A Captain-General? Not bloody likely…


A notorious scammer has resurfaced in the Qualicum Beach, BC area. This dude claims to be an infantry Captain, chef, engineer, sniper and pilot with 30 years of service. He tells a tale that he was recently recalled to duty as a Brigadier General assigned to sort the “current situation in the CAF”.

Apparently, his military file, some of it written in blood, is top secret, sealed and guarded.

Additional details will be provided as they become available. (SVC 3/7/2022)

Sylvain HAMEL – Super Advanced Fuckery™️

We were asked to review a number of photographic images of retired “Sergeant” Sylvain HAMEL of the R22eR who resides in Bromont, Quebec. 

Of note, (top row, centre image and right image) Hamel is wearing the ribbon of the UN Mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina (UMINBH) on his military themed RCL costume, less than 400 Canadians were awarded this medal, the vast majority being CIVPOL members along with a small number of CF personnel employed at the Mine Action Centre. In the other images, he’s wearing the UNPROFOR Medal.

The Persian Gulf and Kuwait (PG&K) Medal with bar became the focus of research as not one individual could vouch for his service in the operational theatre between September 1990 and March 1991.

So, where was Hamel during the December 1990 to March 1991 time frame?
He wasn’t in Doha, Qatar guarding our air force assets with Cie C 1er R22eR nor was he chasing Scuds with another recently exposed Gulf War fake. Like everyone else, military or civilian, he was probably watching events unfold on the 24 hour news channels.

IAW our well established SOP, we contacted Hamel via email on 25 Mar 2022 in order to provide him an opportunity to sort out the reported situation.  He chose not to respond however, he immediately scrubbed his social media pages by removing every image of him wearing CF uniforms, medals and insignia.  Hamel also resigned from his position as 1st Vice President a Royal Canadian Legion “Quebec Command” effective 28 Mar 2022.

Now, why would a legitimate veteran do that?

The rest of the story

The Special Service Medal (NATO) is conspicuously absent from his group of medals. Interestingly, had he actually served in Canadian Forces (Europe) he would have been awarded this medal like every member of C Coy, 1st Bn R22eR who deployed to Qatar. 

The Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal, UN Protection Force (UNPROFOR), NATO (Former Yugoslavia) Medals and the Canadian Forces Decoration (CD) are as questionable as the basic parachutist wings he wears. The situation is further confused as Hamel also wears the ribbon of the UN Mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina (UNMIBH) which is a separate and distinct mission from UNPROFOR. The ribbons aren’t interchangeable!

Mr Hamel should have publicly apologized for claiming to be a decorated Infantryman with 22 years of service including deployments to the Persian Gulf and in the former Yugoslavia.

He should have surrendered the uniforms, medals and insignia that he wore without lawful authority for appropriate disposal action. 

Those actions may have saved him a visit from law enforcement authorities carrying a copy of s419 of the Criminal Code of Canada. However, we’ll now wait for the outcome of the ongoing police investigation (file number # 003 Dunham SQ.) 

Mr Hamel is not a fuckery neophyte, he has been presenting himself as a decorated veteran for decades!

Je me souviens

Oh Sergeant Major!

MWO (Ret’d) Roch Lanteigne MSM CD is a former infantryman / paratrooper with over 42 years of military service. 


The “old wolf” saw service in Cyprus, the Golan Heights, Afghanistan and in Somalia where he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. 


By his request, he was terminated from the Order of Military Merit, this resulted in speculation as to why he walk away from this most prestigious honour… 
Lanteigne’s medals, the ribbons pictured above, which he wore were reviewed and immediately a number of issues regarding his actual entitlement became apparent. There’s absolutely no evidence that he was awarded the Order of St John and the Medal of Bravery.


There’s no record of Lanteigne being awarded the Order of St John nor the Medal of Bravery
. Nor could we find any evidence of him being awarded the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal or the Canada 125th Medal. His wear of the St John Ambulance Gold Lifesaving Medal is also problematic…

Was this a result of a series of administrative errors or was it something more sinister? 

Should you have the desire, have a look at these links and form your own opinion.

https://www.sja.ca/sites/default/files/2021-06/Roll-of-the-Order-2021-Repetoire-de-lOrdre-June.pdf

https://www.gg.ca/en/honours/recipients?filter_name=Roch+Lantiegne&city_custom=

So, the question becomes – Is this much more than a “simple resignation” from the ORMM? 

Are there additional medals in play?

John Peter SPANIS – Not a Commando!

John Peter SPANIS has been a regular attendee at military themed events in the Windsor, Ontario area over the past few years. He routinely wears what can be described as an “airborne themed clown suit” that could only be created by a blind monkey on the clothing stores loading dock!

He’s now used his bogus commando / veteran status to involve himself into the blockade of the Ambassador Bridge as a rumour monger / self appointed facilitator (Feb 2022). Not surprisingly, the self proclaimed “Guy in Burgundy”, doesn’t appear on the records of the Canadian Airborne Regiment (CAR). It also seems that Spanis has a penchant for fanciful outfits and titles and the airborne suit is just one of his costumes.

BTW, the colour is MAROON you fookin’ moron!

Mr SPANIS can contact us and we’ll happily assist in determining his truths including any entitlement to wear the Canadian Airborne Regiment hat badge / maroon beret and parachutist wings.

Stolen Valour Canada – 2021 Review


January
Jack Proulx kicked off the 2021 Parade of Posers with his amazing military themed fairy tales of rescuing POWs, and killing NVA Generals long after US forces had withdrawn from Vietnam. Of course, there are the obligatory stories of him having a price on his head, being wounded in action (shot in the buttocks just like Forrest Gump) and struggling the guilt of being a sole survivor.


https://www.stolenvalour.ca/2021/01/28/jack-proulx-will-he-double-down-or-apologize/

February – Bogus First Special Service Force / Korea / Vietnam war fake and embellisher Albert Brum took his place in the SVC Hall of Shame.
https://www.stolenvalour.ca/2021/02/11/albert-brum-its-never-too-late/

Andy Kruzynski – “Dog Tag Dude”. The KRUZER is a bullshit artist and former QOR rifleman with legitimate service in Cyprus. Again, there was no need to embellish his service by wearing bogus medals supposedly earned while on secret intel missions during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. He resurfaced on a number of web sites / groups in Jan/Feb 2021 after making a commitment to members of his regiment to speak only the truth. 

https://www.stolenvalour.ca/2021/02/27/andy-kruzynski-dog-tag-dude/

James French – Serial poser / fake Gulf War / Afghanistan vet was convicted under s419 CCC x 1 and sentenced to 24 months probation.

https://www.stolenvalour.ca/2021/03/26/james-kenneth-french-never-pass-a-fault/


March
Terry BIRCH aka “Captain Landmine” despite publicly stating that he would plead guilty to fraudulently wearing medals, the charges against him stayed by the court.  
Local area veterans are waiting for an apology for his actions while his loud mouthed offspring are still flapping their gums about how the situation was a misunderstanding due to Daddy’s failure to properly “register” his medals.
https://www.stolenvalour.ca/2020/01/21/mismanaged-valour-nice-try-captain-landmine/

https://www.communitypress.ca/news/local-news/stolen-valour-charges-stayed-for-cornwall-veteran/wcm/d441d573-48fe-4e5c-8281-94d42a064cc1/amp/


April
Hendrik Van der Pol who was featured on our platforms in 2020 finally saw the error of his ways by publicly apologizing for his fakery, destroying the unearned medals/insignia and made a commitment to wear only his legitimate awards.

https://www.stolenvalour.ca/2020/01/17/hendrik-van-der-pol-the-lying-dutchman/

William Greushcow – The ”Wolf” fooled a lot of good people that he had served with the US Army in Vietnam. To be truly convincing, it takes more than an ill fitting uniform, store bought medals and images lifted from the interwebs. The pic of him purporting to be in Vietnam wearing an Aussie uniform and carrying the FN L1A1 SLR is our fave!

Greushcow has now taken his place in the SVC Hall of Shame and is singing the blues however, it’s not with any uniformed choir in the Ottawa area…


https://www.stolenvalour.ca/2021/08/07/william-greushcow-hes-no-csm-basil-plumley/


May
– former Honorary Colonel Jean – Charles Perreault’s membership in the Order of Military Merit was terminated as a result of his long standing medallic fuckery. Hopefully, his membership in the Order of St John will also be terminated in 2022. The circumstances surrounding his award of the Canadian Forces Decoration and the Service Medal of the Order of St John should be reviewed and the medals revoked if applicable.

https://www.stolenvalour.ca/2021/04/15/updated-has-anyone-seen-the-colonel-updated/


Captain Mark “Ozzy” Osborne
, a serving CF Logistics Officer was convicted for fraudulently wearing 4 medals without lawful authority. He was awarded a $3500 fine and reprimanded…

https://www.stolenvalour.ca/2021/05/14/captain-mark-osborne-3500-dollars-reprimand/


June
William R McKenzie who claimed to be a MWO / CSM in the Royal Canadian Regiment and a former member of the Canadian Airborne Regiment took his place in the Hall of Shame.

https://www.stolenvalour.ca/2021/02/04/never-pass-a-fault-a-bogus-rcr-sergeant-major/


Mario Grenier
, a former R22eR Sergeant who deployed to the Balkans from Lahr FRG in 1992. There was no need for him to embellish his military service and claim to have been “running down” Scud Missiles in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War and wear bogus medals but, he did… 

https://www.stolenvalour.ca/2021/08/11/mario-grenier-hes-not-a-gulf-war-veteran/


July
Bradley Bell of Calgary charged with impersonating a soldier along with weapons offences. He claimed to be a high speed – low drag special forces operator yet, he doesn’t have a single day of military service.
https://calgary.ctvnews.ca/calgary-man-charged-with-weapons-offences-impersonating-a-soldier-1.5519205


August
– Serial poser and bogus combat wounded, commando medic and RMC graduate Corey “Killer Kai” DUPS (aka MCpl McSquinty) was arrested in Michigan for impersonating a police officer. His ridiculous claims are now well documented in both sides on the border. https://www.stolenvalour.ca/2021/08/13/corey-kai-dups-mcpl-mcsquinty/

September – SVC staff turnovers & Block leave.

We were advised that bogus USMC Vietnam POW Kenneth Laroche had resurfaced in the Manitoulin, Ontario area. With the assistance of his enablers Laroche and his military themed fairy tales insult the service and sacrifice of anyone who has worn the the uniform of the United States Marine Corps.  

https://www.stolenvalour.ca/2020/12/19/kenneth-laroche-was-never-a-guest-at-the-hanoi-hilton/


October
  “Sir” Brent Adair Habeleter. SVC featured him in our blog a couple of years back, he’s now resurfaced in a video with a new approach – the “Queen’s Representative“ who will address ongoing aboriginal issues with the Royal family.

However, there have been no sightings of his fancy gold rope nor the Canadian Forces Decoration he wore to the legion…

https://www.stolenvalour.ca/2020/09/07/brent-a-habetler-sir-lies-a-lot/


November
– self appointed captain/commanding officer Simon “many names” DeRothschild found guilty of 1 count under
s419Unlawful use of military uniforms or certificates; and 1 count under s130  – Personating a peace officer. He was awarded a $1000 fine for each count (total $2k) and 18 months probation.


https://www.stolenvalour.ca/2021/11/09/simon-many-names-de-rothschild-convicted/

December – a set of jump wings were anonymously surrendered to SVC along with an apology for wearing them without entitlement. 

So, what’s the current state?

Despite the challenges of operating in global pandemic, a significant staff turnover and the addition of a token sailor to our research staff, SVC will continue our campaign to expose those who stand in the blood of our fallen. Over the course of the past nine years, it’s become apparent that the vast majority of individuals reported to us are nothing more than grifters and con artists who lie, cheat or steal for their own personal gain! 

They have used their “special status” to attend military ceremonies and parades, military themed galas and high profile sporting events as VIP guests. Some have participated in fully funded overseas pilgrimages & adventurous expeditions, more have “advocated” on veterans issues without the requisite knowledge, experience or service!

Fakes and embellishers have even acquired trauma support dogs and mobility equipment that should have gone to legitimate veterans. Many have used their fake military narratives and tales of battlefield injuries to advance their employment opportunities & political aspirations.
Others are involved in intimidation, theft, fraud including accessing veteran/military discounts, questionable charity schemes, embezzlement and dating scams.

We are well aware of individuals using their fabricated experiences and bogus medals to justify and/or elicit sympathy for their bad behaviour, this is particularly evident with those who claim to have been Prisoners of War.

Remember folks, they are all grifters and con artists… 

That being said, SVC has found that Mental Health issues are not usually a factor in the cases reported to us. However, we have piquetted and bypassed a small number of individuals who clearly don’t have the intellectual/mental capacity to understand the nature of their actions. In fact, we have channeled a number of people to mental health agencies as our interactions with them caused us concern. 

SVC

Lest we forget.

30 December 2021.

Corey “Kai” DUPS – MCpl McSquinty

SVC first became aware of DUPS, who is a Canadian from the Hamilton Ontario area, after we were sent his “graduation / promotion” pics in early February 2021.

Was he the top candidate on his combat medical course conducted at CFB Trenton?

That may explain him being awarded a Royal Canadian Medical Service hat badge in a fancy jewellery box…

Perhaps, the top dude is also awarded a special silk tie?

For considerable VALOR? Canadian Special Operations Airborne Regiment? Lieutenant Wayne Eyre-Jenning?
SVC has seen many bogus documents produced by posers, fakes and embellishers however, McSquinty has taken his fakery to a whole new level!
Who knew that long dead, US President Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) was signing Canadian Army certificates?
He’s a graduate of the Royal Military College of Canada? As a Corporal combat paramedic? With a Nursing Degree?

And, there’s more. Seems that the super soldiers of Delta Scorpion B should have been named to the Canadian Olympic Team. Imagine being able to cross 454 km in 3 hours & 45 minutes ON FOOT!

And, there’s even more!

Dups was unable to attend the ceremony as he was deployed to an undisclosed location…
“Carly Sims – Canadian Press 16 December 2017” , of course, Carly Sims doesn’t exist.

And, even more!

Thanks to Michigan Law Enforcement Agencies, DUPS now has the opportunity to reflect upon his Medallic Fuckery™️, prepare an apology for his actions, surrender the bogus items for appropriate disposal action and become a productive member of society…

William GRUESCHOW – He’s no CSM Basil Plumley…

 

A number of individuals contacted us regarding an Ottawa area man who claimed to be US Army Vietnam veteran.

As per our SOP, we immediately scooped any evidence of his claimed military service that was posted on social media including his multiple FB accounts. We reviewed that information using on line resources in an attempt to determine his legitimacy, and we have been unable to find any evidence of his claimed service in Vietnam. 

We also conducted reverse image searches of his supposed service in Vietnam. Most of the images have been pulled directly from the interwebs including a picture of Australian soldiers, one of them carrying a FN!

 

Greuschow has fooled many good people with his claims of service with the US Army in Vietnam.  However, to be truly convincing, it takes more than an ill fitting uniform, store bought medals, images lifted from the interwebs and tales of heroism on the field of battle. To an untrained eye, he looks like a legitimate veteran but, it’s a lack of attention to detail / lack of knowledge that indicates that he just followed a precedence chart when he went shopping on-line.

Continue reading

***UPDATED***James Kenneth FRENCH – Never pass a fault!


Mr Kenneth “James” FRENCH has been making false claims of military service for at least a decade.

https://www.bclocalnews.com/news/once-homeless-lower-mainland-veteran-hopes-government-provides-help/

In a recent newspaper article, he is pictured wearing a most interesting group of medals including the Sacrifice Medal, the General Campaign Star (South West Asia), the Persian Gulf & Kuwait Medal, the Special Service Medal & the Canadian Forces Decoration.

(1)  The Sacrifice Medal, awarded to CF personnel Wounded in Action or posthumously for those Killed in Action. This medal was created in 2008 and  is retroactive to 2001. Mr French says he served in the CF until 1999 therefore, he cannot be a legitimate recipient of that medal.

(2) The Persian Gulf and Kuwait Medal awarded for service during Gulf War 1 (1990-91). The 3rd Battalion RCR, then based in Germany, was deployed to Bahrain / Qatar as a defence / security force for the headquarters and the airfield. However, French is a complete unknown to that group of Royals. He is also unknown to the members of the 1sr Battalion RCR tasked with the defense and security of 1 Canadian Field Hospital. 

(3)  The General Campaign Star (South West Asia) was created in 2004 and first awarded later that year, it is not a retroactive award, and again French claims his military service had concluded prior to this mission.

(4)  The Special Service Medal (SSM) recognizes a multitude of missions and is ALWAYS awarded with a clasp detailing the operation – PEACE/PAIX, ALERT and NATO are the most common. Of note, there is no clasp on the SSM he’s wearing.

(5) Lastly, the Canadian Forces Decoration (CD) is a long service and good conduct medal, it requires 12 years of honourable service. By his own admission, he has only 10 years of military service.

https://www.aldergrovestar.com/news/supportive-housing-advocates-hope

Typically, posers, fakes and embellishers are exposed due to their difficulty understanding recorded history and simple arithmetic.

French is just the latest in a long line of individuals who have used a bogus military narrative in an attempt to gain something without any lawful entitlement

We remember the blood, sweat and tears that it took to earn a piece of metal attached to coloured ribbon, a strip of cloth or an embroidered badge, and that is why we get somewhat emotional about them.  Stolen Valour Canada does not take our mission lightly. We are absolutely dedicated to finding posers where ever they may be and making sure that they are stopped from sullying the memory of Canada’s service men and women. For an individual to wear the Sacrifice Medal, without the making the requisite sacrifice is an absolute insult to our wounded and fallen. 

These reprehensible acts should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

SVC

Lest We Forget

US ARMY Tabs, what’s up with that?

HERE IS WHAT YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE COVETED (US) ARMY TABS

 

From “Mountain” to “Jungle,” the US Army has a lot of tabs- twelve official ones to be exact, with countless unofficial ones.

While the authorized wear of said tabs vary from unit to unit, the sheer number of them -usually used to signify the completion of specialized courses or unit affiliation- pays compliment to the Army’s unique and varied capabilities.

Some tabs -such as Special Forces, Ranger, the President’s Hundred and Sapper- signify the completion of specialized schooling and course completion in order to wear the tab, be it to enter the ranks of elite units or to prove that an individual has what it takes to go above and beyond.

Number one in tab precedence, the Special Forces tab was established in 1983, long after the actual Special Forces existed. In order to earn it, one has to complete the Special Forces Qualification Course or the Special Forces Officer Course at Fort Bragg North Carolina. For those who have the tab, wearing it is not always necessary as the beard and relaxed uniform standards make it clear they have one.

The Ranger tab doesn’t mean you’re part of a Ranger battalion (those are scrolls), but signifies a completion of the brutal 61-day Ranger School course. The tab itself can be retroactively awarded to World War II Rangers, members of “Merrill’s Marauders” or Korean War veterans of the Eighth Army Ranger Company, so long as they have a Combat Infantry Badge. Ranger tabs have been a thing for over sixty-six years.

Similar (but not really) to a Ranger tab is the Sapper Tab, which was authorized in 2004 for soldiers who complete the Sapper Leader Course at the US Army Engineer School. The Sapper course is 28-days long and involves a lot of challenging combat engineering skills. For a long time, the Sapper tab was the only way for women to be able to get “tabbed,” since Ranger and Special Forces schools were off-limits.

Similar in the vein of the aforementioned tabs, the President’s Hundred Tab is awarded to the 100 top-qualifying Army shooters who attend the annual President’s Match at Camp Perry, Ohio. A similar tab known as the “Governor’s Twenty/Twelve/Ten” tab, is awarded to National Guard troops of varying states who excel above their peers in marksmanship. These tabs are actually quite difficult to get, and only so many are given per year.

The Special Forces, Ranger, Sapper and President’s Hundred are “forever tabs,” authorized for permanent wear, no matter what unit you end up in later in your career.

Not so much earned as they are part of the uniform, Airborne, Mountain, Combined Division and Honor Guard tabs are given to individuals assigned to respective Airborne Units (such as the 173rd Airborne Brigade and the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)), the 10th Mountain Division, The Second Infantry Division’s Combined HQ in Korea and the 3rd US Infantry Regiment,known as “The Old Guard.” While these tabs are more a unit signifier than anything else, one generally has to meet qualifications to enter such a unit (be it Airborne qualification or stringent uniformity requirements) and thus the tabs are a great source of pride for those who wear them.

For a very brief time, the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) had a quasi-official unit “Air Assault” tab, as well as a dark blue beret. This only lasted about a year or two before it was discontinued. That said, units in the late 60s to 70s more or less did whatever they wanted.

Unit-specific but lesser known than the others, the Arctic badge and Jungle Expert tab are awarded to members of specific climate-specialized units for completing gruelling arctic and jungle leadership courses, respectively.

 

The Arctic tab is given to members of the US Army who complete the Cold Weather Orientation Course or Cold Weather Leadership Course in Alaska. Members under the command of US Army Alaska can wear the patch on combat uniforms while in the borders of Alaska.

The Jungle Expert/Jungle tab was formerly assigned to individuals who graduated from the Jungle Operations Training Center in Panama until the school was shut down in 1999, when the US handed the Panama Canal and all associated areas back to Panama.

Currently, the Jungle tab is assigned to members of the Hawaii-based 25th Infantry Division and others in the Pacific Area of Responsibility who complete a Jungle leadership course.

As much as we would like the “SNIPER” Tab to be an authorized tab (some units authorize to be sewn inside of Sniper’s boonie caps) for completing specific marksmanship courses, it (sadly) just isn’t the case. Originally meant for troops who graduated from the US Army Sniper school, the unofficial patch was later watered down during the Global War on Terror to signify graduates of Sniper School, the Special Operations Target Interdiction Course (SOTIC) and various advanced long-range marksman courses (due to the difficulty in getting soldiers sent to the actual US Army Sniper School amid countless back-to-back deployments and unit budget woes. Some units might even allow them for members of Sniper Platoons who haven’t gone to a marksman school at all, though this is generally a taboo practice.

Similar unofficial tabs include “FISTER” (for artillery spotters), “SCOUT” and “RECON” (for Infantry and Cavalry scouts, respectively).

Older tabs no longer in existence include the “Recondo” tabs for graduates of Recondo training and the “Pershing” tab, which was assigned to operators of the now-defunct Pershing missile system, which was phased out in 1991.

RECONDO or “RECONnaissance and commanDO” was a pretty cool school to go to/tab to get. These were generally reserved for graduates of Recondo school, which taught small but fierce and heavily-armed reconnaissance teams how to patrol -and survive- deep behind enemy lines. Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols/ Long Range Surveillance Detachments (LRRP/LRS-D) units frequently went to Recondo schools, often set up at their home installations. Unfortunately, the US Army -in its infinite wisdom- shut Recondo down, later eliminating LRRP and LRS altogether in favor of flying a million-dollar RC plane (flown by a paunchy and dissatisfied airman) over enemy territory. Way to go, Army.

Countless (very) unofficial “morale tabs” exist, often hidden under a pocket sleeve but readily available for display to those who belong to a tight-knit unit. Platoon nicknames or fire team monikers regularly made up the bulk of orders for custom tabs, particularly in the Iraq and Afghan wars. These were never authorized for use, but likely saw the light of day “in country” more than one could imagine.

No matter what tab you wear, the addition of a rocker over one’s insignia is a source of pride to be treasured.

Source: Popularmilitary.com EDITORIAL STAFF January 6, 2018

US Army Tabs-authorized for wear by qualified Canadian Forces personnel

Stolen Valour – Hemingway’s 101 year old rant

Ernest Hemingway’s Fiery Rant Against Stolen Valor Is Still Relevant Almost A Century Later

By DANNY LEFFLER on August 9, 2017

Long before Ernest Hemingway wrote, drank and fought his way into the ranks of America’s legendary wordsmiths, the beloved author cut his literary teeth on the beat of a Canadian newspaper. Fresh off a stint driving an ambulance for the Red Cross on the Italian front during World War I, the young Hemingway landed at The Toronto Star Weekly in early 1920, where he covered everything from mobsters to the complete uselessness of wedding gifts — including the rise of stolen valor and the lousy market for war medals that accompanied the end of the Great War.

One of Hemingway’s funniest pieces was “Popular in Peace, Slacker in War,” a sarcastic, mocking lecture for the Canadian citizens who deployed not to the bloody trenches of war-torn Europe with the Canadian armed forces, but to relatively safe jobs in American munitions factories. Sensing these “morally courageous souls” might be a bit ashamed that they were not among their nearly 425,000 fellow countrymen who faced death overseas, the young Hemingway dispensed some sage words to help them pass themselves off as battle-hardened patriots.

Even in the 1920s, donning the proper attire was a crucial part of impersonating a real military man. For this, Hemingway suggests hitting the thrift store for a trench coat and maybe a pair of army boots, which will “convince everyone you meet on the streetcar that you have seen service,” allowing you to “have all the benefits of going to war and none of its drawbacks.”

The phony vet may also face inquiries about why he doesn’t sport the overseas badge of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, to which he should shoot back “I do not care to advertise my military service!” This retort, Hemingway says, will cause the real combat vet “brazenly wearing his button” to feel like a total blowhard.

Papa’s words of wisdom extend into the realm of seduction, too, one of the chief goals of any dirtbag who unjustly dons military dress. If a “sweet young thing at a dance” asks you if you ever met this or that major, he writes, “merely say ‘No,’ in a distant tone. That will put her in her place…” Looking wistfully into a glass of booze works well, too: As Hemingway himself knew, ladies love the strong, silent type.

The key to maintaining the ruse, of course, is research. Hemingway advises the pretend soldier to learn some classic French songs and to get his hands on a solid literary war history, which will empower him to “prove the average returned veteran a pinnacle of inaccuracy,” since “the average soldier has a very abominable memory for names and dates.” “With a little conscientious study,” he writes, “you should be able to prove to the man who was at first and second Ypres that he was not there at all.”

Acting the part is important, too. “Be modest and unassuming,” Hemingway goes on, “and you will have no trouble. If anyone at the office addresses you as ‘major,’ wave your hand, smile deprecatingly and say, ‘No; not quite major.’ After that,” he writes, “you will be known to the office as captain.”

Those unfamiliar with Hemingway’s sardonic, tongue-in-cheek style may take his guide literally, an actual roadmap to usurping the honor that comes with military service. But Papa makes his feelings about stolen valor very clear in the closing section of his piece.

“Now you have service at the front, proven patriotism and a commission firmly established, there is only one thing left to do,” writes Hemingway.

“Go to your room alone some night. Take your bankbook out of your desk and read it through. Put it back in your desk. Stand in front of your mirror and look yourself in the eye and remember that there are fifty-six thousand Canadians dead in France and Flanders. Then turn out the light and go to bed