Congressional stolen valor?

| June 13, 2024 | 60 Comments

Congressman Troy Nehls (R-TX)

United States Representative Troy Nehls (R-TX) is being accused of stolen valor, or rather, continuing stolen valor. We briefly discussed the kerfuffle a while back. Since we didn’t have records in hand, it was just reporting on the goings on. Our excellent community here posted a bunch more in the comments there as the incident unfolded.

Nehls, as you can see in his official photo above, in quite proud of his status as a retired US Army officer. You’ll note that he’s wearing a miniature Combat Infantryman Badge. The news today concerns the continued wear of that badge. It seem that while he was deployed in OIF/OEF he was awarded a CIB, despite being a public affairs officer. The badge is only meant to go to infantrymen.

From WWII through Vietnam, there are many cases (we’ve documented them here) where non-infantry actually doing infantry shit in combat received a CIB. Hardcore blue corders take offense, but I think most of us can agree that if you’re doing the job of the infantry in combat, the CIB is an appropriate award, even if it’s technically out of regs.

Big Army did a review on Nehls’ CIB, and found that since he wasn’t Infantry Branch, assigned to an Infantry MOS when he was in action, that he didn’t rate the CIB. C’est la vie, right? Well, Nehls is drawing some ire for continuing to wear the award.

From Military Times;

Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, on Wednesday, accused Army officials of political attacks against him following questions about his continued wear of a Combat Infantry Badge that was revoked by military leaders last year.

In a letter to Army Human Resources Command, Nehls, an Army veteran, asked for an investigation into the handling of the award, given to infantrymen involved in ground combat operations. The 56-year-old served 21 years in the Army Reserve, deploying to both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nehls was awarded his CIB while serving as a civil affairs officer with the 101st Airborne Division in Afghanistan in 2008. Last month, CBS News reported the award was revoked in 2023 after an Army review determined he was not eligible for the badge.

According to the CBS News investigation, Nehls’ Combat Infantry Badge was revoked because he was serving as a civil affairs officer and not as an infantryman at the time of his award.

But Nehls has continued to wear a CIB lapel pin while tending to business around Capitol Hill and on campaign stops, prompting scrutiny from a host of media outlets.

In Wednesday’s letter, Nehls accused Army officials of ignoring his previous requests on the issue and insisted that he was eligible for the combat badge.

“I further believe this is a concerted effort to discredit my military service and continued service to the American people as a member of Congress,” he wrote. He also urged officials to “get it right” in regards to revising his military records and reauthorizing the award.

Nehls did not respond to requests for comment on the letter or the badge.

In an interview with NOTUS this week, Nehls said that his service records show a designation as an infantry soldier and suggested that he was being targeted by Army leaders because he is “Mr. MAGA guy.”

Earlier this year, the Office of Congressional Ethics announced it would look into reports that Nehls improperly used campaign funds for personal use, unrelated to the combat badge controversy.

Nehls’ congressional website says he earned two Bronze Star medals during his time in the service, but CBS News also reported that only one of those awards is in his official military record. He retired at the rank of major in 2009.

I’m reminded of the removal of Mary Edwards Walker from the list of Medal of Honor recipients. You see, she was a civilian surgeon for the Army during the time in which she displayed her heroism. As such, the Army rescinded the award many years later (as they also did for Buffalo Bill Cody and many others in a comprehensive review), but they didn’t for others such as Leonard Wood, who was also a contract surgeon (which is to say a civilian employee) of the Army when he got his MoH.

Dr. Walker, being a cantankerous sort, and not having her medal physically removed from her possession (the Army claimed they lacked the authority to even ask for it back), continued to wear it until the day she died. In her mind, she’d earned it, and she’d wear it with pride. Her award was, many decades after her death, re-conferred. She is once more on the list of MoH recipients.

Similarly, there’s the case of CNO Admiral Michael Boorda. You might remember he killed himself when people claimed he was wearing “V” devices on Vietnam War medals that he hadn’t earned. While posthumously the Navy concluded he had in fact not earned the “V” devices, he had been told by high ranking officials at the time of the award that he rated them, so made a good faith error when he put them on.

Is it “stolen valor” to wear an award you never earned? Absolutely. Is it SV to wear an award you earned but later had taken away? That seems more a grey area.

Category: Army, Stolen Valor, Veterans in politics, Veterans in the news

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Any progress on reconciling 2 Bronze Stars?
Or only 1 Bronze Star?

As you may recall,
Nehls put up, as his “proof”,
a couple of DA Form 638 Page 2 signatures pages.
NO Page 1 for either.
Hardly convincing.
More like deception.
More like Phony proof.


someone in the position of US Congressman
should be able to call, or have some calls made,
to get a new 2024 vouch from ANY of the signatories above (or here).

Also, ANYONE can contact any signatory above, and in reality,
ANY 1 signatory replying with
“I never signed that”
“I signed that, but it’s not for a Bronze Star, it’s for a different medal”,
would spill the beans, and cause a national embarrassment,
for proving a US Congressman is waltzing around as a Phony Bronze Star.


We do have the CAB now. I would think that he would just update it for that to help the pearl clutches with their swooning. I think I find it more suspect that it was revoked so many years later.

This seems a lot like the lawfare that the left is engaging in. When the other shoe drops on that, the screams and the cries and gnashing of teeth will be epic.


He should’ve gotten the CAB instead of the CIB in the first place (2008, apparently). That’s kinda why the CAB was created.

Slow Joe

SFC D, I apologize for being an idiot. I shouldn’t have argued with you or called you names while I was under the influence of alcohol.
Please accept my sincere apologies.


No worries Joe, life goes on. Welcome back, brother.


Ive seen a few folks awarded CIBs that were not infantry
I believe his story


Well, there was Shitgenfeld who was legit awarded a CIB although his MOS was radio operator. I think Hondo tracked down the exception to policy that allowed for that during the Vietnam war. However, I don’t think there’s been such an exception approved for the recent conflicts. The correct answer would be to give this guy a CAB and tell him to STFU.

A Proud Infidel®️™️

Hey, come to think about it, did the leftard D-rats ever get on Richard Blumenthal about his Vietnam claims?


A Kongress Kritter that lies about something? WHAAT!?!? And other Kongress Kritters using dirty tricks in their quest to one up their competition? Why, I never… They are ALL equally worthless to me.

Let the Official Records tell the tale…and if the Official Records are incorrect, then there are procedures in place to correct the record.

Ds & Rs? Nope…DRs…Valor Thieves are all Despicable Rats. *spits*


CIBs is for Infantry and Special Forces.

CABs or CMBs for everyone else.


Many Snivel Affairs joes like to pretend they’re SF.




Everyone thinks they are infantry…

Until it’s time to go to Fort Benning and do infantry things…


Not this guy, never felt the urge. Trouble always seemed to find me anyway.


Total agreement. Got into enough silly shit as Signal, I don’t have what it takes for Infantry.


Still had to go on perimeter patrols at the Signal sites.
Talk about untrained. Don’t need a badge for that.

jeff LPH 3 63-66

I wonder if I could get away with an Admirals 4 stars on my duped whites, and the first person thats asks me or considers it a stolen Valor act, I can tell the person that while on mess duty in the scullery aboard the USS Okinawa I ran the pots and pans through the cleaning machine which makes me Admiral of all the “Vessels”

President Elect Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH Neande

AAAAMEN! I was signal support for several infantry units. (can you say 25th Dimension? I knew you could) Yeah, I was put through some infantry training and exercises. but in the end, I had my nice, warm, cozy signal repair 53′ trailer to be comfy in.
(pssst……SFC D….we need to compare notes…..times, units, places…..)

Last edited 29 days ago by President Elect Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH Neande

I try to be an infant, therefore I’m Infantry…

Don’t take offense to the acronym, but in Gruntspeak, “POGs” do some awesome things that sometimes surpass the actions of us 11B-types. The one Silver Star recipient I served alongside wasn’t an 11B, he was a Mortar Maggot (and hence, still technically Infantry), but we 11Bs like to get on high horses. I took it a step further, telling my 1SGs and CSMs they’d turned their backs on the 11B MOS (they were 11Zs). MOS and pretty badges aside, it takes a team.

But seriously, I legitimately earned my CIB and I’m proud of it. I also feel like I earned the two JMUAs awarded to JTF-NCR in 2020 and 2021, as I stood many a night in the JOC and had a hand in about every order released for COVID, civil disturbances, and the Inauguration. I’ll wear the former. The latter? I was assigned to MDW and not on the Joint Staff, so boo hoo, I can’t add a fifth permanent unit award to my rack.


I’m occasionally infantile but never infantry.


I got soul but I’m not a soldier

Slick Goodlin

Earned my 11B MOS in 1972 without going to Fort Benning and doing infantry things. Enlisted for 101st Airborne which had just returned from Vietnam and was reforming. They conducted their own in-unit infantry training at Fort Campbell. All my Company Officers and NCO’s were former 173rd Airborne Brigade which had just deactivated and become the core of the 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division. Last 101st Brigade to be on jump (parachute) status.


Kinda looks like Jingis Con.


I don’t think it can be considered stolen valor when there’s a legitimate controversy about whether the award was earned or not.

He may or may not have technically been qualified for the award, but if it was awarded to him, it is not beyond the pale for him to defend the award and insist that he deserves it…especially considering the current political climate and the liberals at all levels of government playing dirty tricks to score cheap political points.

It would be a completely different story had he been caught just making things up out of wholecloth.

The left is stirring this controversy up for the same reason they keep indicting Trump for being Trump: they know that we actually have morals and standards and if they can convince us that our politicians aren’t living up to them, we’ll abandon them.

Don’t let them win.


High heels and make up, he would be celebrated.


What is it with these knuckleheads wanting to inflate their careers? Did he do such a piss poor job he feels he has to pump it up somehow? And how do morons like this keep getting into office?


Because of morons who don’t do their own vetting of candidates.


specifically, Dem AND GOP county and state committees.


There’s plenty of blame to go around for sure.


If this is it (Minnesota), it’s an interesting story.

(paste) The Republican Party of Minnesota tossed its support behind Royce White, a former NBA player and Black Lives Matter protest leader turned GOP Senate candidate, in his bid to oust Democrat Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
(end paste)

(paste) White unsuccessfully sought the GOP nomination to challenge “Squad” Rep. Ilhan Omar for Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District during the 2022 election cycle, losing to fellow Republican Cicely Davis in the primary election by more than 1,000 votes.
(end paste)

Prior Service (Ret)

The quoted article says Civil Affairs Officer. The TAH write up says Public Affairs Officer. Civil Affairs is definitely a different branch with its own branch insignia. PAO is a functional area (not a branch) in which a PAO continues to be an infantryman (or whatever branch he was), even though he won’t ever go back to it. Earning CIB requires you to be acting in a capacity as an infantryman while assigned to an infantry unit. The CA officer is definitely not an IN officer even if assigned to an IN BCT. An infantry officer serving as the PAO for an IBCT, who did stuff which would qualify a line infantryman for a CIB could easily think he was eligible because he’s still wearing crossed rifles. However, he would be wrong. I’m too lazy to look up whether he was a PAO or CAO but in either case he should man up and pull it off. A question of whether he was actually trained as CA or PA is irrelevant as—even if he was just acting in that capacity—he is still not performing infantrymen’s duties in an infantry unit.

jeff LPH 3 63-66

How about the stolen valor peeps involving Republicans and democrats go to the TAH starting gate to see which party members win the race like we used to have the Monday morning phony Seals, Snipers, Special Forces, Rangers at the gate.


I think this is politics. It would be different if he never served or had never been in combat. He served honorably. I think he wears the CIB to piss off his detractors.


Ok, but serving honorably is not the standard
for giving anyone a pass for phonying.

Neither is jumping into politics, nor political party,
nor pushing religion (which makes it not better, but worse).

Purple Heart recipients who claim 3 Purple Hearts
(instead of the 1 they earned),
or waltz around with unearned Silver Stars and other medals,
get NO PASS.

When 1 Purple Heart wasn’t enough for their egos,
they saw the Ark in the cave, with all the cups, and chose poorly.

If it’s apolitical (non political) a charity organizer (or recipient), business conman, biker and vest anything, or otherwise creepy public nut, almost no one minimizes or defends these phonies,
except their “brothers” (ha!).

Even with politics, others running for office previously exposed here, such as a policeman or a deputy sheriff…
There is NO PASS for a veteran,
to POOP all over his otherwise honorable service with BS claims and unearned medals.
But sometimes they have a lot more “brothers” (and “sisters”).

And of course, it’s worse when those caught
(think JR Majewski (again))
decide to double down, put out more phony, and also
put out the cry of “political hit job” or “smear campaign”,
and actually expecting VOTERS to look the other way on their lying and phonying.

Sadly, a small percentage of the time,
it works, and they get away with it.
Because they have no shame, and no scruples.

Just like Nehls.

This is why Nehls, even more than the CIB,
better explain, provide clear proof, and get his chain of command vouches for his claimed 2 Bronze Stars.

You know, before someone else gets to the chain of command,
and proves 1 phony Bronze Star,
complete with cloaked Page 2 signatures,
and a fake medals certificate.

The race is on.


I’m not saying to give this guy a pass. I’m saying it politics. That means the truth will never be known. I can’t say he’s phony, I can’t say he’s right. This is in the area of Politics now. Flip a coin. I’m saying at least he served.


I’ve been following this for a couple of weeks now, and have seen the documents posted on “another valor protector” website. I’m also somewhat of a amateur historian and have studies the history of the regulations covering the CIB back to Vietnam fairly extensively. I’m keeping a very open mind on Rep. Nehls issue.

Somethings to consider and ponder.

1.) The allegations/discrepencies reported to HRC about Rep Nehls service (specifically the 2 x BSMs listed on his DD 214 but only one in his records) was so specific that it could only have occured through the accessing of his Itegrated Personnel and Pay System – Army (IPPSA) personnel record. As the Congessman has been a gray area retiree for over a dozen years, I am left with the conclusion that the accessing of his file was done by someone in an unauthorized manner, likely with the intent of finding dirt on him. That is a violation of the Privacy Act and a crime.

2.) The Representative retired shortly after returning from Afghanistan in 2008 and the Army started moving the records of retired officers to IPPSA in 2020/21. Issues with the transition and documents being lost in electronic transit are well documented, and I can tell you from personnal experience that several of mine did not make the transfer, including on skill badge.

What do you think is more likely? That the Army lost a documents in transition either as an officer retired or the systems transfered, or a field grade officer who was awarded a BSM on his first combat tour didn’t recieve a BSM on his second combat tour? I’ll chose door number 1. The documentation he provided for the 2nd BSM is legit.

3.) Rep Nehls received a Combat Action Badge for at least on hostile fire incident during his 2003/4 tour to Iraq.

To be continued….


Part 2.

4.) The applicable regulation covering award of the CIB in 2008 is the 2006 version of AR 600-8-22. The regulation includes a sub-paragraph that the award can be made to a person who has a primary or secondary branch/MOS of infantry provided that they were trained, and met all the other criteria.

Para 8-6b(3).

(3) Personnel with other than an infantry or Special Forces MOS are not eligible, regardless of the circumstances. The infantry or Special Forces SSI or MOS does not necessarily have to be the Soldier’s primary specialty, as long as the Soldier has been properly trained in infantry or Special Forces tactics, possesses the appropriate skill code, and is serving in that specialty when engaged in active ground combat as described above. Commanders are not authorized to make any exceptions to this policy.

This paragraph is highly ambiuous, and was deleted from the regulation in the 2015 publication.

5.) I have reviewed the spring 2008 organization chart for ISAF, Regional Command East, CJOTF 101st Airborne, and 4-101st BDE/TF Curahee. MAJ Nehls’ and his unit were directly assigned to 4-101, which meets the criteria for him haveing served in an Infantry unit of brigade size or smaller.

6.) During the time period in question, Civil Affairs was in transition from a funtional area to a separate branch. Many officers in civil affairs were infantry/special forces as basic branch with Civil affairs as a funtional area specialty. It was common for these officers and enlist personnel to be awarded the CIB, provided they met the other criteria of being assigned to a bde size unit or smaller.


Part 3

7.) As the Army issued a revocation order for the CIB order issued by 4th BDE, 101st ADN, I have to conclude that the original CIB order was not a forgery or alteration. Otherwise, they would have declared it as such not have to rescind it, and just deleted the original from Rep Nehls IPPSA record.

8.) CIB requests are ofen highly scrutinized regularly, and especially so when it comes from what I will call an “oddity” assignment. I was involved in putting together some write up for infantry personnel who served in such an assignment, and this required some effort to show additional evidence that they qualified by MOS and by actually assignment/attachment to an infantry unit of BDE size and smaller. (Story for another day, but I had to include the task organization page from an operations order.)

9.) Given 8 above, and MAJ Nehls assignment to an assigned PRT, that he had to provide evidence to the awards board that he met the criteria of being in infantry as a basic branch (with Civil Affair as a functional area), or met the requirement of 8-6b(3) of having an infantry seconday MOS of some type. Once the award is approved and forwarded to HRC for records filing, it is considered correct and the burden of proof shifts to the Army to show that the award is improper.

10.) I’ve review all of the currently available public information on the award and the records. I can’t find difinitive proof that supports the Army’s position nor Rep Nehls contention. .As such, I am forced to defer to the decision of the awards board and commander in Afghanistan, who had access to the most current information at the time.

11.) 8-6b(e) is really ambiguious, and I don’t think that I would have awarded the CIB with the information currently available to me. However, I think that the sub-paragraph is ambiguous enough, that other commanders would have come to a different conclusion and granted approval in favor of the soldier.


Part 4.


12.) The fact that HRC/Army G-1 did not issue any clarifying guidance on para 8-6b(e) means that there was likely very wide variation in the application of this part of the regulation. As such, is it right and just to single out one person over a dozen years after he moved to retired status, when there are likely many others who were issued CIB’s under very similar regulatory circumstances?


The Army is playing Woke games here
His story about the CIB to me is believable
To me because we had one soldier awarded it that wasn’t infantry. Thats the one I knew, and others got them too I was awarded a CAB
I have the orders and certificate and the medal
But it’s not on my 214 I’m working this fucked up issue still. But it’s my fault for signing my 214
I’m the idiot for that..
His claims of a bronze star wouldn’t surprise me
In 2009-2010 every idiot in Iraq was handed one
For kissing ass who had a rank of E-7 and up
We had a nick name for it : the Brown Nose Award, or Kiss Ass Award. Believe me most of people shouldn’t have gotten one


I was on a patrol with a Civil Affairs captain. He panicked and abandoned a wounded man on the battlefield – during a CASEVAC!

He was awarded a BSM as an end-of-tour award and the medal actually fell off the ribbon. I’m ashamed at my breach of decorum while in formation and laughed, then in (what I thought was) a whisper, exclaimed, “Even God knows he doesn’t deserve it!” Everyone heard me.

The next day, the Commander called me onto the carpet. He let me stand in front of him and the CSM, at attention, for a very uncomfortable few minutes. When he decided I was sufficiently terrified that I’d just destroyed an entire year of an otherwise honorable tour, he pulled three glasses out of his desk drawer along with a bottle of contraband XO brandy and said, “At ease, SSG …., we all wanted to say it and I’m so grateful that you did!”

He then made me promise to never share that part of the story, rather that I had been properly reprimanded and was lucky I managed to keep my rocker. Damn. Sorry, Sir.

Still, one shitbag Civil Affairs officer doesn’t define them all (one hopes). This particular issue seems questionable, but hardly damning.


<This particular issue seems questionable, but hardly damning.>

I think that is the key point here. I think this situation if 90/10 against awarding him the CIB. However, Army leaders (senior field grade officers and NCOs) came down on the 10% side in 2008 and an active duty O6 commanders approved. The Army coming back an applying the 90% interpretation 12 years later (and only applying it to one soldier) is capricious.


I think a few to many we’re awarded the CIB that that didn’t rate them
Because they were not infantry
Its ok to me the army wants to fix it but if so fix all of them not just this one

USMCMSgt (Ret)

Sounds like a certain reserve Marine officer (also Civil Affairs) who served in Iraq and who subsequently wrote himself up for and was awarded a Bronze Star Medal, despite his cowardice under fire, shirking his duties, and being an overall shitbag.

Nobody respected him.

When he resumed his political office in Texas as a State Representative, he somehow managed to get the State to recognize him when the State passed a Resolution.

Sickening when we heard about it. Still pisses me off.


I use to talk too Jonn about this
Via phone and email
About turds getting awards that they shouldn’t have and others shortchanged awards thanks to ate-up leadership or admins or guard and reserve guys who got lost in that paperwork ocean
It’s something that boils my skin
And have been able to help a few to fix this
There are a quite few out here who simply don’t give a shit. If this dudes Bronze Medal awards are fake
Then I hope he burns in hell simply because
They were handing them out candy
If he didn’t rate them then he had issues


Army Playing Games on the CIB

Forest Bondurant

All Nehls has to say is that he identified as being an infantry sort to set the record straight.

Green Thumb

This dude was an Officer and knows (knew) better.

What a fucking turd.

And is calling the Army out? What a loser. Curious as if the media ever talked to some of his PA peers and see what they had to say.

Very few times in life have I seen a solo due in the Army in battle and not with peers. Point being, they (those with him) would have rated it to.

What a fucking clown.


I agree that he definitely knows and knew better
But he’s definitely not that only one that was wrongly awarded a CIB during OIF / OEF
The army should fix all of them and not just his


During his 2008 deployment he was a Civil Affairs officer working on a PRT. Even if he engaged in ground combat in that role, he was/is ineligible for award of the CIB, which means he was awarded it through a staff error at the approving authority level or through malfeasance (stolen valor).


The portion of the regulation under which he appears to have been awarded CIB (looks like it is Para 8-6b(3) in the 2006 version) is vague, as it only requires that one have IN or SF as a seconday MOS and that the person was previously trained. Also, it requires to have been performing as infantry, but that is satisfied by serving in an infantry unit of BDE size or below. From my experience of 30 years of service and seeing how the National Guard and USAR track secondary specialties, I can see where a commander determined that he met the standardard under this sub-paragraph.

It is highly unusual (perhaps even unprecedented) for HRC to go back and question a commander’s interpreting of a regulation 12 years after the fact. Especially when HRC and G-1 have never issued any supplementary guidance on what this sub-paragraph means or who it would apply to.

For the record, I would have had a difficult time approving this award, but I’m one person and others could come to a different conclusion.

Something I’m left to think about. What is this was not a CIB, but rather a payment for TDY or another entitlement? The regulation gives some discrettion to the commander who pays the money to the soldiers. A dozen years later the Army comes back and says that it disagrees with the commanders decision and tries to take the money back. I don’t think we would view the Army’s decision in a positive light.


Public affairs officd? Fuck him!




At place in time we beat these fake dudes up,


My uncle died in Vietnam. I am disgusted,


The more I’m learning
The sicker I get
Moron he is


UPDATE on Nehls – National news yesterday.

You know, because it’s the fault of the “vultures”, the “media”,
and everyone else (but himself).

Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas,
removed the Combat Infantryman Badge from his lapel Wednesday more than a month after it was revealed the Army revoked the award last year because he was never eligible for it in the first place.

But Nehls would not directly answer when reporters pressed him on whether he would never wear the pin again,
instead blasting “vultures” in the media for focusing on the badge.
“Now that I don’t wear that, what are you going to talk to me about?”
Nehls said to reporters asking about the missing lapel pin.
“You guys are going to be bored out of your mind.”
(end paste)

[[[ Maintaining a Defiant Tone, Texas Congressman
Takes Off Revoked Combat Infantryman Badge ]]]

Last edited 15 days ago by MarineDad61

what with the upcoming debate and all.

(paste / headline)
Troy Nehls no longer wearing combat badge rescinded by Army

Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas)
is no longer wearing his Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB)
after the Army revised his military record to show
he did not qualify for the badge he often wears on his lapel.

When confronted about the CIB on Capitol Hill, Nehls told reporters they “disgust” him and called them “clowns” for what he said was an interest in reporting only on his badge.

“Now that I don’t wear that, what are you going to talk to me about?”
he said. “You’re gonna be bored out of your mind.”
“I don’t have to justify myself to you all, in any form or fashion,”
Nehls added.
“I know the truth.”

(end paste)

Last edited 15 days ago by MarineDad61