How to spot someone who is lying about military experience

No one likes a phony, especially when it comes to lying about service


In recent EMS news, there has been talk of new legislation that will help military veterans with medic training to transition into the civilian workforce, helping to address a shortage of EMTs. Licensing requirements and varying degrees of experience can make it difficult for returning servicemen to find jobs, but programs are emerging that can help. 

A question posted recently on Quora asked, "How do you spot someone who is lying about his/her military experience?" A few answers stood out to us, especially one by an USAF veteran. You can read the reply below: 

By Jon Mixon, USAF veteran

Combat Medical Badge
Combat Medical Badge

1. They don't know the jargon
An MOS (Military Occupation Specialty code) is the US Army's designation for what you do in the service. In the US Air Force it's called an AFSC (Air Force Specialty Code). If someone argues that they have MOS's in the Air Force, they weren't in the military.

2. They don't know the bases/forts/camps
If an "Army Ranger" doesn't know where Ft. Lewis is, then they aren't a Ranger. If an Air Force member doesn't know where Nellis AFB is, then they weren't in the military. If a US Marine tells you that Camp LeJeune is in SOUTH Carolina, they weren't/aren't a Marine.

3. They deny having to perform basic military duties
Everybody cleans in the military. It's a core responsibility, unless you are a command officer. If the Special Forces operator sitting at the bar claims that he never had to clean his barracks for an inspection, end the conversation as you are talking to a phony.

4. They don't know the equipment
Any Air Force member who can't identify the type (or types) of aircraft at the facility where they claimed to have served, probably wasn't in the Air Force. Any sailor who can't identify the class of ship on which they served probably wasn't a sailor.

5. They have "trouble" with rank
Especially within the branch of the service in which they claim to have served. If a former "SEAL" argues that a Chief Petty Officer is a higher grade than one you know it not be, he wasn't a "SEAL." If an "airman" doesn't know that a Chief Master Sergeant is an E-9, then they likely weren't an airman.

Frankly, the fakers rarely spend the requisite amount of time necessary to make their stories authentic. They get tripped up on the minor details and it falls apart quickly under moderate scrutiny.

Ask a few questions. If you don't like the answers, I would suggest ending the conversation. I always do.

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