Also see my notes on Stolen Valor
In December 2006 Congress just passed the
Stolen Valor Act, an enhancement of Federal law making it a felony to
wear medals that you have not earned. This
exposes and shames fake heroes and it is great that these scumbags can now
be sent to prison.
But what about people who got medals they did not
As a case in point, consider Gen Douglas MacArthur. Big Mac
always wanted to get the Medal of Honor as a teenager just like his father
did in the Civil War (when MOH winners were far more common than in the 20th
century), but it’s tough to get your hands dirty in combat when you are a
four-star desk jockey. Could there be another way, if you happen to be a
The Father-and-son Medal of Honor Winners
Douglas’ Dad, Arthur Macarthur was a brave teenaged officer in the Civil
War, back when the U.S.A gave out the “medal of Honor” like candy. Arthur
got his MOH at age 18, and was a Lt. Col by 19 years old.
Doug wanted a Medal of Honor, just like his Daddy
Douglas MacArthur was born in 1880 when Arthur was 35 years-old and the lad
idolized his Dad, but he was troubled that after the Army tightened the
criteria for the Medal of Honor that he had a snowballs chance of hell of
getting the medal as a teenager, like Daddy.
During WWI, MacArthur
was a real-deal hero, fearlessly charging into the fray and receiving two
Distinguished Service Crosses, seven Silver Stars, a Distinguished Service
Medal, and two Purple Hearts.
You don’t win seven silver stars
without having huge nads. Even
Audie Murphy (the
most decorated U.S. soldier in history) only got the Silver Star twice.
Is General MacArthur is guilty of stolen valor?
Granted, MacArthur was very brave in combat, but you have to question
medals that are outside of his area (flying a desk).
I firmly believe that the stolen Valor Act should also include general
officers who give each other medals without justification.
There are two types of stolen valor, that outside the
military and officers within the military who award themselves medals that
they have not earned. This is the ultimate betrayal of trust, none
more than "Dugout Doug" MacArthur, a scumbag of epic proportions who gave
away medals like party favors:
- For his acts cowardice in The
Philippines (abandoning his men to the Bataan Death March) Douglas got
himself awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
- He accepted a
Distinguished Flying Cross, without even participating in an areal mission.
- He handed out Silver Star medals like party favors, and once gave
Lyndon Johnson a bogus silver star for flying on a single mission. The
mission failed to reach the target, and no other member of the flight crew
TIME magazine article notes that Gen. MacArthur could not have possibly
met the requirements of aerial combat to earn his DFC.
True, the DFC
medal is in his record, but it is fairly well documented that it was not
"extraordinary", by any definition:
"And Stratemeyer awarded
MacArthur the Distinguished Flying Cross ("for heroism or extraordinary
achievement while participating in an aerial flight"), on the ground that
MacArthur's flying visits to Korea were made "under conditions presenting
the threat of hostile air interception."
And this, well, it
speaks volumes about Mac Arthur’s character:
“When MacArthur finally
landed, he passed out Silver Stars to three Marine officers—and two South
Korean naval officers who happened to be passing by.”
find this an affront to all servicemen who earned "real" medals for valor
and extraordinary achievement in combat. I was 8 years-old when Macarthur
died, and since I’d never heard of him, my Dad treated me to the shameful
account of this medal-chasing prick and the horrors of the men he abandoned
in the Philippines. I was told that Mac was arrogant to a fault, believed
that he was invincible, and was indeed cool under fire, but only because he
Cowardice presented as Heroism?
It’s just sickening that MacArthur’s act of cowardice (leaving his men
behind to face the Bataan Death March) was warped into an act so courageous
as to warrant the Congressional Medal of Honor. In fairness, Mac wanted to
stay but was ordered to abandon his men, but still, how does abandonment
translate into gallantry? Here is the Congressional Medal of Honor citation
for this jackass who left hundreds of men to be captured by the Japanese
“Citation: For conspicuous leadership in preparing the
Philippine Islands to resist conquest, for gallantry and intrepidity above
and beyond the call of duty in action against invading Japanese forces, and
for the heroic conduct of defensive and offensive operations on the Bataan
Peninsula. He mobilized, trained, and led an army which has received world
acclaim for its gallant defense against a tremendous superiority of enemy
forces in men and arms. His utter disregard of personal danger under heavy
fire and aerial bombardment, his calm judgment in each crisis, inspired his
troops, galvanized the spirit of resistance of the Filipino people, and
confirmed the faith of the American people in their Armed Forces.”
I wonder if it might be appropriate to posthumously prosecute Douglas
MacArthur under the Stolen Valor Act?