Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

This Pecker-Checker Had Balls

The sheer chutzpah of this Corpsman amazes me -- as does the fact that he got as far with it as he did. Excerpts from the Navy Times story:
Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (FMF) Dontae Lee Tazewell, 28, faces seven specifications of forgery and 11 specifications of wearing unauthorized ribbons and medals. Besides the Bronze Star, the unearned awards include a Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation Medal and various other medals, according to the charging documents. Tazewell allegedly told people he risked his life to save Marines in combat in Iraq five years ago, and managed to get himself promoted to E-5 based on the phony citations, prosecutors said.
According to his official Navy biography, Tazewell, who joined the Navy in June 1998, rates only a Good Conduct Medal...
...“The overall format is incorrect with regard to fonts and the like,” she said, adding that the paperwork was endorsed by a fictitious three-star general. Reading one document allegedly crafted by Tazewell, Burks said, “Lt. Gen. Harland does not exist.”
Navy prosecutor Lt. Matthew Wooten said Tazewell failed his March 2006 advancement exam and was facing separation because he hadn’t made E-5. In response, Wooten said Tazewell “conned the Navy” with “phony” citations that somehow passed through the chain of command.
The citations were so successful that Tazewell was treated to an award ceremony attended by more than 100 people in which a Navy captain lauded Tazewell by telling the audience “This is what a hero looks like.” Several military publications also wrote articles about Tazewell. Based on the awards, the Navy reviewed Tazewell’s record and advanced him to E-5.
You see lots of stories of people trying to make up awards after they're out (or if they never were even in) but this is the first case I've heard of someone making up awards to try to avoid HYT (High Year Tenure).

A much more humorous, and less disgusting, case involved an E-2 my last EDMC told me about who he saw walking around on base in Groton with five rows of ribbons, headed by a Distinguished Service Medal. When my Master Chief stopped him and asked him about his "fruit salad", the Sailor cheerfully explained how he went to the Uniform Shop and picked out a pretty assortment of ribbons that he thought looked good together -- apparently no one had told him in boot camp that you actually had to earn the things.

17 Comments:

Blogger Lewis said...

You know I don't want to use phrases like: "This is a sign of the times" because this kind of crap has been going on for decades. I do think it's funny that a guy who can't pass the E-5 exam (even the Corpsman one that even with 100% pass will still take like three years to make it - note to CNO on that one) could come up with the brains/balls to forge letters.

He'll probably get an Honorable...

1/23/2008 7:10 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I took over as admin officer at my first shore command, I realized early on that the yeomen on the boats hadn't been keeping the service records up to date. I had guys trying to make chief who's records didn't even have their EWS/EDPO quals, let alone awards and ribbons. I ended up checking out everyone's records, and having them tell me what was missing. I submitted tons of change requests to PSD, where a herd of terminally bored E2's would dutifully enter them, no questions asked.

I suppose the moral is that lazy yeomen on the boat are cancelled out by lazy personnelmen on shore duty.

1/23/2008 7:31 AM

 
Anonymous Paul said...

At one of my commands, we had a HM3 who swore up and down that he had been to Vietnam to rescue POW's (this was the mid 1980's). He had come from the First Marine Division and was wearing parachutists wings and a scuba pin. Claimed he was with recon. A little digging and a few phone calls turns up he was assigned to an artillery battery. Needless to say, he was spoken to quite severely by the Master Chief for being out of uniform.

1/23/2008 8:00 AM

 
Blogger reddog said...

No one with a record like he claimed would ever have been eligible for a Good Conduct Medal.

That's probably how they caught him.

1/23/2008 9:58 PM

 
Blogger Chap said...

So I'm in Korea doing this thing and a senior reservist shows up wearing the budweiser. Guy's huge fat, too. SEAL that I'm working with sidles up to him and starts attempting to swap instructor names...and said reservist *disappears*.

Funny, that.

1/23/2008 11:36 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poseurs abound - I ran into a Nuc phony the other day. Of course, the question they can never answer properly is, "what was your power school class number?". I've heard that also works for detecting fake SEALs.

As far as this HM - I wonder how many medical records he gundecked? I mean, it follows, doesn't it?

1/24/2008 5:59 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would anyone fake being a NUKE? Most of us nukes try to pass ourselves off as non-nukes. One of the highest compliments I ever received was "Chief, I would have never guessed you were a nuke."

1/24/2008 6:29 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd much rather be a nuc than a coner. And, I'd rather be a coner than a skimmer.

Nothing I've seen leads me to believe that nucs are any smarter than cones, but we're held to a higher standard, which results in a lot less BS when a job needs to get done. For example: if you're in refit, and the cones mess up an electrical tagout, you can bet that E-div will be taking over that responsibility. If you're in E-div and you screw up an electrical tag, it's insta-mast (at best), then right back to writing tags. The nucs know this, and they don't screw around when a tag needs to get hung.

And skimmers just plain suck.

1/24/2008 7:45 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heck, I was on my second enlistment before I figured out that F***ingNuc wasn't all one word! ;)

1/24/2008 9:04 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And skimmers just plain suck."

How much experience have you had in the surface navy to base this upon?

1/24/2008 9:12 AM

 
Blogger Lewis said...

I don't want to jump off topic here but I did an entire shore duty with skimmers and they do just plain suck. I have never seen in-fighting and backstabbing at that level before in my life.

Again, let's not hijack the post with skimmer girls vs Submarine Men. We all know (especially on a 'submariner' blog) who's going to win that battle ;)

1/24/2008 9:15 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>> "who's going to win that battle ;)"

Torpedoes work in both directions.

--former DDG skimmer

1/29/2008 3:34 AM

 
Anonymous SubSailor02 said...

yeah well good luck trying to find us...we'll be taking pics of the front of your ship and the back before we shoot a flare on your deck...

1/31/2008 10:31 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read an article once by a former SEAL who had made it his mission to hunt out and expose fake SEAL veterans. He said that the one surefire way to spot a fake SEAL is if he doesn't know his BUD/S class number *right* off the top of his head. According to him, anyone who actually went through BUD/S has their class number memorized like their own name.

I'd imagine it's the same for nuc school?

4/13/2008 3:19 PM

 
Blogger Jon said...

Having been a nuc skimmer, I would like to display a small amount of resentment concerning the concept of "And skimmers just plain suck".

Now, being a nuc skimmer, I guess it goes both ways. However, I cannot share my experience of being on a carrier, since I was on a tiny little cruiser (CGN-41, in case you were wondering). The small ship skimmer nukes are yet another breed entirely, sort of a cross between a sub nuc and a carrier nuc. There were also a lot of good people aboard the ship, because we just didn't have the room for people to get lost in the shuffle the way that I think happens aboard a carrier.

12/16/2009 3:16 PM

 
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