Can you identify this military uniform? Montana 1850-1920

Can you identify this military uniform? Montana 1850-1920

Portrait taken in Montana-best guess between 1850 and 1920. WWI?? Slouch hat. Single-breasted coat with 5 or 6 buttons. Breast pocket on each side; diagonal, flap with button. Knee-high boots. Curvy double-lines of embroidery above sleeve cuffs. Soldier formally posed sitting on tree stumps with hands on thighs, left foot/knee higher up (resting on stump part), lattice fence in right background. This is one of the few photographs from my husband's family. Could it be a Forest Service uniform? Civil war? WWI? Any help would be appreciated.


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V olunteers, Wayman and Ann Wells , researched and compiled the listing of CCC camps and donated the complete set to the NACCCA/CCC Legacy library. This listing represents countless hours of very difficult work.

A proud member of Roosevelt's tree army, Wayman was a tireless, dedicated volunteer worker and recruiter for the NACCCA. He served a two-year term as the North Central Regional Director. He also served 12 years as volunteer assistant treasurer of the national organization. But more significant, he led the work crew, furnished most of the tools, made the NACCCA sign in front of headquarters and gave personal financial support in rehabbing the current Headquarters and Museum when the NACCCA moved from Virginia to Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis. After headquarters was occupied, Wayman headed the Outreach Program for new members.

In 1995 Wayman and Ann received the NACCCA Hall of Fame Award by the Board of Directors and in 1997 Wayman received the Hall of Fame Award for the second time. Wayman and Ann were also named Kentucky Colonels for their efforts on behalf of the NACCCA in Kentucky.

An active member of Arch Chapter 12, St. Louis he served as President, Vice President and Secretary of that group. Wayman passed away on 14 December 1997 and the work Wayman and Ann began in 1990 to transcribe the records were completed in 1998 by Ann.


Two ROTC Cadets

One of the most active posters in the chat logs was Lawrence of Eurabia.

Lawrence of Eurabia referred to biographical information in his chats. He said he is a member of the ROTC program at Montana State University in Bozeman and is in the Army National Guard. He also said that he was a wrestler in high school from a town in Montana and that his dad worked as a stonemason there.

Those details match publicly available information about Jay C. Harrison , 20, who the Army confirmed is in the ROTC program at Montana State University at Bozeman and is a member of the Army National Guard.

His posts in the chat logs, as well as those on another white nationalist server published by Unicorn Riot, are often racist and anti-Semitic.

“Go play niggerball if you aren’t tough enough for wrestling,” Harrison wrote in one post. “God I hate basketball so much.”

“I wish the holocaust had been real,” he wrote in another. “Not one kike was ever gassed.”

In December 2018 he wrote he was holding off on posting racist flyers until he could join Identity Evropa. By March 1, it appeared Harrison had become a member. He posted a photo of an Identity Evropa sticker he placed on a concrete bollard. “Montana State University Bozeman,” he wrote in the caption. “Heavy foot traffic area between classes, good spot for my one sticker left.”

HuffPost attempted to relay a message to Harrison via an official at the Montana State ROTC program. He hasn’t responded to that request for comment. HuffPost was unable to contact Harrison directly.

Last fall, Identity Evropa flyers and stickers were posted across Brighton, New York, a town just south of Rochester. Police investigated, pulling fingerprints from the stickers, and this month announced they found a match: a 23-year-old University of Rochester student named Christopher Hodgman, who the Army confirmed is an ROTC cadet and a member of the Army Reserve.

It’s possible that Hodgman also posted on Discord under the name Alex Kolchak-NY.

Alex Kolchak-NY wrote often about Russian politics and history. Since-deleted information on Hodgman’s Linkedin profile notes that he is a Russian studies major.

In September, Alex Kolchak-NY posted photos of stickers he said he placed in Brighton — around the same time Hodgman has admitted he did the same.

A lawyer for Hodgman said in an email to HuffPost that just because his client posted Identity Evropa posters doesn’t necessarily mean he belongs to the group. The lawyer did not confirm or deny that Alex Kochak-NY is Hodgman or that Hodgman belongs to Identity Evropa.

An Army spokesperson told HuffPost that both ROTC cadets were under investigation.

The spokesperson said in a statement that the Army prohibits “personnel from actively advocating supremacist, extremist, or criminal gang doctrine, ideology, or causes” and that “soldiers who choose to engage in such acts will be held accountable for their actions.”

A Doctor In The Army

Christopher Cummins, 44, is a lieutenant colonel physician in the Army Reserve. The website of the Military Order of Stars and Bars, a neo-Confederate organization, lists Cummins’ email address as [email protected]*****.com.

A giuseppe398 in the Identity Evropa chat logs refers to many biographical details that match Cummins’: He has four kids, is originally from Mississippi and currently lives in Jackson, Tennessee.

In the chat messages, giuseppe398 bragged about posting Identity Evropa flyers in Mississippi and Jackson and told the Identity Evropa members that he likes Tennessee because it is “conservative & Christian - implicitly white.”

In December 2018, he posted a message to Patrick Casey, the Identity Evropa leader. “If a member is not living very close to other members, what is the best thing or things to do to be active/help?” he wrote.

Cummins — who the Army said has served in the Army Reserve and the Mississippi Army National Guard and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2008 — did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

In The Texas Army National Guard

A user going by Kane in the chat logs described himself as married and residing in Texas. He wrote he was in Houston during Hurricane Harvey and that his dad was from a town in Montana.

That biographical information matches details about 25-year-old Joseph Kane, a resident of Denton, Texas, who joined the Texas Army National Guard in 2016 and is currently assigned to the 636th Military Intelligence Battalion, a National Guard spokesperson confirmed.

Before joining the Texas National Guard, Kane served in the Army for four years as an intelligence specialist and was at one point deployed to Kosovo.

On Facebook, Kane liked a Facebook post by a known Identity Evropa member and has shared the “It’s okay to be white” meme, popular among white supremacists.

He was once before accused of being a white nationalist. In 2017, when he was a precinct chair for the Denton County Republican Party, anti-fascist activists noticed that he often posted white nationalist material to Twitter and that his account followed dozens of racists and neo-Nazis.

A local news channel asked Kane if he was a white nationalist. “No, no,” he responded. “This country was made for all people. If you accept the Constitution, you’re willing to live by our values, you’re willing to be a citizen in all that entails, you’re welcome.”

But by July 2018, he appeared to be a member of a white nationalist group.

“I mean, my wife isn’t in IE but she comes to the events same as most our guys wives,” he wrote in one message.

Kane didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment. A spokesperson for the National Guard would not say whether he was under investigation.

In The Air Force

In an August 2018 message posted in the chats, a user named DannionP introduced himself as Dannion Phillips of Oklahoma. He then made arrangements to pay his membership dues.

“ The Air Force has an Airman First Class (E-3) Dannion A. Phillips,” a spokesperson for the military branch confirmed to HuffPost. He is currently stationed at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey.

Before going overseas, Phillips was stationed at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. A military newspaper affiliated with the base profiled him in an article last month.

“Phillips is an excellent role model,” the article states. “His impeccable military appearance and bearing sets the example for other Airmen to emulate.”

In October, he posted photos of Identity Evropa stickers that he put up around Oklahoma City.


The US’ latest action against potential EMP attack

Posted On April 29, 2020 15:48:50

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on March 26, 2019, to protect the US from electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) that could have a “debilitating” effect on critical US infrastructure.

Trump instructed federal agencies to identify EMP threats to vital US systems and determine ways to guard against them, Bloomberg first reported. A potentially harmful EMP event can be caused by a natural occurrence or the detonation of a nuclear weapon in the atmosphere.

The threat of an EMP attack against the US reportedly drove the president to issue March 26, 2019’s order. Multiple federal agencies, as well as the White House National Security Council, have been instructed to make this a priority.

“Today’s executive order — the first ever to establish a comprehensive policy to improve resilience to EMPs — is one more example of how the administration is keeping its promise to always be vigilant against present dangers and future threats,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement, according to The Hill.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

With the release of the White House National Security Strategy in 2017, Trump became the first president to highlight the need to protect to the US electrical grid.

“Critical infrastructure keeps our food fresh, our houses warm, our trade flowing, and our citizens productive and safe,” the document said.

“The vulnerability of U.S. critical infrastructure to cyber, physical, and electromagnetic attacks means that adversaries could disrupt military command and control, banking and financial operations, the electrical grid, and means of communication.”

Senior US officials warned that the US needs to take steps to safeguard the electrical grid and other important infrastructure against EMP attacks, The Washington Free Beacon reported on March 26, 2019. “We need to reduce the uncertainty in this space” and “mitigate potential impact” of an EMP attack, one senior administration official said.

“We are taking concrete steps to address this threat,” the official added. “The steps that we are taking are designed to protect key systems, networks and assets that are most at risk from EMP events.” Federal agencies are being tasked with bolstering the resiliency of critical infrastructure.

Members and supporters of the decommissioned US Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse have long warned of the possibility of an EMP attack, with some individuals, such as Peter Pry, who previously led the congressional EMP commission, asserting that an EMP attack on America could kill off 90% of the US population.

Those seeking to raise awareness have pointed to the threat from solar flares, as well as nuclear-armed adversarial powers.

Others, including Jeffrey Lewis, a renowned nuclear-weapons expert, have said that the EMP threat is a conspiracy. Lewis previously wrote that it seemed “like the sort of overcomplicated plot dreamed up by a Bond villain, one that only works in the movies. Bad movies.”

This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.

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Contents

The first regulation of Air Force service numbers applied to numbers held by Air Force officers. In 1947, thousands of officers had automatically transferred from the Army Air Forces into the Air Force, with over a third of this number inactive members of the Officer Reserve Corps. The first Air Force officer service numbers ranged from 1 to 19,999 and were reserved for Regular Air Force officers who had "crossed over" to the United States Air Force.

A complication to early service number issuance was that some senior Air Force officers (such as Henry H. Arnold) choose to simply retain their Army service numbers and did not apply for a new Air Force service number. Thus, the earliest Air Force officer service number was #4 which was assigned to Hoyt Vandenberg numbers one through three were apparently never issued.

After the initial issuance of the first Air Force officer service numbers, the service numbers were increased with the second range extending from 20 000 to 99 999. These numbers were set aside for past, present, and future Regular Air Force officers with this range being used from 1948 until the discontinuation of Air Force service numbers in 1969.

For a brief time in the 1950s until 1965, cadets at the United States Air Force Academy were assigned a special range of service numbers only for use while attending the Academy. These numbers ranged from 1 to approximately 7000 based on admission date to the Academy. These numbers were followed by the suffix "K" and were not part of the regular Air Force service number system.

The service numbers 100 000 to 1 799 999 were never used by the Air Force office corps to avoid repeating numbers already assigned to Army officers the only Air Force officers who ever held these numbers were those who had received their commissions under the authority of the Army Air Forces. The next range of Air Force officer service numbers began at 1 800 000 and extended to 1 999 999 these numbers were assigned to former reserve officers of the Army Air Forces who were now members of the Air Force Reserve. The two million number range was never issued by the Air Force, to avoid repeating service numbers of the Army, with the next range beginning at 3 000 000 and extending to 3 999 999. These numbers were intended for all officers considered "Other Than Regular Air Force" (OTRAF) and were issued in chronological order by date of commission after 1948. Such numbers were normally preceded with a zero.

In 1969, when the Air Force discontinued service numbers, the officer cap of 3 999 999 had not yet been reached. Thus, there were never any higher Air Force officer service numbers created. After 1969, the Air Force converted to Social Security numbers for service member identification.


Lien Information

Question: “How can I file a lien?”
Answer: Visit our online portal at biz.sosmt.gov. You’ll need to log in with your ePass account.

Question: “How do I file a paper form, and where do I mail my payment?”
Answer: We no longer accept paper forms or checks, so you must file the online form(s) and pay with credit/debit card or e-check. Visit our online portal at biz.sosmt.gov. You’ll need to log in to your ePass account or create one to access the online portal.

Question: “What if I don’t have an ePass account?”
Answer: Anyone can create an ePass account, which is your user profile for various Montana state agencies. Click the “Login with ePass Montana” option, and you’ll see where you can create an account.

Question: “It says my ePass account is expired.”
Answer: Contact the support team at Montana Interactive, (406) 449-3468. They can reactivate your ePass. You can also simply create a new one.

Question: “Where do I find the forms to file?”
Answer: They are available under the “Forms” menu on the left, or by clicking “File a Lien” on the home screen.

Question: “I keep double-clicking on the lien filing I’m trying to do, but it doesn’t go anywhere.”
Answer: You need to single-click on the lien form, then click “File Online.”

Question: “The address I put on my form keeps changing. Why is that?”
Answer: Our new system uses address verification, so that any addresses entered match what the post office will accept.

Question: “I think I’ve completed the page that I’m on, but the system still shows an error.”
Answer: Check through the page for fields with red asterisks next to the headings. They are required, and you won’t be able to complete your filing without entering the information.

Question: “I’m working on an EFS filing, but don’t have my debtor’s social security number. Can I file without it?”
Answer: Any field that you see with a red asterisk is required, so no, you would not be able to file this lien.

Question: “My collateral information is very lengthy and detailed. Should I enter this into the collateral field?”
Answer: Instead of retyping all the information, simply enter “See Attached” into the collateral field and upload your document(s.)

Question: “My debtor’s signature is on the filing with our office. How do I indicate this on my electronic lien filing?”
Answer: If you are in an EFS filing, click the box that states “A signed agreement exists granting a lien on the farm product(s).” UCC amendment forms that require debtor signatures have a box that you must check on the “Authorization” page.

Question: “I don’t see where I can ‘File Online.’ Why can’t I submit my lien filing?”
Answer: Check the menu on the left in your filing. Look for any red Xs. This indicates an error in the form. You can go back to that section to make a correction by clicking on it.

Question: “I’ve put in my payment information and clicked ‘checkout.’ Why isn’t my payment going through?
Answer: Make sure you have selected the circle to the left of your preferred payment method.

Question: “The payment method I have on my checkout window is no longer valid. How do I enter a new payment method?
Answer: If your credit/debit card or bank account on the checkout window is no longer valid, just click the trash can icon to the right of the payment method. Then click “Add New Payment Method” and enter your new payment information.

Question: “I don’t see my work queue/the application I saved.”
Answer: Check the upper right corner of your screen to make sure you are logged in. If you have more than one ePass account, you may have saved the filing under another username.

Question: “There’s nothing in My Work Queue.”
Answer: If you have filed or saved any application, it will appear in your work queue for 90 days. Please make sure you are on the appropriate section heading (Liens or Copy Request) to see your filings.

Question: “I clicked the button to download my receipt/document and nothing happens.”
Answer: The pdf to download appears as a file name located in lower portion of the screen. Right click on that pdf file and open it or save it to your computer.

Question: “How do I review the filing I’ve submitted?”
Answer: Go to My Work Queue, and you’ll see the filing name. Click on it and select the form from the right-side window that appears.

Question: “I submitted a lien filing several days ago but haven’t heard back. How do I know if it’s been filed or not?”
Answer: Log back into your online portal and check your Work Queue. You should find the filing there, along with either an acknowledgement letter (if it’s been accepted) or a rejection letter.

Question: “I submitted a lien filing but never received a response email. What happened to my filing?”
Answer: Please make sure the Secretary of State’s office is marked as a safe email in your inbox. Check your junk/spam box for any responses that may have landed there. You can also log back into the portal and go to your Work Queue to find the filing.

Question: “I submit so many lien filings. How do I know which ones have been approved and which have not?”
Answer: Your approval or rejection email should indicate the file number that corresponds to the lien. You can also go to your Work Queue and easily see those that have been approved or rejected.

Question: “My lien filing has been rejected. What do I do?”
Answer: If your lien filing has been rejected, you will need to submit a new application. Go to the Forms page to get started.

Question: “We used to be able to correct our documents and resubmit them. Can we still do that?”
Answer: With our new lien filing system, the forms are designed so that many of the common errors can no longer happen. Because of this, we do not have the reprocessing option instead, you must submit a new filing.

Question: “Why are only the most recent records showing in My Work Queue?”
Answer: The receipts, filing copies, and acknowledgement/rejection letters are only available in your work queue for 90 days.

Question: “Why can’t I see all of my records in the My Records section?”
Answer: The My Records section is limited to only 500 records.

Question: “I’m looking to do a basic lien search. Where is the search function?”
Answer: Lien searches are conducted via the UCC11 Copy Request form. You can find this under “Forms” in the left menu or under Copy/Search Requests on the home screen. There are a number of options to customize this search and/or request copies.

Question: “I want to search for EFS liens, but I only see the UCC11 search function.”
Answer: The UCC11 Copy Request form searches for all types of liens (UCC, EFS, Title 71, IRS, and Child Support.)

Question: “Where can I set up my monthly lien (or Farm Bill Master List) subscription?
Answer: Your subscription services are established on the Data Requests & Subscriptions page. Click on “New Data Request” and choose the subscription type to get started.

Question: “We used to have a master account, then I could add individual users to our subscription. How do I do that in this new system?”
Answer: With the new site, subscriptions are tied only to the account that establishes the subscription. This means that multiple people will need to have access to the username and password for your organization’s subscription. You may want to establish a new ePass specifically for this purpose.

Question: “I need to enter additional criteria to my farm bill subscription service. How do I do that?”
Answer: Go to “Data Requests & Subscriptions” and click on the gears icon next to your established subscription. You can then edit your subscription services.

Question: “The payment I have for my subscription service is no longer active. How do I change it?”
Answer: When you attempt to search for a file or access your farm bill subscription, you will automatically be prompted to enter new payment information before you can proceed.

Question: “Why do some of my subscriptions show up green/yellow/red?”
Answer: Green subscriptions are those that are active. Farm bill master list subscriptions that have been paused show as yellow. Cancelled subscriptions are red.

Question: “What is a ‘paused’ subscription?”
Answer: Subscriptions to the Farm Bill Master List may be paused for those months that you are not accessing the list. It allows you to keep your active subscription criteria, but you don’t have to pay the monthly fee. You are not able to conduct any searches while your subscription is paused. Simply “unpause” to restart your subscription service (monthly charges will automatically resume.)

Liens currently filed with the Secretary of State’s Office are:

  • UCC Lien, a lien against goods used or bought for commercial purposes.
  • Agricultural Lien, a lien against goods used or bought for farming or ranching purposes.
  • Effective Financing Statement Lien, a lien against specific crops, livestock, and unmanufactured products. These liens appear on the Farm Bill Master List distributed to registered buyers.
  • Transmitting Utility Lien, a lien related to transmitting electric or electronic communications operating a railroad, subway, street railway or trolley bus transmitting goods by pipeline or sewer and transmitting or producing electricity, steam, gas, or water.
  • Notice of Federal Tax Lien, a lien created and filed by the IRS when taxes are assessed against a taxpayer on all his/her property and rights to property.
  • Notice of Child Support Lien, a lien created and filed by DPHHS Child Support Division against real or personal property that is due and/or owed in connection with child support.
  • Title 71, MCA, Lien, a lien against crops for services performed in relation to that crop, such as spraying or dusting.
  • Consumer Goods Lien, a lien against goods used or bought for personal, family, or household purposes.
  • Public Finance Transaction Lien, a lien against transactions in which long-term debt securities are issued to and/or for the benefit of a state or governmental unit of the state.
  • Manufactured Home Transaction Lien, a lien that creates purchase-money security interests in manufactured homes.

Uniform Commercial Code Information

A UCC lien is a financial document stating that a lender (secured party) has a claim in certain property belonging to someone else (debtor). By filing a UCC lien, a secured party establishes his or her priority for payment over subsequent secured parties if the debtor defaults on the loan. A lien filed with the Secretary of State provides notice to interested parties of the existence of a security interest against specific collateral.

Debtor Name

It is important to reflect the true and correct name of the debtor when filing a lien notice with the Secretary of State. Your lien notice will be rejected if the debtor name does not conform to 30-9A-516, MCA. Listed below are helpful tips to consider when reflecting a debtor name.

  • If the debtor is an individual, indicate the name noted on their current driver’s license or state identification card.
  • If the individual has only one financing name, such as “Cher,” list the name in the space provided for the (surname) last name.
  • Trade names adopted by individuals and organizations are not correct debtor names.
  • Never combine multiple debtor names on one form (for example, Smith, Jack and Jill, or Jack Smith DBA/Jack’s U Serve).
  • Identify suffixes to distinguish filings by lineage (for example, Jr. or Sr.)
  • If the debtor is an organization, check the charter documents in the organization’s state of jurisdiction. For organizations registered in Montana you may verify their name through this link Business Entity Search.
  • Double-check the spelling of the debtor name.
  • Identify the debtor as an individual or an organization by completing the correct fields on the form.

Filing Location

  • If the debtor is a “registered” organization, the UCC is filed in the state of organization/registration.
  • If the debtor is an individual, the UCC is filed in the state of legal residence.

Filing Time

Debtor and Secured Party Signatures

  • UCC Lien: The secured party of record must authorize the filing.
  • EFS (Effective Financing Statement) Lien: The debtor must sign, authorize or authenticate the filing and the document must be filed by the secured party under the Federal Act. If authorization or authentication occurs, the debtor is not required to sign the EFS notice filed with the Secretary of State’s office. An EFS filed electronically through the Secretary of State’s online filing site does not require the debtor’s signature.
  • Title 71, MCA, Lien: The secured party of record must sign.

When filing an amendment with the Secretary of State’s office you must provide the original (initial) filing number and identify the type of amendment you are filing by checking the appropriate box and reflecting any additional information required on the form. Only one amendment type per form is permitted. The Secretary of State’s office no longer requires that a current debtor and secured party name appear on each amendment form to assist with identifying the filing. It is the responsibility of the filer to ensure they have correctly displayed the original (initial) filing number on each amendment.

The online UCC Search allows users to search debtor names, view filing chains, and download debtor search certificates and images of lien documents. There are two options available through the online service. Option 1: The “Subscription” service allows users, for a flat monthly fee, to download unlimited debtor search certificates. There is an additional fee for downloading images of lien documents. Option 2: The “Non-Subscription” service allows users to download debtor search certificates, at a cost per certificate, plus an additional cost when downloading images. Information regarding the Secretary of State’s search logic is available online and in the following Administrative Rule: 44.6.201. UCC Search »

Redaction of Tax ID Number

To protect personal information, the Secretary of State’s office will redact the Tax Identification Number on all lien images available to the public. A non-redacted version of the image will be retained in our files.

Liens currently filed with the Secretary of State’s Office are:

  • UCC Lien, a lien against goods used or bought for commercial purposes.
  • Agricultural Lien, a lien against goods used or bought for farming or ranching purposes.
  • Effective Financing Statement Lien, a lien against specific crops, livestock, and unmanufactured products. These liens appear on the Farm Bill Master List distributed to registered buyers.
  • Transmitting Utility Lien, a lien related to transmitting electric or electronic communications operating a railroad, subway, street railway or trolley bus transmitting goods by pipeline or sewer and transmitting or producing electricity, steam, gas, or water.
  • Notice of Federal Tax Lien, a lien created and filed by the IRS when taxes are assessed against a taxpayer on all his/her property and rights to property.
  • Notice of Child Support Lien, a lien created and filed by DPHHS Child Support Division against real or personal property that is due and/or owed in connection with child support.
  • Title 71, MCA, Lien, a lien against crops for services performed in relation to that crop, such as spraying or dusting.
  • Consumer Goods Lien, a lien against goods used or bought for personal, family, or household purposes.
  • Public Finance Transaction Lien, a lien against transactions in which long-term debt securities are issued to and/or for the benefit of a state or governmental unit of the state.
  • Manufactured Home Transaction Lien, a lien that creates purchase-money security interests in manufactured homes.

Federal Food Security Act

The Federal Food Security Act provides buyers of farm products, commission merchants, and selling agents the opportunity to register with the Secretary of State’s Office for a listing of security interests in specific farm products. A “farm product” is an agricultural commodity such as wheat, corn, soybeans, or a species of livestock such as cattle, hogs, sheep, horses, or poultry used or produced in farming operations, or a product of such crop or livestock in its unmanufactured state (such as ginned cotton, wool-clip, maple syrup, milk, and eggs), that is in the possession of a person engaged in farming operations. Failure of a buyer to register with the Secretary of State’s Office makes the buyer liable for payment of the security interest. Buyers are only registered for those portions on the master list for which they register. A registered buyer will receive clear title protection when purchasing farm products for the products in which they registered.

To register with the Secretary of State’s office for the Farm Bill Master List, complete the online registration form available through the SOS Enterprise Subscription Service or by completing the Farm Bill Online Subscription Service to receive the Master List online. Montana does not charge a buyer a fee to register to receive the Master List. Once registered, the buyer will receive daily updates to the online Farm Bill Master List. Buyers requesting paper output will receive updates through the 15 th of each month with the Master List being mailed no later than the 20 th of each month.

The fees for the Master List are as follows:

  • Online: $20.00 per commodity ordered
  • Paper: $20.00 per commodity ordered, plus additional costs if the number of pages exceeds 50

Registered buyers must refer to the Farm Bill Master List prior to purchasing farm products to determine if a security interests exists. If a security interest exists against the specific farm product being sold, the buyer is responsible for issuing a check in the seller’s name and lender who holds the security interest.

Lenders must use the Effective Financing Statement form that complies with the requirements under the Federal Food Security Act when filing “farm product” related lien notices with the Secretary of State’s Office if they want their lien to appear on the Farm Bill Master List.

Tribal Forms

Uniform Commercial Codes, referred to as UCCs, are important tools for enabling and supporting tribal economic and housing development by improving access to commercial and consumer credit.

A comprehensive and culturally appropriate secured transaction code can assist Tribes, American Indian-owned businesses , and Indian consumers that are encountering barriers to affordable credit by allowing for business to be transacted more efficiently and cost-effectively with parties located outside of the tribal jurisdiction.

Tribal commercial laws and transaction codes more effectively help achieve the goal of economic development if they are sufficiently similar, or harmonized, with the laws of the states and the Tribes. When adopted and implemented, they can support and strengthen the effective exercise of tribal sovereignty.

The sovereign nations listed below have active agreements with the Secretary of State’s office.


Assimilation Through Education: Indian Boarding Schools in the Pacific Northwest

The goal of Indian education from the 1880s through the 1920s was to assimilate Indian people into the melting pot of America by placing them in institutions where traditional ways could be replaced by those sanctioned by the government. Federal Indian policy called for the removal of children from their families and in many cases enrollment in a government run boarding school. In this way, the policy makers believed, young people would be immersed in the values and practical knowledge of the dominant American society while also being kept away from any influences imparted by their traditionally-minded relatives.

Part 1: Indian Boarding School Movement

The Indian boarding school movement began in the post Civil War era when idealistic reformers turned their attention to the plight of Indian people. Whereas before many Americans regarded the native people with either fear or loathing, the reformers believed that with the proper education and treatment Indians could become just like other citizens. They convinced the leaders of Congress that education could change at least some of the Indian population into patriotic and productive members of society. One of the first efforts to accomplish this goal was the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania, founded by Captain Richard Henry Pratt in 1879. Pratt was a leading proponent of the assimilation through education policy. Believing that Indian ways were inferior to those of whites, he subscribed to the principle, "kill the Indian and save the man." At Carlisle, young Indian boys and girls were subjected to a complete transformation. Photographs taken at the school illustrate how they looked "before" and "after". The dramatic contrast between traditional clothing and hairstyles and Victorian styles of dress helped convince the public that through boarding school education Indians could become completely "civilized". Following the model of Carlisle, additional off reservation boarding schools were established in other parts of the country, including Forest Grove, Oregon (later known as Chemawa). (1)

Seeking to educate increasing numbers of Indian children at lower cost, the federal government established two other types of schools: the reservation boarding school and day schools. Reservation boarding schools had the advantage of being closer to Indian communities and as a result had lower transportation costs. Contact between students and their families was somewhat restricted as students remained at the school for eight to nine months of the year. Relatives could visit briefly at prescribed times. School administrators worked constantly to keep the students at school and eradicate all vestiges of their tribal cultures. Day schools, which were the most economical, usually provided only a minimal education. They worked with the boarding schools by transferring students for more advanced studies.

In the Pacific Northwest, treaties negotiated with the Indians during the 1850s included promises of educational support for the tribes. For example, Article 10 of the Medicine Creek Treaty signed by members of the Nisqually, Squaxin, Puyallup and Steilacoom Tribes on December 26, 1854 called for the establishment of an agricultural and industrial school "to be free to the children of said tribes for a period of 20 years." The expenses of the school, its employees and medical personnel were to be defrayed by the federal government and not deducted from annuities. A similar clause appears in the Treaty of Point Elliott, signed by representatives of tribes living in the central and northern Puget Sound region.

The promised schools did not come into existence for several years. In the 1870s and 1880s a few small reservation boarding schools were established on the Chehalis, Skokomish and Makah Reservations. These institutions, which had fewer than 50 students, were all closed by 1896 and replaced by day schools. In Tacoma, a one-room shack served as a day school for young Puyallup Indians beginning in 1860. By 1873 students had begun boarding at the school and during the 1880s enrollment increased to 125 pupils. At the turn of the century, Cushman Indian School had become a large industrial boarding school, drawing over 350 students from around the Northwest and Alaska. The 1901 Report of Superintendent of Indian Schools praised Cushman for being well equipped for industrial training and photographs show a modern machine shop. Cushman remained one of the largest on reservation boarding schools in the region until it closed in 1920.

Part 2: Mission Schools

Meanwhile, on many reservations missionaries operated schools that combined religious with academic training. At Priest's Point near the Tulalip Reservation, Reverend E.C. Chirouse opened a school in 1857 for six boys and five girls. By 1860 he had 15 pupils and the school continued to grow under the auspices of the Sisters of Providence. At these missionary run schools, traditional religious and cultural practices were strongly discouraged while instruction in the Christian doctrines took place utilizing pictures, statues, hymns, prayers and storytelling.

Some missionary schools received federal support, particularly at times when Congress felt less inclined to provide the large sums of money needed to establish government schools. The Tulalip Mission School became the first contract Indian school, an arrangement whereby the government provided annual funds to maintain the buildings while the Church furnished books, clothing, housing and medical care. In 1896 Congress drastically reduced the funding for mission schools and eventually, in the winter of 1900-01, the Tulalip school became a federal facility. The old school buildings were destroyed by fire in 1902. On January 23, 1905, exactly fifty years after the signing of the Point Elliott Treaty, a new and larger school opened along the shores of Tulalip Bay.

The Tulalip Indian School began under the supervision of Charles Milton Buchanan, a physician who also served as Indian Agent for the reservation. The first year it had only one dormitory, but by 1907 both girls' and boys' buildings were completed and the school had a capacity enrollment of 200 students. The children ranged in age from 6 to 18 years and came from many different reservations as well as some off reservation communities. It was not uncommon for teachers at day schools to recommend certain students for the boarding school. Because Tulalip offered a maximum of eighth grade education, some students transferred to Chemawa for more advanced training.

Part 3: Boarding Schools

In eastern Washington, a U.S. military fort near Spokane was transformed into a boarding school for Indians of the Spokane and Colville reservations.

Fort Spokane Boarding School opened in 1900 with an enrollment of 83 pupils and grew to 200 by 1902. It operated only until 1914 after which time the children attended day schools closer to their homes. Similarly, the military facility at Fort Simcoe became a school for the Yakama and their neighbors.

The national system of Indian education, including both off reservation boarding schools, reservation boarding schools and day schools, continued to expand at the turn of the century. In the Pacific Northwest, Chemawa Indian School became the largest off reservation boarding school and drew pupils from throughout the region and Alaska. Chemawa had originally been located at Forest Grove, Oregon, but was moved to Salem in 1885 after officials determined that the original site lacked adequate agricultural land. By 1920 Chemawa enrolled 903 students from 90 different tribes, nearly a third coming from Alaska.

All federal boarding schools, whether on or off reservation, shared certain characteristics. The Bureau of Indian Affairs issued directives that were followed by superintendents throughout the nation. Even the architecture and landscaping appeared similar from one institution to the next. Common features included a military style regimen, a strict adherence to English language only, an emphasis on farming, and a schedule that equally split academic and vocational training. By reading the Reports of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs and other documents you can compare the official reports submitted by various schools.

Part 4: A Typical Daily Schedule

A typical daily schedule at a boarding school began with an early wake-up call followed by a series of tasks punctuated by the ringing of bells. Students were required to march from one activity to the next. Regular inspections and drills took place outdoors with platoons organized according to age and rank. Competitions were held to see which group could achieve the finest marching formation.

Conformity to rules and regulations was strongly encouraged:

The foremost requirement for assimilation into American society, authorities felt, was mastery of the English language. Commissioner of Indian Affairs T.J. Morgan described English as "the language of the greatest, most powerful and enterprising nationalities beneath the sun." Such chauvinism did not allow for bilingualism in the boarding schools. Students were prohibited from speaking their native languages and those caught "speaking Indian" were severely punished. Later, many former students regretted that they lost the ability to speak their native language fluently because of the years they spent in boarding school.

Another important component of the government policy for "civilizing" the Indians was to teach farming techniques. Although few reservations in the Pacific Northwest had either fertile land or a climate conducive to agriculture, nonetheless it was felt that farming was the proper occupation for American citizens. So boys learned how to milk cows, grow vegetables, repair tools, etc. and even had lessons on the various types of plows. (2)

The boarding schools had what came to be called the "half and half" system where students spent half of the day in the classroom and half at a work assignment or "detail" on the school grounds. The academic curriculum included courses in U.S. history, geography, language, arithmetic, reading, writing and spelling. Music and drama were offered at most schools. Young women spent either the morning or the afternoon doing laundry, sewing, cooking, cleaning and other household tasks. Older girls might study nursing or office work. The young men acquired skills in carpentry, blacksmithing, animal husbandry, baking and shop. They chopped firewood to keep the steam boilers operating. The work performed by students was essential to the operation of the institution. The meat, vegetables and milk served in the dining room came from livestock and gardens kept by the students. The girls made and repaired uniforms, sheets, and curtains and helped to prepare the meals.

A standardized curriculum for Indian schools emphasized vocational training. Estelle Reel, who served as Superintendent of Indian Education from 1898 to 1910, was a strong advocate of this curriculum which gave primary importance to learning manual skills. No amount of book learning, she felt, could result in economic independence for Indian people. Others would claim that by limiting education to manual training the educators were condemning Indian people to permanent inequality. A former student at the Fort Spokane boarding school described typical work done by the boys:

Mandatory education for Indian children became law in 1893 and thereafter agents on the reservations received instructions on how to enforce the federal regulation. If parents refused to send their children to school the authorities could withhold annuities or rations or send them to jail. Some parents were uncomfortable having their children sent far away from home. The educators had quotas to fill, however, and considerable pressure was exerted on Indian families to send their youngsters to boarding schools beginning when the child was six years old. Fear and loneliness caused by this early separation from family is a common experience shared by all former students. Once their children were enrolled in a distant school, parents lost control over decisions that affected them. For example, requests for holiday leave could be denied by the superintendent for almost any reason. (3)

Part 5: Negatives and Positives

For some students, the desire for freedom and the pull of their family combined with strong discontent caused them to run away. At Chemawa, for example, there were 46 "desertions" recorded in 1921, followed by 70 in 1922. Punishment of runaways was usually harsh, as the offenders became examples held up before their fellow students:

Illness was another serious problem at the boarding schools. Crowded conditions and only the basic medical care no doubt contributed to the spread of diseases such as measles, influenza and tuberculosis. Tuberculosis was especially feared and at the Tulalip Indian School the dormitories were kept cold by leaving the windows open at night. Several students were sent to sanitariums in Idaho or Nevada. In a letter issued to superintendents in 1913, the Indian Office advised disinfecting all textbooks at the end of each school year to reduce the chance of spreading disease. Hospital reports for Tulalip indicate that boys spent a total of 110 days in the hospital during one month and girls 125 days. Death was not an unknown occurrence either. At Chemawa, a cemetery contains headstones of 189 students who died at the school, and these represent only the ones whose bodies were not returned home for burial.

Not all experiences at the boarding schools were negative for all students. In hindsight, former students acknowledge benefits they gained from their education, and there were happy moments for some. Sports, games and friendships are examples of experiences remembered in a positive light.

As the years went by and most students persevered, strong friendships developed. Occasionally a friendship might end up in marriage, although this certainly was not encouraged by the school. Young people from one culture group met boys and girls from other areas. Reflecting on her years spent in boarding schools, one elder stated:

Another former student recognized the practical advantages offered by the schools but perceived deeper implications:

By the 1920s the Bureau of Indian Affairs had changed its opinion about boarding schools, responding to complaints that the schools were too expensive and that they encouraged dependency more than self-sufficiency. By 1923, the majority of Indian children nationwide attended public schools. A report on Indian education issued in 1928 revealed glaring deficiencies in the boarding schools, including poor diet, overcrowding, below-standard medical service, excessive labor by the students and substandard teaching. The 1930s witnessed many changes in federal Indian policy, among which was a shift in educational philosophy. Classroom lessons could now reflect the diversity of Indian cultures. States assumed more control over Indian education as more children enrolled in public schools. Most of the boarding schools were closed by this time, Tulalip in 1932 and Cushman in 1920, leaving Chemawa as the sole government boarding school remaining in the Pacific Northwest.

Sample Daily Routine

Cushman Indian School, Tacoma, Wash.

Footnotes

2. Curriculum records from National Archives and Records Administration, Pacific Northwest Region, RG75, Box 321: Tulalip Agency.

Bibliography

Adams, David Wallace. Education for Extinction: American Indians and the Boarding School Experience, 1875-1928. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1995.

Cheeka, Joyce Simmons as told to Werdna Phillips Finley. As My Sun Now Sets . Unpublished autobiographical memoirs.

Coleman, Michael C. American Indian Children at School, 1950-1930. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1993.

Collins, Carey C. "Oregon's Carlisle: Teaching 'America´ at Chemawa Indian School," Columbia: The Magazine of Northwest History , Tacoma: Washington State Historical Society, Summer 1998.

Collins, Carey C. "Through the Lens of Assimilation: Edwin L. Chalcraft and Chemawa Indian School," Oregon Historical Quarterly v. 98, no. 14 (Winter 1997-98): 390-425.

History of Cushman School . Typescript in Special Collections Division of the Washington State Historical Society, n.d.

Hoxie, Frederick E. A Final Promise: The Campaign to Assimilate the Indians. Omaha: University of Nebraska Press, 1984.

Report of the Superintendent of Indian Schools , (1897/98-1903/04). Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Reports of the Indian Commissioner, Annual Reports of the Department of the Interior, various dates. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office.

The Suquamish Museum. The Eyes of Chief Seattle . [Suquamish, Wash.], 1985.

Szasz, Margaret. Education and the American Indian: The Road to Self-Determination,

1928-1973. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1974.

Cheney Cowles Museum, Eastern Washington Historical Society. They Sacrificed for Our Survival: The Indian Boarding School Experience . Exhibit produced 1997, available for travel.

The Tulalip Tribes. Between Two Worlds: Experiences at the Tulalip Indian School, 1905-1932 . Exhibit produced 1992, available for travel.

Study Questions

  1. Examine the photographs from several different boarding schools (for example Tulalip, Cushman, Chemawa, Fort Spokane, Fort Simcoe, Fort Lapwai) and consider the similarities and differences that you can see. Also, search for additional photographs of Catholic mission schools (for example St. Mary's in Omak, Washington or Sacred Heart in DeSmet, Idaho). Make a list of these factors and speculate as to why some things look the same and others look different (for example emphasis on farming, uniforms, appearance of buildings, environment and appearance of students). What other sources of information could you look for to compare the schools?
  2. What type of work did the students perform at the boarding schools? Which jobs were assigned to boys and which to girls? Look at the photographs for clues. Did these students work harder than young people today? What would they learn from their daily jobs? Do you think these work assignments helped them after they left school?
  3. There are many things that photographs of the boarding schools do not tell us. Can you think of some? Who was taking the pictures and for what reason(s)? How does this affect what we can learn about the schools? What are some other sources from which we can learn more about the boarding school experience?
  4. Do you think that the federal government accomplished its goal of assimilating Indians into American society? Why or why not? Is it likely that a person's cultural background can be totally erased? What aspects of your own culture do you feel most connected to?
  5. Why do you think the educators stressed vocational or work-related training over academic or book learning? Was there a built-in prejudice against Indian students evident in this curriculum? What do you think self-determination means and how does it differ from the philosophy of the boarding schools?

About the Author

Carolyn J. Marr is an anthropologist and photographs librarian at the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle, Washington. She has worked with the Chehalis, Suquamish, Tulalip and Makah Tribes on projects relating to photographs and oral history as well as material culture, especially basketry and textiles. Several exhibits have resulted from her work, including one on the boarding school experience in western Washington. Publications include, "Portrait in Time: Photographs of the Makah by Samuel G. Morse, 1897-1903," and numerous articles in Pacific Northwest Quarterly, Columbia Magazine and other journals.


How to Spot a Military Impostor

The detectives who investigate fake stories of military service use many tools, including shame.

Callahan County, an agricultural region outside Abilene, Texas, is a place where people pay attention to their neighbors. Bart Kendrick, whose family has lived in the county since the nineteenth century, takes particular notice of vehicles. (When I visited him, he greeted me by saying, “Nice truck. What year is it?”) Last summer, Bart saw something odd at a nearby house. In the morning, a pickup truck was parked in front of the garage. In the evening, the truck had been replaced by a patrol car. When Bart went to introduce himself to his new neighbors, no one answered the door. The yard was weedy the windows were covered with aluminum foil.

In December, Bart and his wife, Amber, read in the local paper that Leroy Foley, a police officer in the nearby town of Clyde, was running for sheriff of Callahan County. In Foley’s public filings, he listed the neighboring house as his residence. To Bart, it seemed obvious that Foley didn’t live there but was merely using it as a place to switch out his vehicle after work. The Kendricks did a little digging and discovered that Foley lived fifty-five miles away, in another county, which under Texas law made him ineligible for the position.

Bart is a deliberate man with a long, wiry beard. If something strikes him as wrong, he feels obligated to fix it. Just before my visit, one of the family’s cats was killed by a raccoon. After Bart buried her, he reviewed his security-camera footage to identify the culprit, then spent several nights perched in a tree with a pistol until he got his revenge. Foley’s apparent lie about his residence offended Bart. He began to film himself knocking on the door and getting no answer. He photographed the trash can by the road to show that its contents never changed.

Foley promised to professionalize the sheriff’s department. He called the current deputies “a bunch of yahoos” and mocked them for wearing cowboy boots instead of tactical shoes. A tall man with a square jaw and closely cropped hair, he touted his eleven years as a member of the 75th Ranger Regiment, an élite special-operations Army unit. He talked about his sniper training and the bullets he’d taken for his country. On his campaign Facebook page, he displayed his medals: a Silver Star, for valor in combat, and a Purple Heart. “I was born a protector and an overwatcher,” he told a local television station.

Foley’s opponent in the Republican primary was Rick Jowers, a mild, approachable sheriff’s deputy with a handlebar mustache. Jowers was well known, and largely well liked, throughout the county I heard stories of people calling him for help wrangling loose goats and managing family disputes. “He was a darn good deputy,” Terry Joy, who had been the sheriff of Callahan County since 2013, told me. “He did his job good, got along with people good.” Jowers had worked for the sheriff’s office for eight years, five of them as chief deputy. “He was just a good old country boy who wanted to help you. Someone you could actually call and feel comfortable about it,” said Marcia Shumway, a local stay-at-home mom and home-school teacher, who, with her husband, Paul, supported Jowers in the race.

Foley repeatedly invoked his time in the Army. “I’m not cop-trained, I’m military-trained,” he said, during a debate in Cross Plains, in January. “I’m on time, like all military people are. I’m respectful, like all military people are.” Jowers seemed thrown by his opponent’s tough-guy posturing, and offered a different vision for law enforcement in the county. “My military doesn’t have nothing to do with what I’m doing for the county right now,” he said. He added that he, like Foley, was an Airborne Ranger with combat wounds: “I served my country, I took a bullet for my country . . . but we’re not going to try to run our sheriff’s department like the military.”

Around Christmas, Bart Kendrick went public on Facebook with his accusation about Foley’s residency, sure that it would tank his candidacy. Instead, people called Bart a stalker. He was disheartened by the community response, but his wife was energized. She scoured Foley’s social-media accounts, trying to find other holes in his story. One evening, she mentioned Foley’s military medals to her father, a retired colonel in the Air Force. “He said, ‘A Silver Star—that’s, like, never given out,’ ” Amber told me. “And he said, ‘There are places out there that will research things like this.’ ”

“These are just as good as, if not better than, jelly beans.”

On January 13th, Amber filled out a form on Military Phonies, one of a number of Web sites dedicated to exposing people who invent or inflate their military service. “I am concerned that he may not have received [the medals] but is implying that he has,” she wrote. “My father served 30 years in the Air Force and I have regard for servicemen. I just need help in finding out if he does indeed have these medals.”

That night, a representative from Military Phonies e-mailed Amber, saying that it usually took the group several weeks to put together a complete record, and pointing her to a list of Silver Star recipients compiled by a military historian named Doug Sterner. Foley was not on the list.

Three weeks later, Military Phonies published the results of its investigation, concluding that Foley was indeed an Army veteran but that his career was much less élite than he had claimed. There was no evidence that he was an Airborne Ranger or a sniper, that he had received a Purple Heart or a Silver Star, or that he had been wounded in combat.

The Facebook page for the Clyde Police Department was soon flooded with comments from angry people across the country: “Hey Clyde PD, you have a POS Poser in your midst” “Leroy Grant Foley those brand new cuff links will look good on you.” Foley was placed on administrative leave. It turned out that he had submitted a doctored DD 214—the record of military service—when he applied for his position, crediting himself with such honors as the Saudi Arabian Liberation Medal and the Sniper Badge, neither of which exist. Within a few days, Foley resigned. “I can’t answer why somebody would do those types of things. In reality, he’s an honorably discharged military veteran,” Robert Dalton, the Clyde police chief, told me. “It doesn’t make sense.”

Politicians lie to get us into wars generals lie about how well things are going soldiers lie about what they did during their service. In 1782, when George Washington awarded ribbons and badges to valorous Revolutionary War troops, he was already worrying about pretenders. “Should any who are not entitled to these honors have the insolence to assume the badges of them they shall be severely punished,” he wrote. When Walter Washington Williams, thought to be the last surviving veteran of the Confederate Army, died, in 1959, President Eisenhower called for a national day of mourning. It turned out that Williams had fabricated his service, and that the second-longest-surviving Confederate soldier probably had, too. In fact, according to the Civil War historian William Marvel, “every one of the last dozen recognized Confederates was bogus.” But it’s only recently that lying about military service has been considered a particularly heinous form of lying, one with its own name: stolen valor.

The phrase originated with B. G. (Jug) Burkett, a Texas stockbroker and a Vietnam veteran, whose attempts, in the nineteen-eighties, to raise funds for a memorial to Vietnam veterans from Texas were made difficult, he wrote, by the stereotype that soldiers who returned from the war were “losers, bums, drug addicts, drunks, derelicts—societal offal who had come back from the war plagued by nightmares and flashbacks that left them with the potential to go berserk at any moment.” In 1988, Burkett read a story in the Dallas Times Herald about Carl Dudley Williams, a homeless man who had shot and killed a police officer. The Times Herald reported that Williams was a Vietnam veteran one of the paper’s columnists wondered whether “Vietnam did that to him.” On a whim, Burkett filed a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain Williams’s military records and discovered that he had never served in Vietnam.

Burkett began FOIA-ing with abandon. He requested the records of a Green Beret who signed autographs for kids at parades: faker. He looked into the Navy SEAL and the Green Beret who operated San Antonio’s Vietnam War Museum: both liars, although each thought that the other was legit. He found that the actor Brian Dennehy, famous for playing Rambo’s law-enforcement antagonist in “First Blood,” had lied about suffering combat wounds in Vietnam. (Dennehy served five years in the Marines, but never in Vietnam he apologized after Burkett went public with his accusation.) Burkett caught so many people distorting or inventing their military service that he wondered whether the dissemblers might be evidence of “a national phenomenon, a weird ripple in the American psyche.” By 1989, Burkett was averaging one FOIA request a day. He wrote that an official at the National Archives told him that he was “probably the Archives’ number one individual FOIA user.”

In 1998, Burkett self-published “Stolen Valor: How the Vietnam Generation Was Robbed of Its Heroes and Its History,” which he wrote with the investigative journalist Glenna Whitley. The nearly seven-hundred-page book explored many of Burkett’s preoccupations—that P.T.S.D. was an overdiagnosed condition cooked up by antiwar leftists that accusations of war crimes in Vietnam were overstated—but what captured readers’ attention was his exposure of military fakers. “This was pre-social media, and it started going kind of viral,” Whitley said.

Even so, there were only a handful of people regularly investigating false military claims. “Basically, there were three of us—myself, Jug Burkett, and a couple out of Missouri,” Doug Sterner, who calls himself an “accidental stolen-valor researcher,” told me. Sterner, who returned from Vietnam with two Bronze Stars, learned how to navigate the military-records system while compiling a database of people who’d been given the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military award. Like Burkett, Sterner verged on the obsessive. By day, he managed an apartment building in Pueblo, Colorado in his spare time, he maintained lists of medal recipients and wrote eighty-one books, the majority about military history. (His best-sellers are not about war, however. “My wife is a big fan of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey,’ so I wrote some books in that vein for our fortieth anniversary, and they sell more than all my other books combined,” he told me, sounding a little abashed.)

Sterner had never intended to expose fakers—he was more interested in the real heroes—but he kept running across them. At a gathering for honorees, in the nineties, a short man approached Sterner, holding a photograph of a man wearing a medal. “I hear you’re something of a Medal of Honor historian,” he said. “Can you identify this man for me?” Sterner peered at the image. “I said, ‘Well, that’s the Air Force design of the Medal of Honor. There’ve only been thirteen Medals of Honor awarded by the Air Force in history. Only five of them are still living, and he’s not one of them, so this guy’s a phony.’ And he stuck his hand out and said, ‘Glad to meet you, I’m Tom Cottone with the F.B.I.’ And that started our friendship.”

When Sterner learned of a fraudulent Medal of Honor claim, he’d pass the information along to Cottone. The work sometimes made him uncomfortable. When a woman wrote to Sterner insisting that her husband be added to his Medal of Honor database, Cottone asked Sterner to pretend to believe her. “I felt I was doing something really pretty dirty—leading this woman on to help her incriminate her husband so the F.B.I. could go in and take his medal,” Sterner said. When he shared his anxieties, Cottone told him that, if a person was lying about his service, he was often lying about more substantial things, too.

At the time, wearing an unearned military medal was against the law, but there was no particular consideration given to lies about military service the same chapter of the federal statute also made it illegal to proffer a fake police badge, pretend to be a member of 4-H, or misuse the likeness of Smokey Bear. That began to change in 2004, after an Arizona man was featured in a local newspaper as a highly decorated veteran who had, among other improbable exploits, assisted in the capture of Saddam Hussein. Sterner helped expose him as a liar, but he was frustrated that there was no criminal penalty. It wasn’t illegal to lie about a medal—it was only when you pinned it on your lapel that you broke the law. Pam Sterner overheard her husband and Cottone ranting about the current law’s toothlessness. “It was a venting session that at times became very loud, earnest, and hard to ignore,” Sterner wrote in “Restoring Valor: One Couple’s Mission to Expose Fraudulent War Heroes and Protect America’s Military Awards System.” His vehemence at first irritated Pam, who had gone back to school to study political science and had an assignment due the next day then it inspired her. In her final paper, she proposed criminalizing false claims about the nation’s highest medals. She got an A. Then she decided to try to get the legislation passed.

The Sterners’ timing was fortuitous. In the period after 9/11, ninety-one per cent of Americans were proud of U.S. troops, according to a Pew survey, and the military was the most trusted institution in the nation. Accompanying that trust was mounting anxiety that it could be abused. The Stolen Valor Act of 2005, written in part by Pam Sterner, was introduced the year that millions of filmgoers watched “Wedding Crashers,” in which Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson’s characters lie about being Purple Heart recipients. On September 7, 2006, the act, which made it a federal crime to falsely claim receipt of a military award or decoration, passed in the Senate by unanimous consent President George W. Bush signed it into law soon afterward. But, six years later, in United States v. Alvarez, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Xavier Alvarez, a water-district official in Southern California, who had been convicted of lying about receiving the Medal of Honor. (Alvarez had also falsely claimed to be a professional ice-hockey player and to have been married to a Mexican movie star.) The Court found that the Stolen Valor Act violated the First Amendment. Congress passed an amended statute, which made it illegal to fraudulently wear medals, embellish rank, or make false claims of service in order to obtain money or some other tangible benefit, making stolen valor an issue of fraud rather than of speech. But, in his majority opinion in Alvarez, Justice Anthony Kennedy had suggested another way forward. “Once the lie was made public, he was ridiculed online,” he wrote. “There is good reason to believe that a similar fate would befall other false claimants.”

In 2015, Eric Lindinger, a Gulf War veteran, had a job that involved a lot of cross-country driving. He kept having odd interactions with strangers. He’d be enjoying an All-Star Special at Waffle House, where veterans can get a ten-per-cent discount, when a man would start asking questions about his military service. The guy would usually be polite, but the interactions felt more like interrogations than like conversations. “They’re always loaded questions,” Lindinger told me. “They’ll be, like, ‘You were over there in 1992, right?’ Because, if I say yes, he’s caught a phony.” I asked him how often these encounters happened, and he gave a rasping chuckle. “I’m laughing because it happened a lot,” he said.

As Justice Kennedy predicted, public shaming has become the de-facto response to suspected stolen valor. Last year, a Montana judge required that, as a condition of their parole, two men who had falsely claimed veteran status must stand at the Montana Veterans Memorial with placards that read “I am a liar. I am not a veteran. I stole valor. I have dishonored all veterans.” Typically, though, punishment is meted out online.

Researching potential phonies was once a lonely enterprise now there are a dozen Web sites, message boards, and Facebook groups that provide instruction and crowdsource the work. The activity has become a type of bonding exercise for former service members some even seem to be reliving their war experience when hunting down phonies. (On StolenValor.com, exposed liars are “secured targets.”) In a forum called Special Forces Brothers, which is associated with Guardians of the Green Beret, fifty-seven hundred current and former Green Berets help vet claimants. Military Phonies gets more than a hundred thousand unique views on a good day, according to the Web site’s administrator.

Documenting and debunking fakers has become easier as more of our lives have moved online. People lie about their service in YouTube clips, Facebook posts, and text messages researchers have exposed a man who claimed on a dating site to have been on the SEAL team that took out Osama bin Laden, and another who posted photographs of himself wearing a Green Beret uniform on his wedding day. A few of Military Phonies’ half-dozen volunteer researchers are registered private investigators, which allows them access to specialized databases. “We look at what they post on the Internet, who they’re talking to, what they’re saying,” the Web site’s administrator told me. “We’ll do a FOIA, and we’re very specific about the information we ask for—what units they may have been in, what awards they could’ve had, the time they served, what their discharge rank was, and their combat history.”

Ed Caffrey began following stolen-valor Web sites when he was on active duty in the Air Force. He set up Google news alerts for key phrases: “prisoner of war,” “Navy Cross.” “I started coming across these guys putting themselves in local media as heroes,” Caffrey told me. “The first one claimed he served in the unit from ‘Band of Brothers’ and also stormed the beach at Normandy—it just didn’t make any sense.”

The lies that people tell shift with the appetites of the era. Veterans of the Second World War placed themselves at the sites of iconic battles, even when they were stationed far away. People falsely claiming to have served in Vietnam often used the war to explain some failure or trauma in their personal lives—their homelessness or their struggles with addiction. With the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq came a surge in young men who said that they were élite commandos in the weeks after the raid that killed bin Laden, phony SEAL claims doubled, according to one researcher.

Culture shapes lies, too. “When ‘Rambo’ came out, everyone was a Green Beret. After ‘The Hunt for Red October,’ everyone was a submariner,” Don Shipley, who investigates fake Navy SEALs, told me. Shipley is one of the most prominent figures in the field, the closest thing it has to an influencer. “I’m lethal with a keyboard—you can’t lie to me,” he has said. After more than two decades with the Navy, he worked as a contractor for Blackwater in Afghanistan and Pakistan, then ran Extreme SEAL Experience, a camp where civilians paid more than two thousand dollars for a week of simulated SEAL training. A decade ago, Shipley began posting YouTube videos debunking false SEAL claims. “There were other guys doing this before me, but I’m the guy that took it to YouTube,” he told me.

Shipley studied how to make a video go viral. “You gotta be entertaining, you gotta be funny,” he said. “You always want to put a pretty young lady in a video if you can swing it.” He started telephoning suspected liars, baiting them into telling ridiculous stories, and exposing them. “It went big really kinda quick,” he said.

While Sterner and other early stolen-valor researchers worked largely behind the scenes, Shipley’s videos were as much about his life as about the men he exposed. His wife, Diane, a platinum-haired straight-talker, was a regular guest, as were the couple’s many dogs, ducks, and grandchildren. The YouTube channel quickly grew popular with veterans, police officers, and firefighters. “I have entire National Guard units that spend their weekends watching my videos on a big screen in an auditorium, seeing what Don is doing,” Shipley said. He’s been surprised by how many older women watch, too. By last year, his videos had been viewed fifty million times.

The interviews present a satisfying moral clarity: Shipley, a broad, deep-voiced man with lush hair, plays the role of the good soldier, confidently asserting his dominance over the dissembling faker. When a liar’s story starts to spin wildly out of control, Shipley cocks an eyebrow. The liar inevitably starts calling him “sir.” “I took lessons from Patton,” Shipley said. “If you want to keep people’s attention, you start cursing.”

When the phone calls became routine, he and Diane travelled to a half-dozen states, sometimes staking out phonies’ houses and confronting them on camera. Shipley tried to keep things more or less professional, but his fans could be less scrupulous. “Some guys were just really out for blood,” he said. “They would track down the guy’s family, his mother, his wife. They would send them harassing e-mails, or they’d get a phone number and post that up on YouTube, and people would be calling it really late.”

“Dear Deborah, I’ve lost my phone and we need to talk.”

Shipley’s videos belong to a genre known as justice porn, which Urban Dictionary defines as “getting off on watching someone get their due for being a scumbag piece of shit.” Justice porn allows us to indulge our baser instincts, ostensibly in the service of righteousness.

Since Shipley started his channel, confrontations between service members and potential impostors have become wildly popular on YouTube. They amass millions of views and are re-aired on Fox News and on the program “Tosh.0.” They tend to follow a standard template: the accuser confronts a suspicious stranger in uniform in a big-box store or a mall food court, barraging him (or, rarely, her) with questions about where and when he served. The accused mumbles nonsensical answers before slinking off, exposed and humiliated. The videos, with their blend of vigilante justice and public callouts, hit several social-media sweet spots watching them makes me feel both rapt and queasy, particularly when the accuser’s anger feels disproportionate to the situation. “It’s clear this is about way more than just stolen valor,” the comedian Ian Fidance, who has made a series of parody stolen-valor videos, told me. “They served their country, now they have to get a normal job, maybe they have P.T.S.D., maybe they’re not getting help from the V.A. It’s like cancelling someone online—you can’t fix the bigger problem, so you just attack this stranger.”

Shipley partly blames himself for seeding these confrontations. “I came out swinging so hard at these guys on the Internet that I brought on flocks of these junior G-men who have nothing to do but patrol Walmart and accost people,” he said. On Reddit, civilians share stories of getting called out for wearing military-themed hoodies, and worry about whether they’re stealing valor by wearing camouflage pants. An Iraq War veteran was jumped and had his leg broken outside a Sacramento bar by two men who thought he was lying about being a marine. Bob Ford, a former marine in his seventies, was harassed in front of a crowd by two men who were suspicious because his belt buckle appeared too ornate for his rank. “I thought I was going to have a heart attack on the spot,” Ford told the podcast “Reply All.” Some of the most uncomfortable stolen-valor videos involve confrontations with people who appear to be confused, mentally ill, or homeless. “On the Reddit boards, people will talk about what makes them suspicious that someone is not a real vet,” Kristiana Willsey, a folklorist at the University of Southern California who studies military narratives, said. “Often, if someone is not a paragon of traditional masculinity—if you don’t look like Bradley Cooper playing Chris Kyle—your claims are more suspect.” (After the death of Kyle, the soldier whose story was the basis for “American Sniper,” the Intercept revealed that in his memoir he had awarded himself one more Silver Star and one more Bronze Star than he had earned.) “The hard part,” Shipley said, “is that nobody believes anybody anymore.”

Last February, YouTube suspended Shipley’s channel for harassment. Shipley admits that he sometimes broke the platform’s rules against releasing individuals’ personal information, but he contends that he was deplatformed for political reasons: he had been digging into the background of Nathan Phillips, a Native American veteran who appeared in a viral video with a student from Covington Catholic High School. (Phillips has claimed that he served during “Vietnam times,” but he was actually a reservist who never served in Vietnam he also went AWOL a number of times.) These days, subscribers pay ten dollars a month for access to the Shipleys’ video library, along with regular live streams, Diane’s recipes for “Big Ass Meatballs” and “ass kickin cornbread,” and Don’s duck-hunting tips.

Some of the so-called valor thieves busted by Shipley and others fit Tom Cottone’s description—their lies about their military service are part of a larger pattern of deception. Con men posing as military heroes trade on the respect and deference granted to veterans, using claims of service to win investors’ confidence, receive veterans’ benefits, or secure government contracts. Grifters lie about being war heroes, then steal money from women they meet on dating sites. People in positions of trust use military credentials to bolster their authority pastors, sheriffs, and politicians are regularly featured on stolen-valor Web sites. (Other patterns Shipley has noticed: there is a disproportionate number of phonies in Georgia, liars tend to be junior enlisted men, and stolen valor is “primarily a white problem.”)

In many instances, though, the motivations are muddier. An agent at the Naval Criminal Investigative Service told me that most cases of stolen valor don’t involve career criminals. People who lie about having served often seem less interested in money than in belonging to an esteemed group. Marc Feldman, a psychiatrist who specializes in factitious disorder, a diagnosis that is given primarily to women who feign or produce illness or injury for emotional gratification, sees stolen valor as a less-studied offshoot of the same syndrome. “The role of ‘patient’ is well defined in our society,” he said. “One of the appeals of patienthood is the special dispensation—we reduce our expectations of that person, we give them attention.” The role of veteran, which comes freighted with its own set of expectations and benefits, is similarly alluring. Most stolen-valor cases don’t involve master criminals but, rather, average men who want to be treated as if they were extraordinary.

After Leroy Foley’s lies about his military service were exposed, Rick Jowers seemed certain to win the Republican primary and therefore become Callahan County’s next sheriff, since no one was running as a Democrat. Then people started bringing up the comments that Jowers had made during a debate with Foley. “Has anyone looked into Chief Deputy Rick Jowers past?” someone asked on Facebook. “He also stated that he was a military veteran that was shot while serving his country.”

In response, Jowers posted an image of his DD 214, but it was oddly cropped, with key information outside the frame. Bart and Amber Kendrick were taken aback. “We were so focussed on Foley, we didn’t even think about Jowers,” Bart said. Military Phonies was already looking into Jowers’s background. “As soon as I watched that video” of the debate, the Web site’s administrator told me, “I was, like, Let’s FOIA both these guys.”

That evening, Jowers, on a call with his supporter Paul Shumway, started weeping. “He’s, like, I screwed up, I told a little lie and it got big,” Shumway, a veteran of the Air Force, said. Jowers knew that Military Phonies was about to release his military records, which would show that he was not an Airborne Ranger, and that he had not been wounded in combat. In fact, he had served as a private in the Army, gone AWOL in Germany, and received an “other than honorable” discharge. Jowers told Shumway that he’d left Germany when his father suffered a heart attack, and had been kept away by a series of tragedies: his mother’s death in a car crash, his sister’s suicide, his brother’s death. “He struck me as sincere,” Shumway said.

Jowers released a statement, apologizing for misleading the community and claiming that he had distorted his record because he had been “upset and angry at a certain person”—presumably Foley. Some Callahan County residents were ready to forgive him. “I think he just got caught up in the moment,” Sheriff Joy said. “He made one little mistake and look what happened.” But when Shumway’s wife, Marcia, Googled Jowers’s siblings, she discovered that they had died more than a decade after his military service. And as far back as 2007, when Jowers applied to work at the Taylor County jail, he claimed to have been an Airborne Ranger. Jowers withdrew from the race and resigned his job with the sheriff’s department. “He lied till the end,” Shumway said. ♦


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