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Stepping into BDUs and pinning a bunch of valor medals on your chest when you haven’t earned them is fucked up, and some states have even tried to make it punishable by fine and prison time.
But Halloween is one out of 365 days where this shouldn’t be an issue. It's the only time of year where civilians like me should be able to put on a flight suit and feel like “Top Gun” to escape the sad reality of sitting behind a computer screen for 16 hours a day.
There is no real legal implication for civilians who dress in a military uniforms year round. But discussion boards on sites like Rallypoint and Reddit reveal that veterans have conflicting feelings about the issue of stolen valor, even on All Hallows’ Eve. Though some find it harmless, others think it’s deeply disrespectful.
On veteran wrote, “I personally think it would be disrespectful to wear my military uniform as a Halloween costume. I also hate to see civilian adults wearing them, because I think they should know better.”
Another on the same thread said that civilians should not be allowed to wear a military uniform anytime, adding “What bothers me is if a grown man is wearing a military, police, fire, or medical uniform and has not earn [sic] it.”
And thanks to viral online media, we all know what can happen to those accused of stolen valor, between the “make him famous” posts and all the stolen valor YouTube videos.
But Halloween is most importantly a day for playing make-believe — the only day adults can escape their 9-to-5 jobs and pretend to be something they’re not.
No one who dresses up like a naughty nurse on Halloween goes around administering flu shots or tending to wounded trick-or-treaters. Nor do people who dress like cops immediately pull out their plastic handcuffs and start arresting the scores of people who, on this particular date, don masks and commit crimes.
It’s the same thing with the military. No civilian who slips into a flight suit on Oct. 31 is going to hop into the cockpit of an F-16 and fly to Syria to fight ISIS.
When it comes to dressing up in a military costume, there are some things civilians should consider, just to be courteous. But the fear of veteran retribution shouldn’t deter anyone from dressing up on Halloween as whatever they want.
Civilians should avoid wearing real medals, and real uniforms that belonged to veterans. If you’re going to dress up, try to stick to fake apparel.
But aside from those small details, it’s perfectly acceptable to dress up as a soldier, Marine, airman, or sailor … or a sexy pilot (don’t forget the Ray Ban aviators).
It’s not stolen valor whether you see parents dressing their toddlers in camouflage or a college kid going as drunk zombie Chesty Puller.
So try to restrain yourself on Oct. 31 if you see a guy rocking a 20 medals and a Ranger tab.
But you can call out any military-clad civilian for forgetting a PT belt. Safety first still applies on Halloween.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As many as 380 Americans on the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Japan – which has nearly 300 passengers who have tested positive for the deadly coronavirus, now known as COVID-19 – will be extracted Sunday from Yokohama and flown to Travis Air Force Base near Fairfield and a Texas base for further quarantine.
The Army wants more soldiers, and it's using esports to put a 'finger on the pulse' of potential recruits
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
After whiffing on its recruiting goal in 2018, the Army has been trying new approaches to bring in the soldiers it needs to reach its goal of 500,000 in active-duty service by the end of the 2020s.
The 6,500-soldier shortfall the service reported in September 2018 was its first recruiting miss since 2005 and came despite it putting $200 million into bonuses and issuing extra waivers for health issues or bad conduct.
Within a few months of that disappointment, the Army announced it was seeking soldiers for an esports team that would, it said, "build awareness of skills that can be used as professional soldiers and use [its] gaming knowledge to be more relatable to youth."
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A New Mexico Army National Guard soldier from Mountainair, who served as a police officer and volunteer firefighter in the town, died Thursday from a non-combat related incident while deployed in Africa, according to the Department of Defense.
A news release states Pfc. Walter Lewark, 26, died at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti where he was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in the Horn of Africa.
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is requesting about as much money for overseas operations in the coming fiscal year as in this one, but there is at least one noteworthy new twist: the first-ever Space Force request for war funds.
Officials say the $77 million request is needed by Oct. 1 not for space warfare but to enable military personnel to keep operating and protecting key satellites.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. prosecutors on Thursday accused Huawei of stealing trade secrets and helping Iran track protesters in its latest indictment against the Chinese company, escalating the U.S. battle with the world's largest telecommunications equipment maker.
In the indictment, which supersedes one unsealed last year in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, Huawei Technologies Co was charged with conspiring to steal trade secrets from six U.S. technology companies and to violate a racketeering law typically used to combat organized crime.