I’ve posted before about different cases where a service-member or civilian have “invented” their military career. Two recent examples are here and here. Now there’s another. Military.com reports that a retired senior chief petty officer appears to have fabricated his presence in USS COLE when the ship was attacked.
In early November, retired Senior Chief Jeffrey Sparenberg was the guest of honor at military heritage day in Delaware.
Sparenberg spent 23 years in the Navy, including time on the destroyer Cole, and he was at Fort DuPont State Park that day to donate a flag that he said flew over the Cole shortly after it was attacked nine years ago.
A photograph from the ceremony shows Sparenberg on the steps of a shuttered brick building. The left side of his chest is covered with military medals — including a Bronze Star and Purple Heart, purportedly from the actions he took and the injuries he suffered in that lunchtime attack.
Now Sparenberg is back in the spotlight: The Navy and the ship’s former commander say he was not on the Norfolk-based ship at all on the day it was struck.
Question, as a retiree is SC Sparenberg subject to recall and prosecution at court-martial under the UCMJ? It appears he may be subject to federal prosecution under the Stolen Valor Act for wearing the purple heart and bronze star medal.