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VA Secretary Robert McDonald admits lying about Special Forces service

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Robert McDonald isn't very nice to the folks he's supposed to be helping. I wonder if he goes to the same Christian church as his boss?


VA Secretary Robert McDonald admits lying about Special Forces service
Veterans%20Health%20Care_Cham(1)64036002
Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald has admitted that he lied about serving in the special operations forces in a conversation with a homeless veteran that was caught on camera earlier this year.
McDonald made the claim in January while he was in Los Angeles as part of the VA's effort to locate and house homeless veterans. During the tour, a homeless man told McDonald that he had served in the special operations forces.
"Special forces? What years?" McDonald responded. "I was in special forces." The exchange was broadcast on "The CBS Evening News" Jan. 30. McDonald's misstatement was first reported by The Huffington Post.
McDonald graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1975 and completed Army Ranger training before being assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division until his retirement in 1980. According to the Huffington Post, while McDonald was formally recognized as a graduate of Ranger School, he never actually served in a Ranger battalion or other special operations unit.
"I have no excuse," the website quoted McDonald as saying in its report. "I was not in special forces."
In a statement released Monday by the VA, McDonald said: "While I was in Los Angeles, engaging a homeless individual to determine his veteran status, I asked the man where he had served in the military. He responded that he had served in special forces. I incorrectly stated that I had been in special forces. That was inaccurate and I apologize to anyone that was offended by my misstatement."
McDonald told the Huffington Post that he had "reacted spontaneously and ... wrongly" in response to the homeless man's claim.
"As I thought about it later, I knew that this was wrong," McDonald said of his false statement.
The White House released a statement Monday evening saying that it had accepted McDonald's explanation.
"Secretary McDonald has apologized for the misstatement and noted that he never intended to misrepresent his military service," the statement said. "We take him at his word and expect that this will not impact the important work he’s doing to promote the health and well-being of our nation’s veterans."
After leaving the Army, McDonald went on to a successful corporate career, eventually becoming Chairman, President, and CEO of Proctor & Gamble. He became VA secretary this past July, as the agency was dealing with the fallout from the scandal of long patient wait times at VA hospitals.

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geez. OK - he's having Senior Moments. Don't need folk in the cabinet with that problem, either.

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Robert McDonald isn't very nice to the folks he's supposed to be helping. I wonder if he goes to the same Christian church as his boss?

He earned a ranger tab and spent his carer in the 82nd. I will give him a pass on the SF statement. Although he may not have technically served in a "SF" unit, he earned the right This is totally different than some PX clerk claiming to have been in a special operations unit

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He earned a ranger tab and spent his carer in the 82nd. I will give him a pass on the SF statement. Although he may not have technically served in a "SF" unit, he earned the right This is totally different than some PX clerk claiming to have been in a special operations unit

Duly noted. But, I have a hard time giving him a pass on this afternoon's press conference. A misstep like what was recorded with that homeless man, was in the can. He needed to be humble and stay humble. Let's wait for the press to catch when he spoke: "He said he was a vet, and if he was a vet."

And, also, vets don't care about his career with proctor and gamble.

Edited by ExExpat

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He earned a ranger tab and spent his carer in the 82nd. I will give him a pass on the SF statement. Although he may not have technically served in a "SF" unit, he earned the right This is totally different than some PX clerk claiming to have been in a special operations unit

Earned what right exactly? Service in the 82nd is a far cry from completing SFAS and SFQC. He has absolutely zero right to that claim, and the fact that he stated as such makes him a liar.

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Any group that will jump into a battle area ready to fight have my respect and I belive they are special forces.

You are quite mistaken, in a number of ways. The Army doesn't regard the 82nd Airborne Division to be "Special Operations Forces" (SOF - which is different from SF) in any way, shape, or form. They are conventional airborne infantry. It takes balls to do what they do, but that is nowhere close to how the Army (and the rest of the US military) defines SOF.

Further, "Special Forces" refers to a very specific branch of the Army. Those who are members of the Special Forces community have passed through years of training and selection above their peers, hold an 18-series MOS, and wear the Special Forces tab and the green beret.

Mr. McDonald has accomplished exactly NONE of that, and if he served in the 82nd (ie around SF) he knew full well that he was lying.

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I never said it did. I was giving my own view as an Army veteran myself. You and whoever else can define what they want to and I will define what I want to. Now what the VA Sec. did was a known lie to get unearned respect and he should have been called out but Airborne units are to me special forces. Hell I pretty much think Marines are special forces. They tend to just head straight on into hell itself and to me that is a special kind of soldier.

Now you want to beotch and moan go ahead but you are not going to change my mind and many other Vets.

You are quite mistaken, in a number of ways. The Army doesn't regard the 82nd Airborne Division to be "Special Operations Forces" (SOF - which is different from SF) in any way, shape, or form. They are conventional airborne infantry. It takes balls to do what they do, but that is nowhere close to how the Army (and the rest of the US military) defines SOF.

Further, "Special Forces" refers to a very specific branch of the Army. Those who are members of the Special Forces community have passed through years of training and selection above their peers, hold an 18-series MOS, and wear the Special Forces tab and the green beret.

Mr. McDonald has accomplished exactly NONE of that, and if he served in the 82nd (ie around SF) he knew full well that he was lying.

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You are quite mistaken, in a number of ways. The Army doesn't regard the 82nd Airborne Division to be "Special Operations Forces" (SOF - which is different from SF) in any way, shape, or form. They are conventional airborne infantry. It takes balls to do what they do, but that is nowhere close to how the Army (and the rest of the US military) defines SOF.

Further, "Special Forces" refers to a very specific branch of the Army. Those who are members of the Special Forces community have passed through years of training and selection above their peers, hold an 18-series MOS, and wear the Special Forces tab and the green beret.

Mr. McDonald has accomplished exactly NONE of that, and if he served in the 82nd (ie around SF) he knew full well that he was lying.

He was a qualified Ranger and earned the tab. Thank you for goofing up a definition of S . But in many circles Being a ranger Makes you a special operator

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He earned a ranger tab and spent his carer in the 82nd. I will give him a pass on the SF statement. Although he may not have technically served in a "SF" unit, he earned the right This is totally different than some PX clerk claiming to have been in a special operations unit

I agree. I think he was just trying to connect with the guy. No big deal.

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I agree. I think he was just trying to connect with the guy. No big deal.[/quote

]

I totally agree. Rangers are considred special forces as are seals , Marine Recon etc. He was more our less as you are saying trying to make a conection. As an ex Infantry guy I think if you earn Ranger tab you earned the right to say you were Special Forces in a broad sense.

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Labor Unions, Federal and State employees comprise nearly 100% of the United States Veteran system. Just like the US Post Office, it is extremely difficult to discipline a worker, and nearly impossible to fire them.

Many of our veterans have returned home to the US after witnessing or participating in unspeakable and life altering events. The press, the public and human nature prefers to not have to see or hear about what they endured. Leaving and forgetting war-torn men is not a new phenomena. As long as there has been war, the participants who survive it often must endure their remaining days on earth in unspeakable mental and physical torture. The public prefers to look away.

I just watched yesterday's press conference again and had a completely different feeling toward Mr. McDonald than I did yesterday. The press was in such a feeding frenzy for that "gotcha" quote and his blood that it is again our veterans who are truly the forgotten ones.

Edited by ExExpat

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He was a qualified Ranger and earned the tab. Thank you for goofing up a definition of S . But in many circles Being a ranger Makes you a special operator

Service in Ranger Regiment, yes. Passing Ranger School, no. 99%-ish of the infantry officers in the Army have been through that school...

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