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
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
Late in 2020, SVC showcased Medical Service Medal of Bravery (MB) recipients – MS Penny, Cpl Charette, Sgt Janes, and MWO Kock.
It’s really quite simple to confirm the recipients of the Medal of Bravery, they are all listed in the Canada Gazette and on the GG’s website along with their citations. https://www.gg.ca/en/honours/recipients
The exception, 3 x CAF MB recipients are not publicly named for security reasons and the time period of those awards is long after CF operations in the Balkans ended!
Today, we’ll add two more, Mcpl Griffin (1977) and MCpl Vaillancourt (2013).
The Royal Canadian Medical Service is a small organization and all their recipients of the MB are known. There are no “off the books” awards nor have any Medical Service recipients had their identity protected for security reasons.
Anyone claiming to be a Medical Service Medal of Bravery recipient insults the exceptional actions taken by “common men in uncommon times.”
Of course, we asked the question…
The response didn’t include details of the citations but, it did state that the Vice Chief of Defence Staff did the honours…
Interestingly, WO Johnson’s citation is available on-line but, buddy’s isn’t.
So, either this is an uncorrected administrative error dating back decades that needs to be rectified or it’s time for this individual to stop making this claim.
He knows how to get a hold of us.
By Michael Blais
I have been travelling to Ottawa on a regular basis since 2011, when the Canadian Veterans Advocacy was first invited to participate with Veterans Affairs Canada stakeholder group. I was soon appalled to note that reprehensible crimes of stolen valour were being perpetrated even as we assembled on the National War Memorial at the eleventh hour on the eleventh day, of the eleventh month.
At the poser level, -a poser being an individual who has never served yet poses as a soldier-, one incident was particularly remarkable. Readers will remember the case of an individual being interviewed prior to the National Remembrance Service wearing a CAF dress uniform and posing as a sergeant of The Royal Canadian Regiment. The individual brazenly added the Medal of Bravery to his other illegitimate medals, jump wings and pathfinders badge to complete his bogus ensemble. His false but impressive symbols of martial merit drew the attention of the national media. The consequences were immediate, starkly profound and by mid-afternoon, sharp eyed Royal Canadians had “outed” the individual as a fraud. As a result, I was invited to the CBC studio in Ottawa to do an interview on the subject of Stolen Valour for The National. Criminal charges were levied, and justice in this case was served.
There have also been instances of deplorable embellishment, wherein yes, the individual did serve yet felt compelled to dishonestly embellish their service by adding medals, parachute wings and other unearned honorifics to their uniforms. A prominent charity and several veterans organizations were adversely impacted by such acts of fraud, with reputations being besmirched (guilt by association) and relationships being irrevocably destroyed.
Stolen Valour Canada (SVC) emerged in 2014 as an independent, self funded, group of veterans willing to volunteer their time and military experience to provide an internet-based platform which investigates reports of alleged Stolen Valour across Canada. During the past 7 years, these veteran volunteers have exposed over three score of posers and embellishers who were exploiting national service & sacrifice in order to deceive Canadians across the nation. The accused have invariably been provided with options. An apology letter and the return of the medals is all that is required and many who have been exposed have availed themselves of this option, measly surrendering their fraudulent “trinkets” along with a public apology in order to escape those punitive provisions set out under the Criminal Code of Canada (section 419). For years now, SVC has provided expert advice to affected law enforcement agencies with one precedent setting conviction in 2019 resulting in a steep monetary fine and probation. A number of other cases currently remain in the cue, with criminal proceedings proceeding.
So why do these individuals do it? Why do they pose as a soldier or, in my opinion even worse worse, a soldier who embellishes their military service by adding undeserved medals, parachute wings, commendations and other trinkets?
The SVC response line to this question is blunt: Most individuals reported to SVC were declared to be “grifters and con artists who lie, cheat and steal for their personal gain.” Some posers have used “their Special Status to attend military ceremonies, Remembrance Day services, parades or charity sponsored galas and high profile sporting events as VIP guests.” Others have participated in fully funded commemorative pilgrimages and expeditions abroad. Some have used “fake military narratives and tales of battlefield injuries to advance their employment opportunities and political aspirations.”
The list of motives to impersonate a soldier includes; Intimidation, theft, fraud ( which includes examples of nefariously applying for veteran/military discounts), questionable charity schemes, embezzlement and dating schemes. In one bizarre incident, the miscreant poser went so far as to claim that he had committed war crimes as a Special Forces Chief Warrant Officer, while at a presentation to six* schoolchildren!
*actually 600 schoolchildren (SVC)
Every time this occurs, of course, truly deserving veterans are increasingly doubted and our reputation as a unique community is blighted.
So, how does SVC oversight work?
First, most of the ‘poser’ reports of Stolen Valour SCV receives are levied by veterans. When instances of embellishment arise, the suspect is often identified by veterans who served in the individual’s same regiments or units. Specific details are required, and if the allegations have merit, SVC conducts an investigation based “on open sources, public information, unit war diaries and timelines”. Please note that SVC has a rigorous set of Standard Operating Procedures. Research information is peer reviewed, and should the “smoking gun” or an admission of guilt be absent, the names of the suspected posers/embellishers are not published. It is also noteworthy that SVC does not have access to MPRR and depends on protocols inherent with the Access to Information Act to confirm or deny service and medal-commendation-parachute wing aberrations.
Should you feel that there is a poser or embellisher preying on your community, reach out to SVC through this link.
In early 2019, SVC asked a number of questions regarding Mr Dwayne Curtis EISEN and his claimed military service.
It was quickly reported back to us that Eisen claims were a complete fabrication! We also received assurances that Dwayne EISEN would be encouraged to leave his make believe uniform in his tickle trunk and stop passing himself off as a combat engineer who was Wounded In Action (WIA) while serving with 1 Combat Engineer Regiment in Task Force 1-08 in Afghanistan
Well, imagine our surprise when he resurfaced during Remembrance Day 2019 in Okanagan Falls and, once again, he stood in the blood of our wounded and fallen!
Eisen has a well documented history of attending events of remembrance in a military themed costume dating back at least 3 years.
In early 2019, we received numerous complaints about an individual named Dwayne EISEN, who claimed to be a combat engineer who was Wounded In Action in Afghanistan. Eisen had been an active participant numerous branch events and routinely wore a dishevelled uniform as a member of the colour party of Legion Branch 227 in Okanagan Falls, BC.
As per our SOP, we attempted to contact Eisen and provide him with every opportunity to sort out the situation however, we were blocked across the board.
It was reported back to us that Mr Eisen has his military claims were nothing but a complete fabrication and, “ he knows what he is doing it’s not right and is trying and that he doesn’t accept criticism well”. And, he “really wants to help out and is having an extremely hard time recently.
Through an intermediary, we then contacted a key leader of the Legion’s “provincial command” and were told that the local leadership had given him assurances that Eisen would no longer be involved in ceremonial activities and that he would be encouraged to stop wearing his ridiculous uniform.
Taking into consideration Eisen’s personal circumstances, at that time, and the assurances that we wouldn’t wear the uniform again @ events of remembrance, SVC made the decision at that time not to identify him or his location on our media platforms.
Why? Because we ain’t ogres…
We were shocked when this imposter resurfaced on Remembrance Day 2019 wearing the same uniform, medal and insignia that caused us to investigate his claimed service in the first place. When we attempted to clarify the situation with the OK Falls legion, we were told that Eisen was no longer a member of the RCL.
Shortly thereafter, we were contacted by a former RCL Zone Commander who seemed amiable to assist in sorting this situation out, and when we pushed for a timely, appropriate, local area solution that would not involve us initiating a formal complaint with the authorities.
He immediately changed his tack and said that “command” had ordered him not to communicate with us! We found that a most interesting response, as we had just been told that Eisen wasn’t a member but, the former zone guy that says that he is…
Bottom line, Eisen has no verifiable military service and he did not serve in Afghanistan as a Combat Engineer. His claim of being WIA in a mine strike is a complete fabrication that does not sit well with us who have had friends wounded and killed in action. Of course, the unchecked wear of a “uniform” is disrespectful to all of us who serve and that have served.
So, where are we now?
SVC’s objective in this matter is to separate Eisen from the uniform, the bogus Special Service Medal and insignia. That action alone will remove any temptation from him to play dress up and claim to have be a combat wounded veteran.
Mr Eisen, it’s long past time to surrender your clown suit!
Update 23-24 January
Eisen’s tales of combat service in Afghanistan in 2008 and being wounded in action has received considerable attention from the press
As a result of the pressure exerted by those who were offended by the display of the Eisen’s photograph among legitimate veterans, it has now been removed from the RCL’s Wall of Honour.
It’s long past time for Dwayne Curtis Eisen of Okanagan Falls, BC to stop insulting the service and sacrifice of our wounded and fallen.
SVC expects him to surrender the dishevelled, military themed, clown suit for appropriate disposal action and publicly apologize for his reprehensible actions.
And, stop using a cropped photographic image from 1 July 2008 @ Kandahar Air Field as “proof” of your service in Afghanistan. Some of us were there for the event you claim to have attended, we know the individuals involved, and no matter what you told your significant other, friends and enablers, it ain’t you in the picture dude!
Veterans take mental health issues seriously and many fight the stigma of PTSD on a daily basis yet, Eisen, who has no verifiable military service, perpetuates lies and mistruths that lead to the view that all returning service members are damaged goods…
Mr Kenneth “James” FRENCH has been making false claims of military service for at least a decade.
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.
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.
Lest We Forget
Mr Jeppe had been on our radar for quite some time after he claimed to have been a highly decorated reconnaissance commando – a member of ”the RECCES”. However, it took the assistance of a former South African Army Paratrooper and a SF Operator to join the dots for us and put SVC in contact with the SASF Association. The association have published a letter refuting his commando claims and posted him up on their website Wall of Shame – March 2020.
Did this fella actually make the trek to the summit of Kilimanjaro or, did he just make it as far as the park entrance for a photo op?
This fake has more nerve than a toothache, pretending to be a South African recce commando. Obviously, he figured that no one in Calgary would question his claims of military service on the other side of the world…
Here’s a news flash Jeppe, there’s an international movement to stop individuals like you from standing in blood of the wounded and fallen.
It’s long past time for you to surrender the bogus uniform, medals and insignia and apologize for you actions.
What’s in it for them?
We are often asked how do posers, fakes and embellishers gain from their medallic fuckery™?
Over the course of the past few years, it’s become apparent that the vast majority of individuals reported to us are nothing more than grifter & 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.
One absolute fake, claiming to be a combat wounded, Vietnam Vet had his “service” honoured by a professionally painted portrait by a volunteer artist!
We have 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 individuals to mental health agencies as our interactions with them caused us some concerns.
Remember folks, they are grifters and con artists…
Cool story Bro however, there a few red flags with his claims…
Sole survivor? 50K bounty on his head? They are combat indicators of massive liar!
Claims he arrived in Saigon (actually Ho Chi Minh City ) September 1976! Was he a member of the Vietnamese Peoples Army?
The Barrett 50 Cal Sniper Rifle went into US Army operational service in 1990 during Operation Desert Shield / Desert Storm yet, he was making record distance kill shots in 1976!
According to Jack, a sniper is basically classified as a murderer, a killer.
“Nobody likes him. Nobody. Not even your commanding officer likes you, they don’t because you are above them. They’re scared of you.”
The truth is out there…
The online story has been deleted however, the text version in available…