Navy Cross recipient Jeremiah Workman questions cop’s ribbons in Trayvon Martin case


A Marine who earned the nation’s second-highest military valor award for heroics in Iraq is questioning why a police officer who took the stand during George Zimmerman’s trial was wearing ribbons she did not earn, including one reserved primarily for World War II veterans.

Like many Americans, Jeremiah Workman was watching Zimmerman’s trial play out on TV Monday.

It’s a trial that has been long-awaited since Zimmerman, a Hispanic, was charged with second-degree murder in the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, a black 17-year-old. The case brought the debate on racism in the U.S. to the forefront in the past year.

But it wasn’t the testimony that caught Workman’s attention on Monday. It was the ribbons that Doris Singleton, a  police officer in Sanford, Fla., was wearing on her uniform when she took the stand.

Workman, a Navy Cross recipient who left the Marine Corps in 2010, posted a photo of Singleton to his Facebook page after he saw her take the stand. He said he heard her say that she served three years in the Army, but the ribbon rack on her chest didn’t match that of someone who served so few years — or even of this generation.

“Am I going blind or is this police officer in the Zimmerman -Martin trial wearing ribbons that she doesn’t rate?” he wrote alongside the photo he posted to Facebook.

Sanford police officer Doris Singleton testified Monday during George Zimmerman’s trial. A Marine and Navy Cross recipient watching the trial on TV called to ask her police department why she was wearing ribbons on her uniform she could not have earned, including one from World War II. (AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Joe Burbank, Pool)

Two in particular stood out, he said: the World War II Army of Occupation Medal and the Defense Distinguished Service Medal.

Workman, who received his valor award in 2006 for heroics in Fallujah as a corporal during a 2004 operation, said he’s been around the top Marines in the Corps, and even they didn’t have some of those ribbons.

“I worked at the Pentagon with Sergeant Major [Carlton] Kent and General [James] Conway for two years and I was around every general in the Marine Corps,” Workman told Marine Corps Times. “I know these high ribbons, I know just about all the ribbons anyways.”

The Sanford Police Department could not immediately be reached for comment. But Workman got a hold of them and said they told him they didn’t have their own awards system, so they went to the Army-Navy store around the corner and picked out Defense Department military ribbons to fit their own format. The WWII was selected, the police department official told Workman, because they knew there weren’t many veterans from that period alive so they didn’t think people would notice.

“At the end of his explanation I thought to myself, ‘So that makes it all better now because these guys are dead?’ ” Workman said.  “The fact that that was their response is still pretty shameful, I think.”

Workman said police departments allowing military veterans to wear ribbons they earned while serving on their new uniform is fine with him. If they earned it, they should be able to wear it, he said.

“But what kind of professional police department would send Bob the patrolman around the corner to go pick out some ribbons for our officers to wear when they do something heroic or have good service over the years?” he asked.

Workman said the police department official told him that they’re going to change to their own ribbon system, which he was glad to hear. Now he hopes other police departments doing the same will think about their own regulations and change them too, he added.


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  1. Suck it up and drive on. They choose to use them to represent their own awards system. Had she had on a Navy uniform and these awards then you’d have a complaint. She is not, therefore you do not.

  2. Leatherneck96 on

    Hey, Flash, it isn’t suck it up and drive on. Bull friggin’ shit. They knowingly took Valor which isn’t theirs you moron.

  3. This is actually a fairly common practice–not just among police but rent-a-cops. At Six Flags Great America (in Gurnee Il) the local contractors providing security are awarded military decorations for “atta boys.” Yes, the head of their security decided military awards aren’t really military awards. Their local security force wear the national defense service medal, good conduct medals, overseas ribbons etc…They know what they are doing–no personal decorations, all are service decorations and chosen (apparently) because of the color pattern. I complained to them, wrote a letter to organization, and got the local Navy base involved but no progress to date.

  4. What a drag. She sure got caught in the middle of that. Glad to hear the PD is going to design their own.

  5. I’d say it’s a Stolen Valor only if they are representing them as the equivalent honor. Let’s face it, there’s only so many color combinations you can fit on a 1.5″ ribbon. If they want to take a dark blue ribbon with a central silver vertical strip and call it the Medal of Valor or whatever, fine. Yes, it looks like the ribbon for the Navy Cross, but it isn’t a Navy Cross ribbon, it’s a Medal of Valor ribbon. Now I can see if we’re taking something very specific, like the MoH ribbon, because that’s pretty distinct. I wouldn’t go as far as to say “suck it up and drive on”, however.

  6. The police department I work for uses military ribbons as well for our awards. Probably would be best for departments to design their own, but to limit costs, etc, I do not see this practice ending soon…

  7. Hey Flash dont ramrod us with cotton candy crap. Police officers do great things; however stealing valor is NOT 1 of them & it doesnt matter what uniform youre wearing. We dont put scarlet letter A’s on ppl anymore & justify it by saying theyre dead & we didnt think ppl would notice!!!

  8. Disgusting. They did this to lend credibility to her testimony. Attempting to show the jury that she was a distinguished police officer. It should be close to perjury.

    For a police force to pick at random any ribbons shows that they in fact do not have an system in place. It’s a farce and one that shouldn’t go unnoticed.

  9. I worked for a Police Department for 7 years in North Carolina. They do have ribbons for Law Enforcement. Just look in any Galls Catalog. They are offered Nationwide. As a former military and Iraq Vet I believe wearing Military awards that were not earned is disrespectful to the ones that did earn it and in some cases illegal.

  10. “Bob the patrolman?” Have some damned respect for the one’s who chose to stay home and fight. I understand your concerns and agree but get off your high horse and give respect the those “patrolmen” who also risk their lives.

  11. That is unbelievable! And the suck it up and drive on comment is ridiculous and completely disrespectful! I work for a department that is roughly the same size as the Sanford Police Department and we have our own medals and ribbons. If Officer Singleton was awarded these from her department without knowing what their original meaning was I would cut her some slack and direct that frustration to the person(s) in her administration who presented these to her. These are the people who should be catching some heat! Some serious heat!! If Officer Singleton’s actions were worthy of recognition and a ribbon then please spend the money and provide her with the proper medal / ribbon that she deserves!

  12. Devil-Dog-0326/9999 on

    By Federal Law, Military Ribbons can not be used for any purpose by for Military recognition. Also by Federal law wearing a Military recognition ribbon in an official capacity that you did not earn, is against the law, it’s called “Stolen Valor” How can a law enforcement agency, who is suppose to enforce and uphold the law, then be committing actions that are in violation of the laws they are suppose to enforce and uphold….Zimmerman’s defense should question this very matter. What would have happened if the patrolman who picked out the military ribbons at the surplus store, had picked out the Medal Of Honor as a ribbon to re-purpose? Also, some military honors, you can wear on civilian clothing and other government uniforms, so it is mis-representation.

  13. Really, some of you agree with this? I dont care how small that Dept is. Hand out god damn smiley faces for all I care. You do not just pick and choose what colors you like. Maybe we should all just carry shiny silver badges too.

  14. While I agree that these practices need to be changed by police departments (including the one I work for), they are not technically violating Federal Law. I just read the Stolen Valor law, it is specific to wearing military awards claiming you earned them… When we on police departments are issued awards from our agency that is “re-purposing” a military ribbon, there is no claim whatsoever that we earned a military award, rather we are wearing an award issued from our department… I think the anger here is misdirected at the officer wearing the ribbon, and should be focused on the departments that use re-purposed ribbons rather than coming up with their own…

  15. I agree with the jarhead,,, flash, stolen valor is never ok in any form,,, if you are a combat vet than you should know better and if not than your opinion means jack. They did this so that they wouldn’t have to spend the money to get their own system of awards. Not friggin good enough. Not by a long shot. These awards for prior wars should never be looked at any more lightly than for recent wars.

  16. Robert Minichino on

    This does not surprise me at all, I live down the road about 15 minutes from Sanford, FL my wife was raised there even and from day one of dealing with and living locally to that place, regardless of how you feel about the case anyone who pays any attention to the news in the Orlando area would know that the city of Sanford is a joke, run by the good old boy network but trying to pretend that it is not. I have been to that surplus store not much unlike Siagon Sams where you can get questionably sourced surplus as well as any number of things plus any ribbon you desire. It is a place frequented by rednecks to keep their Larry the cable guy look up to date.

  17. Videriquamesse on

    There was a guy out here in Las Vegas who walked into a convention of retired military personnel with a cock and bull story about serving two tours of duty in Vietnam and wearing medals he didn’t earn, among them the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star . Now, it’s one thing to stagger into your local watering hole and to try and impress Joe Schmoe from Kokomo with made up war stories and bogus medals; but another thing entirely to walk into a place in which there are people who know you’re lying right off the bat. Gotta say that the guy had bigger cojones than I do.

  18. ————————-

    Jeremiah Workman >

    Ok folks, I just spoke to the Sanford Florida police dept. This is what they told me. When we started our dept. awards system we went to the army navy store around the corner and picked DOD military ribbons to fit our award system format. I said ok how did you pick the WW II occupation medal? His answer is “we knew that there weren’t many WW II vets alive. We didn’t think people would notice”. He assured me that they were changing there ribbon policy. That makes it all better.


  19. Videriquamesse on

    …oh, and the guy in question had never served in any branch of the military in any capacity. He’d bought the uniform somewhere. That’s pathetic.

  20. Each department does not need to design and manufacture their own ribbons. There are companies that already provide ribbons for civilian law enforcement. Galls, a major provider of police equipment, for one. Many states (including Florida) also have ones available through their state government to allow for uniformity statewide.

  21. The only possible explanation for the WWII Army of Occupation ribbon is the Berlin Brigade (you could get them there up to 1991 or so). The rest is BS.

  22. That Police Department is a JOKE, I should know thats my hometown where this happened at. All the police in Sanford are CORRUPT and this proves it. People are already getting ready for the riots that are gonna happen no matter if he is found guilty or not they will RIOT.

  23. Get your facts straight. Anyone serving even in Berlin from 1945-1990 30 days could have received it. Either way it is irrelevant. With attachments and devices for Navy and Marines.

    Instituted: 1947

    Qualifying Dates: 1945-55 (Berlin: 1945-90)

    Criteria: 30 consecutive days of service in occupied territories of former enemies during above period.

  24. Trip On This on

    @Tripwire: yeah because only combat vets wear ribbons and are allowed to have opinions that matter. F’in tool. I’m a non-combat vet and I’m damn proud that I served! Army said go here and that’s we’re I went. Army said no you can’t go to Iraq, we need you right where we put you and that’s where I stayed. There’s a whole lot of us out there so deal with it.

    Oh yeah, the word is then, not than . . .

  25. Captain Larry Gross on

    Former Baltimore City Police. Somewhere along the line in the course of 3 marriages all my ribbons were lost. I called the company that makes them and they cost me about $1.25 a piece. If Sanford can’t afford that, Whew! I think service ribbons are a different story. I see a guy wearing a Vietnam ribbon, purple heart etc. and sits next to me in a bar, he better talk the right shit or we are going to be rolling on the floor!!!! Captain Larry

  26. Each and every medal and ribbon is unique, it represents a achievement, a goal reached. Even the colors on the ribbons are not random. Each strip represents something. It’s like remaning the Washington monument because President Washington is dead. There are things that even time can’t change. It is a total disrespect to the armed forces. It’s just one more thing that makes it hard to respect officers… It’s a lack of integrity and a poor example to the people.

  27. MGySgt Harrison on

    I would like to say that this is an absolute disgrace to everyone whoever wore the uniform honorably. For this idiot regradless of why should be ashamed of herself for wearing ribbons that she doesn’t rate. If she is truely a veteran then she should have known that this wasn’t right. Yes, she is in violation and flash you are an IDOIT with a capital I.

  28. Routine practice or not, who gives a shit! Then put SS Medals on her if it doesn’t matter. I am a civilian that is honored that men and women, in all armed forces and our first responders, risk their very lives to protect me… that protect that douche Flash even! It makes me sick to see how anyone would borrow any other award system to decorate their own. It diminishes those who have earned those medals and others who allow themselves to be decorated with medals that others bled for.

  29. Her ribbons are (in order of wear): the Air Force Combat Readiness Medal, the Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal, the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy Battle Efficiency Ribbon with some device attached, a ribbon I can not identify, and the Army/Navy Occupation Medal.

  30. Col devil dog on

    Leatheneck96 is a retard. She’s wearing a police uniform. Those ribbons mean nothing unless she’s wearing a military uniform. How do you steal valor that isn’t there? Dummy. Why don’t ou get on ROTC cadets? They wear ribbons too. Oh but wait that’s different right.

  31. Many of the comments I’ve read are a bit harsh. Accurate, but harsh. It’s the department that’s wrong in issuing military awards. To my knowledge, there’s no such thing as ‘re-purposing’ official military awards. And I’m also not addressing the stolen valor issue. According to Title 10 USC 771;

    Except as otherwise provided by law, no person except a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps, as the case may be, may wear –

    (1) the uniform, or a distinctive part of the uniform, of

    the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps; or

    (2) a uniform any part of which is similar to a distinctive

    part of the uniform of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or

    Marine Corps.

    Paragraph 1–12 goes on to define “Distinctive uniforms and uniform items:”

    a. The following uniform items are distinctive and will not be sold to or worn by unauthorized personnel:

    (1) All military headgear, when worn with insignia.

    (2) Badges and tabs (identification, marksmanship,

    combat, and special skill).

    (3) Uniform buttons (w/Distinctive U.S. military insignia).

    (4) Decorations, service medals, service and training

    ribbons, and other awards and their appurtenances.

    (5) Insignia of any design or color that the military has


    The words “Except as otherwise provided by law” are inserted to give effect to exceptions in other revised sections of this title and to provisions of other laws giving such organizations as the Coast Guard and Geodetic Survey and the Public Health Service permission to wear military uniforms under certain conditions.

    This is the law, period. While it seriously perturbs me when I see people (civilians) wearing the uniform and/or parts of it, I can understand the average persons ignorance of the law. This attitude however, I do not extend to official police departments. As many of the comments have stated, these should be our brothers and sisters on the home-front. They expect (and rightfully so) our respect and we expect the same.

    Brian D. Hampton

    MGySgt USMC (ret)

  32. @ Col devil dog. I hate to disagree with you sir, but please see my last post. Also, I’m currently a MCJROTC Instructor. The ribbons that cadets wear at this level and the college are not the same as active duty awards. Some are very similar but I have yet to see any (6 years on the job) that are exactly like the ‘real’ thing. Also, even if the were, they’re also wearing the ‘actual’ military uniforms of their respective branches in accordance with title 10.

  33. Being lazy and stupid is not an excuse for this PD. Sorry, it’s just not.

    If I were to see a policeman in dress uniform wearing military ribbons I would assume that their department recognizes their prior service and allows them to wear the ribbons they earned in the military. The fact that they can be easily misunderstood is enough cause to NOT be lazy and buy them from the army navy store.

    It took me FIVE SECONDS on google to find hundreds of non-military ribbons for police use.

    Additionally, the idea that since they are not military they can just use military ribbons for other means is ridiculous, especially the ones chosen.

    By that logic, someone could walk around with a Sanford PD badge on… “hey, I’m not a cop, I’m just using your badge for other purposes! It doesn’t mean I am a sworn peace officer, out here we use it for mall security.”

  34. My department actually uses military ribbon designs on their department awards. For example, the Army Reserve Overseas Training Ribbon is, for my department, the Military Service Award. It could be that this officer’s department does the same thing.

  35. stolen valor plain and simple. I can think of few different color combinations that would fit on 1.5″ ribbon. and look good. And not resemble an award all ready in service for our men and woman who serve our country and communities. Yes. Including the PDs. It just seems like they wanted something to spend their budget money on. Something fast and easy.

  36. I was in Army JROTC in high school, there are two dozen or so ribbons and several medals avail for various decorations. They could have selected the colorful and nice looking JROTC medals from Army, Navy, USMC, or USAF JROTC and used those, they are widely available on eBay and online catalogs , you can even design your own at places like Glendale’s online catalog, instead of stealing valor from WWII vets and other distinguished military personnel… It’s likely that only someone like me would notice that. There’s no excuse! This is disrespectful to those who’ve served and earned those originally purposed awards!

  37. Taken in context, they are not claiming the valor that these ribbons represent, they were re-purposing existing ribbons.

    A stupid decision, but technically they were NOT stealing valor, they were just insulting it.

    I’m willing to forgive their ignorance on this if they change their practice immediately.

  38. Caroline USAF Army mom on

    Booter: real classy, what’s got YOUR panties in a bunch to start swearing and name calling? Might it be the fact that you have no clue why people are upset by this?

  39. BlueBloodDiamond on

    Way to editorialize, Harkins. Just like most MC Times writers, you are garbage. Your bridge should’ve gotten this article shredded.

  40. The WWII Army of Occupation medal was awarded to servicemembers who served in the Berlin Brigade up through the end of the cold war. It was technically the only city in Germany that we still ‘occupied’ during the cold war.

  41. Tim, Zach, and Ksoldier got it right – there’s no excuse for this behavior. Go to Galls and order the standard L.E. ribbons. Stop using something you never earned. You didn’t serve this country, you served a community who pays you way too much.

    Booter – go back to high school so we can understand you, or you could just stick to working the local drive-thru.

    Patriot – stop talking like cops are heroes and “fight” at home. You people stayed home and out of the fight because you lack stones and enjoy 3-5 times the pay military gets, plus overtime. There’s nothing heroic about being an egomaniac who writes traffic tickets and takes drunks to jail. Most cops are uneducated morons who don’t have a shred of courage and constantly complain about having to do their job.

  42. Cops suck anyhow! I see this kind of nonsense all the time. Homeless guys holding signs beggin and claiming to be a vet. And when you ask them for the Military ID they cant find it or say it was lost. Further questions and they have somewhere else to be quick.

  43. unauthorized wearing of military medals or decorations.” The federal misdemeanor charge carries a maximum penalty of a year in federal prison upon conviction.

  44. Correct me if I’m wrong, but if the Police Dept. in question LIED about the awards this officer is wearing, does that not reflect the officer? Can we assume the officer on the stand is lying? I haven’t followed the case at all so don’t take it that way but, I’m just saying, if we are a reflection of our leadership, how can you trust what the officer is saying?

  45. They should only wear ribbons from the military service that they have earned-period,end of discussion. The police department should LONG AGO have had their own system of commendation distinctive and apart from any resemblance to the military’s.

  46. fatassoldChief on

    If they’re going to steal ribbons, they could at least stick to Chair Force ribbons…none of them mean anything anyhow!

    You know, start with the ‘DUI with martini device’ and move up to the ’20 years, no transfer/no deployment’ ribbons…

  47. The idea of this woman wearing these ribbons is disgusting, why didn’t she just wear the MOH? What they did was unacceptable and deceitful and her testimony should be thrown out for lying under oath.
    She intentionally wore ribbons she knew she didn’t earn which equates to lying. These people need to be held accountable for this type of behavior, this is one of the reasons this country is going to the dogs..

  48. Absolutely disgusting. If you don’t rate it you shouldn’t wear it. Men and women gave valiant service to America for the honor of wearing those badges and anyone wearing one that didn’t earn it has no respect. If it’s ok then I guess I can wear a police badge when I go to town.

  49. It’s absolute and total B.S. for ANYONE to use military ribbons for any purpose other than that what they are intended and autorized by Congress. If these other organizations are too cheap or lazy to come up with their own ribbons…then use the Boy Scouts stuff. Until then…take my military ribbons off your uniform. 2X Combat Veteran.

  50. It is called stolen honor, and it is being used to add “gravitas” to someone who does not deserve it.

  51. More than stolen valor, it looks like an attempt to add credibility to her testimony. Just like wearing the uniform at all, instead of the street clothes she probably wears being a detective. The prosecution’s case has been kinda weak, the DA probably gave them to her in the john. Further if she’s earned THAT many medals she must be quite the small-town hero. One wasn’t the Nobel Peace Prize was it? Anybody can get one of those these days.

  52. As a 2 tour USMC Vietnam Combat veteran, I call it stolen valor to wear military medals on any uniform that has not been presented to you officially by the military or police department. To me it discredits our fine military veterans who earned these medals the hard way, in defense of our country!!!! Enough said!

  53. So if she is perpetuating a lie and proving her lack of character by wearing these ribbons is she a dependable witness?

  54. Dan, the race card the whites are playing? How about the President…”If I had a son he’d look like Travon.” Which Trayvon? The one in the media pictures or the “Gangsta” on his facebook?

  55. It’s real simple, don’t wear military ribbons if you didn’t earn them. Blackinton has awards that were developed for use by public safety personnel. The Sanford PD’s “reasoning” is a disgrace. They were too lazy to get on the Blackinton website? Pathetic.

  56. I agree about don’t wear it if you didn’t earn it but you guys need to quit spewwing the vitriol. Stolen Valor was struck down as unconstitutional by the US Supreme court on 28 Jun 2012 for restraining free speech. Like I said, Dont wear what you didn’t earn but all of you screaming irrationally that they broke the law need to check your facts and respect the constitution that you claim to defend

  57. The first comment is enough to make anyone’s blood boil. Apparently that person never served in any organization that has honor. I am not sure I believe the Police Departments explanation. What they are attempting to do is show the honorable people testifying are above reproach and give an impression of nobility. I was a LEO and the nonsense of using military medals is ridiculous. This was a sham and since they were caught in the act, they needed an explanation. Well thought out excuse but still unacceptable and immoral. What shame that the States attorney and the police department want to win the trial that they will stoop to dishonoring the WW-II Veterans and Military Honor… We should all be appalled…

  58. She can have my gedunk ribbon if she wants it. That was my first one and I was so proud of it for….filling out a uniform I think it was.

  59. If they are wearing a ‘military’ ribbon and they didn’t earn it IN the military, then it is NOT o.k. period! Stolen Valor is Stolen Valor. The practice needs to stop. It lessens every aspect of the fact that real veterans earned these awards and deserve to be singled out if it is appropriate. Someone that did not does NOT deserve to be seen appearing to be someone they are not. That’s my final answer.

  60. …and if she did serve in the Army, theoretically she should know better! And have that respect not to disrespect!

  61. Pingback: They’re Coming to America… | The Daily Dave!

  62. I served in the Berlin Brigade for three years (1990-1992). I wear the Army of Occupation medal on my dress uniform. It was issued to me by my company commander upon my 30 day mark. I know a lot of people who still wear this that are still involved with the military. But your right. It is has not been awarded since 1990 and never will be again. It is possible she served there as it is not a combat award, you got it just for being there.

  63. So did you as a news organization confirm any of Workman’s claims, or are we to take his word for it? He makes some tall charges that seem easy to triangulate.

  64. My department uses Stanton & Davis ceramic ribbons which are great, and distinctive to law enforcement. Our medal of Valor has a large V on it which is not related to the military, and our Purple Heart is a different design than the armed forces. I wear those and 4 others with pride.

  65. Gina Harkins on

    Dear BlueBloodDiamond,

    I’m happy to discuss your concerns regarding editorializing in my blog post. I tried to email you, but received a bounce back on the address you left with your comment. I can be reached at 703-750-8635 or if you would like to talk further.

    Thank you,


  66. Pingback: Cop Testifying At Zimmerman Trial Wore Military Ribbons She Didn’t Earn « Reality Check

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  68. I find in interesting the Police Department chose the WWII Occupation Medal due to the low number of surviving veterans. Unfortunately, this medal was awarded until 1990 when the then separate parts of Germany were re-united. Until the wall came down, Berlin was still considered “occupied territory” from WWII and was governed by the Quadripartite Agreement between the US, USSR, Great Britain and France.

  69. I think it was a very shameful attempt at adding credibility to the Sanford Police Dept. for having the officer giving testimony. At the least it is pretentious for a police officer to be wearing military decorations with a civilian uniform. At the most it is an act of “stolen valor”, because they using this as a way to “profit” or “influence” the position of the prosecution.

    As other current and former officers have stated this isn’t a one-off case and other PD’s have this system as well. I don’t disagree that officers deserve and should be recognized for their valor in the line of duty, but this is a little over the top in my mind. Even the military is getting ridiculous with the proliferation of awards and service ribbons.

    In the final analysis…the Police needs to have their own system that is unique to their department and NOT use ANY military decorations, service awards or devices.

  70. The occupation medal was awarded to Berlin Brigade members up until 1991….we received it in lieu of the overseas ribbon.

  71. WWII ribbons? For this particular case it would have been even more interesting if she wore Civil war decorations… Union *or* Confederate.

  72. A lot of military people on here acting holier than thou towards cops. I can understand being upset over the police department using the ribbons. Seems like they were just trying to save money when designing their awards and didn’t use the best judgement.

    This is not stolen valor, this is not perjury. This Officer is not trying to claim anything that she’s not. She is just wearing the ribbons awarded to her by the department. This is a boneheaded on the part of the PD for repurposing those ribbons, nothing else.

    And finally, several people on her have talked about how cops are somehow less than the military because they aren’t serving overseas. I guess those people missed the part of the article where the officer in question served in the Army herself and that law enforcement is a fairly popular career for veterans after they get out. In fact, I’d say easily 25% of cops (if not more) are veterans.

  73. Real cutting-edge journalism here. Next I expect to see a hard hitting article dissing her hairstyle. Why bother with the facts surrounding the case when you can dither on about extraneous nonsense?

  74. KC1111111111 on

    Police Department is at fault, not it’s officers. Bureaucratic BS. They should have modified the ribbons, as some police forces do. or added insignia on them as some other’s do(State Flags, Maps, other stuff you don’t see on the versions). At least one state uses the purple heart with the state flag on it for officers wounded in the line of duty. No stolen valor there.

  75. @fatassoldChief,

    nobody else here is service bashing. I served in the marine corps and the air force and saw combat in both. every branch’s awards have significance…if you in fact were a navy chief, you would know that. be a moron somewhere else.

  76. If the military didn’t want other people to wear their ribbons then they shouldn’t sell their excess ribbons at surplus stores. Don’t force increased budget on the police and reduced revenue on the military because you can’t accept that a different ribbon looks the same as yours.

  77. I spent 23 years in the National Guard, and received my fair share of discontinued state awards. Fortunately I was able to purchase ribbons from other states which look like Utah ribbons, but are for different activities in other states. If a PD wants to award a ribbon that looks like the Iraq Campaign for an activity that is not campaigning in Iraq, as long as they don’t say, “I got this for my service in Iraq”. I’m good with whatever.

  78. Anyone who “accepts” this is full of shit…There SHOULD NOT BE any fraudulent use of medals or ribbons by ANYONE. “Suck that up”….

  79. If you think that is offensive you should see the rest of the actors that are playing officers and some Generals in the main stream media.

    wellaware1. com/artwork/large/keisergeneral. jpg

  80. I think everyone’s missing the point. Why should CIVILIAN police officers wear MILITARY style ribbons? Personally, I’m tired of this whole militarization of the civilian police departments in this country. One thing you should ask yourself is WHY do we even HAVE police departments? Why not Sheriff’s and Marshalls? Oh. Yeah. Because those are ELECTED offices while police departments are usually controlled by the Mayor’s office or Governors.

    Which would you prefer? Oh, and BTW, CIVILIAN police should not possess ANY weapons not allowed for CIVILIAN use, including full auto, flash bangs, and tear gas grenades.

    And I won’t even go into why cops aren’t PROSECUTED for crimes committed on duty…

  81. 2 word: Stolen Valor

    Also it is Lame they should design there own…They would like it if Mall security decided to design a badge the same as theirs for the Mall Security to wear….

    Plus she should have had her PT Belt On…Fail! LOL

  82. In the UK, if medals/ribbons are worn on the right side of the body, then these are in memoriam – not earned by the person, but worn for a past family member….

  83. Military Supporter on

    @Flash … if she had worn medals that she had earned, then nothing would have been said … and if she had been wearing an Army, Navy, Marine or Air Force Uniform, you bet your bottom dollar there would have been something said if she were wearing medals that should could not have possibly earned.

  84. There’s an entire industry that creates custom logos, medals, pins, ribbons, patches, badges, laser etch patterns and what have you to service the law enforcement market. This was an ill-conceived low cost expedient by that department. It’s good that it was called out and is being corrected. Our military awards deserve a place of honor in our society far above that of fashion accessory.

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  86. Pingback: Fla. police force stops use of military ribbons after Navy Cross recipient’s call — Off Duty Plus

  87. well I would have looked at it the same way. He obviously didn’t know the PD did things like this and I honestly think that it was just a cover up because they got busted. She was in the military so they wanted to make her look credible so who wouldn’t want to believe a vet with a good rack right?

  88. Devil Dog, you got too much time in your hands. Go out and get some p or smoke something. As for the ribbons, who cares? I’m sure WWII vets have better issues to be concerned about that might require your help.

  89. This outrage is pretty sad to me. I am also a Marine combat vet, and this does not bother me in the least. The ribbons on my chest aren’t for the world to see, they are for my brothers I served with and myself. If you think differently, I think you need to reassess your priorities. Also, if you have the free time to nitpick petty stuff like this, you need a better job or a hobby. The police department and the officer in question never said that the ribbons are supposed to represent the same thing they do in the service. The lady did her job well, and she earned an award. She got one, I could care less if it is a gold star on her paycheck or a ribbon, she earned what they gave her.

  90. Lets for one minute assume that George Zimmerman is found to be Not Guilty, then what? What can we expect? Wii the State of Florida go into a riot mode? Will the blacks tear sown and burn down their own neighborhoods as they have know to do in the past? Will they pull innocent whites out of their cars and trucks as the did in the Rodney King riots? And will the police offer the white community and sort of protection from the hoodlums when that comes to be?

    They are saying right now that there will be riots in the streets and that good old race baiting Black Leader Al Sharpton is already standing by. Fine, let them cause havoc in Liberal Black Neighborhoods, Then What? So they trash their own poor neighborhoods because an Hispanic Male defended himself against a Black Male who was going to kill him.

    Many of these people won’t care about the facts, they don’t need any stinkin facts, they only need a reason to bust into a store and get some “Free Stuff” and to just go crazy. If he isn’t convicted.

    Bit if he IS convicted there won’t be people rioting and not because some agree, but they just don’t act like fucking idiots when things don’t go the way they believe they should

    Let’s see how the Liberal media explains that dilemma should it happen. Will they blame it on the conservatives/Tea Party? You can bet your ass they will.

    The sad part is that they are too stupid to realize that this isn’t Rodney King all over again. But they will be chomping at the bit to riot anyway in any case. After all, Free Stuff is Free Stuff.

    And their Black Uncle tom in the white house won’t be coming to their aid in any case..

    The prosecution doesn’t have a case. None at all.

    The Blacks are only hopping for a miracle and leftist are idiots. Dumber then dog shit.

    I’m just going to sit back, laugh, and puke. Unarmed Boy with Skittles and Iced Tea MY ASS! And don’t give me that crap about “If he didn’t follow him then this wouldn’t have happened. The Bottom Line, is that Zimmerman is NOT on trial for “Following him”

    But trying to beat the hell out of someone armed with a gun will get you killed

  91. Personally, reading through these comments, the mutual disrespect show here for and by police officers and military service members is absolutely sickening, ribbons aside.

    What an embarrassment to our nation this thread is. This is why, I will always thank people for their service (here or overseas) but reserve respect to each individual. Honestly, some of you just do not deserve anything beyond the thank you and the insults flying proves it.

  92. SGTMAJ Nick Lopez USMC (Ret) on

    The use of US Armed Forces Awards is not uncommon. Many public safety departments have taken the easy route in recognizing their own by storming the local PX, or purchasing their awards on line. Many online vendors will sell medals and ribbons to anyone that wishes to purchase them. This is totally legal, until the buyer decides to present them to his employee or wear them on his or her uniform. In Utah, the WEST VALLEY POLICE DEPT unlawfully presents and wears the SILVER STAR, BRONZE STAR, ARMY DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MEDAL and many other military decorations on their uniforms. They have awarded these medals to their officers for valor, meritorious achievement and distinguished service. They have renamed these decorations, such as the POLICE STAR in place of the SILVER STAR. WVCPD is not alone. MURRAY CITY POLICE DEPT, had also unlawfully awarded military decorations to at least one of its officers. They awarded the PURPLE HEART to an officer after he was shot at a bank hold up. The lack of initiative and creativity in these departments and many others is appalling. The lack of respect for the servicemen and women who have been awarded these decorations is beyond comprehension. The total disregard for State and Federal Code by these Law Enforcement and Public Safety Department is inexcusable. When questioned about the use of these awards these departments lie and try to justify their mistakes. The Deputy Chief of Police for WVCPD has refused to answer the mail. The City Manager, a retired US Army Reservist, has made no attempt to correct his departments mistakes, and even attended the awards ceremonies. The Murray City Police Chief, stated that a MARINE CORPS GENERAL authorized the use of the PURPLE HEART that was awarded to his officer. This was a far from the truth, as I spoke to the same civilian employee at the Awards Branch at HQMC. It will be up to the people, fellow Veterans, Servicemen and Women to police up the police. I know I will.


  93. Larry A. Singleton on

    “They are saying right now that there will be riots in the streets and that good old race baiting Black Leader Al Sharpton is already standing by.”

    How many know what I’m talking about when I say “black mob violence”? Or the story about the four black guys who kidnapped, brutally raped, tortured and murdered two college students. Yeah, raped both her AND her boyfriend.

  94. Don’t like this practice at all! I think I identified each one. What a hodgepodge!

    Top row, left to right:

    1. Air Force Combat Readiness

    2. Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal

    3. Defense Distinguished Service Medal

    Bottom row, left to right:

    1. NATO Kosovo Medal

    2. Army Good Conduct Ribbon

    3. World War II Army of Occupation Medal

  95. It’s stolen valor. She represented herself as having served three years in the military. She should know better. She’s wearing those ribbons she did NOT earn specifically to sway the jury of women into thinking her testimony is unimpeachable, and that she is of a higher class. She is not. This is why it’s stolen valor – her background combined with the intention to sway.

  96. Chuck Griffin on

    If this is a department sactioned practice then our beef is with the department. It demeans the original purpose for these awards and it should be stopped. Create your own ribbons and they will be respected for their intended purpose.

    If the intend was to mislead the jury and create a false reputation then it should be tried as a criminal violation. I feel that this diplay wrongfully prejudiced the case.

  97. Pingback: The Wrong Medal (Part Two) | Writing As Therapy

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  99. fatassolchief on

    @mslane-Lighten up Francis! LMAO. You know they say it only bothers you if there’s an element of truth to it.

  100. Pingback: Battle Rattle » Six Flags park in Illinois cancels use of military ribbons for security guards’ uniforms

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