**QandO says it’s obtained a copy of Macbeth’s real Form DD-214. See update below.**
I thought we were done with this, but apparently not. Reader Jon F. e-mails to say that there’s a new photo posted at the MySpace site that McQ blogged about the other day. It’s a photo of an army discharge form, which in some respects appears to be authentic and in other respects … not so much.
So here it is. Maybe it’ll vindicate Macbeth, maybe not. I’ll leave it to the milbloggers to pronounce judgment. There are two versions of the form: the top one is the original, but it’s dark and hard to read so I created a second one and lightened it a bit. I inserted the black boxes, too: the poor dope didn’t think to redact his personal information, so I went ahead and did it for him.
Two points worth noting. First and most obviously, the information under “Primary Specialty” and “Decorations” is in a different typeface from the rest of the form … and, er, the word “qualified” in “Ranger qualified” is misspelled. Second, under “Nearest Relative,” it lists someone named “Amy.” That’s significant because one of McQ’s posts at QandO received a comment from someone claiming to be Macbeth’s sister. It was signed … “Amy.”
McQ reprinted her comment in a post. Go read it. It explains why Macbeth might have an authentic discharge form, and also why he might have been willing to smear U.S. troops. This is, perhaps, less a case of anti-war madness than actual madness. If so, I have more sympathy for him now — and much less for the people who made that video.
The questions of the hour: who’s responsible for exploiting him? And did they know his alleged condition when they did so?
Update: Lt. Smash renders his verdict.
Update: I just received this from an Army National Guard member. Can anyone confirm/deny?
1 – “Ranger qualified” is spelled wrong (qualifyed!!) and others have already noticed the different typeface
2 – His last duty station is listed as the Basic Combat Training Brigade at Ft. Benning, Ga., which indicates he never finished basic training.
3 – If he never left Basic, there’s no way he could have gotten a Purple Heart, unless one of his fellow trainees shot him.
4 – Doesn’t list any other decorations he would have received (and claims to have received), including his Army Service ribbon for graduating BCT/AIT, no National Defense Ribbon, etc. And of course, no CIB and no CAB.
5 – He has erased the type of separation he received, but his character of service is still listed as UNCHARACTERIZED. This means: that the individual had fewer than 180 days of continuous active service.
Update: Follow the comments below.
Update: Just Citizens is blogging this too.
Update: McQ concurs with Smash.
Update: Another reader e-mails:
Block 6. Every person who goes on active duty has an obligation of 8 years to the US military, even if they only sign up for 4 years. If they get out after 4 years, they go to the IRR, or Individual Ready Reserve (some may remember the controversy of the Army pulling people out of the IRR). If they get out at 4 years, as he claims, he would have an IRR obligation of 4 years – so that block would read 4 years.
There are ONLY two ways to get NO reserve obligation, like he has on his dd-214. One is to server more than 8 years on active duty. The other is to washout in or before bootcamp. I think it’s obvious what the case is.
Block 27, reentry code. If he got out with an honorable discharge, that block would be RE-1 or simply 1. It looks like his codes is a 3. A 3 means: “Individuals who are not qualified for continued Army service, but the disqualification is waiverable. Ineligible for enlistment unless a waiver is granted.” That’s a pretty standard code for washouts.
So in both those cases, it’s pretty obvious he never made it through boot camp.
Reader Scott C. e-mails:
Block 11: The way his Primary Specialty is listed is incorrect. It should read something like “11B10 Infantryman.” The time he spent in that specialty should read like “0 Years and 6 months.” Also, where is says “Ranger qualifyed” is totally incorrect (not to mention the spelling). Block 11 is for your job specialty only and being Ranger qualified would appear in Block 13.
Block 13: The remarks about the operations he served in are incorrect. Those are never stated on a DD214 in that manner. If he indeed served in Iraq and Afghanistan, this block would’ve listed the Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal and Southwest Asia Service Medal. If he were indeed a Ranger it would have listed “Ranger tab” and “Airborne Badge” because ALL Rangers who serve in Ranger Battalions are Airborne qualified. Also, if he completed Basic Training it would listed his marksmanship badges and an Army Service Ribbon. Also, the phrase “Shot during active service” would never be stated. Just the Purple Heart Medal would be stated. If you think about it, the only way a Soldier is awarded a Purple Heart is because he was wounded so that comment wouldn’t even appear on a DD214.
Update: Michelle says she’s being inundated with e-mails pointing out mistakes. Pretty amazing response for a Friday night before Memorial Day weekend.
Update (Bryan): Forgery is indeed a crime, as spelled out in the Uniform Code of Military Justice:
(a) That a certain signature or writing was falsely made or altered;
(b) That the signature or writing was of a nature which would, if genuine, apparently impose a legal liability on another or change another’s legal rights or liabilities to that person’s prejudice;
(c) That the accused uttered, offered, issued, or transferred the signature or writing;
(d) That at such time the accused knew that the signature or writing had been falsely made or altered; and
(e) That the uttering, offering, issuing or transferring was with the intent to defraud.
We have false writing and we have intent to defraud here. The maximum penalty?
Maximum punishment. Dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 5 years.
As I said below to Mr. MacBeth: Stop digging.
Update (Bryan): Iraq Veterans Against the War jettisons MacBeth:
Questions have been raised about Jesse MacBeth and his claims of service in Iraq. MacBeth came to Iraq Veterans Against the War in January 2006 asking for help, and the organization and its members extended itself to help him in various ways. Assisting veterans is one of the founding principles of IVAW and it is a mission that we take seriously. After looking into his recent claims, we have learned that Jesse is not what he represented himself to be. Accordingly, IVAW does not in any way endorse Jesse MacBeth or any of his accounts involving military service. He — and he alone — is responsible for them. IVAW was not aware of the creation of the video program featuring MacBeth, and did not authorize use of our logo in the program.
Update: Jesse Macbeth (or whoever it is who’s posting at that MySpace site) responds.
Update: Has Macbeth also falsely claimed to be a Navy SEAL? McQ reports, you decide.
Update: I think we’ve seen enough to pronounce judgment, but in the interests of completeness, here’s what other readers are saying. A retired Army major:
Most likely if he was Ranger Qualified he would also be Airborne Qualified; and it is not listed. You use to be able to attend Ranger School and not be airborne qualified but if you are member of a Ranger Battalion you should after being assigned to the unit or even before assignment to it, sent to Airborne School. Airborne Skill ID is ‘5P’. Ranger Qualification is in addition to the 11B, so if he was infantry and a ranger it would be ’11B5R’, and if he was infantry and airborne ranger his designation would be ’11B5S’…
Also Block 14 should show all military training completed therefore it should show basic, Infantry AIT, Ranger School, and Airborne School. Block 14 should show all Army schools over 2 weeks in length. If memory serves me correctly, basic training is 8 weeks, Infantry AIT is 16 weeks or so, Airborne school 3 weeks, and Ranger School is a little over 8 weeks.
A reader with an Army e-mail address says:
1/38 and 2/ 47 BCT Battalions are both part of the BCT Brigade. Basic Combat Training is for non-Infantry personnel. Infantryman go to a separate program called OSUT (One Station Unit Training). Whereas most non Combat Arms types go to Basic Training (BCT) and then on to AIT (Advanced Individual Training, sometimes at another installation) OSUT combines both BCT and AIT. Essentially you have a longer Basic Training.
BCT is 9 weeks long and AIT is veriable (according to the level of proficiency required). My Infantry OSUT was 14 weeks long. I just got yelled at by the same Drill Sgts for 5 additional weeks.
A combat medic notes:
Its also worth noting that in block 14 his training is listed as none/nothing follows. My DD 214 has 91A – Combat Medical Specialist listed in that block. So he Had no MOS at all. Consistent with being kicked from boot camp.
Update: A minor point of disagreement between our readers. The person with the Army e-mail address writes:
It should … be noted that the retired Major is wrong about the MOS.
My MOS is 11B3P. 11B is Infantry, 3 is my rank (SSG) and P is Airborne. If this kid was really an Airborne Ranger he’d have a V. So his MOS would be 11B1V (1 is for E-1 – E-4) or if he weren’t Airborne ‘qualifyed’ he’d have a G at the end.
Update: Heidi at Euphoric Reality has what I think is the definitive debunking. Reader David S. says he thinks he can make out Block 18:
From end of second line onwards: “PERIOD OF DELAYED ENTRY PROGRAM [SEVERAL WORDS OBSCURED] LESS LEAVE (CREDITABLE FOR ALL PURPOSES EXCEPT PAY AND ALLOWANCE – 49.00 DAYS [SEVERAL WORDS OBSCURED] MEMBER HAS NOT COMPLETED FIRST FULL TERM OF SERVICE // NOTHING FOLLOWS”
That should do it.
Update: The jig is up. McQ at QandO has posted a copy of what he says is Macbeth’s real Form DD-214. See for yourself.
Update: Greyhawk has a must-read post about Iraq Veterans Against the War at MilBlogs.
Update: I’ll leave you with this. It’s a comment thread at Indymedia from 2004 in which someone questions Macbeth’s military service — and Macbeth (or someone claiming to be him) promptly shows up and gets indignant. Priceless:
tell me i am fake to my face asswhole
by jesse Saturday May 08, 2004 at 12:24 PM
look u cant talk all u want but all you do is talk. yes, i had sharpnel removed from my back and if your dumbass hasent notice things in iraq are getting alot worse they called me back and i accepted un like your dumbass i dont like sitting down and let other people die for me when i am more then able to go back out there and fight again. i got any kinda of proof you need just come out and meet me and we’ll see how much your mouth runs then. also one of the main reasons i got called back was they dont ahve time to train more soldiers let alone rangers who already have combat experiance. yes, i am in the 82nd ab 5th ranger we were a assigned to operate with the 505 and panther. after going through physicals out the ass both mental and in body i was declared fit to go back. its people like you that called the soldiers who came back from vietnam babykillers well instead of sitiing on your dumb fat ass go out enlist and help change things. you bitching to me about honnor but were is the honnor in complaining about me and whats going on in the world when your ass hasent done shit to change things all you do is run you mouth. you go out there were you dont know who are were the enemy is. you go watch your battle buddy go grab a kid to bring him out of fire and see him blow up. you dont even have the balls to shoot a duck. if you had any honnor you would name yourself and stop being a fucking coward. i hope when the draft comes in i see your ass at you training camp i will give u a real taste of what war is like. what did coffee plantation hire your ass to talk shit to stir shit up you sure go in there alot it seems what are you kissing the owners ass are something. when it all comes down to it regardless of what you think are how you run your mouth i have a job a to do and i will get it done. so fuck you and have a nice life
There’s lots more, including a comment in which “Jesse” offers to show the skeptics a copy of his DD-214. He also refers to having used his DD-214 to obtain medical benefits from the VA, which led the person who sent me this to wonder if there’s been any fraud afoot here.