We were asked to review a number of photographic images of “Sergeant” Robert Cooper who resides in the Wetaskiwin, Alberta area.
Our review identified many inconsistencies in his medallic display and, when combined with his confusing claims of service, that gave us cause to question his entire military narrative.
Our team conducted a thorough review of all available records, this included websites, newspaper articles, photographic images, regimental tour books, searchable data bases of medal recipients and extracts from military documents in Canada and the US in order to determine the legitimacy of his claims.
SV-C then reached out to the regimental and corps associations, their museums and other organizations in which Cooper has claimed to have served. The publicly accessible records, that we have had the opportunity to review, do not support the majority of his claims. The absence of verifiable records alone does not conclusively prove that an individual is a fake or embellisher, it just indicates that there are no records…
From the images we were asked to review, It appears that the individual is wearing the Medal of Bravery (MB) and the Sacrifice Medal (SM). Fortunately, one’s entitlement to the MB is easily confirmed via the list of recipients available on the Governor General’s website ( http://gg.ca/honours.aspx?lan=eng ). Not surprisingly, Cooper is not listed.
Entitlement to the SM is somewhat more difficult, there have been approximately 850 awarded since its creation and the names of the living recipients are not in the public domain, except for the individuals who received their’s @ Rideau Hall during the initial presentation ceremony. That being said, it’s virtually impossible for a living individual to have a SM without an accompanying campaign medal.
US Purple Heart Medal – In 1997, at the urging of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, the US Congress passed legislation prohibiting future awards of the Purple Heart to civilians. Today, the Purple Heart is reserved for men and women in uniform. Civilian employees of the U.S. Department of Defense who are killed or wounded as a result of hostile action may receive the Defense of Freedom Medal created after the terrorist attacks on 11 Sept 2001.
Once again, purchasing a bogus certificate and wearing a fake medal doesn’t change simple arithmetic and recorded history!
What we do know, Cooper was a Signalman (Private) radio operator in I Headquarters and Signal Squadron located in CFB Calgary in the early 1980s. By all accounts, he had a some what lack lustre career trajectory, he couldn’t pass the Battle Fitness Tests required of all soldiers in the field force and it’s reported he went AWOL on at least 2 occasions! And, he was shown the door…