WASHINGTON — After years of embarrassment and wounded street cred, top Air Force generals hosted a summit this past weekend to address the greatest crisis currently facing their service: zero cases of stolen valor.
“Everybody wants to dress up and pretend to be a Marine or soldier or Navy SEAL. How come nobody wants to be an Airman? We have pilots! Doesn’t anybody want to be a pilot?” lamented Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. David Goldfein.
Although the summit was unable to definitively answer that question, Air Force public affairs officials have been working on a program to address the problem, according to sources familiar with the matter.
A new unit of elite airmen will pretend to be civilians pretending to be elite airmen, one senior official said, adding that other airmen will then film the supposed fakers and upload the footage to YouTube. “We call it ‘Combat Faker Camera,'” the source said.
Air Force veterans, however, argue the concept isn’t new. Col. Robert “Dragon” Robertson (Ret.) claims to have led a Cold War black op with a similar mission — one which molded the service into what it is today.
“We tried our damnedest to get people to call us out as fakers. E-3s with bigger racks than Chesty Puller; making up phony-sounding job titles like ‘Combat Weatherman;’ claiming we had ‘deployed’ to places where nobody was even fighting: Korea, Italy, Oklahoma,” he said. “Hell, I earned my third Purple Heart getting diabetes at a Krispy Kreme.”
The grizzled former commander leaned back in his chair and took a swig of whiskey, “We lost a lot of good men that day.”
By the mid-eighties, Robertson claims that nearly 100 percent of the service’s personnel were drafted into the top secret program, which was never officially cancelled.
Despite the controversy, the new unit has already been greenlit and allocated a sum of $10 billion, most of which has gone to the construction of a state-of-the-art base in Hollywood, California. With rows of studio backlots, high-end movie equipment and, of course, recreational facilities of the highest caliber, the unit is well-equipped to execute its mission of stolen valor production. Meanwhile, advanced surveillance equipment will track any actual cases of stolen valor spurred by the bold new campaign.
“The future is bright,” said Staff Sgt. Kelly Engles, an intelligence analyst. “Last night we uncovered what we think might be the first recorded honest-to-God case of Air Force stolen valor.”
Unfortunately for Engles and her crack team, further investigation revealed that the hubbub was just some cyber systems operator drunkenly assaulting a Greyhound bus driver.