Investigation later found out that all of his medals and valor were fake. Worst is that Jesse Bernard Johnston III had not even served in the army. His only military training was in fact attending part of a 12-week Marine officer candidate course for college students in 2004.
If he had been successful, this untrained man would have been flown to Iraq to lead a group of soldiers. The task that he should have been assigned to is to clear possible threats on the ground like mines and bombs. If he had been there casualties will be made under his watch.
So how did an unqualified man ended up being hired by the army?
The Army's Human Resource Command Spokesman, Lt. Col. Maria Quon said that her database contains an entry about Johnston. She says it shows that Johnston joined the military in 2002, however, there are no documents to support the 2002 date. Later on, the National Military Personnel Records Center which is the central database for military recodes confirmed that there was no evidence that Johnston ever served.
The fake army could not have been detected if not for an officer who raised a question about how Johnston get ahold of his marine medals and ribbons. Johnston, the fake Texan marine cannot explain how and that became the suspicion that he was not a marine.
What is more interesting is that this incident seems to add up to the history of army mishaps. Just months ago, the army were criticized for failing to detect the suspicious activities of the Army psychiatrist who killed 13 and wounded dozens in Fort Hood.
Investigations are on the way for the two incidents and hope is that it will result in better intelligence and data gathering process of the United States Army.
Photo courtesy of the Associated Press