Marine – “I Can’t Breathe” Statement

| June 7, 2020

The website posted dozens of photos of a man claiming to be a US Marine who is standing outside the Utah State capital building with signs and a mouth covering appearing to protest deaths that occurred at the hands of police.

An individual’s right to protest is not in question here – what is raising a lot of eyebrows is whether it is appropriate to do it in uniform.

Photos: Utah Marine stands alone at Utah Capitol with ‘I can’t breathe’ covering his mouth

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (KUTV) – In a one-man demonstration, a Utah Marine stood outside the Utah State Capitol for more than three hours on Friday to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

According to photographer Robin Pendergrast, who captured the event, this Utah Marine was decorated with two Marine Purple Hearts. Only identified as Todd, the Marine was captured with a thick piece of black tape covering his mouth that read “I can’t breathe.”

Some of the photos show the Marine’s shoes melting in the blistering heat; yesterday’s weather in Salt Lake City was in the 90s. The sign he held in front of the Capitol explains the Marine’s motives: “Justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tamir Rice, and countless others…”

“Todd” is the only name he gave but it would be interesting to know if he is active duty and is legitimate for two Purple Hearts and a Combat Action Ribbon.   After some digging, his name was determined to be Todd Winn from Lehi, Utah.

Am I in the wrong for being curious?  After all, it is a huge part of the credibility of his message or he wouldn’t have been wearing the uniform with the ribbons.  Just my two cents.

Otherwise, I don’t know what his supposed service in the Marine Corps has to do with the police department and recent protests if it is not for the credibility factor.


Category: Politics, Purple Heart

Comments (156)

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  1. marinedad61 says:

    2 Purple Hearts on an E-3 raises the yellow flags.
    I’ll leave the rest to others…..

    • marinedad61 says:

      Full name – Todd Winn (according to others).

    • Atlanticcoast63 says:

      …Sadly, that was the first thing I thought of as well. Not impossible, mind you, but deserving of further examination.

    • AndyFMF says:

      This is Todd Winn.
      He was assigned to 3/1 Weapons Company. During the 2005/2006 deployment we were restructured into Mobile Assault Company (our specific section was MAC 3/2).

      I treated him at each incident which resulted in the Purple Heart being awarded.

      Before you call him a pog or any other derogatory term know this: only a very small percentage of the people who will ever read this post will ever come close to fighting the fight he fought.

      He stood with me while we contained the insurgents inside Haditha and prevented reinforcements from entering the fray (you might know this as the Haditha Massacre).

      His service came at an extremely high personal cost and his injuries have permanently scarred him.

      I do not agree with his use of the uniform but he will always have my respect.

      • MBla89 says:

        AndyFMF wrote: “only a very small percentage of the people who will ever read this post will ever come close to fighting the fight he fought.”

        How do you know this? Most of the people on here are combat veterans. Was it a guess on your part?

        While I respect your support for your comrade, bravery or hardship in battle does not necessarily translate to being more correct when it comes to political opinion. Hopefully you would agree.

        Most especially when the topic at hand has nothing to do with military service. This is, however, what Todd quite oddly injected into the conversation.

      • Mason says:

        Appreciate the insight. E-3 with 2 PHs is highly unusual, as would the 2 1/2 years of service. The two do dovetail to tell the story of a wounded warrior.

        With you on his use of the uniform.

      • Elucidus says:

        Weird, his girlfriend said it was a roadside bomb and you say it was insurgents…wonder who is right.

        Doesn’t show his name, but seemingly every one who was involved. Also according to the investigations these pieces of human garbage killed innocent people, including little kids in retaliation for the car bombing, and were all fried for it, all but one. Still no mention of this clown though. That leaves this account, and his girlfriend’s account both suspect.

      • USMC Steve says:

        I remember the Haditha Massacre as being a war crime that was never properly prosecuted. Marines killed nearly 30 civilians including children as young as 1 year old. The Crotch let everyone slide on it too. If you were involved in that, I have a serious problem with your veracity on anything.

        • jarhead says:

          Steve…First time in a long time I’ve heard another former Marine use the term “The Crotch”. How about the “Green Machine”? And remember the line, “The unwilling led by the unqualified to do the unnecessary?” Ah the memories! Further, if you ever went to RVN, what great times we had at the stop (coming or going) we had on Okinawa. Of many other memories, returning to CONUS even after a LONG extended tour, being sent to Quantico was such a downer that many of us found it better to be back in the boonies again and raised hell until we got our way and were able to return. In ’65 I just had to ask so many lifers with 10,12, and even 14 years in why they were getting out early with so little time left. Standard answer was in that particular time frame most were fed up with not being able to discipline or even write up certain members of one group(i.e. race). To do so would put a black mark on the SRB of the person doing the write-up. Those were the beginning days/years of this damned chaos the country is experiencing today. Using the “card” back in those days was just the beginning of change we’d never have believed could morph into what goes on today. S/F

  2. TopGoz says:

    According to Marine Online, there is no Todd Winn currently on active duty, in the reserves, or retired.
    Marine Online does not include Marines who have been discharged (and not retired).

  3. Daisy Cutter says:

    “Winn treated Friday as a day of silence, his girlfriend, Katie Steck, explained to KSL.

    ‘He has been very angered and appalled by the injustices that have been happening,’ she said.

    Steck explained Winn is a veteran who was medically discharged from the Marines and sustained traumatic brain injuries after he was injured by roadside bombs when he served in Iraq in 2005.”

  4. Comm Center Rat says:

    There ought to be a law prohibiting a veteran from wearing his uniform during public protest.

    • JTB says:

      Yes…It’s not just himself he is representing…

    • MustangCryppie says:

      I’m sure there is a law, but failing that, here is a DOD Directive.

      I didn’t go through every bit of it, but this catch-all probably applies:

      “4.1.5. Activities not expressly prohibited may be contrary to the spirit and intent of this
      Directive. Any activity that may be reasonably viewed as directly or indirectly associating the
      Department of Defense or the Department of Homeland Security (in the case of the Coast Guard)
      or any component of these Departments with a partisan political activity or is otherwise contrary
      to the spirit and intention of this Directive shall be avoided.”

      Link to the directive:

      • NHSparky says:

        And while that applies to AD/Ready Reserves/Retired/NG under Title 10 orders, does it apply to those on Inactive Reserve or vets not subject to recall?

        Even if the guy is as phony as a $3 bill, this doesn’t fall under a case of Stolen Valor federally, meaning no actual crime may have been connected. He’s just another attention whore.

        I don’t disagree with the message, but his delivery sucks.

        • MustangCryppie says:

          His girlfriend said that he was “medically discharged” because of injuries sustained from roadside bombs in Iraq.

          That brings up an interesting question. What is the criteria for being medically retired vice medically discharged? Is there a difference or is it simply two different ways of saying the same thing?

          Which brings me to my final question. Was he medically retired? If so, I believe he would be subject to the directive.

          Even if this directive doesn’t apply to him according to the letter of the “law”, it definitely does according to the spirit.

          • Hondo says:

            There is indeed a difference between “medically separated” and “medically retied” – a huge one.

            Medically retired also implies receipt of retired pay and continuation of military medical/PX/commissary/MWR/other benefits, just like a 20-year retiree (although the retired pay is calculated differently). Medically separated implies none of the above, but absent misconduct or preexisting condition not aggravated by military service generally includes severance pay.

            For either to occur, a MEB and PEB must be held and determine that the individual has a condition that makes it impossible to perform their MOS duties. The severity and permanence of the condition determines whether the individual is medically separated, temporarily retired, or permanently retired. (They can also be found to be fit and returned to duty).

            The breakpoint appears to be a disability rating of 30%. Below that level, if not able to perform their MOS duties the individual is medically separated. Above that level, the individual is either temporarily or permanently retired. The expected permanence of the condition is used to distinguish between temporary and permanent medical retirement.

            Temporary retired status can be maintained for up to 5 years, at which point the individual must be either permanently retired or returned to duty. Individuals temporarily retired are also subject to be periodically reexamined; if found to have improved enough, they may be returned to duty earlier than 5 years.

            This article explains the process and provides additional detail:


            Since other comments above indicate the individual is not currently carried by Marine Online as having retired status, it appears he was either (1) medically separated, or (2) was temporarily retired, but was reexamined and found qualified to return to duty but declined to do so (I’m reasonably certain that someone temporarily retired who is later found fit for duty can elect separation instead of returning to active duty). Either way, it appears he’s no longer a member of any US military component, since he’s apparently not currently a retiree and his total military obligation of 8 years would have ended in 2012.

            • MustangCryppie says:


              So, my point is that if he isn’t covered by the directive, it all depends on his level of integrity.

              Of course, the average Joe will look at him and misconstrue the message. This Marine either just doesn’t get that or doesn’t care. Hopefully not the latter.

              The only punishment would be the sting of the disapproval of fellow vets. That sometimes can be enough.

        • Mick says:


          Here’s an excerpt from Department of Defense Instruction 1334.01 that covers the wearing of the uniform by former members of the Armed Forces who didn’t retire. Paragraph 3.2 is germane, particularly subparagraph 3.2.3.


          3. POLICY
          It is DoD policy that:

          3.1. The wearing of the uniform by members of the Armed Forces (including retired members and members of Reserve components) is prohibited under any of the following circumstances:
          3.1.1. At any meeting or demonstration that is a function of, or sponsored by an organization, association, movement, group, or combination of persons that the Attorney General of the United States has designated, under Executive Order 10450 as amended (reference (c)), as totalitarian, fascist, communist, or subversive, or as having adopted a policy of advocating or approving the commission of acts of force or violence to deny others their rights under the Constitution of the United States, or as seeking to alter the form of Government of the United States by unconstitutional means.
          3.1.2. During or in connection with furthering political activities, private employment or commercial interests, when an inference of official sponsorship for the activity or interest may be drawn.
          3.1.3. Except when authorized by the approval authorities in subparagraph 4.1.1., when participating in activities such as unofficial public speeches, interviews, picket lines, marches, rallies or any public demonstration, which may imply Service sanction of the cause for which the demonstration or activity is conducted.
          3.1.4. When wearing of the uniform may tend to bring discredit upon the Armed Forces.
          3.1.5. When specifically prohibited by regulations of the Department concerned.

          3.2. Former members of the Armed Forces, unless under another provision of this Instruction or under the terms of Section 772 of title 10, United States Code (reference (d)), who served honorably during a declared or undeclared war and whose most recent service was terminated under honorable conditions may wear the uniform in the highest grade held during such war service only on the following occasions and in the course of travel incident thereto:
          3.2.1. Military funerals, memorial services, weddings, and inaugurals.
          3.2.2. Parades on National or State holidays; or other parades or ceremonies of a patriotic character in which any Active or Reserve United States military unit is taking part.
          3.2.3. Wearing of the uniform or any part thereof at any other time or for any other purposes is prohibited.

          3.3. Medal of Honor holders may wear the uniform at their pleasure except under the circumstances set forth in paragraph 3.1., above.


          Bottom line is that this ignorant assclown shouldn’t be out there doing what he’s doing in a Marine Corps uniform. Embarrassing.

          That said, I don’t know if a DoD Instruction is enforceable under the law outside of the UCMJ. Maybe one of our resident TAH JAG/SJAs can pitch in here and give an opinion.

          Hope this helps…

    • E4 Mafia '83-'87 says:

      The reason you can’t protest/do political-type-stuff in uniforms because it infers that your branch of the military/military in general supports whatever you are participating in…he knows that and knows better. Your injuries are sad, but better men have suffered worse including the ultimate sacrifice. Do not virtue signal in uniform…ever! He knows this would get zero eyeballs if he was going it in cargo shorts and a ‘No Fat Chicks’ t-shirt. Check yo-self dude…do not the sully the uniform for those who still wear it. Yes…we get it. Cops need to answer for excessive force…he will. The cops are not wrong every time despite what the MS-DNC and the other Left wing propogandists say.
      Just cuz his girl said he was injured doesn’t make it true. How many wives & girlfriends have unknowingly defended their man’s lies about his service? She said bombs…bombs…not a roadside bomb, but bombs. By making a public display, he opened himself up to public scrutiny of himself and his service. People will want to find out…that you can count on.

      • AndyFMF says:

        Why don’t you go to FB and ask him? He’s a legit dude that was largely abandoned by the Marine Corps after he was injured. WWBN didn’t exist, PTSD wasn’t culturally acceptable, and the Marine Corps didnt know what to do with someone with his physical disabilities.

        • Mason says:

          I’m also a post-9/11 vet. There hasn’t been a time in our adult lives where PTSD for war vets wasn’t understood and culturally accepted. Now, my father’s and grandfather’s generations are entirely different.

          • Alsofmf says:

            Of course there was a time when PTSD wasn’t exepted and/or understood, including right now, today. Example “post 9/11”: 2004 Fallujah: Marines who could no longer fight or refused to fight after two weeks of being the number one man on a stack were assigned to wash the kit of other Marines killed or injured in battle to “help keep their minds in the fight”. Plenty of leaders today look at PTSD as a weakness or Unit inconvenience especially when it effects readiness. Thank you for your opinion but it’s just that. Your porthole glance five feet out and nothing more.

        • Slow Joe says:

          Oh pleez.

          Sure. I’ll go to Fakebook and I’ll ask him why he is so full of shit. People don’t lie on Facebook. Ever.

          I don’t care if this dude killed Bin Laden or sucked his dick. You do not virtue signal political shit in uniform.

        • marinedad61 says:

          FB? Search Facebook for Todd Winn,
          and there are over 10 with details and photos,
          and more with no photos or personal info.
          None of them look like this Todd Winn.
          Do YOU have the URL/weblink?

      • Chris Melvin says:

        Re-read her explanation. It explicitly says “roadside bomb”.

      • Poetrooper says:

        “Do not virtue signal in uniform…ever!”

        Somebody should tell that to the USMC Commandant, General Berger…

        • Just An Old Dog says:

          Berger is too busy slurping leftist cock to address it. Another useless fuck.

    • tommer says:

      There is or at least there used to be.

    • Jay says:

      Protest or political statement. Just curious when speaking out about equal rights under the Constitution becomes a political statement? Isn’t that why we serve to protect those rights? Don’t want to address his wearing the uniform demonstrates his best judgement.

      Dragging a 4 Star General to a photo op might be considered a political statement though don’t you think?

  5. FC2(SW) Ron says:

    Every one of us who served knows we served along side of some scumbags who did just enough to get by and not get in real trouble. These shitbags that put on the “halo” of service will be nothing more than what they are. Just because they raised their right hand doesn’t make them a saint. They probably didn’t have anything else going for them in the first place and decided to hide out in the military.

    Same thing with cops. I’ve served with some shitheads that deserved to be fired but the association still brands us all. Fucking opportunists. All of them.

    • Skippy says:

      There are plenty of retired officers making news’s right now that fit this to a tee

      • FC2(SW) Ron says:

        There’s a difference between fired and retired. I’m retired. A cop who is an “Ex-cop” or couldn’t make retirement? Most likely a shithead.

        I will NEVER defend the indefensible or make excuses for bad/questionable conduct. No matter what uniform I wore. Ever.

        These guys kneeling and submitting make me sick.

        • rgr769 says:

          A bunch of Fan Belt Inspectors (FBI) were photographed yesterday in front of their office in their field garb kneeling in support of BLM protestors. So I will give this guy a pass. Plus, his TBI, assuming it is for real, likely has impaired judgment.

        • 11B-Mailclerk says:

          Some folks try a service, and then at the reenlist point decide to do something else.

          A friend of mine is “ex” cop. After about 10, much of it investigations and undercover, he decided he would rather be a very-specialized med tech.

          Plenty of good military peeps decide that their duty to serve their country was accomplished in one or two enlistments.

          • FC2(SW) Ron says:

            Your friend the “Ex-cop” moved on. And my guess is he was more proud of his new career than being a cop. No harm, no foul with that. I worked side by side with a cop who killed someone in a “suicide by cop” incident. He left the force to become a paramedic and later a flight medic. That was his new career. So maybe I should have clarified. I still drink cold ones with him to this day. Good man.

        • Mason says:

          After all this BS, there’ll be a lot more ex-cops. After the novelty of the job wears offs, people will move on to something else.

        • murdock says:

          was a cop in ga– moved back to fl and became a cop in fl– subsequently got offered a job as chief pilot– cop =40k pilot =75k– wasn’t a shit bag… could get hired on anywhere in ga of fl–that statement mirrors the 20 year cop that started this whole mess— “i got 20 years– this is the right way” idt10 form in back pocket

          • FC2(SW) Ron says:

            Good for you on the career change. Cop pay sucks in places. I was a police pilot prior to retiring. Chose a different path although aviation related after retiring.

  6. HMCS(FMF) ret says:

    Shouldn’t have done it in uniform… I would never think of doing this if I were to attend a protest.

    Bad move, Todd…

  7. NHSparky says:

    Even if his service is legit, he just took a major shit on it.

    And no doubt there are some rules that would apply regarding wearing of uniform to political events. Even if one were to concede it wasn’t a political statement per se, it’s an extremely bad look.

    But hey, attention whores gotta attention whore.

  8. 5th/77th FA says:

    Hardcore or attention whore? Who be the Judge?

    Shades of John Skerry? Blumenthal? He has a right to protest, but does he have a right to protest wearing the uniform? Guess that is protected by the free speech thing.

    Again, I defend your right to protest, but may not always agree with the way or the subject matter of your protest. Why do I see an FOIA and MP article on this person upcoming in the future? I look forward to it.

  9. Dan Fraser says:

    Grey hair. Little old for and E-3.

    • NHSparky says:

      Assuming dates of service, he’s at least mid-30’s.

    • The Al says:

      Grey hair isn’t always an indicator of age. My mom started going grey at 16, I started at 18.

      • Hondo says:

        Bingo. Had an acquaintance who was showing a fair amount of grey at 22 and was damn near salt-and-pepper grey at 26. Premature grey hair ran in his family.

        • MSG Eric says:

          And before you all turned 21, he was buying the beer and liquor for adult adventures!

          My Dad was greying and balding in his 20s, I feel fortunate that even into my 40s I still have most of my hair. (I can fake it well still)

          I was 6’3″ by my Senior Year in HS. Guess who got into all the clubs with no issue? Funny thing, I didn’t start getting carded until I turned 21.

      • Twist says:

        My father was completely grey at 25. I lasted longer and wasn’t completely grey until my early to mid 30’s

      • Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

        Well I am in my 60s and I started going gray from the bottom up…

        Nothing weirder than taking a shower and noticing that south of the border your hair is turning gray…

        I have a whitish gray hair south of the border and now it’s reached the goatee…and the sides of my head…the top remains a sandy blond for now…but for how long?

        Nobody explained in the manual it would go this way…

  10. 26Limabeans says:

    Not cool. Regardless of his personal opinion or service.

  11. Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH B Woodman says:

    And THIS is why I very seldom go downtown. I would have ended up in the news right beside this jackass for yelling at him for being at a political gathering in uniform, and demanding for him to remove his cover and jacket.
    Never been a Drill, but I would have gone DI all over his ass.

  12. Flagwaver says:

    Corfam oxfords disintegrating in 90 degree heat? Really?

    • Amateur Historian says:

      What temperatures could those withstand?

    • 11B-Mailclerk says:

      Probably stood in spilled fuel at a gas station. (Or spilled fuel additives) If those are cheap knock offs, even more so.

      Dry rot from years of neglect may also explain it.

      But as soon as he noticed, he should have addressed it. And on that concrete, it looks like a charcoal massacre occurred.

      Then again, the “mouth tape” is “out of uniform” I assume.

      I have never seen someone in a “shiny footwear” uniform kneel with the toe pointed on hard ground, thus scuffing the shine. The toe is bent to contact the sole down. Does the USMC do otherwise?

      • Hack Stone says:

        Back in the late 1990’s, GySgt Hack Stone and MSgt B. were in the 7th Comm Bn S3 office getting ready to head outside for the Battalion Charlie inspection. Out of nowhere, the MSgt’s patent leather shoe just exploded/disintegrated as he was just sitting there. Strangest thing Hack saw that day.

        And on the other end of the thermometer, Hack Stone had the misfortune of recruiting duty in the midwest, and those shoes were not very efficient on keeping your toes from snapping off.

        • 11B-Mailclerk says:

          I had a pair of expensive name-brand “walking” shoes disintegrate exactly like pictured in the news article. The whole sole on one just crumbled into “charcoal bits” and the side blew out due to loss of structural integrity. The other was only about 1/2 dissolved.

          The feedback I received from a lab-geek coworker was “petroleum distillate contamination, probably from gasoline or gasoline fuel additives.”

        • NHSparky says:

          29 Palms…where even the shoes want to commit suicide.

      • SFC D says:

        I bought a pair of Corfam low quarters DEC 1990 for PLDC. Used them my entire career (although very rarely) until retirement in 2012. Served me very well.

        Right up until my retirement ceremony. Just as we finished marching off the field, the left shoe split every seam.

        I took it as an omen from God that he approved my retirement.

    • timactual says:

      Looks like just the heels disintegrated. Uppers look fine. I had a pair of shoes that did that. They sat in a closet for a couple of years and when I pulled them out the soles disintegrated like that; some kind of synthetic rubber, I think.

    • Commissar says:

      My uniform low quarters once melted while I was in formation. It was a hot day but not over 100. The asphalt however was very hot.

      When we right faced the soles of both stayed put and slid right off the shoes.

      • Ret_25X says:

        never had that happen, but the kiwi literally melted off of our boots at a change of command at Fort Hood…

        It was about 90 degrees that day…but the concrete pad was probably nearer 120 degrees…

      • Poetrooper says:

        “When we right faced the soles of both stayed put and slid right off the shoes.”

        Probably Trump’s fault…

      • rgr769 says:

        I didn’t wear uniform low quarters at any formation, unlike you. The only time on active duty I ever wore a pair was at my wedding; for some reason, my bride was not going to allow
        me to wear jump boots with my dress blues.

      • Twist says:

        I don’t usually mean it literally when I type “lol” but that made me chuckle picturing it.

    • Just An Old Dog says:

      Bates Corfams will dryrot like that. I went through my shit not long ago. The heels and soles literaly were falling apart after 18 years in a box.
      Pretty sure his were fucked and the heat just finished them off.

      • rgr769 says:

        I tossed mine a few years after I ended my Reserve service. The only time I ever war them was the day of my wedding. I still have my dress blues, which were also only worn for my wedding and the after-drunk. Those Corfams were some of the most uncomfortable shoes I ever owned.

  13. David says:

    Long since discharged, not sure there is any law which prevents him from doing this – but like so many things, “just because you can doesn’t mean you should”. He definitely is implying he is active duty. Since he isn’t, he has all the relevance of McRaven whining about Trump.

    • Retired Grunt says:

      On the Army Uniform there is a specific badge that identifies one as retired personnel, the Soldier For Life Badge. I’m not sure quite sure how to feel about this individuals display yet. When I do wear my uniform I do wear the aforementioned badge so most know that I am retired.

      • MI Ranger says:

        My question is, why do they give you that crappy little Army Retired pin at your ceremony and then require you to go “buy” the Soldier For Life Badge!
        I still have not bought one, mostly because I have a beard now and would feel weird in a uniform with it, but don’t want to shave it.

  14. OldManchu says:

    Attention whore.

  15. OWB says:

    Would have thought it a no-go until they started sanctioning participating in gay pride parades and all that other goofy stuff that has nothing to do with military service. Now? Who knows. This little protest makes at least as much sense, perhaps more, as those silly races with guys wearing high heels, etc.

    • Retired Grunt says:

      Thats a decent point, I have seen full dressed personnel at pride events on news coverage. Where is the line?

    • marinedad61 says:

      Seinfeld pulled this 25 years ago, on “The Outing”,
      where Jerry is (falsely) “outed” as gay in the newspapers.
      A Marine comes up to his table at the restaurant,
      and thanks Jerry for the courage to come out,
      giving him (the Marine) the courage to do so as well,
      even though it could cost him a career in the Marines.
      (During the days of Clinton “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”)

  16. Keepin' It Real says:

    I wonder if he is like the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier guards or the Queen’s Guard at Buckingham Palace – where you can go up to him and blow smoke in his face, turn around and moon him – and he has the discipline to stare straight ahead.

  17. jarhead says:

    Glad I never knew this shit bird. If you can not breathe, and your hands are not in hand cuffs behind your back, then take the tape off dumbass! Would not surprise me to find out he is just another common huckster trying to sell a new design of caronavirus masks. Watch for them being advertised “As seen on television!” “Buy two and get FREE SHIPPING plus a dozen enemas!”

  18. sheesh says:

    If he is in fact medically retired, wouldn’t he be subject to the UCMJ?

    • Hondo says:

      In theory, yes. However, per comments above he doesn’t show up on Marine Online as having “retired” status; he doesn’t show up at all. The latter implies he’s separated.

  19. Green Thumb says:

    Put the uniform in the closet.

    • MCPO USN says:

      Better yet, if you are retired, why do you still have it? What would you be asked to wear it for?

      • Ret_25X says:

        I have my “mess dress” still…I get invited to the various balls and events of past units as well as the annual Signal and Cyber Balls around DC…

        I almost always wear a suit or tux rather than the uniform, though…but I would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it 😉

        Being the 7 (Ancient) is a lot more fun than actually being the CSM or SEA

        • SFC D says:

          MRS D and I were married 4 years after I retired, she asked about me wearing Dress Blues for the ceremony. She changed her mind after I told her that (1) There would be a possibility of projectile injuries due to over-stressed buttons, and (2) the big mustache would have to go.

          • jarhead says:

            Ain’t it a bitch how the dress blues shrunk after only a year or two in a closet? Easier to get into a cheap Robert Hall stretch leisure suit as quickly as six months after completing an enlistment.

            • PFM says:

              I have an old set that was waaay too large when they were given to me years ago – I’m afraid to try them on now, probably a perfect fit.

      • IDC SARC says:

        I was asked to be a side boy and attend other such formal military functions several in uniform with all the sparkly shinies. I respectfully declined every time. I’m not in grooming standards.

        I’ve attended mess nights that included retirees in uniform. It happens I guess.

  20. Former 13D says:

    I don’t think he should have done this in uniform. But if he hadn’t, he’d be just another schumck trying to get some attention.

    But I have the utmost respect and love for him for what he did in uniform on active duty.

    “…He that shall live this day, and see old age,
    Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
    And say “To-morrow is Saint Crispian.”
    Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
    And say “These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.”

    Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
    But he’ll remember, with advantages,
    What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
    Familiar in his mouth as household words—
    Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
    Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester—
    Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.

    This story shall the good man teach his son;
    And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
    From this day to the ending of the world,
    But we in it shall be rememberèd—
    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;

    For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
    Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
    This day shall gentle his condition;”

  21. Doug Sterner says:

    This from a Marine Corps friend of mine regarding the Purple Hearts:

    This is Todd Winn.
    He was assigned to 3/1 Weapons Company. During the 2005/2006 deployment we were restructured into Mobile Assault Company (our specific section was MAC 3/2).

    I treated him at each incident which resulted in the Purple Heart being awarded.

    Before you call him a pog or any other derogatory term know this: only a very small percentage of the people who will ever read this post will ever come close to fighting the fight he fought.

    He stood with me while we contained the insurgents inside Haditha and prevented reinforcements from entering the fray (you might know this as the Haditha Massacre).

    His service came at an extremely high personal cost and his injuries have permanently scarred him.

    I do not agree with his use of the uniform but he will always have my respect.

    Carry on.

    • Skippy says:


    • jarhead says:

      D. Sterner…No one on this site is attacking Winn in the same line of thought military phonies are often discussed. Yep, it’s his right to wear his uniform out in public every day of the week, where ever he goes. Obviously has earned a record to be proud of. Had he paraded himself around in public in civvies, even with the ridiculous tape over his mouth, unlikely he would have ever been mentioned on this site. It’s the “Look at me” scream he projects being seen protesting while in uniform. For his own sake I hope he does not wear his dress blues while shopping, running errands, and so on. He can obviously do what he pleases, but looking as if you are trying to attract attention and inviting insults is asking for troubling sarcasm, especially from other veterans. BTW, there’s a MANY who read these posts who have also worn the tee shirt. We just use better judgment when it comes needing or seeking attention. Respect for Winn and his time in service, OF COURSE! The man earned it.

      • MBla89 says:

        I agree. The Marine Corps dress blues and two Purple hearts have very little to do with the current issue of police methods. It appears to be virtue signaling and what is worse it is hijacking a current event issue and redirecting it to one individual’s military service.

        This is how it struck me and I could be wrong, but I’m not wrong about my individual reaction to it.

        • Ret_25X says:

          in statement of fact: none of the “protesting” has anything at all to do with police methods. The data on that is clear, well understood, and does not support the allegations being made.

          In point of fact, most people go their entire lives and never talk to a cop in any capacity. They have nothing to fear from cops and live accordingly.

          Criminals, on the other hand….


    He should have taped over his nose too for greater effect 😉

  23. sheesh says:

    Todd Winn made a post on the subject. His Facebook page is open for comments. Oddly, the narrative has morphed into “Stolen Valor” but I don’t think anyone on this site made this accusation.

    However, nobody seems to be asking him about the proper wearing of the uniform in regard to political events.

    • marinedad61 says:

      sheesh —-
      Not now. (21 hours later)
      If it’s still there, it’s Friends Only.

      Strangers on Facebook can only see travel to New Zealand in 2017.
      Bungee jump, bridge crossing, some serious hiking, too.
      That’s a lot of ability and adventure
      for someone (allegedly) so injured.

  24. 03Marine says:

    The records show he did not serve three years so he could not rate the GCM. He shows three Iraq Service Medals but only one SSDR. Not a good indicator of his integrity

    • 11B-Mailclerk says:

      Just to be sure, check the regs for your service.

      The Army Good Conduct Medal is normally awarded at three years of good service. However, if one is honorably discharged prior to three, say for a short enlistment or medical separation or Reduction in Force, and one’s character of service is otherwise qualifying, the unit -may- issue the GCM to the separating soldier. The presumption is that the soldier is good one, and would have reached three. The signature authority is often Company Commander, so the soldier’s conduct is likely well known.

      I typed up a number of those “short” GCMs while doing one of my other jobs, Battalion Awards Clerk.

      If service is “combat”, I believe it can be as little as 12 months.

      • MSG Eric says:

        Yep and Reserve Component Soldiers who are mobilized for one year can rate the Good Conduct Medal for that one year as long as they haven’t received a GCM previously.

        There are a couple other details to it, but it is possible to get a GCM in less than 3 years.

      • Hondo says:

        The USMC criteria for the MCGCM are a bit more stringent, and unlike the Army don’t include those two cases. However, they do authorize early award for someone KIA/DOW/medically retired or separated due injuries resulting from enemy action. See Tab 14 in

        That’s the current (Aug 2019) version, but I believe those criteria were in effect in 2007 when this guy was medically retired or separated.

        Assuming he was medically retired or (IMO more likely) separated for injuries resulting from enemy action as claimed, “by the book” he’d rate the MCGCM.

  25. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    So what -do- we do for folks with the long-term TBI symptoms? I have been trying to steer someone to assistance who has long term post-concussion syndrome. Non-service-related. An acquaintance (combat-related injury) just slams extra-octane energy drinks and finds work where chaos-riding is the job. I have my own issues post-concussions.

    If I fall off the water wagon, or someone wants sobriety, there is AA or a bunch of other orgs. They are everywhere. Ditto narcotics, overeating, gambling, etc. I can be talking to someone in those areas of “help” in five minutes, and its five assuming I cant quite remember where I put the phone.

    Ask a doc about “long-term concussion syndrome support groups” or a “TBI long term symptoms for dummies” book, and get blank looks.

    There seems to be an abyss of misery, and few lifelines. Either this area is -vastly- underserved, or I am going about my search wrong.

    Probably should have asked TAH first. This may be a thread-jack, but given the comments about the background of the subject of the above article, perhaps not.

    Would this topic be a good thread on its own?

    • Mason says:

      Probably deserving of its own thread. It’s similar in the first responder world. Lots of help out there for drunks and drunks with PTSD, not a lot out there for people with just PTSD. Some people I know have talked about starting a drinking problem just so they can get into the programs to help with their PTS symptoms.

    • MI Ranger says:

      11B-Mailclerk I wonder the same…but different. You may be seeing more of those post-concussion type groups spring up, now that the NFL has recognized such problems.
      As for PTS or just people with military service who find themselves a lot more angry these days or just less patients with people where are those “wonderful therapy groups” you see in movies and TV? I don’t want to go hang out at the “Legion” bar in hopes of finding someone to talk about stuff like that. Mostly because I talk to much. But my wife is tired of it, and doesn’t understand.
      I don’t claim PTS mostly because it labels you. I did not see any real bad fighting. Mostly because I was on staff by the time the wars broke out, and my units did not deploy to the surge(s). I was there when it was the wild-wild west, but it wasn’t my job to go chase down the bad guys.

  26. Roh-Dog says:

    Not ‘no’ but ‘fuck no’, Marine.
    You protest you do it on your own fucking time in your own fucking clothes.
    That uniform has NOT-A-DAMN thing to do with what you did and how you feel.

  27. Inbred Redneck says:

    This bein’ a free country where he can express his opinion, he has done so. Don’t agree with him havin’ done so in uniform.
    My opinion is he sucks. He’s free to disagree with me.

  28. JarHead Pat says:

    Sigh, as a former Marine, one of the very first things they tell you in Boot Camp, is you can not do anything in your uniform, fucking ever, when you are in uniform you are representing the Corps period(retired or not) If he thinks that all us white people are raciest asshole fine, don’t care, also don’t care that he has 2 Purple Hearts, seems like he is just making this whole thing about him now, sad to see.

  29. MTD SgtMaj 1985-2015 says:

    Every Marine knows this is wholly inappropriate. One of the very first things you learn is that the military is apolitical. You don’t make a political statement in uniform. Moreover, if he is not “retired” he is not even authorized to wear the uniform to begin with. Public may think with is cool, but most Marines will think he is an ass hat.

    • E4 Mafia '83-'87 says:

      ^Agreed. Since he thrust himself and his service record into the forefront, he should display his DD214 appropriately redacted of course. Let him put it up to scrutiny…not like readers of TAH haven’t seen phony certificates displayed before ** Mike Swanson ** 4 Jun 2020. I’ve read many-a-story about wives, girlfriends, family members, and sock puppets swearing up and down a dude is legit…he makes the claim then let him prove it. The ninjas will find out either way.

      • Lthrnck1775 says:

        OK Ninjas….you have been challenged! I would like to see “the rest of the story” … especially since the media played this up.

        I always have my doubts about these attention whoring n’er-do-wells and this one’s starting to stink.


        • MBla89 says:

          I don’t know if there is a whole lot of research in this, but Winn posted on his Facebook page (now removed) both of his Purple Heart citations.

          The emphasis of this post (now removed) is that he was accused of Stolen Valor and detailed his military credentials.

          This is what leads me to believe the current atmosphere in media headline news presented an opportunity to provide Winn with 15 minutes of fame. It makes me sad to say this but this is what it appears to me. In his post (now removed) he says nothing about the cause he was supposedly lead to get out in front of so passionately.

          At some point, one would realize they were a distraction and try and get people to refocus on the intent of the message. Winn fails to do that and appears to use the opportunity to talk about his military career… that is, other than now removing the post.

        • marinedad61 says:

          Sometimes (*actually quite often),
          those who seek attention,
          get the attention they do not seek.

          The Fake Vietnam Veteran DC Injun (Nathan Phillips)
          gave the whole nation a visible example.

          And yet, they continue to surface.
          Not that this guy is 1 of them….
          but he just learned something about seeking attention.

          • sheesh says:

            They’ll be plenty in the left-wing media that will put this story first and forefront.

            Winn’ll quickly be discarded like Cindy Sheehan.

  30. IDC SARC says:

    Don’t care who he is or what the backstory is.

    Wearing the uniform in this capacity is wrong.

    Fukk you very much.

  31. Trapperfrank says:

    E3 after 3 years? A real fast mover there. No NAM or other awards except for the good cookie. His right to protest, but in his dress blues and he no longer serving. He is a turd that dishonored the uniform.

    • NHSparky says:

      03 series have had stupidly high advancement multiples forever.

      Hence the phrase (and blogger) Terminal Lance.

  32. Keepin' It Real says:

    Army Regs

  33. Keepin' It Real says:



  34. Bubblehead Ray says:

    Only problem I have with it is the tape was 1” too low.

    • E4 Mafia '83-'87 says:

      I’ll save you the rouble of watching it…
      He did in uniform to get attention for himself, period.
      Soon, the copy cats will spring up as the Army & Navy Store & flea markets inventories dwindle. Plenty of ‘Stolen Valor’ on-the-way.

  35. Daisy Cutter says:

    AndyFMF wrote in part: “Before you call him a pog or any other derogatory term know this: only a very small percentage of the people who will ever read this post will ever come close to fighting the fight he fought.

    He stood with me while we contained the insurgents inside Haditha and prevented reinforcements from entering the fray (you might know this as the Haditha Massacre).

    His service came at an extremely high personal cost and his injuries have permanently scarred him.”

    The extremely strong issue I have with this line of reasoning is that it is an attempt to leverage grief.

    What about a WIA Marine that lost one leg? What if he/she lost both arms? Do two arms equal one leg? What if he/she lost two legs?

    What about a KIA Marine’s parents or brother? What about their sacrifice? Does that rise above Winn’s?

    How do we measure and where do we stop?

    My point is – Let’s not try and measure suffering and grief when trying to make a point.

    Winn will be successful in getting his 15 minutes of fame, but at what cost?

  36. rgr769 says:

    Bottom line is this dude is an attention whore and a faux virtue signaler, and he used his uniform to do it. His message is even fake, since that tape doesn’t cover his nose.

    If I decide to march in a protest or participate in some political event, I certainly won’t be wearing a uniform I wore decades ago while still in the military, even if one still fits.

  37. Roach says:

    I just think its weird he has a good conduct medal as a lance. Everyone knows you get a good conduct medal after 4 years of service and no trouble

    • USMC Steve says:

      There are some MOS’s, such as 0351, where one can get out after an enlistment as a LCpl. No promotion opportunities present. It is possible.

    • Large K-9 says:

      It is actually 3 years for good cookie

  38. Roach says:

    also hes not on the purple heart recipient locator

    • sbalm says:

      That resource, as with most other Purple Heart resources, is not 100% complete. It can help to confirm if someone is listed, but if they are not listed it does not mean they do not have a PH.

  39. Keepin' It Real says:

    Caution-Virtue Signaling

  40. Honor and Courage says:

    He has Traumatic Brain injuries! I’ll leave it at that.