Stolen Valor

We like to think we are generally light-hearted and fun, but Stolen Valor is one point we take very seriously. We have great respect for the men and women who serve in the Armed Forces, regardless of what country they serve. We will not condone the wear of officially recognized medals and commendations except by those who have earned them, and we will not condone any false claims of military service. Falsely representing one’s military service history belittles the efforts of those who have actually earned those respects.

The Stolen Valor Act of 2005 stated that you may not wear any decoration or medal that you have not personally received under any circumstances. This infraction was considered a federal misdemeanor carrying up to one year of imprisonment depending on the decoration in question. It was signed into law on December 20, 2006, and struck down by the US Supreme Court on June 28, 2012, as an infringement of the First Amendment right to free speech.

The Stolen Valor Act of 2013 carries much of the same spirit of the 2005 version, except that the activity required to be considered criminal activity is narrowed from false representation of commendation or decoration to false representation with intention of personal gain.

Fleet 31 adheres to the spirit of the 2005 version: No member of Fleet 31 may wear a medal or commendation that is in current use by any service of armed forces that he or she has not legally earned, and no member may make false claims of military service. This is not negotiable. If you are seen wearing an identifiable medal or commendation that you have not earned, you will receive a Direct Order to remove it, and this will be considered an infraction under “Grounds for Dismissal” (the two-strike section) of our Code of Conduct. Likewise, if you are seen or heard making false claims to military service, the same infraction will be recorded. If you have been noted making multiple claims and/or wearing commendations that are subsequently found to be false, unless you have already corrected the error and issued official public apologies (as necessary), this will be considered a one-strike offense, and you will be immediately dismissed from Fleet 31.

The only non-standard designation pin currently endorsed under Fleet 31 policy is that of the Starfighter Corps, although if you have legally earned medals from your Armed Forces service, you may request authorization from your Commanding Officer to wear that commendation with your uniform while representing Fleet 31.