Here Are Some Ways to Spot a Poser – Part 2

Stolen Valor, POS

Here Are Some Ways to Spot a Poser – Part 2

Poser Alert!

Here are some other things you can look out for when faced with a case of possible stolen valor.

However, this isn’t always cut and dry. I served as an active-duty Marine for a little over 10 years.

We, Marines, take great pride in the fact that we are Marines. However, I have run into some verified Marines that couldn’t answer some of these questions either.

Some modern-day Marines will say that you can make a joke about eating crayons and a Marine will get it. But when I was on active duty (1988-1998) I never once heard anything about eating crayons and many old timers haven’t either. That joke, however old, started to become popular around the time the Internet became what it is today. So a more salty Marine may not get the reference.

Most Marines will have served in a Battalion, Regiment, Company, or in the Airwing, but that isn’t always the case. I served in the Marine Support Battalion, Company K and Company H, and in the Airwing, but I know some Marines who never served in a unit that had Battalion or Regiment or Company in the title.

Modern Marines will know what “The Crucible” is, but “The Crucible” wasn’t a thing before the mid-’90s. So if you are asking a younger person about it, they better know the answer, for us older Marines, nope, not a clue and we can’t relate. “The Crucible” is a 54-hour event that challenges the recruits physically and psychologically on limited sleep. Recruits hike for miles wearing 50 pounds of gear, face off in hand-to-hand combat, and more.

Marines that went to MCRD San Diego prior to 2000, will know “Mount Motherfucker”, “Bitch Ridge”, the “Reaper” and “Edson Range”. Those that went to Parris Island should know about sand fleas and “Ribbon Creek”. BTW, the sand fleas aren’t as bad as many will tell you they are.

The Marine Corps has MOS (Military Occupational Specialties) and every Marine would have had one, but be aware that most Marines will not know much about another MOS unless it is 0311. I was a Marine for 10 years and 6 months and I could only tell you a handful of MOSs and most are no longer the same today as they were 30 years ago.

Marines (both male and female) go to one of two Marine Corps Recruit Depots (MCRD), either Parris Island or San Diego. Marines often rib each other stating that Parris Island is “Fantasy Island” and San Diego is “Hollywood”. Females started going to San Diego in 2021. I had the unique chance to attend both locations. I went to Bootcamp in San Diego and NCO school in Parris Island. FYI, the Marine Corps no longer has NCO school, it is now called Corporals Course and Sergeants Course.

You can ask them to repeat one of their general orders, except I have run into some old salty Marines who don’t recall their general orders. Most will know their first general order of “To walk my post in a military manner, keeping always on the alert and observing everything that takes place within sight or hearing. To report all violations of orders I am instructed to enforce. To repeat all calls from posts more distant from the guard house than my own.” which is sometimes put as slang like To walk my post from flank to flank and take no shit from any rank”.

You could ask them what happens with you and give the Lieutenant a compass. The answer should be something about the Lieutenant getting lost in the woods. It has been a running joke in the Corps since the beginning of time.

You can ask them if the “doc” is a real Marine, and you should get that the Corpsman (doc) is a member of the Navy, but is as real a Marine as any Marine. In the Corps, the Navy Corpsman assigned to a Marine unit is very much treated and respected like a Marine. They truly are some badass sailors.

The real way is to see a copy of their DD-214 (discharge paperwork) but you will likely not see someone’s DD-214 as they won’t be carrying it around with them.

You can always go to (you have to create an account) to instantly check someone’s status. You have to either have their birthdate or SSN, but you get an instant record back. Attached is a redacted copy of my record.

Other key things to look out for.

  • In the Corps, it is a Head, not a latrine
  • In the Corps, it is a Drill Instructor, not a Drill Sergeant
  • Marines are never soldiers, we are always Marines, period. Calling a Marine a soldier is an insult. And a Marine will never call him/herself a soldier
  • In the Corps, ranks above E-5 are not referred to as “Sergeant”, it is a “Staff Sergeant” or a “Gunnery Sergeant” (or Gunny).
  • We also don’t use the term “Sarge”. Calling an E-7 a Sergeant is disrespectful.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.