By all accounts, Command Sergeant Major Stoney Crump served honorably in the U.S. military, first as a Marine and for the past twenty-four years, as a member of the U.S. Army. Not only did Crump attain the highest enlisted rank (CSM), he was received numerous decorations, including four Meritorious Service Medals, five Army Commendation Medals, and six Army Good Conduct ribbons.
But (apparently) it wasn't enough. So CSM Crump decided to embellish his military resume, and now he's in a lot of trouble. As Army Times reports:
Crump, the senior enlisted adviser to [Walter Reed Medical Center's] brigade until May 17, twice submitted official biographies that falsely claimed he attended a range of elite schools including Ranger School, Sniper School, Special Forces Assessment Course and Special Operations Combat Medic School, according to the charging documents. He also claimed to have attended the exotic Panamanian Jungle Warfare School, according to the documents.
Between March 2006 and April 2010, at Walter Reed and in Heidelberg, Germany, where Crump served as the Army health center’s command sergeant major, he is charged with repeatedly wearing 11 unearned awards and decorations, including the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with an Arrowhead device — an indication that he had made a combat jump into Grenada, a deployment that appears nowhere in a summary of his 27-year career that was released by Army Human Resources Command at Fort Knox, Ky.
According to investigators, Crump even lied about his life before the military, claiming that he played college football at Duke University. University officials say Crump was never a student (or an athlete) at the school, although he spent one year on the football team at East Carolina University.
For his military deception, the Sergeant Major is facing at least three criminal charges:
Crump has been charged with violating three articles of military law: failure to obey an order or regulation, Article 92; making false official statements, Article 107, and Article 134, a general provision covering conduct that brings discredit on the armed forces.
Clearly embarrassed over Crump's charade, the Army would like to get rid of the CSM as quickly as possible. But from our perspective, this is an eminently teachable moment. Crump's actions not only discredit senior NCOs, they cheapen the accomplishments of soldiers who actually earn combat badges and decorations for valor.
This blog has actively encouraged the prosecution of various civilians (and veterans) who create false military resumes, or distort their accomplishments in uniform. Why should CSM Crump be any different? Throw the book at him--and all the other frauds in uniform--and the problem of "stolen valor" in the ranks will dramatically decrease.
ADDENDUM: There is a certain irony in the discovery of Crump's deceit. At the time his deception was discovered, CSM Crump was working for Colonel Gordon Roberts, the commander of the Walter Reed medical brigade. If that name sounds familiar, it should. Colonel Roberts is the only Medal of Honor recipient still on active duty in the U.S. military. He received the award as a junior enlisted man in Vietnam, where he courageously attacked (and wiped out) a series of enemy machine gun nests. We can only wonder if Colonel Roberts, who knows a thing or two about valor, was the first to spot a CSM with a medal "rack" that didn't match his assignment record.