Good friend on mine in my early 20’s was a guy who was a Captain in some branch of the Military Police. He was usually in plain clothes when I saw him, and wouldn’t talk about what he actually did, but carried a real Government ID as verified by Military Guards on entry onto one of the local bases for lunch at the Officer’s Club at one of the local bases. We were hitting the local clubs one night in a busy part of downtown trying to hit on the local “wildlife”, when he spotted a guy in Military Uniform walking down the street. I have never been in the Military, but knew enough about insignia’s to tell that the guy in question was part of the Old Guard, a spit and polish group who represent the Military at funerals and other honors at Arlington Cemetery. My friend shows his ID, calls the guy to attention, and proceeded to rip him a new one on the status of his uniform.
To an outsider it looks like BS, and my friends explanation of his actions really didn’t click in my mind until about year later when I did some work as a contractor at Fort Meyer, where the soldiers of the Old Guard are stationed, and a Cameron Station, a now defunct base nearby. The Old Guard represents the highest level of respect for the Military, and “spit and polish” in terms of presentation. On base, or off base, as long as they are in uniform – it has to be right.
This video hat popped up on YouTube brought me back to that. This young boy, running around in a uniform 3 sizes too large, missing most of the patches and other details trying to fool folks into believing he is a Major…
There is a YouTube channel devoted expressly to exposure of the folks who feel the need to impersonate members of the Military, and even to claim they have “won” various medals for Valor or Service. It is amazing.