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Author Topic: VFW Honor Guard Uniform  (Read 39026 times)

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ParaMyers505

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Re: VFW Honor Guard Uniform
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2009, 03:45:06 pm »
Thanks for your help.  We have reviewed his DD214 he has only earned (3) ribbons.
I have printed out the stolen valor act.  I wll bring this up at the next meeting.
This has gone on too long, it is a dishonor to those who have earned real medals.......
Not some phoney trying to show off............

Offline DoggyDaddy

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Re: VFW Honor Guard Uniform
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2009, 11:15:10 pm »
We have (1) honor guard member at our post.  He has promoted himself to O-6 Colonel.
Wears a Army uniform with Black Beret and Bloused Boots.  He usually wears anywhere from (6) six to (12) tweleve ribbons.  He shows at all all Member funerals and Veteran functions wearing this uniform.  He looks good, but my concern is that he has not earned any of the awards/ribbons that he his wearing and was an E-4 when he left the Navy.
I think his intentions are not honorable.  Are there any guidlines for a Honor guard as far as wearing awards/ribbons and a suitable rank.  I thought the rank of Captain O-3 was the highest allowabe rank to wear. 
    I suggest you take a photograph of the individual wearing his ribbons and rank for documentation. He should be wearing the VFW Cross of Malta on the Army uniform as it is designated as the Post's Honor Guard Uniform, take a photo of that too. The uniform of the Honor Guard and rank of the Honor Guard leader is established by the Post or Honor Guard Committee Chairman. 
    You as a member of the post can question and challenge any members VFW eligibility in accordance with Nat'l By-Laws. If you believe a member is wearing unauthorized ribbons on military, VFW or civilian clothing, ask your Post Cmdr and QMstr  to verify his ribbons (reason for photos) with his DD 214. The Adjutant is required to retain a copy of every Post elected and all appointed officers (including all Committee Chairmen). If the Adjutant does not have a copy of the DD214, the Cmdr can formally ask the member to provide supporting documentation showing he was awarded awards and decorations in question. If the individual is eligible to be a member of the VFW but is wearing unauthorized ribbons, disciplinary action can be initiated within the VFW if deemed appropriate under Sec 902 para 7 & 8 as well under the Stolen Valor Act and applicable state laws.
    For a Post Honor Guard to exist, the Post Cmdr must appoint a Chairman of the Honor Guard Committee.  That individual serves at the convenience of the Post Commander.  The rank or title of the Honor Guard Chairman is honorary. 
    Most common ranks are Cpt, Lt, and a NCO rank, though I have seen a Color Guard leader wearing stars on a helmet liner.  The Post Commander can designate the title, the Post floor can vote on a title, it can be established/authorized as part of the Post By-Laws, and/or the decision could be left to the Committee Chairman of the Post Honor Guard.
    If the Honor Guard member stepped across the line, in lieu of embarrassing the member, the Post and the team - the Post Commander may choose to verbally admonish (warn) the member to clean up his act and/or relieve the member of his appointment as Honor Guard Chairman. If the HG team is a tight group, relieving the OIC without warnings can cause internal disharmony.
    At my Post, the Honor Guard Chairman designates the uniform and rank of its team.  I have a Cpt, Lt, and SSG who is the armorer.   As Chairman (CPT) of the Honor Guard I am responsible for the appearance of its members and what they wear.  I retain a log with copy of each members DD 214 to ensure all are eligible to be members of the VFW and wear authorized awards and decorations in case anyone questions or wants to challenge them or myself.
Joe Kleinsmith
All State VFW Post 1716 Cmdr (1998-2000)
Cpt, VFW Post Honor Guard, Retired (1991-2009)
SC-SB County Council Cmdr (1996-1997)
SFC, US Army, Retired (1971-1991)
Full Time RV'er
www.vfwwebcom.org/ca/post1716
http://vfwwebcom.org/ca/Post1716HonorGuard/

Offline DoggyDaddy

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Re: VFW Honor Guard Uniform
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2009, 11:43:51 pm »
Thanks for your help.  We have reviewed his DD214 he has only earned (3) ribbons.
I have printed out the stolen valor act.  I wll bring this up at the next meeting.
This has gone on too long, it is a dishonor to those who have earned real medals.......
Not some phoney trying to show off............
    I do not recommend singling out this individual at a Post meeting.  I urge you to have the Post Commander who I assume appointed him OIC of the Honor Guard, speak to him about his responsibilities and appearance in VFW Honor Guard Uniform outside of a Post meeting. We are all volunteers of the VFW and suppose to be comrades. 
    It is important that every HG team members uniform be checked/inspected to included Post Officers VFW Caps so not to show or reflect a personal vendetta or conspiracy.
It is appropriate to discuss the stolen valor act at a Post meeting, but intentionally singling out, naming and embarrassing a member and comrade without warning at a Post meeting does more harm than good for the Post, its' officers, and everyone involved.
    If after being warned and he does not see the light, then initiate action under Article IX, Sec 903 of the VFW By-Laws. Yes, some comrades are dumb and need to be educated while others are just stupid.
Joe Kleinsmith
All State VFW Post 1716 Cmdr (1998-2000)
Cpt, VFW Post Honor Guard, Retired (1991-2009)
SC-SB County Council Cmdr (1996-1997)
SFC, US Army, Retired (1971-1991)
Full Time RV'er
www.vfwwebcom.org/ca/post1716
http://vfwwebcom.org/ca/Post1716HonorGuard/

ParaMyers505

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Re: VFW Honor Guard Uniform
« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2009, 03:53:04 pm »

At our meeting the other night; I followed your advice and discussed the stolen valor act at our Post meeting.  I did not intentionally single out, name or embarrass any member and comrade.  I addressed the members and made my point.  No names were mentioned, I gave a blanket statement.  I talked about honor, duty and the fact we are still at war.
After I made my small speech, the individual in question jumped up out of his seat and defended the wearing of his ribbons.  Funny how this wasnít directed at him at all, but he responded.   He explained that he is currently wearing a combination of his Armed Forces Ribbons (3) on the DD214 and about (9) Commemorative ribbons that he purchased from the Medals of America.  Is this authorized?  I have never seen this in any VFW Honor Guard and Iíve been a member for 23 years.  I now realize this person is misrepresenting the VFW, Our Post, other Veterans and himself.  He brings discredit to all Veterans by the wearing of fictitious awards.  Iíve done my part it is now up to the Commander to address this issue.  Any advice you can share would be greatly appreciated.  I need to help the Commander see this travesty, because this also is a reflection on his Command.

Our State VFW Inspector was at our meeting, he appreciated the attention to this issue.  He too was amazed how this had become an issue at our post.

Thanks again for all your help


Offline DoggyDaddy

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Re: VFW Honor Guard Uniform
« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2009, 04:48:19 pm »
For me, a commemorative medal is one that is not awarded to anyone in the military such a one in rememberance of 9/11.  That is not the case here. I went to the US Medals website http://www.usmedals.com/ to review their Commemorative Medals.   Those medals are the same as US military awards and decorations.
I will continue this topic by private e-mail.
Joe Kleinsmith
All State VFW Post 1716 Cmdr (1998-2000)
Cpt, VFW Post Honor Guard, Retired (1991-2009)
SC-SB County Council Cmdr (1996-1997)
SFC, US Army, Retired (1971-1991)
Full Time RV'er
www.vfwwebcom.org/ca/post1716
http://vfwwebcom.org/ca/Post1716HonorGuard/

Offline dmh1566

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Re: VFW Honor Guard Uniform
« Reply #20 on: August 07, 2009, 05:35:31 pm »
"Commemorative medals" are medals/ribbons that a company created to make money off of people that feel like they need to have chest full of ribbons. They are not authorized to wear on military uniforms. I agree...if you didn't earn it, don't wear it (even if somebody sells it).