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Thread: Democratic Candidate wore unearned SEAL Trident

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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie

    Democratic Candidate wore unearned SEAL Trident

    Candidate wore unearned SEAL Trident

    Longshot congressional hopeful James Kimber apologetic for "horribly stupid' thing to do"

    By Mark Walker
    OCT. 22, 2014
    EAST COUNTY — Congressional candidate James Kimber wore a U.S. Navy SEAL Trident for more than a year despite never completing training for the elite force to earn the prestigious designation.

    James Kimber

    Kimber said Tuesday he is truly remorseful for the episode that stained his military career but did not end it.

    “It was more than 20 years ago and it was a horribly embarrassing and stupid thing to do,” he told U-T San Diego, which has pictures of Kimber wearing the Trident. “Fortunately, I was able to finish my Navy career.”

    Kimber, a Democrat, is running against three-term incumbent Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, in the predominantly Republican 50th Congressional District representing much of East County, Escondido and Temecula in southern Riverside County.

    “I knew when I decided to run that this might come up, and said to myself that I would answer it if it did,” Kimber said.
    Hunter, a former U.S. Marine who served combat assignments in Iraq and Afghanistan, said the matter is unfortunate.
    “He served his country for 20 years and that is worthy of appreciation,” he said.

    Kimber said he entered SEAL training in Coronado in 1990 as a medical corpsman but was removed from the program after injuring his back during an obstacle course exercise. He remained at the base for several months, and was eventually assigned to the guided-missile frigate Reid.

    It was aboard the Reid, he said, where he was called out for wearing the Trident by the ship’s captain, hauled before crew members and admonished and reprimanded. He was age 32 at the time.

    “I know this is a big thing and I am very sorry,” said Kimber, who now works as a physician’s assistant. “I knew what I was doing, and it was a terrible mistake that I hope doesn’t negate everything else I have done in my life and what I am doing now.”

    Despite the misstep, the first-time candidate said he rose to the rank of senior chief when he finished his 20-year Navy career in 2002.

    His campaign website lists his Navy awards as including the Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal along with several letters of commendation.

    The Trident is issued to officers and enlisted service members who have completed SEAL training. It’s a highly recognizable insignia within the military that includes a golden eagle holding a Navy anchor, a trident and a flintlock-style pistol.

  2. #2
    Senior Member HAPPY2BME's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
    Wearing unauthorized military decorations is a violation of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice, Article 134.

    Article 134 - Wearing Unauthorized Insignia, Decoration, Badge, Ribbon, Device, or Lapel Button

    When a service member wears any insignia, badge, decoration, ribbon, lapel button or device over his official or civilian clothing that he is not authorized to wear, he is in violation of this section of article 134. The armed forces places a great deal of importance on its decorations and this UCMJ article demonstrates how seriously unauthorized wearing and display of such decorations is viewed. The elements to be proven in these trails are as follows:

    • That at a specific time and place, the accused was found wearing upon his civilian clothing or his designated uniform the badge of the Combat infantryman, the insignia denoting the grade of master sergeant, lapel button of the Legion of Merit or other decoration or badge.
    • That the accused had no authority to wear this badge, decoration, insignia, lapel button or ribbon.
    • That this act of the accused wrongful.
    • That given the circumstances, the behavior of the accused was against the discipline and good order expected from members of the United States armed forces; or that this behavior was such that it could discredit the United States Armed Forces.

    What is the Maximum Punishment for these Violations?

    If proven guilty of this charge, the accused faces maximum punishment of forfeiture of all allowances and pay, bad conduct discharge, and 6 months confinement.

    Historic Case Pertaining to Unauthorized Wearing of Ribbons

    A very well known and highly publicized incident that revolved around this offense is that of Admiral Jeremy 'Mike' Boorda. The well liked Admiral Boorda, then Chief of Naval Operations, also the highest ranking Navy officer, was accused of wearing two Vietnam War Combat decorations that he was not authorized to wear. The incident ended with the tragic death of the Admiral as a direct consequence of this allegation, although there have been theories of conspiracy negating the official report of suicide that was given by the Army officials.

    This incident again serves to highlight the utmost importance of preserving the sanctity and respecting the value of awards and decoration given to members of the armed forces.
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