Catalino Aguda; phony Air Force TACP

| February 23, 2018 | 99 Comments

Someone sent us their work on this Catalino Aguda fellow. He claims that he was a member of an Air Force Tactical Air Control Party. A TACP travels with Army and Marine Corps maneuver units and act as advisors to commanders in the application of air power to the battle. They establish and maintain command and control communications, and provide precision terminal attack guidance of U.S. and coalition fixed-wing and rotary-wing close air support aircraft, artillery, and naval gunfire.

They have the AFSC (MOS) 1C4X1 and wear the distinctive black beret after they complete the grueling 85-day course (which traditionally boasts a 50% washout rate). After the completion of the course, graduates attend the USAF Survival School at Fairchild AFB, WA. So they are a tight-knit bunch. When the picture above of Mr Aguda appeared in their Facebook page, no one recognized him. Probably because he never attended the training and he was never assigned to a TACP.

In the picture, he’s wearing Master Sergeant rank (E-7), the TACP black beret with the TACP Crest (without the flash), a Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, and the Air Force Combat Action Medal – none of which he earned according to his records. Now, I know that he left the service before the Air Force Combat Action Medal came in to existence in 2007 (the Air Force equivalence to the Navy Combat Action Ribbon or the Army’s Combat Action Badge), but it was backdated to 2001 and his name isn’t on the list of six Airmen who were awarded the medal.

Maj. Steven A. Raspet of Fountain Valley, California (for actions on January 8, 2006 at Afghanistan)
Capt. Allison K. Black of Northport, New York (for actions on December 4, 2001 at Afghanistan)
Senior Master Sgt. Ramon Colon-Lopez of Bridgeport, Connecticut (for actions on March 11, 2004 at Afghanistan)
Master Sgt. Charlie Peterson of Detroit, Michigan (for actions on July 28, 2004 at Iraq)
Master Sgt. Byron P. Allen of Birmingham, Alabama (for actions on April 12, 2004 at Iraq)
Staff Sgt. Daniel L. Paxton of Abingdon, Virginia (for actions on March 28, 2003 at the Kuwait-Iraq border)

Aguda retired with twenty years of service in 2006 as an E-6 Technical Sergeant AFSC 2E173 Ground Radio Communications Craftsman and none of the training allowing him to wear the beret appears on his DD214. He served in Desert Storm, but I don’t see anything in his DD214 that indicates that he served in Iraq, like he claims in this picture of his MC vest;

There is nothing in his records that indicates he attended the Army Basic Airborne Course, but there are the jump wings in the above picture. Everyone wants to wear jump wings, but no one wants to haul their parachute off of Fryar Drop Zone.

It’s strange how in the top picture he’s wearing three medals he didn’t earn and there are are tons of stuff he did earn on his DD214 but he’s not proud enough of his real accomplishments to wear any of them.

Category: Phony soldiers

Comments (99)

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  1. NHSparky says:

    Rolling in hot.

  2. Sapper3307 says:

    Its time to recover our patch from this turd.

    • Coonass says:

      I was in the CVMA 44-1 and he was the SA a few years ago, he would make shit up like his back was messed up and his was full of muster gas etc. and I would died laughing.
      He worn his shit proud until the day came and found out that he was the original slim shady and they went to take his patch and all hell broke loose, it’s a damn shame someone would join a military group as such and be an ass clown indeed.

  3. Roh-Dog says:

    Fryar DZ. I’d pay for the opportunity to put my knees in the cool-cool breeze again.
    I don’t get why some dude serves that much time, doing at least most of it honorably then goes full potato.
    You can’t change who you were, you can only change who you are. Be grateful for the course that got you to where you are or become internet famous, Catalino Aguda, you goddamn liar.

  4. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    The topmost pic has me thinking of bagpipes and a kilt.

  5. Mason says:

    Finally! A USAF fake.


  6. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    The bottom pic has me thinking that someone was rated an A+ buyer on Ebay.

  7. AW1Ed says:

    An Air Force embellisher makes the score board- about time! Obligatory leather vest slathered with bling he didn’t earn, check.

  8. Combat Historian says:

    Damn, a TACP poser; next we’re gonna get a fake AFSOC SpecOps weatherman…

  9. JacktheJarhead says:

    Don’t get it. Did 20, looks like he had a good career and flushes it down the toilet.

    • 2/17 Air Cav says:

      Sure you get it. He had a vanilla career and now that it’s done, he wants to cover it with sprinkles that he stole from others.

    • SSG Kane says:

      I actually get this one. I see it a lot with “Cold War Vets”, lots of military who served from 1980 until 2000, or got out and didn’t get back in after Sep 11th.

      They served honorably, but they don’t feel like they did. They didn’t deploy. They didn’t go forth and close, engage, and destroy the enemy in close combat. They feel like they spent their entire career “In the rear with the gear”.

      Its one of the reasons I fought to the good fight to re-enlist at 35. I wanted to know. I wanted to deploy. “I wanted a mission…and for my sins they gave me one.”

      But for those who didn’t/couldn’t go back, they still want to feel like their service mattered. And the easiest way for them to do that is to pretend. Claim what they would have done. Could have done. Could have been.

      So they can get the respect they feel they earned with what service they had.

      • Dustoff says:

        I served from 1977-1989. Honorably. I feel my service counted and never felt the need to lie about or embellish my time in.

        • SSG Kane says:

          I do wish more folks had your atttitude. We’d have far less poser like this guy.

          I’m dealing with a case of this at work, where a director resents that I re-enlisted after Sep 11th and he didn’t. As far as I know he doesn’t emblish his military career, but it does bother him that “nothing happened” while he was in.

          • HT3 '83-'87 says:

            I served 1983-1987, and I’ve had a few people over the years tell how lucky I was that “Nothing was going on back then” Really? The Cold War…remember the stop, drop, and cover drills in case of a nuclear attack? We only stared down the Rooskies with the threat of Armageddon as a possible result. Sure, there weren’t any bullets flying the through the air back then, they didn’t award ribbons for another successful deployment where the world didn’t come to an end, but I have no problem with my time serving on a ‘fast-attack-fleet-oiler’. When SK3 Carmichael as killed in an accident during my last deployment, was his death any less tragic? If guys like this asshole can’t be proud of their honorable service during those times, then they have bigger issues than poor self-esteem and insecurity.

        • rgr1480 says:

          I served from 1973~1994. USAF (4 and 3/4 years), then Infantry for the balance of my 20… I feel like a retired firefighter who never went to a fire!

          Got a lot of good schools and training … but…

          Oh, and I’ve never had the desire to embellish, either.

          • Twist says:

            Back before 9/11 we used to complain that it was like training for the big game and never getting to play in the game. Then I went to war and realized that the “game” really sucks.

            • SSG Kane says:

              I know I’m in a minority when I say this, but I loved the “game”. I never felt more alive, more focused, or straight up happier.

              • E4 Mafia For Life. says:

                “You’ve never lived until you’ve almost died. For those who have fought for it, life has a flavor the protected shall never know.”

                ― Guy de Maupassant

                It was the most thrilling experience of my life.
                I imagine it’s like Neil Armstrong staring up at the moon and saying, “I was there.”

                It’s not the most important thing I’ve done though.
                Being there at the birth of my daughters is at the top of my list.

                The downside is part of me never left the battlefield and part of me longs to go back and fight.

                Alas, I am somewhat old and busted and hated the desert. But there are no current wars planned for the hills in Austria during Spring.
                …and I don’t wish to disrupt the nude sunbathing of pretty women in that beautiful country.

              • Hondo says:

                I understand, amigo. We were Playing for Keeps.

          • I served 1974-80, the only thing I might embellish is the amount of brown & bitter I drank and the ladies I sweet talked.
            But Jeeeeze louise this guy had a perfectly fine AFSC & career, I worked in the survival equipment shop shop and was the resident shop scrounge and that was good enough for me , it’s more than MOST of my age group did, and I learned some skills.
            As far as I’m concerned, I feel an honorable discharge & its benefits for being a good airman that did a good job with some tin wear to show for doing that, is good enough

      • Jeff LPH 3, 63-66 says:

        SSG Kane; I volunteered for Swift Boats when they were starting the program but didn’t go for it after a talk from our GM1 Smith and missed the move to San Diego and Viet Nam by not re uping. Went into the monthly inactive Reserve meetings and finished my obligation. When I went to work for Brink’s back in 1970, I had the guilt trip from listening to the number of Viet Vets who went to work for the same company, and they and the age +40 WW11 vets all said that I did my time and served so don’t let it bother you. In 1975, I went into the ARNGUS and left in 1977. The best was the 2 weeks a year up at Ft. Drum plus the weekend trips to Camp Smith and Ft. Dix. No vests or awards I did not earn but wear a shit load of Navy and Doo Wopp tee shirts.

        • SSG Kane says:

          Thats the way it should be. You served and that’s awesome and its enough.

          Too many people don’t feel that way though. They see all the atta-boys and pats on the heads that OIF/OEF veterans get and feel they deserve that too.

          And they do. But society as a whole doesn’t honor the Cold War Warriors like they do the WW2, Korea, (and increasingly Vietnam), GWOT vets.

          Cold Warriors don’t get the big bang ‘em up movies. They don’t get the book deals for their stories of getting hammered within artillery range of the Russians. They don’t get the interviews, or the honory awards or see their name up in lights. They don’t drink for free…

          And that feeds into the “I didn’t do enough, I’m not worthy…”

          Don’t misunderstand, what guys like Aguda are doing is wrong as a preacher at a cat house (unless he’s preaching of course), but I can understand it more than complete fakes like Jesse Macbeth.

      • Grunt says:

        You know what’s sad about that? Anyone who’s really BTDT wouldn’t think anything less of the service of a Cold War vet.

        You fight the war you get, not the one you want. Not everyone got to pull the trigger on Bin Laden. I was still shitting in diapers for most of the 80s, but from what I know of talking to my dad, nuclear war and a ground war with Russia was a very real possibility back in those days. I’m sure serving back then wasn’t just playing belly sticks and gay chicken.

        Point being, you served with honor, you earned my respect.

        • Twist says:

          The ones that get me are the ones that did deploy to OEF/OIF in a support capacity that feel the need to slap on a CIB. They did something that over 300 million other Americans didn’t do. Not everyone can be a door kicker. Be proud of what you did do. We can’t do our jobs if you don’t do yours.

          • SSG Kane says:

            Amen. Those are the guys I don’t understand.

            They volunteered. They went. They served. And then they gotta talk shit about all the cool guy stuff they did? Can’t wrap my head around it.

            That’s just such a big step from “I fought the Cold War, which is this huge intangible thing where I stood ready to kill Commies and burn cities to teh ground with nuclear hell fire and I feel unappreciated because no one gets how hard that was” to “I fought the GWOT in Iraq/Afghanistan but apparently I don’t feel that was enough because my FOB had a Green Beans and a Pizza Hut so here is the hat I was wearing when a sniper took a shot at me and knocked it off my head while I was hunting bin Laden’s clones in the Hindu Kush region of Iraq”…

      • Ret_25X says:

        I served across both eras and all I can say is this:

        If we were successful, if we accomplished our missions, and if we were the real deal, it is only because we stood firmly upon the shoulders of those who came before us.

        Those NCOs who served in the cold war era but never “did the deed” taught us field craft, marksmanship, training, standards, physical fitness, and a myriad other things one never learns except from an outstanding NCO.

        So, my hat is off to the NCOs who made me a success. Whether they deployed or not is an accident of era, whether they made a remarkable difference to our Armed Forces is not subject to debate. We are today what they made of us just as the military of the future will be what the current young ‘uns make of it.

        • SSG Kane says:

          I can still remember my drill sergeants from 1992. I can still remember my team leader, platoon sergeant, and 1SG from my first unit.

          They shaped my life more than the previous 18 years had and set me on the course I’ve been on for the last 25.

      • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

        I was AD Army for three years in the early nineties and was lucky enough to be able to get back into the NG after 9/11 and do a couple of ME tours.

      • Mason says:

        I can see your point, but that’s clearly not Aguda’s issue. He rates an AFEM and SWA service medal w/ 2 stars and the two Kuwaiti liberation medals. He didn’t miss the show.

  10. Guard Bum says:

    Well he did get the coveted Volunteer Service Medal ….,something I suspect few among us have earned!

  11. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    Yet another Golden Corral Assault Commando outed.

  12. Tallywhagger says:

    I looked up FDZ and it says the drop altitude is 1,250, AGL, I presume. At what altitude does the chute open and about how long does it take until you reach the ground–presuming an ordinary deployment and procedure 🙂

    Also, about how fast is the descent airspeed?

    • SSG Kane says:

      Keeping in mind I’m a five jump chump, but if I remember my shit correctly, the average rate of descent is 20 to 22 feet per second. This is about 14, 15 miles per hour.

      On a static line jump, the chute opens pretty close to the drop altitude.

      So 1250 feet above ground level with a 21 foot per second decent you are looking at about 60 seconds of adrenaline and terror before you gently land in a field of pillows and kisses..

      • rgr1480 says:

        … and if you are tracking with the wind you can hit pretty hard.

        Terror? Nah. My dad was airborne (505 PIR & SF) and we often went to the DZ to watch the jumps — so it seemed somewhat normal to me. Trusted the Black Hats, my training, and equipment. I was first in the door for 4 of my jumps and loved looking at the tiny cars and ant-sized people.

        Got two jumps later from a Huey and Blackhawk. I don’t like helecopter jumps … seems like it takes forever for the chute to deploy.

        • SFC D says:

          I worked with a former 11B that did a balloon jump (I think he said Spain? CRS is bad today), said it was absolutely terrifying, too quiet and felt like he was gonna crater before deployment.

        • SSG Kane says:

          I did quite a bit of civilian sky diving and I was still terrified everytime I jumped. My thought process was always “I’m about to jump out of an airplane that’s older than I am, filled with people who’ve never done this before, and I’m using gear built and designed by the lowest bidder in the ‘60’s, and packed by a kid only slightly older than my oldest daughter.”

          I only did it the five times (three “hollywood” and two in full kit (one at night)) and because I’d done civlian skydiving I never screwed up my landings. Well other than always landing near the far edge of the DZ anyway.

  13. AF VET says:

    This guy is retired AF, 20 years, yet he feels the need to wear his medals incorrectly below his nametag. And I’m not sure what the regs say, I’ve been retired 13 years now, but if I were to ever be asked to wear my uniform again to a public event, I sure as hell would shave my goatee and be within regs. Dumb A**.

    • rgr1480 says:

      I thought that was a mirror-image. But you’re right! Jeeeeeze-louise!

    • J.P. Hosey says:

      Those medals he’s wearing below his name tag are the medals HE DID NOT EARN! This is what brought him to our TACP Site! Someone wanted to know why a ROMAD was so far out of regulation.
      Sadly, this jerk had a good and honorable 20 years in. He even did some really good shit that was worthy of free beer!!
      He just wasn’t satisfied with being himself.
      He had to pretend to be something else.
      Those of us who served on the very tip of the spear are VERY thankful for everyone of our Brothers and Sisters who did their jobs back at the base. If those planes didn’t fly, we couldn’t be the badasses the Army thought we were, by bringing the rain down when they needed it the most!

  14. Wilted Willy says:

    When is the Army going to come up? C’mon guys, I know you can do it, why can’t we get a phony Ranger? No, we get these pisspants noload cocksuckers instead! You sir are a lying bag of shit and you just shit all over a perfectly honorable career? Why do you cocksuckers continue to do this? You should be proud you did your 20 and got out, but no, you have to take a giant dump all over it you Dorking Squeakhole!

  15. Patrick408 says:

    Aim High! Mr. Aguda your an IDIOT, especially after a long honorable service.

  16. Graybeard says:

    Looking at what he did do and all the recognitions he is entitled too, my only response is total incredulity at his actions.

    He had a perfectly good record of service, things of which he has every right to be proud – and then he goes, takes a quadruple dose of Ex-Lax plus an enema and dumps on his own service.

    That is a special kind of stupid. This one is going to take a special multiplier to compute in the 2018 TAH Phony Race

  17. Mick says:

    So ol’ Catalino here wants to play TACP dress-up, eh?

    OK. Put a radio on his back and a rifle in his hands and send him out into the field with an infantry unit in Afghanistan, and see how long he lasts.

    Fat-ass lying shitbird.

  18. The Stranger says:

    Be careful what you wish for. This week I was wondering if we would see a fake PJ, Combat Controller, or TACP. Well, here he is…

  19. Ex-PH2 says:

    Looks like this fella has more than just deluded himself. Is he getting something other than attention out of it?

    Chair Force, huh? Yeah, well, he certainly blows it big time!

  20. Jeff LPH 3, 63-66 says:

    I see that he is missing his Custer Indian Scout medal. What is his position at the TAH starting gate.

  21. 26Limabeans says:

    Didn’t he used to sing Christmas music?
    “Have a holly jolly Christmas……”

  22. Combat Historian says:

    We had TACPs attached to our TOC during various guard infantry brigade FTXs back in the mid-80s when I was the brigade As’st S-2. They were very professional, wearing early ERDL-patterned cammies, black berets, and in an M-151 loaded with extra specialized commo gear…

    This douche wasn’t one of them…

  23. Dennis - not chevy says:

    He appears to be wearing the “Instructor’s Cookie”; not only did he not earn it, he’s wearing in the wrong place. The industrial grade fertilizer one has to endure to earn the cookie is legendary. When one earns the cookie a T is added to the AFSC as mine was T47299 (changed, I think, to T2T399 under the new system), I don’t a T on his 214. Anyone who did instructor duty would not fake it.

  24. ChipNASA says:


  25. USAFRetired says:

    I’d really like to see his list of assignments. As a dirt radio guy he may have been assigned to an ASOC maintaining the equipment used by TACPs. He may have even gone to the field with them.

    His last assignment at 81 CS was a fixed comm squadron.

    • USAFRetired says:

      I’m also wonder how he got the Combat Readiness Medal in his records DD-214.

      His actual AFSC would not seem to qualify for it. Nor does he seem to meet the Criteria in AFI 36-2803 included below

      Award for periods of qualifying service in combat or mission ready
      status for direct weapons system employment. For the purpose of this
      award direct weapons system employment is defined as: – An aircrew
      whose wartime mission places them into enemy territory or in the threat
      envelope of ground enemy defenses; – A missile operation which could
      employ weapons to destroy enemy targets; – Individuals who directly
      control inflight manned aircraft whose wartime mission is to seek and
      destroy enemy targets. Additionally, an individual must meet all of the
      following criteria: – Be a member of a unit subject to combat readiness
      reporting under JCS publication 6, volume V (MAJCOMs, DRUs and
      FOAs designate qualifying duty positions and units.); – Complete basic
      and initial training and be formally certified as combat or mission ready
      in performing the command or unit operational mission. The individual
      must be subject to a continuous individual positional evaluation
      program; – Have completed 24 months of sustained combat or mission
      readiness with no more than a 120-calendar day break. Award an oak
      leaf cluster (OLC) for each additional 24 months qualifying service.
      (See note 1.)
      1. If the break in combat or mission ready status exceeds 120 calendar days due to reassignment to
      another combat or mission duty that required upgrading in or retraining to a new system, deduct only the
      enroute and retraining time from qualifying service.

  26. Jay says:

    Jeez….dude had 20 years and a SHIT LOAD of ribbons. Why in the FUCK do you have to embellish it?

  27. Sparks says:

    In my Air Force time we called his AFSC ‘Dirt Radio’.


  28. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    One look at his leather vest makes me see him as a half step shy of being “Soup Sandwich II”.

  29. Hondo says:

    USAF TACP? Really?

    Hola, Catalina: ¿Qué tal si dejas de mentir sobre tu carrera?


  30. JimV says:

    Where is his service dog?

  31. Headhunter says:

    Any Marines ever seen a TACP with a Marine unit???? Also, the 6 listed recipients for the AF Combat Action Medal were the first six awarded the medal, not the only 6 who earned to it prior to it being established.

    • Mick says:


      I have never heard of a USAF TACP being assigned to a Marine Corps unit.

      The Marine Corps has traditionally ‘grown its own’ TACPs for service in its infantry battalions. Marine Corps Aviators and Naval Flight Officers serve as Forward Air Controllers (FAC) and lead these TACPs, and they are assisted by several enlisted radio operators. USMC TACPs have typically been employed at the rifle company level.

      In recent years, the Marine Corps has also been training qualified enlisted personnel as Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTAC).




      1. The Tactical Air Control Party within Marine Corps infantry battalions enables dispersed and simultaneous operations, and balances the requirement for individuals trained to control aviation delivered fires with the need to maintain broad aviation integration expertise. Three FACs (7502) and three JFOs are personnel permanently assigned to the infantry battalion. Three JTACs (8002) and six JFOs are personnel attached to the infantry battalion from the artillery regiment. Separate battalions may have a different T/O distribution based on the commander’s mission analysis and personnel manning differences.


      2. For the purposes of this Manual the term JTAC refers to all designated JTACs who are members of the TACP. Use of the respective SMOS indicates that a distinction between aviator and non-aviator is relevant. The Marine Tactical Air Control Party consists of:

      a. Air Officer (AO) 7502.

      (1) An aviator designated as a JTAC per this manual is assigned to a non-aviation unit. The AO integrates all functions of aviation during the planning and execution of ground operations, and is prepared to conduct required liaison with aviation units. While the Air Officer’s responsibilities are based on the integration of the six functions of aviation, the focus of his efforts will be largely dependent upon the echelon of command to which he is assigned. The Air Officer is a primary staff officer and is designated by name in writing.

      (2) The AO is the unit commander’s primary advisor on the
      integration and employment of aviation, and unit aviation integrators. The AO is principally responsible to the commander for the training management and currency of unit FACs, JTACs, JFOs, and TACP ROs.

      b. Assistant Air Officer (AAO) 7502. An aviator designated as a JTAC, assigned to a non-aviation unit. The AAO is assigned to assist the AO in his duties and is prepared to assume them. The AAO enables continuous aviation integration at the battalion level during combat or contingency operations.

      c. Forward Air Controller (FAC) 7502. An aviator designated as a JTAC assigned to a non-aviation unit. The FAC is prepared to integrate all functions of aviation during the planning and execution of ground operations, and is prepared to conduct required liaison with aviation units.

      d. Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) 8002. An individual with a ground combat arms background. The JTAC coordinates, integrates and directs actions of combat aircraft engaged in Close Air Support (CAS) and other offensive air support (OAS) operations.

      e. Joint Fires Observer (JFO). A graduate of a Marine Corps FLC JFO Course of Instruction who is trained to request, adjust, and control surface-to-surface indirect fire, provide targeting information in support of Type 2 and 3 terminal attack control, and perform autonomous terminal guidance operations.

      f. Radio Operator (RO) 0621. A Marine communicator assigned as an integral member of the TACP, responsible for ensuring required connectivity of the TACP, who is trained in the function and employment of the complete suite of TACP equipment.


    • J.P. Hosey says:

      I’ll agree with the on the Air Force Combat Action Medal, HOWEVER, he’s still NOT listed as a recipient of this award.
      Let me go on the record, for my US Marine Brethren, this picture was taken at the USMC Ball, near Gulfport, MS on Nov 10, 2017, when it was reported to us. According to our source, no one approached this “soup sandwich” to square him away OR even to ask why he was so far out of uniform OR who even invited him to YOUR event. He wandered around the entire night drinking and dancing.
      And finally, you may want to check with your special operations Marines for working with TACPs from other agencies. There was lot of swapping done to complete missions. (I won’t bore you with stories of “back in my day”.)

  32. Cris says:

    We always had our own FOs calling arty and air. Our ANGLICO guys were attached with our allies.

  33. annabelle says:

    the jump wings could be his specialty badge….

    • J.P. Hosey says:

      No ma’am, I have the full sized pictures of him. He’s wearing his Air Force qualification badge AND master parachute wings over his ribbons. He’s wearing miniature master wings on his beret as well.
      I was just one part of the real TACP Team called in to out this poser. I even had the privilege of talking to him over the telephone in an attempt to have him rectify his errors OR, at the very least, remove any Association with the TACP. He chose to be an ass. We called our friends here.

  34. T. J. Adams says:

    I was also one along with J.P. Hosey who’s blood was also boiling when I saw this poser. I obtained his DD214 legally and helped expose him. We’re not done with him yet. The CVMA has already taken action against him as well. And we’re trying to get the Newspaper that made him a hero to right another article. He had a good career but he was never authorized to wear our Beret and he never went to Jump School.

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