By now some of us have likely seen the videos and alerts about those claiming to be ex-military or currently in the armed forces despite having no clue what they’re talking about. While the average citizen might not know much about military uniforms, how certain medals and regalia are supposed to be presented, or even how to spot those that are faking, those that have been in the service certainly do and have no trouble pointing them out as fakes to the world. There’s a good reason for this, and for the moment we’ll set the illegality of it to the side, despite the fact that it’s still important.

IT’S DISRESPECTFUL AND SHAMEFUL. If nothing else a person that decides to dress in a military uniform without ever having served is a poser that has no business even acting out the part as a joke or a parody. The men and women of the armed forces go through intense training both physical and mental in order to serve and protect this country and simply wearing the colors without ever having gone through a day of boot camp is more than just an insult, it’s a disgrace that any and all veterans and active members of the armed forces will gladly call out.

Why do it at all?

This is a good question and a very important one. Why bother dressing like a soldier when the chances are you might actually meet someone that’s been in the armed forces? Some folks have need of a rich fantasy life that only they can fully understand, and like to take advantage of the respect and dignity that the uniform affords so many. Unfortunately for them there are many soldiers that will gladly talk to a fellow soldier in uniform but will also notice the glaring differences that a civilian simply does not understand when it comes to the regulations of how a soldier displays their uniform in public.

There are even those that have served but somehow feel the need to play up their status in the armed forces beyond what it was, becoming a hero in their own narrative rather than the individual they really were. Not everyone in the armed forces is a combatant, and sadly some of those that were either not cleared for combat or never signed up for it feel the need to change the scope of their story.

Should you call them out or not?

For a soldier to do so is one thing, but for a civilian that has limited to no knowledge of what is required of a soldier’s uniform it is a tricky proposition. Unless you are fully aware of how a soldier’s uniform should look and have the knowledge of various units and where people were stationed it’s not a great idea to call out fakes unless they are so horribly obvious. Calling out a veteran or an active member of the military out of the blue could cause a rather embarrassing and disrespectful mistake that doesn’t need to be made. If you know your stuff then call them out by all means, but if not then sadly they might just get away with it.

The men and women of the armed forces have served, bled, and sacrificed for this country. Wearing their uniforms is a sense of pride for them that is earned, not taken. Those that would pose as members of the armed forces while never having served are among the most ridiculous and nonsensical that society has to offer. Stolen valor is not a joke, and it is not a good idea.

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