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Thursday, October 17, 2019

A Sad Sad Day… One of our own, the Ultimate Betrayal

I was hoping it would be found there as a snafu.

I was hoping someone would step up and say we screwed up, he’s “NOT GUILTY”.

My hopes were dashed.

One of our own plead guilty to falsifying documents etc, and wore a Purple Heart, a award he never was awarded.

He was a Navy Corpsman, and also a Chief Petty Officer, this is a double barbed hook to me.  I am a member of both fraternities.

I always post the positive stories on our site, and I post the negative stories as well.  It is rare that a SNCO does something like this and gets called on the carpet in this fashion.  I want “EVERYONE” to see what happens when you start with “1” lie, how they multiply.

All I can say is Honor, Courage and Commitment, mean something.. Remember and live by these words and you will never find yourself in this predicament.

It is a sad day for the HM and CPO Community.  A real sad day.

The Good News?  There is tomorrow!  There are many more heroes serving in our Corps!! Many, Many Many hard chargers out there doing the daily do!

US NAVY

US NAVY

I salute you!

I never forget what you do, but it is good to put our trash out for all to see as well.  This is one of those times..

D/C

Corpsman jailed for unauthorized medal

Whether Robert White was injured in Iraq in 2005 and deserved a Purple Heart makes no difference now.

The chief hospital corpsman wore the award without receiving it through official channels, and in the Navy’s eyes, that makes him a faker.

The 19-year sailor, who was selected for advancement to senior chief in March, pleaded guilty Dec. 16 to the unauthorized wearing of a Purple Heart while he worked at Great Lakes, Ill.

White’s military judge sentenced him to 45 days in the brig, busted him down to E-5 and ordered him to forfeit four months of pay.

The Navy initially charged White with several counts of filing false documents, making false statements and knowingly wearing a Purple Heart he never formally received.

He pleaded guilty to Article 134, unauthorized wearing of a Purple Heart; and Article 107, making a false official statement.

White also pleaded guilty to fraternization for dating the second-class personnel clerk who entered White’s Purple Heart information in his official Navy file.

In exchange for the guilty plea, prosecutors dropped charges related to submitting false documents.

White’s guilty plea marks an ambiguous end to the case that initially threatened a general court-martial, years in the brig and a dishonorable discharge.

Still unresolved is his claim that he sustained a minor hand injury during a mortar attack in July 2005, when he was deployed with 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines, in Hit, Iraq.

White and his immediate supervisor — who took the stand during White’s Article 32 hearing in September — put in late paperwork for the Purple Heart several weeks after White said he was wounded.

A Purple Heart for White was never was approved, and Marine Corps officials said they have no record of granting or denying the award to White.

In White’s guilty plea, he told a military judge that he knew he did not receive the award through official channels, and that he went out and bought the medal himself.

“He did put in [paperwork] for it, but he never got it — and he knew he never got it,” said Lt. Carrie Theis, the lawyer who prosecuted White at Great Lakes Naval Station.

The admission contradicted a witness’s testimony during the Article 32, in which he said White claimed to have found an envelope containing his medal and citation sitting on his desk one day.

Question is called moot

The question of whether White deserved the award is moot, Theis said.

“We are not really pursuing where [the paperwork] may have been stalled up.” Theis said. “It sounds like it was somewhere in theater.”

The investigation stemmed from a formal accusation from a senior chief storekeeper who worked with White at Great Lakes and grew suspicious after hearing rumors that White never earned the award.

To friends and co-workers, White told wildly inconsistent stories about how he earned his Purple Heart. He once told a military doctor that an improvised explosive device struck his vehicle and caused severe injuries that led to a 72-hour coma and a medical evacuation to Germany.

After White pleaded guilty, his attorney presented several medical professionals who testified regarding White’s diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder.

White’s future status with the Navy remains unclear. He is seeking a medical discharge based on his PTSD.

He may face administrative proceedings to determine the circumstances of any retirement or separation. A Wisconsin native, White has been in the Navy for 19 years, 15 on active duty, Theis said.

Rear Adm. Douglass Biesel, commander of Navy Region Midwest and the convening authority in the case, still has to approve the judge’s sentence and plea agreement.

White’s case is not unique, said Mary Schantag of the POW Network, which tracks claims of military honors.

“It’s not an isolated incident. It happens more than you would think,” she said. “These guys had earned the right to be called a hero and yet they still have to fudge it.

“And that erases everything. It’s sad that they will forever be known as a liar instead of a good sailor.”

Comments

25 Responses to “A Sad Sad Day… One of our own, the Ultimate Betrayal”
  1. HM3 Jeremy Duncan says:

    UNBELIEVABLE!!! I have never heard of a Chief going to such extremes, especially an HM. To think of my friend/former roomate, HN Chad Kenyon, losing his life, and this “Chief” totally pissing on what Chad has sacrificed.

  2. DocMcTee75 says:

    I think the miltary, as usual, came down too hard on an enlisted man — even a senior NCO called HMC — because that's the way they've always done it. I've heard of officers who claimed numerous medals to which they didn't deserve get off with a letter of reprimand, no loss of pay or prestige and were allowed to resign from service without penalties. It's a classic case of being an “officer and gentleman/woman” versus being an EM. Like regular society, there are two systems of justice — one for celebrities and one for the ordinary citizens.

    I think the HMC in this case should have been reprimanded, but not as harsh as he was. After all, a Purple Heart means one forgot to duck and got hit. I do not see the heroics of getting wounded; however, had he claimed a bronze star with “V”, Silver Star or higher awards — the ones actually issued for bravery under fire (not to be confused with the Bronze Star staff officers award themselves for sticking their head out of the bunker momentarily during an artillery barrage and is thus a “meritorious” award). A Purple Heart means you were in the wrong place at the wrong time and took some shrapnel or a bullet. Whether it happened during a battle or as the result of incoming fire, it is not a decoration for heroism and thus he should have received an Article 32. Sometimes, the military gets full of itself and forgets that people make mistakes, whether intentional or not. Once they develop a system of fairness in their judicial process, then things may change, but I think this HMC's command over-reacted. If the chief really wanted a purple heart, he should have shot himself in the foot and then claimed battlefield injury. This was not a case of betrayal — it was a case of abject stupidity!

  3. Jay says:

    I know there's a lot of heat generated from all this. I can't agree or feel sorry for anything a fellow Doc did to take away from our Corps but I can't see the Navy being so Heartless as to administratively separate anyone after 19 years of honorable service, prior to this negative mark. He should be allow to retire with his highest three and go out the door. Am I missing something here? You know I see a lot of Officer's getting busted for the same thing! Yet never is it so openly displayed or published. I wonder if this has something to due with our rating being so critical of these types of claims? or more so are we held at a higher standard than others? Either way it seems to be a growing problem within the Arm services as a whole.

  4. D. M. Penn Jr.,HMC(SW/FMF),Ret says:

    In response to DocMcTee75's comments:

    It really doesn't matter if the Navy or any other branch of the military treats Officers and Enlisted (Senior or Junior) differently. A Chief Petty Officer in the US Navy is suppose to BE the example of Honor, Courage and Commitment. Everybody makes mistakes and everybody slips up, but this goes beyond a mistake or a slip up. This is blatant disrespect and fraud at the highest level.

    A Purple Heart doesn't mean you were in the “Wrong place at the Wrong time”, walking into a 7-11 while it was being robbed and getting shot by the robber is the wrong place at the wrong time. Participating in Combat Operations or Combat Support and getting wounded or killed is by no means the wrong place at the wrong time. Being in the Right place at the Right time is the only way you can receive a Purple Heart. That Purple Heart Medal accompanied every single Posthumous Medal of Honor, Silver Star with Combat “V”, Bronze Star and any other award for Heroism, as well as many that weren't awarded Posthumously.

    This E-7 was wrong and knew he was wrong so anything he receives is JUST.

  5. "DOC" Dave says:

    I think that today, we want to forgive the unforgivable, way too soon. Having been a FMF Combat “DOC” in Viet Nam for a year, has left me with strong feelings about medals earned and worn by those who earned them, one scar, one lost limb or one ultimate sacrifice.

    Yes, figures don't lie, but liars figure. Sure some have been authorized officially for medals undeserved…but they were NOT GIVEN BY THE WEARER, they were given by their Branch of Service. I can look at my Combat Action, Presidential Unit Citation and Vietnam Cross of Gallantry and KNOW that I earned them…..in being a “DOC”. The same can be said for other Navy personnel on the land, sea and air……We can wear them proudly BECAUSE WE EARNED THEM…..the others will have to live with their lies…let's not forgive their transgressions so easily..

    The Stolen Valor Act of 2005 restores a precedent established by General George Washington when he instituted our first individual military award in 1782. In his General Orders issued from his Headquarters in Newburg, NY, on August 7, 1782, establishing the “Badge for Military Merit” (which in 1932 was revived as the Purple Heart), General Washington noted the following points with regard to military awards:

    “Before this favor can be conferred on any man, the particular fact or facts on which it is to be grounded must be set forth to the commander-in-chief.”

    “The name and regiment of the person with the action so certified are to be entered in the Book of Merit, which will be kept at the orderly office.”

    “Gallant men who are thus designated will, on all occasions, be treated with particular confidence and consideration.

    “Men who have merited this last distinction (shall be) suffered to pass all guards and sentinels which officers are permitted to do.”

    “Should any who are not entitled to these honors have the insolence to assume the badges of them, they shall be severely punished.”

    Thid HM Chief or others that are “not entitled” shall and should be punished….by the Navy and by the those on Heaven and Earth that are “entitled.

    HM2 “DOC” Dave
    8404/8483
    FMF 3rd Plt India 3/26 Khe Sanh 1968

  6. Dwight Rhoades says:

    The punishment seems a bit disproportionate. I served under someone nearly 40 years ago, who wore a Purple Heart, which one of the personnelmen told me was not documented in his file. So much for confidentiality. Who was more in the wrong? The personnelman, for sharing information with someone not entitled to it, my superior, for possibly wearing a ribbon to which he may not have been entitled, or me, for not going to someone in authority and relating what I'd heard, even though I might have gotten bad information? The offender in this case handed the prosecutor her 'victory' if he submitted fraudulent documents. There is a lot of truly mendacious stuff going on now, as always. The time and effort spent on this matter could have been used more productively. After 19 years of service, the former Chief apparently will soon be out of the Navy and labeled a fraud forever, with the rest of his life ahead in which to contemplate his new reality. Are we all perfect? Has any of us made a mistake, which, played out to a logical extreme, could have landed us in the soup? This man over-reached, taking something that didn't belong to him, and he is going to pay a life-long price. Whom the gods would destroy, they first make proud. Lesson there for everyone.
    Dwight Rhoades
    Fmr HM2
    '68-'71

  7. Yarddog says:

    In reguards to DocMcTee75 comments:

    DocMc, I realize that you served with the Viet error…..and according to Naval Reg's. the Highest Medal is the Medal of honor, followed by the Purple heart….so to say “I think the miltary, as usual, came down too hard on an enlisted man — even a senior NCO called HMC — because that's the way they've always done it. I've heard of officers who claimed numerous medals to which they didn't deserve get off with a letter of reprimand, no loss of pay or prestige and were allowed to resign from service without penalties”

    you are correct for Good Cookies, NUC's, PUC's and MUC's, BUT when even a 'Occifer' wears a P.H.M. he shall suffer the same….this is an Honor given to True Sacrifice, and getting injured while doing this sacrifice….and most times it results in either Death or wishing that you were Dead. And for a SNCO to doo this the punishment is much Harsher, if a E-3 or below did this they would recieve a BUST DOWN by 1, and a Big Chicken Dinner…..so he is furtunate to still be able to serve and become a R.O.A.D. I feel he should count his lucky stars and move on!

  8. Desfend says:

    I heard about this from my chief a few days back in class… apparently it happens more often than the newspapers publish.

  9. DOC DAVE says:

    Yarddog, with all due respect, did you actually MEAN “DocMc, I realize that you served with the Viet error…..?

    Did you mean Viet ERA…or did mean to say Viet ERROR…….Let's hope that the sacrifice we all made so long ago was not an ERROR….because it DID stop the domino effect of Communism in South East Asia.

    Russia began to turn against China….China fought NVA on their borders, and Cambodian Khmere regime ended up fighting NVA on their border…..Communism did not work in Viet Nam and the people HATED the Russian tourists and those that moved in until they left….they love Americans “long time” and really do not hold any ill-will against us…in fact half of cloth I have from J.C. Penny and other stores were MADE IN VIET NAM.

    After Khe Sanh and TET we WERE WINNING…..then McNamara, who was leaving LBJ for Bobby Kennedy and LBJ just shut down the war. In fact, more U.S. troops were killed/wounded during the rest of the year following TET than did in TET.

    Excuse my diatribe, but I may have misinterpreted your “Viet Error” and had to find your true meaning.

  10. yarddog says:

    I am soooo, soooo sorry. I made a Typo……it was to be Vietnam Era. And not 'error'. I am proud of the Doc's that served during that time, it is from the Doc's that took constant poundings to help and save those those who were injured,often placing themselves in the line of fire. I have a very, very strong Respect for those who served in Vietnam. The Vietnam Medics set the standards that we are trained with!

    My fatherserved Three Tours in Vietnam as a Army Medic, and was wounded. So I am sorry for the typo. Sometimes my fingers go faster than I desire.

  11. Joe Moser says:

    Another issue: how does a 19-year-old make Chief, let alone be up for Senior Chief? Is the medical corps so desparate for personnel.

  12. HM2 Hill says:

    Joe Moser,

    You misread it, it is meant to be read as 19 years in the Navy

  13. George McConnell USN/Ret says:

    I was also a Doc with 3/5 Lima !st marine, was in country 3 months before being wounded. I considered myselft in combat several times, being in several fire fights. I was finally awarded my Purple Heart in 2005 after requesting them from the Navy. I never did receive a combat action ribbon. I personally think corpsman should be awarded the medical combat action badge that the army uses.
    Doc George
    8404

  14. Not worth ruining my career... says:

    HMC White was a disgrace to the service, but he was not the only one commiting a crime. Alot of people at that command knew about his lies. They also knew another kahki was violation the UCMJ in a major way but chose to ignore it. I found it to be comical at first becuase it sounded like a story from a soap opera, but when i started to hear people admit they knew about both cases and said nothing it made me sick. These are the kind of sailors that are ruining the Navy for the rest of us. Whats worse is that because of heat this whole thing created and the polotics at that command now, no one can stand up and talk about what else was wrong, not if they value their career anyways.

    Since when is it true in the Navy that I can sell you out for your wrong doing in order to get away with my own? If thats how it works, i wonder what i can get away with….

  15. DEVILDOC says:

    It’s just too bad that some guys have to feel like a hero. My definition of a real hero…. the kids that I had to put on a medi-vac that were really wounded badly or missing arms, legs or maybe even their life.
    It’s bad enough that we have low life politicians like Sen. John Kerry diminish the title “WAR HERO”; we don’t need any help in that regard from within our own ranks.
    I agree with “DOC”Dave in as much as the Stolen Valor Act is a good thing. It has exposed a lot of posers, and a lot of them are people you wouldn’t even suspect. Some do it for different reasons. It could be to defraud the VA out of benefits or just to fulfill some childhood fantasy of being a war hero. Regardless of what the reason, IT’S WRONG….
    I myself DO NOT have a Purple Heart, even though I like everyone else who has been in combat have been dinged with “minor shrapnel wounds” from time to time. It was like nitrogen in the air, you couldn’t avoid coming in contact with it. It was nothing to cry about, in most cases wouldn’t even warrant a band-aid. Many a time I’ve asked my Marines if they wanted documentation on a minor wound and got the same response “Hell No!” How could you call something like that a wound when one of your BROTHERS just died in your arms…

  16. Da-Chief says:

    Thanks, that’s interesting info.

    I’m glad the truth came out!

    D/C

  17. HMC White was a disgrace to the service, but he was not the only one commiting a crime. Alot of people at that command knew about his lies.

  18. Tell the truth about your sex life: The doctor can’t help with what the doctor doesn’t know about.

    Dating Service

  19. "Doc Viper" 8404 says:

    Disgrace to himself, the Navy, and all the other Corpsman who have spilled blood, sweat and tears to help our Shipmates. Sad, sad.

  20. Honor, Courage and Commitment, mean something.Remember and live by these words and you will never find yourself in this predicament to it.

  21. Dmorton says:

    I got a medical discharge for wounds received in country but never received my purple heart. I have requested it many times and its even on my DD214 but I never received the actually award.

  22. MLC says:

    The article itself does not list everything that happened. White not only lied about having received the PH, he created a fake Purple Heart, had his girlfriend (he was married at the time) enter it into his records AND was on medical leave due to supposed affects of being injured… he was on the verge of being put in for medical discharge when the Chief Storekeeper found out that White HAD NEVER been injured while in Iraq… a fact he learned by a fellow Corpsman that was deployed with White and that testified that White NEVER left the FOB. Not to mention that the CO of the unit they deployed with ALSO testified that White was never injured. In all honesty he got off easy… I’ve heard of another case of an individual claiming to have the PH and trying to get a License plate and he was jailed….

  23. MLC says:

    The article itself does not list everything that happened. White not only lied about having received the PH, he created a fake Purple Heart, had his girlfriend (he was married at the time) enter it into his records AND was on medical leave due to supposed affects of being injured… he was on the verge of being put in for medical discharge when the Chief Storekeeper found out that White HAD NEVER been injured while in Iraq… a fact he learned by a fellow Corpsman that was deployed with White and that testified that White NEVER left the FOB. Not to mention that the CO of the unit they deployed with ALSO testified that White was never injured. In all honesty he got off easy… I’ve heard of another case of an individual claiming to have the PH and trying to get a License plate and he was jailed….

  24. Da_Chief says:

    I agree, it is truly sad, It dishonors those who have earned these devices.nThanks Brother for your info..nD/Cn

  25. Da_Chief says:

    I agree, it is truly sad, It dishonors those who have earned these devices.nThanks Brother for your info..nD/Cn