Fake Solider Busted Trying To Get First-Class Upgrade

A man was arrested and charged with second-degree impersonation after he pretended to be a soldier in an effort to get bumped up to first-class on his American Airlines flight. The man wore camo fatigues, a military-style buzz cut, and fake dog tags, but was caught, after landing and having enjoyed his first-class ride, when he couldn’t answer basic questions about his service.

Entering the Dominican Republic from JFK, after he had cruised in first class after a stewardess had spotted him in his uniform and moved him up to the fancy-people cabin, a gimlet-eyed customs official caught him in his lie.

When asked his rank, he said he was “E-5,” even though he was wearing staff-sergeant insignia, a higher rank. He couldn’t answer where he was stationed. In addition, he wore a POW patch on his sleeve, in a spot a real soldier would never put it.

American Airlines didn’t respond to the Post’s request for comment, like why it took an interrogation to figure out that the guy wasn’t a soldier. All you have to do is take one look at him and see the only combat he’s in is an internal battle over whether to get the number 5 or the number 7.

LI man busted for ‘pretending’ to be soldier to get first-class upgrade [NY POST]

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  1. Voluntas filiorum neminem curant? says:

    “a gimlet-eyed customers”

    YES! A Smedley Butler reference! You Rock!

    That man was the last honest politician…

  2. blogger X says:

    Since he wants to be a solider, throw in him Military Prison!

  3. Voluntas filiorum neminem curant? says:

    “All you have to do is take one look at him and see the only combat he’s in is an internal battle over whether to get the number 5 or the number 7.”

    Heh, haven’t seen many of the new troops lately, have you?

    • JennQPublic says:

      I live in an Air Force town, and while I see some pudgy soldiers from time to time, most of them seem to be in decent shape. Better than their average fellow citizens, that’s for sure.

      • Voluntas filiorum neminem curant? says:

        True, but my point being that, especially in Boot Camp (I was stationed at Lackland, so I got to see all the newbie zoomies and some of the other branches that came for cop training) the recruits reflect the demographics of average society.

        So yeah, I saw plenty of kids in the fat camp flight, or some army dudes in the same situation.

        But yeah, USUALLY most of the younger ones are relatively fit.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          Doesn’t the Air Force have weight standards?

          There were definitely some overweight troops back when I was in the Army but all of them were flagged and barred from any kind of positive personnel actions (schools, promotions, etc.).

          • Voluntas filiorum neminem curant? says:

            Yes, there are, but when you first join up, the standards are a little lower than when you’re already in the swing of the career. So they’ll take in “fatties” assuming that boot camp will help them lose weight – sometimes it does. Or in my case it helped me gain weight, since I came in 5’6″ and 117 (barely squeeked in) and left boot camp at 130.

            The stupidest thing when I was in were the tape measurements, especially for the more muscular dudes (unfortunately I was never one of them, not for lack of trying), But because you had to be able to fit into the uniform, particularly the dress uniform, if your chest/shoulders were too big or your arms/thighs too thick, that would get you considered “fat” and put on a weight loss program, or worst case scenario, kicked out if you can’t get your size within regs.

            So these dudes that were like 5’9″ and like 220lbs, for example, were often in trouble because they were too big, even if they weren’t “fat”. Kinda the same problem as the BMI (body mass index) that doesn’t take into account body fat percent.

            • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

              That sounds a lot like the Army.

              On our very first day of basic, while we were being processed, we had to take an insanely easy PT test. I was a super skinny (6’1″ 130 lbs) 17 year old and I had no problem passing it. All the fat boys were then sent away to a PT platoon, where presumably they eventually shipped off to training units when they got into shape. While I put on about 40 lbs in basic (Ft. Benning, GA), there were some pretty fat boys who probably lost the same amount. One perk of being skinny was that the overweight recruits would give the skinny recruits most of their meals.

              After basic, in our actual units, we also always did a weigh in during our PT tests, which I think were every 6 months. We didn’t have anyone fat in our unit but all the hulking, linebacker types always had trouble making tape. These were the kind of guys that I liked having in my squad, since they could easily carry a wounded buddy w/no problem or hump an M-60 like it was nothing. Yet, they were constantly getting flagged for failing the tape. At a certain point, it just gets demoralizing for them. It helps when it’s your own medics doing the tape/weigh in, since they’d usually make it work but most of the time, they were administered by other companies.

            • teamplur says:

              The Marine Corps has fine print for dealing with guys who are huge due to building muscle. If they don’t meet the normal weight standard, they get measured for (aprox) BF%. As long as they can pass the fitness reqs and they aren’t over the % (18ish) they are fine. The supply system can order all the uniforms in almost any size imaginable or get them custom made

              • DingoAndTheBaby says:

                This is only partially true now. The Marine Corps has instituted a policy that gets around the “Well, I’m a giant fucking fat ass, but I don’t fail the PFT, so…yay for McDonald’s” loophole.

                Now, a commanding officer can essentially say, “You didn’t fail the PFT even though you’re a giant sack of donuts, but you look atrocious in uniform. I’m assigning you to ‘Body Composition Program’ (BCP) to lose weight until such a time as you present a proper military appearance.” This isn’t used as often as it should be, but it does put the fear of Jenny Craig into a lot of disgusting Marines.

          • dourdan says:

            1. after years of nightshifts/swing shifts the only way for me to stay awake was to eat.

            2. most of the people who are over weight but still have a high rank (SSgt or higher) are usually on medical waivers (for a hurt back, bad knee, etc) which also allows them to not extercise and usually put on weight (see reason #1.)

      • tbax929 says:

        I’m in an Air Force town, and I see fatties in uniform all the time. And our cops are even worse. I didn’t know you could be a cop and be as fat as some of the cops here are.

        I am by no means a fattist, but it’s weird to see someone who has, presumably, a physical job with physical requirements be so out of shape.

    • Mimbla says:

      Makes the typo in the title of the article funnier. “Fake Solider”… heh. :)

    • dourdan says:

      yeah i see allot of pudgy air force soilders (I was one as well) BUT when i was in the air force they speficially told us to never travel in uniform (for post- 9/11 reasons.)

      • VouxCroux says:

        If you were in the Air Force then you’d know we aren’t soldiers…we are airmen.

      • Yomiko says:

        There was an airman in uniform on my flight from MDW-MHT the other week. Also, it only takes about 5 minutes at BWI to spot dozens of servicemen/midshipmen traveling in uniform. I’d say that people traveling in uniform has become acceptable, if ever it was not.

    • Costner says:

      Exactly. I recall a guy in basic training who looked like the “Tron Guy” right down to the mustache… but this guy had a gut that was carrying at least another 30lbs.

      How he ever could pass a PT test is beyond me… but not everyone in the military is physically fit.

  4. rpm773 says:

    A little fat to be a stormtroop…er.. soldier?

  5. Wepwawet says:

    Why are we blurring this scumbag’s face? I hope everyone clicks on the link to take a look at this jackass.

  6. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    A) The fake officer put way too many details into his ourfit, and then didn’t know what they really meant. Such as the POW insignia. That was overkill. The best way to pull off a scam is to be subtle about it.
    B) Most people in general probably don’t know the ins and outs of those little details, either. Not unless you know someone in the service.

    Final thought – the idiot could have at least come up with a good cover story. All he needed was some basic accurate info and he was golden.

    • partofme says:

      ..or just don’t try to scam the system when you have to go through customs. If you’re flying domestically, no one will bother asking you anything.

  7. Thyme for an edit button says:

    In before soldiers shouldn’t get upgrades just because they are soldiers.

    • LanMan04 says:

      They shouldn’t.

      • Heresy_Fnord says:

        Agreed.

        • MPD01605 says:

          Kind of agree. They shouldn’t (and I’m sure don’t) ask, but if offered, that’s cool. Not like it costs me any more money. I do appreciate what they do.
          Unfortunately, there are scumbags :/

    • Tim says:

      They shouldn’t.

    • Snarkerific says:

      I fly my ass off for my job. If I missed my upgrade just because they wanted to upgrade the soldiers on board, then I’d be pissed. I work hard for my status which entitles me to upgrades. I’m not trying to be a snob about it or anything, and I’m not saying I deserve first class just because I fly a zillion miles a year, but soldiers are just like any other public servant. You don’t upgrade law enforcement, do you? What about Firemen? Politicians? Garbage Men? Where does it stop. Upgrade those who have earned the status with the airline for the upgrade and then bump deserving people at your own discretion.

      • ReaperRob says:

        I wouldn’t upgrade the garbage men around here, we use convict labor.

      • longfeltwant says:

        So, wait, are you or are you not saying you “deserve first class just because I fly a zillion miles a year”?

        I don’t think either of you should be getting upgrades. What does flight frequency have to do with anything?

    • My lawyer made me change my screen name says:

      Pro tip: “In before” or inb4 really only works if:
      1. You are one of the first posts
      2. Someone besides you is actually going to post something similar to what you posted…

      • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

        This is Consumerist…you actually think someone wouldn’t post or hasn’t posted this before?

  8. deathbecomesme says:

    So did they bump him up on their own or did he ask to get an upgrade? If they bumped him up just because he looked like a soldier then I see no case here.

    • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

      It’s against the law to impersonate a soldier. There’s your case.

      • DigitalMariner says:

        pretty sure the act of wearing clothing does not rise to the level of impersonate. Otherwise Halloween would be a cash cow for these types of arrests…

        • RandomHookup says:

          Actually, 10 U.S.C. § 771 doesn’t bother with impersonating — just wearing.

          Except as otherwise provided by law, no person except a member of
          the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps, as the case may be, may
          wear -
          (1) the uniform, or a distinctive part of the uniform, of the
          Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps; or
          (2) a uniform any part of which is similar to a distinctive
          part of the uniform of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine
          Corps.

          • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

            Explain the fact you can purchase them easily.

            • DancesWithBadgers says:

              The same reason(s) you can purchase items to impersonate law enforcement.

            • shoelace414 says:

              distinctive part of the uniform…

              you can wear BDU’s but not the tape that says “US Air Force” or whatever it says. You can’t wear the rank with the BDUs because they are distinctive.

              And I think the Marine uniform has the Eagle, Globe and Anchor right in the pattern so you can’t wear those at all legally.

            • RandomHookup says:

              I don’t have any background on the interpretation of the law, but there were certain things I remember from my Army days that made the uniform “distinctive”:

              Wearing the US Army name tape
              Wearing rank of any kind
              Wearing decorations of any kind
              Wearing unit patches

              Possession of a uniform or its component parts isn’t illegal, but wearing it (subject to a great deal of interpretation) is. I’m guessing enforcement is pretty much nonexistent, much like enforcement of the Flag Code.

          • kcvaliant says:

            So, then why does the military sell these items? I have seen military workout sirts, dog tags and boots sold. Then not counting all the military discount shops. Would be easy to shut them down,yes? Then you have halloween.

          • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

            I had no idea this law existed. I can understand it being illegal to impersonate a police officer because they have the ability to order around citizens, but not military personnel. Perhaps impersonating military people could be used in the act of espionage or sabotage. A lot of Hollywood movie actors have violated this law the way you’ve quoted it here.

          • Voluntas filiorum neminem curant? says:

            To everyone below, the part of the law that says “unless otherwise provided by law” covers surplus stores, actors, halloween, etc. within reason. As stated below, you can’t wear certain distinct parts of the uniform, like for halloween. For actors, I imagine that they get permission from the government to don the uniform since they usually also get permission to film on location and/or use government equipment.

            The thing I always wondered, was what about veterans? My strict reading of the law led me to get rid of my uniforms after I got out because it seemed like I could never wear them again, yet I always see WW2 and Vietnam vets wear their uniforms on Memorial Day or Veterans Day, etc. So that’s one issue I’m not sure about, unless Veterans are always allowed to wear their uniform? No idea on that one, not really too concerned either since I don’t have my uniform anyway.

            • RandomHookup says:

              There’s actually a provision for actors:

              Sec. 772. When wearing by persons not on active duty authorized

              While portraying a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or
              Marine Corps, an actor in a theatrical or motion-picture production
              may wear the uniform of that armed force if the portrayal does not
              tend to discredit that armed force.

              Of course, the First Amendment can override some of these provisions…

            • RandomHookup says:

              I had wondered about veterans myself. Here’s the Army version that says it’s okay for vets from wartime to wear the uniform:

              30–4. Wear of the uniform by former members of the Army
              a. Unless qualified under another provision of this regulation, or under the provisions of section 772, title 10, United States Code (10 USC 772), former members of the Army may wear the uniform if they served honorably during a declared or undeclared war, and if their most recent service was terminated under honorable conditions. Personnel who qualify under these conditions will wear the Army uniform in the highest grade they held during such war service, in accordance with 10 USC 772.
              b. The uniform is authorized for wear only for the following ceremonial occasions, and when traveling to and from the ceremony or function. Uniforms for these occasions are restricted to service and dress uniforms; the BDU and physical fitness uniforms will not be worn.
              (1) When attending military funerals, memorial services, weddings, inaugurals, and other occasions of ceremony.
              (2) When attending parades on national or state holidays, or other patriotic parades or ceremonies in which any active or reserve United States military unit is taking part. Wear of the Army uniform at any other time, or for any other purpose than stated above, is prohibited.

    • Voluntas filiorum neminem curant? says:

      Well it is still against the law to impersonate military personnel. It’s even against the military regulations to wear more than one military issued item with civilian clothes (IIRC). I was always worried about that one when I was in, since I liked my boots, and the shirts were pretty comfy too.

      It wasn’t really all that enforced though, from what I saw, since plenty of guys wore their dog tags and boots, for example, or the PT gear (workout gear) with jeans, etc.

      • rpm773 says:

        I’ve always wondered how those fatigues wore. Are they comfy? They look it.

        • Voluntas filiorum neminem curant? says:

          I got out before the new ACUs, I kinda hated the new ones because they seemed lazy. Never had to be ironed, never had to shine the boots (they’re suede now).

          But back when there were the old BDUs, they were ok, a little hot in the Texas summer though, so I tended to roll the sleves and go without the blouse (overshirt) as much as possible. I took a lot of pride in having well shined shoes and well a well ironed uniform. I kept one extra set of BDUs and “dirty boots” for grunge work though.

          • rpm773 says:

            …a little hot in the Texas summer though…

            Heh, I bet. Thanks for the feedback.

          • RandomHookup says:

            The lightweight BDUs they introduced in the late 80s were a lot better for hot weather. They tore more easily, but beat the heck out of the original BDUs when you wore them at Fort Knox in 100+ degree weather and no sign of an air conditioner.

          • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

            I feel the exact opposite — I feel like we spent way too much time obsessing about starching uniforms and shining boots. Outside of inspections, promotion boards, public events, etc. I usually made sure my boots were black and had a basic shine to them and my uniforms were wrinkle free.

            I was a grunt, so I spent most of my time in the field, at the range, or in the motor pool, so I was usually covered in grime within 10 minutes of formation. I learned the hard way that a heavily starched uniform is miserably hot in summer and black (esp boots) stick out like a sore thumb in any kind of forest environment.

            I was in back in the 1990s and it was pretty clear that the issue BDUs didn’t make a lot of sense when wearing body armor, since it covered up all of the shirt pockets. Our CVC suits were way more practical when in the field, especially with the poop flap.

        • wbabbit says:

          Honestly they feel like thicker pajamas. They are a ridiculous amount more comfy than BDU’s or DCU’s. Not to mention a hell of a lot less trouble. Only real issues I have with them are the stupid velcro for the patches and the pin on badges…

        • Wrathernaut says:

          The pants are great , they’re like wearing scrubs (they even have the drawstring) but with usable pockets. The jacket isn’t uncomfortable, per se, but taking it off and just lounging in the pants and the t-shirt underneath is good enough I don’t ever change until it’s time for bed if I’m not leaving the house.

          And bonus with the pants? Using the integrated kneepad “pockets” make them the best for light on-your-knees work around the house or, my favorite, spelunking, since there’s no strap cutting off circulation behind your legs.

    • Cosmo_Kramer says:

      Anything he did with the airline is not really relevant. He lied to the customs official in an attempt to impersonate a member of the military.

  9. scoosdad says:

    Busted.

    My favorite part of the NY Post article linked above is this:

    “And his “dog tags” were comically engraved with the words, “U.S.A. Marines Corp.”

  10. Blueskylaw says:

    This man is ready to run for public office.

  11. El_Fez says:

    Meh. I don’t see the big deal. It’s not like he was dressed as a cop running around arresting people or anything.

    The big question – did he dress like a solder (with accoutrements) and just go about the flight and the airline assumed he was a solder and bump his seat up, or did he start going “Hey, I’m back from Unspecifiedastan, could you put me in first class?” to the Stewardess?

    If it was the latter, then yeah it was kind of dodgy. If it was the first – then this really is a big deal over nothing.

    • blogger X says:

      - then this really is a big deal over nothing.

      Uh, yes, this is if you have loved ones in the military.

      • El_Fez says:

        Yeah, but is it illegal? If it’s not (and I have no idea one way or the other), then sure it’s smarmy, but it’s still no big deal.

        • sponica says:

          i’m pretty sure it’s illegal to impersonate being a serviceperson….

          • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

            Simply wearing an outfit resembling a service person is not the same as legally impersonating.

            That requires making statements (verbal or written) that you are said person.

            • RandomHookup says:

              Check out this part of the US Code:

              http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/10/A/II/45/771

              • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

                “Except as otherwise provided by law”

                Does this supercede state laws? Seriously asking.

                • RandomHookup says:

                  Federal law always supersedes state law. There may be additional state law that reinforces or implements this at the state level.

              • El_Fez says:

                Aside from the logistics of enforcing something like this, that means that everyone running around in military gear from the Army/Navy surplus store or someone buying a couple of pins from here: http://militarypins.com/ because they look cool is breaking the law?

                (You don’t know how badly I want to make a joke about several Walmarts worth of people just waiting to be locked up)

            • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

              I didn’t think fatigues were an official uniform of any military branch. They’re camoflage gear. I would assume that law applies to the official uniforms only.

              • RandomHookup says:

                They are VERY MUCH official uniforms (unlike, say, physical training gear), even under the Geneva Convention.

      • El_Fez says:

        Yeah, but is it illegal? If it’s not (and I have no idea one way or the other), then sure it’s smarmy, but it’s still no big deal.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        If the situation he described first is a big deal to you, complain to the airlines not about this guy.

      • MichiganWolverine2011 says:

        So you think your loved one in the military deserves to get free upgrades? I think my brother the cop deserves them. My mother the nurse does too. And don’t forget my other brother who is a firefighter. Finally, my sister in law is a teacher, so she surely deserves upgrades.

        How about military employees enjoy the benefits they are given (free health care, free education, a paycheck) and be happy with it. They always want more. If they are unhappy with this, how about they quit and get another JOB. And make no mistake, these are federal government employees. They are paid. They do a job that is the same as the person who processes a Social Security check or delivers the mail.

        • blogger X says:

          Uh, I didn’t say that! I’m just sayin’ that some people that have loved ones in the military would want to kill this guy for what he did.

          • My lawyer made me change my screen name says:

            Don’t worry BloggerX, MichiganWolverine is an idiot apparently. Let him spew hit incoherent hate to everyone around him. It’s how he makes himself feel good.

    • Mom says:

      Regardless of how he was dressed, when he got to customs and they started asking him questions about the service, he didn’t say, “Oh, I’m not actually in the service.” He tried to answer them as if he was in the service. That sounds like impersonation.

      • El_Fez says:

        False declaration at Customs is just stupid regardless if your dressed in a military uniform or dressed as Darth Vader.

    • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

      solder =/= solider =/= soldier

      First, he’s something more solid, then he becomes a metal used in soldering, then he impersonates a military person. This guy is all over the place. He’s a frickken changling, you know, a doppleganger.

  12. dolemite says:

    If you read the article, he explains this is all a misunderstanding. See, the stewardess explained the situation to him in English, and he didn’t understand because he only speaks 9 English words: “Would you like to move to first class?” “Yes.” Apparently he just nodded his head to everything else.

    • blogger X says:

      Hey, mistakes happen, right?

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      It also says he did this once before in 2009 and there is photographed proof.

      I don’t buy his cover story.

    • theycallmeGinger says:

      “In fact, somebody gave me these fatigues to wear and I was like “why?” but they explained it in English and I did not understand. So, of course I put the clothes on like they told me to and I got all this weird special treatment. Was that wrong?”

  13. nocturnaljames says:

    Actually I prefer fake soldiers than ones out invading and terrorizing other countries while wasting trillions of tax payer dollars.

    • blogger X says:

      Did you mean politicians wasting trillions of taxpayer dollars?

    • dolemite says:

      Yeah…those soldiers are just political fodder. I have no animosity…although I do chuckle inwardly when people back home put up ribbons and talk about them defending our freedoms by invading Iraq. Then those same people are usually fine with body scanners, pat downs, government monitoring our emails, searches without warrants and spying on American citizen phone calls. Apparently they want “freedom” to be protected so they can just give it away at some later point.

    • rmorin says:

      You are a terrible person. Politicians decide to go to war, not soldiers. These are just people trying to serve their country. Plenty of soldiers are not for the iraqi or afghani wars. People in the military are there often to; pay for school, have some opportunity they would not normally have in life, and/or serve their country. Close to no one joins because they want to be shipped off thousands of miles to a desert for 9 months.

    • teamplur says:

      The door is over there, turn in your freedoms on the way out.

    • AstroPig7 says:

      You’re blaming the wrong group.

    • Cerne says:

      You do realize that comments like that make you an ignorant asshole right?

  14. chiieddy says:

    Question of the day. Why did you fuzz out his face but when I go to RTFA, it’s not fuzzed out at all?

    • Cosmo_Kramer says:

      Why are locations of stores where incidents take place usually redacted, except when they’re in New York? The world may never know.

  15. It's not fun. It's not funny. says:

    i’ve always wondered why soldiers are a specially protected class? why can’t i claim to be a soldier? also, not all soldiers are good people…some are actual psychopaths, like CEO’s of many corporations.

  16. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    A guy in a fake military uniform makes it past TSA?

    Was he carrying an Echo Chainsaw?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTsxWLh6WTY

  17. short_texas says:

    Why do soldiers get offered a free upgrade to first class? The military and DoD are already sacred cows in regard to government budgets and soldiers receive some of the best benefits the government have to offer. There are plenty of people who serve their country in other ways than military service and still have to deal with budget cuts and layoffs as well as putting their lives at risk.

    I don’t understand why the private sector needs to treat them like charity cases when they already receive so many benefits just because they are in the military whether or not they have even been in actual combat.

    • dolemite says:

      I was kind of wondering the same thing. Maybe a PR move by airlines? “How nice, they treat our boys with respect, I’m going to fly this airline again, because they support the troops!” Or something.

    • dolemite says:

      I was kind of wondering the same thing. Maybe a PR move by airlines? “How nice, they treat our boys with respect, I’m going to fly this airline again, because they support the troops!” Or something.

    • evnmorlo says:

      Soldiers are basically frequent fliers by proxy and the free upgrade probably boosts the airline’s military revenue in the end. There is also a general conspiracy to trick people into military service so that the rest of us aren’t drafted while the mercenary labor pool remains saturated so that wages are minimized. This leaves more cash for top brass and military suppliers.

  18. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    He was impersonating a soldier. Period. A dipshit move to be sure, though not quite as bad as wearing a dress uniform with medals. Like this ass clown:
    http://www.aolnews.com/2009/12/14/military-impostors-are-neither-few-nor-proud/

    As someone who served active duty USMC, bozos like this are damn lucky I’m not in charge of their sentencing.

  19. Tim says:

    Members of the military aren’t allowed to ask for special treatment because they’re in the military or retired. So if he asked, that’s clue number one that he’s either violating that rule or an imposter.

    Also, service members shouldn’t get special treatment just because they’re service members.

  20. MichiganWolverine2011 says:

    Did he SAY he was a soldier? He dressed in something that made YOU think he was. A soldier is not some high ranking official. They are a government employee that is allowed a coach seat. If I wore an expensive suit and somebody thought I was the CEO of a company does that mean they cant upgrade me? This is stupidity at its finest. I can legally wear army camo all I want.

    • RandomHookup says:

      Legally, no (see citations above). As a practical matter, you can easily wear the uniform without getting in trouble. It’s not like anyone is looking to enforce it, except for those who deliberately try to get over on someone.

  21. Max Headroom says:

    Epic Fail!!!

  22. tundey says:

    I was with you until you started blaming American Airlines. As if they didn’t have enough to do, they now have to screen for fake soldiers? Who cares if 1 or 2 (or even several hundreds) fake soldiers get bumped up to empty first class seats. Just make sure the darn plane takes offs on time and lands safely.

  23. tatersalad says:

    I say if he really wants to play G.I. JOE so bad… Ship him over sea’s so he can really earn that POW patch. I really hate SCUM like this

  24. Hi, I'm Danny Ganz! says:

    Thank you for adding to the conversation. I actually came on with the same thought.

    If he just dressed up as a soldier, and an upgrade was offered to him, well, that sounds like the setup to a bad movie, or at least a classic beer commercial (“Are you Dr. Galazkiewicz?”). If his crime was committed before he even got onto the plane, that is a more reasonable offense.

  25. stevenpdx says:

    I like his excuse… “Me no speekee da Englishee, me just follow pretty lady to front of plane”.

  26. common_sense84 says:

    How is this a crime?

  27. framitz says:

    When I was active USAF we were never allowed to travel in battle dress.
    In fact we were discouraged from flying in uniform.

    • mike says:

      Yes. Unless you have orders, most soldiers do not fly in uniform, especially when traveling overseas. The risk is too great that there will be some punk who wants to mess with you because you wear the flag.

  28. Jane_Gage says:

    I’ll bet if you impersonated nuns people would pay for your lunch and you’d get away with it.

  29. xredgambit says:

    “What would you want to have to impersonate being in the military?”

    I think ham flavored gum.

  30. Boo LaRue says:

    I worked as a civilian on Camp Smedley D Butler in Okinawa, back in the 80′s. Just wanted to throw that it. :)

  31. madfrog says:

    Any good actor knows to do basic research of your character and use the correct props.

    Seriously, though, what a POS for trying to do this.

  32. jestreeter@gmail.com says:

    That’s a great idea! This guy is an idiot, but for someone with prior military service (like myself) … it might just work …

  33. poehitman says:

    Yeah, while I really appreciate the combat soldier’s (a job I could never do), not every service member is a “hero” just by serving in the military. IMHO, the only “heroes” are the ones taking live fire, since they are risking their lives. It always drives me nuts hearing that. To me, being a hero means you have to risk your life in the preservation of the lives of others. Soldiers taking live fire do that. If you are on a navy ship, unless you are a pilot, chances are you aren’t taking any fire.

    That said, military members may be on the short end on the pay scale from what I’ve heard (what exactly do military members make anyways?), but it’s made up for in the benefits they get. Free healthcare for LIFE by the VA, special scholarships for them and their kids, discounts galore, etc.