06/03/2020 by militaryphonies
James Michael “Doc” Swanson comes to us from Huntsville, Alabama. Swanson is 36 years old at the time of this writing – June 2020.
Swanson adorns his Facebook page with military-related imagery from his deployments. Things took a bit of a turn years after getting out of the service.
His rank and the medals Swanson earned in the military starting evolving.
On Swanson’s Together We Served (TWS) profile, he lists himself as an HM1, which is a Hospital Corpsman First Class (E-6). Later, documents will show that Swanson was discharged as a Hospital Corpsman Third Class (E-4).
A couple of other side notes on Swanson’s TWS profile:
1) LENGTH OF SERVICE – Swanson has three service stripes displayed which denote 4 years each for a claim of twelve (12) years of military service. Later, it will be shown that he had eight (8) years and nince (9) months of total service. This would mean he would display two (2) service stripes to properly represent his service.
2) ASSIGNMENTS – Swanson has assignments listed. Later, it will be shown that this listing is accurate.
As far as the rank of HM1, Swanson would have spent enough time in the service to make it to HM1, so that is plausible. If HM3 was the highest rank he achieved, it would seem odd for the amount of time he was in. It is more plausible that he achieved the higher ranks but was busted down due to Non-Judicial punishment (UCMJ violation) or some other reason.
Here is a photo where he claims to have been promoted to HM2 (E-5). We have no reason to doubt its authenticity or his claim of HM2.
In the following post, he is displayed in an HM2 uniform (E-5) which is the “crow” on the shirt lapels with two rockers underneath. One rocker would be HM3 (E-4) and three rockers would be HM1 (E-6).
In this post, Swanson wears the rank of HM2.
In this post, he wears a vest with the designation HM2 on it.
In this post, talking about his family’s military service, he has a photo of himself as a baby and refers to his current self as HM1(ret).
Then, in this posts he claims to have made HM1 but didn’t get to pin it on citing “bad choices.”
Bottom line: We suspect that he achieved the rank of HM2, and believe it was plausible that he made selection to HM1 but did not get to pin it on. However, it is accepted that one claims and displays the rank they held when they were discharged, not the highest rank that they held. Swanson’s official military records show that he was an HM3 (E-4) when he left military service.
If Swanson was in fact medially retired, it would not be accurate to refer to himself as HM1(ret). It would be HM3(ret).
MEDALS – INCLUDING THE PURPLE HEART
The medals and awards that Swanson displays on his TWS profile are as follows:
In a Private Message to someone, he displays another rack different than the one above, this one displaying a Purple Heart for being wounded in combat.
In a Private Message chat with someone else, Swanson claimed he had a Purple Heart.
Later, in another Private Message chat, Swanson claims to have earned three (3) Purple Hearts.
In a post having to do with Challenge Coins, Swanson displays a Military Order of the Purple Heart (topmost coin) which signifies that one was awarded a Purple Heart and is an member of this organization.
PURPLE HEART CITATION(S)
Swanson sent away for Purple Heart citations. The following photos depict the envelope’s arrival.
There is evidence to suggest that he simply ordered them from:
Among other evidence, the example citation advertised on the above site is signed by “William G. Kelley”:
What’s telling is that this “William G. Kelley” has a different title depending on which service branch you designate once you order the certificate.
In several photos Swanson posted of him in uniform, they show no Purple Heart medal.
Some people were skeptical and asked Military Phony to look into these claims. Several people claim to have given Swanson money and other things of value based on him claims of being a wounded combat veteran.
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ACTIONS CONDUCTED BY MILITARY PHONIES
James Michael Swanson’s military records were ordered through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY (DoN)
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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE MANPOWER DATA CENTER (SCRA)
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Some of the above dates and charges prove to be interesting. In the following post, he talks about being in a motor vehicle accident.
Swanson says he was run off the road by another driver that fell asleep. However, he was charged with Hit and Run and Reckless Driving around this same time period.
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DISCUSSION and SUMMARY
Mike Swanson’s official military records from the Department of the Navy (DoN) do not support several of his claims.
Rating & Rank
Swanson was in the HM rating. That stands for Hospital Corpsman (medical corpsman). He got out of the Navy as a HM3, which is an E-4. As discussed, it is plausible that he made HM2 and even HM1, but by his own admission made “bad choices” so left the military as an HM3 (E-4). If that was the case, it is not honorable to claim the highest rank held – even if he identifies with being an HM2 or HM1.
The official military records do not support Swanson having a single Purple Heart medal, and certainly not three as he claimed. The medals that he claims seem to expand each year.
Swanson claims he was injured and recieved a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) as a result of an IED (Improvised Explosive Device).
Even if this were true and he is writing people he served with to get statements in order for him to be awarded a Purple Heart – he should not claim one until it is officially recorded in his records.
That said, these several posts are quite interesting…
He claims in this one that he was wounded in Aug 2011…
His Purple Heart certificate states that he was wounded on 28 Aug 2011 and was awarded the Purple Heart on 16 Sept 2011…
But strangely enough, in these series of posts to his Facebook profile there is no mention of being wounded or in an IED explosion, nor is there mention of his upcoming award of the Purple Heart. As much as he is live blogging all of his experiences in Afghanistan, this would be significant but there’s not a word about it.
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If the claims by Mike Swanson were used to leverage work, military or civilian promotions, money or anything else of value, he may be in violation of Stolen Valor laws.
State laws may also apply in regard to Stolen Valor.
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This Ain’t Hell: https://valorguardians.com/blog/?p=100462