          • CLAW131 says:

            GD, Yep, I saw it. We’re all hooked up for a visit on Saturday until ?. Now, if we could get Sparks to drop everything and come over this way for the weekend, we’d be all set.

            Thanks for the shout back,Buddy !!

          • 3/17 Air Cav says:

            GD…….I spoke with Claw! I’m spending a couple of days at stately claw manor. (I stole that line from Hack Stone) Claw promised me he. Would take down. The trip Flaires; claymore mines; and foo gas prior to my arrival

            • CLAW131 says:

              And the guard cow !! Don’t forget the guard cow. His name is Scooby.

              • GDContractor says:

                Glad you guys are going to get together. I hope the weekend generates good fun and great stories. Swing through the SW, pick up Sparks, and come down to my farm sometime in NE Texas. My guard bull is named Ferdinand. So far I have had 2 heifer calves born this Spring. Expecting 6 more. Be safe guys and see ya on the Weekend Open Thread.

  15. PeteOldABH says:

    He looks like he has chiefs anchors on. Do we not have summer working whites anymore? And who was ever issued a dinner dress uniform. The uniform policies are killing me.

    • TheCloser says:

      Pete- I was thinking the same thing about the Chief anchors, which means he was wearing the wrong colored cover for his masquerade.

  16. FatCircles0311 says:

    He needs a Big Chicken Dinner. His punishment isn’t enough.