Louis E. Dorfman DOES have a Purple Heart

| August 19, 2016

Louis Dorfman

There was some discussion earlier this month about Louis Dorfman, the retired Lieutenant Colonel who gave a Purple Heart Medal to Donald Trump. The short answer is “yes” he was awarded a Purple Heart, there is nothing stolen valor about him;

Dorfman PH citation

Dorfman FOIA Awards

Dorfman FOIA

I’m sure his rank is different between his FOIA and his claims because he didn’t have 3 years in grade before he retired.

Category: Real Soldiers

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“I’m sure his rank is different between his FOIA and his claims because he didn’t have 3 years in grade before he retired.”

Probably. He isn’t a fake in any event, but I think that those who entered service before a certain date (I want to say 1980) don’t have to hold a rank for a particular length of time before they can retire at that rank. So, it’s likely a screwup with the one shop somewhere.


You’re right. A friend of mine didn’t fulfill the time requirement for O-6 and retired at that rank.

He joined up in the 70s.


The difference isn’t based on entry date – it’s based on date of retirement.

Federal law governs required time in grade for officer retirements. That law did indeed change some years ago, but it’s been a while now. As I recall, the change predates 9/11 by some time, and those currently serving were not grandfathered under the “old rules”.

I also believe the Service Secretaries and/or their designees may have some leeway in waiving officer TIG requirements for retirement, but that’s not typical for voluntary retirements.

Will be busy most of the rest of the morning, but I’ll see if I can find the applicable Federal law and its history if time permits this afternoon.


It is three years time in grade, waiver able to two. However, a person who serves honorably in time of war or national emergency is entitled to use and wear the highest rank held, regardless of retired rank.


Source 10 USC 772(e)

(e) A person not on active duty who served honorably in time of war in the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps may bear the title, and, when authorized by regulations prescribed by the President, wear the uniform, of the highest grade held by him during that war.


I was referring to the “final pay” retirement system explained here-http://www.military.com/benefits/military-pay/the-military-retirement-system.html

My understanding is that if you are eligible for that system (entered service before September 1980) you don’t have to serve a minimum time in grade to retire at that rank, you only have to hold that rank at retirement.


Different subject entirely, but related. And I believe you are incorrect. Final pay retirement eligibility is defined in 10 USC 1406. For optional retirements based on active service (20 years or more), multiple cases are listed in tables for each of the different services, and require cross-referencing several provisions of Federal law to figure out the differences. I waded through those for the Army; the tables for other services appear similar. The various cases listed appear to indicate that retired pay is based on pay rates for the individual’s retired grade. The only possible exceptions appear to be for enlisted personnel retiring voluntarily with between 20 and 30 years of service. I’m not sure why those are specified differently, except possibly to prevent someone who retires on 1 January from getting the benefit of an annual pay raise. Best I can tell, the same is true for most non-optional retirements as well that aren’t for disability or hardship. For disability retirements, it appears those are indeed based on final grade and pay – and in general, for disability retirements I believe TIG requirements for retirement in grade are either by law not applicable or are are routinely waived. (I didn’t research disability retirements in detail, so I could be wrong about that last; but I don’t think I am.) I think TIG waivers are typical – but not universal – in the case of hardship. I’m not sure about that, either. The big benefit to retiring under the “final pay”… Read more »


Officer TIG requirements for determining retired grade are contained in 10 USC 1370. They appear to have been in effect since at least 1996, and appear make no distinction between officers who retire under the “final pay” or “high-3” systems.

That matches my recollection. I seem to remember those changes in officer TIG requirements for retirement being made at the same time ROPMA made major changes to RC officer personnel policies. However, I can’t be positive about that; they may have been in effect well prior to that.


Louis the “Dorf” Dorfman


Dorf on Golf –

Green Thumb

Nothing to see here.

Moving on…


Not too bad for a guy from supply…

Club Manager

What got me was the dumb ass spokesman for the Purple Heart Society acted as if Trump’s comments were actually serious and sprouted their boiler plate spiel about what is required to be awarded this medal. I complained to them and the response denied knowing anything about the BS response and contained word for word what this guy said. I think their web site also has a often used saying backwards, is it not “All gave some, but some gave all”?


During the various “drawdowns” we’ve experienced since the post Desert Storm Peace Dividend, the Service Secretaries have waived TIG requirements especially for Field graders to encourage voluntary retirements in order to meet end strength numbers.

Within the Air Force the amount of commissioned time for prior enlisted to retire as officers was rolled back as well.


All well and good. The only thing I question is him having three awards of the NDSM for the period of time he served. (1976-2010)

Did another period sneak in there that no one knows about?


Vietnam War-January 1, 1961 -August 14, 1974
Persian Gulf War-August 2, 1990-November 30, 1995
Global War on Terrorism-September 11, 2001-Present day

Someone in the Admin Shop screwed up (S-1)


PV9 Gainey with three NDSMs Part II.

Don’t they know that having three NDSMs means training wheels for the brass balls carrying wheelbarrow are authorized?

Damn PAC clerks.


Unless AR 670-1 is completely different for officers from enlisted, he is not supposed to be wearing medals on the ASU except as an option when wearing it in the dress blue configuration. Of which he is not, as that is the class A.


His unit awards are also crooked and his RDI is off center.

2/17 Air Cav

Oh, and his underwear is a size too small.


The regs always alllowed to wear full sized medals on the Service uniform, and it looks to me like they still do (see below). However, this is very unusual, especially for an officer – normally its something you only see when the ASU is worn in a ceremony- in a parade or as part of an honor guard/color guard. The Old Guard always wears full size medals during ceremonies. It is completely within regs unless you are in a formation where the uniform specifies service ribbons. To be honest, officers rarely do it. In my time officers simply didn’t wear full size medals or marksmanship badges by tradition despite the fact that it is allowed by reg. We wore miniature medals on our mess dress and evening mess, and a lot of guys would only wear some of those…. I only saw a few officers (as in maybe 3 in 22 years) wear full size medals at formal social events. Each time it was a prior service enlisted guy who had been in the Old Guard and therefore had the highly polished medals and buttons. If you haven’t seen this, it is kind of cool. The Old Guard will polish their medals and badges and buttons to a very high degree- better than Sta-Brite. It looks very sharp, especially on blues. (From AR 670-1): 22–7. Full-sized U.S. and foreign decorations and service medals a. Where worn. All personnel may wear full-sized decorations and service medals on the service uniform. b.… Read more »

2/17 Air Cav

The flap was that Trump accepted it. Some wondered whether the PH was legit and if the Veteran was indeed a veteran. Well, the Veteran is legit, the Veteran’s Purple Heart is legit, and sine the Purple Heart is his, he can do what he wishes with it–or a replica of it. He didn’t throw it over a fence or something. End of story. thank you for your service, your sacrifice, and for not supporting the Bitch of Benghazi, LTC Dorfman (US Army Ret.)



he earned it, he can do with it what he wishes short of dishonoring it.


I think the flap to many wasn’t whether or not LTC Dorfman could/should have given Trump his medal.

In my mind he has every right, I didn’t even think about that particular element of this at all until I read it here, and it never occurred to me to question Dorfman’s service. I don’t even question his motives- free speech, he is entitled to his views.

In terms of political speech, I feel he has the right (he wasn’t in uniform), and it was a powerful gesture, right up there with the Khan family’s speech at the DNC.

Where most anti Trump folks have a problem is with The Donald’s reaction- the sarcastic/meant to be a joke quip :’Man, that’s like big stuff. I always wanted to get the Purple Heart,” Trump said. “This was much easier.”

Got it, he was joking. However, this, coupled with his statements about John McCain and how his time at NYMA was basically as good as military service (all jokes/sarcasm} make me wonder if he is capable of taking the military or leadership of the nation seriously.

In Summary: Did Doorman have the right to give Trump his Purple Heart? Sure, it was a powerful moment for many.

However, Trump was predictably an ass in his response.

A Patriot

Sorry, but Shrillary Clinton and Joe Stalin Obama are the assholes.


Thank you for your service Sir!