Thomas Alan Zuck – US Army Sniper, Medal of Honor, Two Purple Hearts, Blog of Shame


05/22/2016 by

Wasn’t “Hoot” the Delta guy from the movie ‘Black Hawk Down’?


thomas zuck - linkedin

Thomas Alan Zuck, who likes to go by the nickname “Hoot”, appears to tell people that he was a US Army Sniper that did two tours overseas.  These claims include that he was wounded twice and received two Purple Hearts. Due to these war wounds, it seems he is able to get access to hunting lands not available to others.

As a result of this being such a feel good story it was all captured in his local paper, the South Platte Sentinel, on Wednesday October 26, 2011.


The article points out Zuck’s injuries and also claims that Zuck was one of the first into Afghanistan, dropping out of college when 9-11 happened…
Zuck’s claims even include a Congressional Medal of Honor – the nation’s highest military award for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty.zuck-hoot-moh

The entire article is captured and highlighted here as a graphic JPG and here as a PDF.

We’ve been told that to this day Zuck continues to use these claims to gain access to all kinds of prime hunting land as part of a program to support wounded warriors. He has listed his support for several of these organizations on his LinkedIn page.


This represents hunting and fishing land that would not have been available to Tom Zuck otherwise. Further, it seems he is able to hunt with Major League Baseball players Todd Helton as well as other Rockies players. Zuck is even to have rumored to hunt with Peyton Manning, the recently retired professional football player with the Denver Broncos.

We have no direct or firsthand knowledge to confirm or deny the claims of hunting with professional athletes.

A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request was made for Thomas Zuck’s official military records.

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NPRC FOIA dod-mdc

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Although Thomas Zuck’s records are incomplete from NPRC, his claims on LinkedIn and his service dates from DoD Manpower Data Center are consistent with service from 2002 – 2006. That period of service in the active duty Army was not in question.


However, something is odd about the claim of being one of the first into Afghanistan.

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The article states that Thomas Zuck was in college when 9-11 happened.

Specifically, it says:

One of the guys, Tom Zuck, has shrapnel in his hips and around his kidney. Here’s a kid in his first year of college and 9/11 happens and he drops out of college and he’s one of the first out to Afghanistan.

The timing seems strange.  Zuck graduated from Greeley West High School in Greeley, Colorado in 2001. 

zuck-greely west high school 2001

The article says he was in college when 9-11 happened. Two weeks after 9-11, two 12-man Green Beret teams from 5th Special Forces Group along with Air Force combat controllers landed in Afghanistan to link up with the Northern Alliance. The Northern Alliance, with assistance from US ground and US air forces, captured key cities from the Taliban.

Operation Enduring Freedom was official launched on 7 October 2001.

How could Thomas Zuck have gone to boot camp and finish all necessary training to be inserted into Afghanistan as one of the first of the US troops? It is plausible that he was in the Army Reserves or the Army National Guard and had already been trained, and then went active duty US Army, but his service date for active duty starts on 20 March 2002 (DoDMDC) and 24 January 2002 (NPRC). The NPRC date could reflect a delayed entry date vs. the first day of active duty.

Either way, it does not look likely that Thomas Zuck was one of the first troops into Afghanistan.

Additionally, Zuck does not have the awards that support him being in Afghanistan.

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The Congressional Medal of Honor, being the military’s highest individual award, is well documented.  Since Zuck’s records are designated as incomplete for the NPRC, the service dates from DoD Manpower Data Center support the premise that there was no service beyond 2006. Zuck claims this as well on LinkedIn.

That said, Zuck does not have the award that supports him having the Medal of Honor.

There’s a remote chance that his records missed the award of the Congressional Medal of Honor… an extremely remote chance.


Databases for both Afghanistan and Iraq list no Thomas Alan “Hoot” Zuck of the US Army that was awarded the Medal of Honor.  Even so, how could something like this miss the watchful eye of the media? Most MOH awards for these two conflicts were given by the President of the United States in special White House ceremonies.

This claim is in violation of the Stolen Valor Act of 2013.

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Zuck’s records also do not show that he received a Purple Heart, let alone two. Since there are no databases to check, one has to rely on the record. Since awards are listed for campaigns overseas, it would seem that the list of medals earned would be accurate.

That said, Zuck does not have the awards that support him having Purple Hearts.

This claim is also in violation of the Stolen Valor Act of 2013.

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Zuck does not have the awards that support him being in Afghanistan.

The medals do support him being in Iraq.

He has a Combat Action Badge. He also has an Army Commendation Medal (ARCOM) with a “V” device for valor. That in itself is enough to be proud of.

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There is no indication in Zuck’s official military record that he received training or qualification as a sniper.  His DMOS was 19D1 – a Calvary Scout.

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It appears that Tom “Hoot” Zuck served in Iraq.  We see no evidence that he served in Afghanistan so could not have been one of the first troops there.  There is no indication that he was wounded or he would have had a Purple Heart. The record shows no Purple Hearts were awarded to him.

There is no Congressional Medal of Honor in his official military record, nor in any database, nor was there any press coverage of his being awarded this medal.

The bottom line is that Thomas Alan Zuck’s service claims are not supported by his official military records.

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Facebook:  [ no picture ]

LinkedIn:  [ picture ]

NOTE: Since this blog was published, Tom Zuck has removed both his Facebook and LinkedIn profiles. We did not get a screen capture of his Facebook profile but we did get a screen capture of his LinkedIn profile.  Why would Zuck remove his social media profiles?

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This Ain’t Hell:

4 thoughts on “Thomas Alan Zuck – US Army Sniper, Medal of Honor, Two Purple Hearts, Blog of Shame

  1. […] folks at Military Phony send us their work on this fellow, Thomas Alan Zuch in Fort Collins, Colorado. Zuck claims, […]

  2. This one is starting to piss me off. Someone is lie’ing. That hunt was for wounded warriors. And he took advantage of it knowing that he was never wounded in combat. So he deceived the host there. Than the newspaper article stating that he was a sniper with two PH’s and the MOH. If that information was wrong, why did he correct the reporter back in 2011 when it was first published? Not only do I want a retraction from the newspaper. I also want an apology from Tom Zurk. Plus Warriors Outdoors deserves to be reimbursed DOUBLE the cost of the hunt. This would have went unnoticed if we hadn’t exposed the truth. ~ Scotty

  3. Dave Hardin says:

    Tom Zuck didn’t seem to give a shit about false claims being printed in the paper. I just love the dumbass rainman idiot defense. It seems to be getting more popular. “I don’t know what happened, I never said that, I don’t know why they printed that, etc” What a pussy this guy is. If he borrowed a set from anyone for just a moment he would post a public retraction of all those claims and apologize for not fixing it a long time ago. I bet anything he has shit stain little buddies that think his nonsense is dependable. Ya well, piss on them too.

  4. TFitz says:

    After reading both the article as well as the comments over at This Ain’t Hell, I’d say that this Zuck guy has a pretty good lawsuit against the Pilkington fellow if Zuck truly never said any of that. No friend of mine would ever make claims about my service, let alone extravagant fake claims even if good intentions were there, and not at least give me the courtesy of telling me. Just sayin. Whole thing stinks to high heaven.

Comments are closed.


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