The Great Pretender

Mar 28, 2013 - by Michael Volpe - 0 Comments

Dr. Donald C. Arthur

Dr. Donald C. Arthur parlayed a number of bogus academic degrees into an extremely successful career in the U.S. Navy, rising all the way to surgeon general of the Navy. He even had the nerve to wear a combat action ribbon as part of his official uniform at his retirement in 2007 despite never having been involved in combat.

by Michael Volpe

The book Stolen Valor was released with some fanfare in 1998.  It detailed a bevy of individuals who falsely claimed combat action, especially during the Vietnam War. Since then, the Stolen Valor team, led by B. G. Burkett, has gained a reputation for exposing hucksters who falsely claim to have been in combat. Those individuals include Brian Leonard Creekmur, who falsely claimed to be a Navy Seal and sniper. Another individual exposed by the Stolen Valor team was Bill Hillar. Hillar falsely claimed to be a Green Beret and wound up being sentenced to 21 months in prison as a result.

In 2005, the Stolen Valor team began investigating Dr. Donald C. Arthur, then the surgeon general of the U.S. Navy. That’s because Dr. Arthur was seen wearing a combat action ribbon as part of his official uniform at his retirement in 2007 even though there was no record he’d seen combat.

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