I got a Facebook friend request from someone claiming to be 4 Star General James Miller (pictured left). A couple of things tipped me off that this was fishy. The profile, and its url, (https://www.facebook.com/iteke.irene) indicates that this was not at all what it adds up to be. I might not know much about the armed forces beyond what I pick up through various media (and ok, the odd romance novel), and I might not be the bear with the biggest brain out there, but I did spend a train ride from NYC to Syracuse next to a guy from the 10th Mountain, stationed at Fort Drum in the Adirondacks. He seemed Smart (yep, capital S smart) and it was a 6 hour train ride. I had to pick something up along the way.
So here goes, reasons why I’m not falling for this.
- I follow General Martin Dempsey, the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Facebook and Twitter. He, or his office, has his digital media ducks in a row – https://twitter.com/Martin_Dempsey and https://www.facebook.com/GENDempsey. I find it hard to imagine that The Army is ok with Generals just randomly posting on Facebook, or that a General would do so without carefully establishing and maintaining his image. Surprisingly, none of the other Generals on FB show pictures of themselves goofing off.
- The guy in the picture claims to be only 42 years old and a Four Star General. That is impressive. It is actually so insane of an achievement that it really hard to believe. However, a search of Army Generals and the name James Miller did lead to a General James Miller. He was a Brigadier General during the War of 1812, and The Hero of Lundy’s Lane (which is really only interesting if you grew up in WNY and know where that is.) The guy on FB looks remarkable for someone who is 237 years old. But they do look a little bit alike, which is strange.
- If you look at the FB profile, not only is he conducting himself in ways that Generals are not usually seen, but his BDUs have no insignia or rank on them, and neither do any of the other people pictured. Well, huh. If I was a four star general, or even a brigadier, I’d be sure to show that (bleep) off.
- Speaking of uniforms, here’s a picture of the guy from Facebook in a dress uniform of some sort. Then check out the pictures below of Generals McCrystal, Dunwood – the first woman to hold this rank – and Austin. Notice the difference in the amount of uniform candy?
McCrystal, photofrom LATimes blog Dunwoody, Wiki Commons Austin, Wiki Commons
- I am a fan of McCrystal. Not because of blindly following media adoration as happened with Petraeus (baa) but for the quality reason of his long distance running background. Having read My Share of the Task, after this NYTIMES article – General Details Pentagon Tensions With Obama on Afghanistan – I know enough to say, if you’re a general :
Dude, where’s your powerpoint?
Disclaimer – I’m not maliciously slandering what could have been a real soldier -this guy comes up repeatedly on scam outing pages. If this is a real four star general in the US Army, I apologize for the treatment above, and offer, for a small fee, to clean up his media presence. Those who elect to join the US Armed Forces have my full support. Additionally, I have contributed to the Wounded Warrior Project, buy the UnderArmour clothes that support the WWP and try to support in other ways I can. I just think this is a crock and the impersonation of the US troops for malicious personal gain is despicable. And, oh yeah, I’m steamed he thinks I’m that vulnerable/gullible/naif.