Brian Culp

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Brian Culp

Post by rgrpuck »

Invalid valor: Vet lied about his service
CULP

By John MacCormack - Express-News Boasting a military record that included two Purple Hearts, decorations for valor and combat service in Somalia with the Army Rangers, Brian Culp seemed the perfect war hero to be honored last year as grand marshal in LaVernia's patriotic parade.

“He was very deserving because of his military experience, battles and honors. And he had gotten hurt,” said Merrie Monaco, president of the Lions Club that sponsors the Bluebonnet Fest Parade.

“We actually made a quilt with his patches and medals, like a memory quilt, and we gave it to him,” she recalled.

A large and rugged outdoorsman, Culp, 38, also merited special recognition because of his nonprofit organization Veteran Adventures, that takes injured service members on hunting trips around South Texas.

But even as Culp was bathed in adulation as he rolled along Main Street at the head of the LaVernia parade, time was running out.

Smelling something fishy in his improbable war stories and claims to being a brother in arms, members of the small fraternity of Army Rangers already were comparing notes and digging into his military past.

Then on Aug. 23, 2007, Culp overplayed his hand when he tried to enter Lackland AFB using an ID card that identified him as a retired master sergeant.

The gate guard turned Culp away and confiscated the card, which investigators soon determined to be well-done forgery.

When Culp came in for questioning, Air Force detectives Stephen Vaughan and Sean Garrettson at first found denial and defiance. But eventually, they say, he admitted to even more elaborate fictions.

“This guy came in and thinks he's gonna run the interview,” recalled Vaughan, who had just returned from his second tour in Iraq.

“I was personally offended by his behavior. I found it reprehensible,” he said.

Culp first claimed he knew nothing about the fake ID card that bore his name and photo, but when the stakes were raised, he crumbled, Vaughan said.

“I said, ‘So check it out, Culp. What if I run a search warrant on your house right now? Do you want to bet there's something on your home computer to make this ID card?'” he recalled.

He said Culp eventually admitted he had used his computer to create not only the fake ID card, but also an authentic-looking military discharge paper called a DD-214 larded with fictional honors and service.

Culp admitted to using the fake documents to obtain benefits and services from on-base haircuts to Purple Heart license plates to disability payments from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Vaughan said.

“He said he lied to the VA counselor about having post-traumatic stress disorder from serving in Bosnia and witnessing mass graves there,” Vaughan said.

And while Culp had served honorably in both wars against Iraq, he never was wounded, never served in Somalia or Bosnia and never had been a Ranger, Vaughan said.

“All of us want to be John Wayne, but most of us outgrow it when we're 12,” he said.

Almost a year later, Culp was charged with four federal offenses related to making false claims to military honors and to using a fake ID card to try to enter Lackland.

Culp, who last year convinced a San Antonio Express-News reporter that he had been wounded while participating in the 1993 Ranger rescue mission in Somalia known as “Black Hawk Down,” declined to be interviewed.

The real story, he said in a brief e-mail, is about the wounded servicemen he helps.

“I was and am one of them. An honorably discharged, multiple combat, disabled veteran,” he wrote.

Hunting trips

According to his Veteran Adventures Web site, which solicits donations and once claimed he shed blood on foreign soil, Culp has sponsored a handful of hunting trips in the past two years.

Louis Dahlman, 24, a long-term patient at Brooke Army Medical Center, was a guest on a recent axis deer hunt on a ranch in Bandera County.

Dahlman, of Iowa, was badly injured in May 2007 while serving in Iraq with the Army.

“We were doing convoy escort and I was the gunner on the lead truck when a roadside bomb blew off my jaw,” Dahlman said.

“I've had seven or eight surgeries so far. I've got a year or two of surgeries left,” he said.

Despite coming home empty-handed from the September hunt with Culp, he had nothing but praise.

“He was a super nice guy, and it's a great organization,” Dahlman said.

“It's just a chance for guys to get out of the hospital, get 'em outdoors and get their minds off their surgeries and injuries,” he said.

Stolen valor

Embellishing military records has a long and rich history in the United States, dating at least to the Revolutionary War when a German soldier of fortune gained George Washington's confidence with false credentials.

Claiming to be having been a key military aide to the King of Prussia but alas, having no papers to prove it, Baron Von Steuben proved to be the exceptional imposter, providing valuable service in training the rag-tag revolutionary army.

But more than two centuries passed before it became a crime to lie about military honors and achievements.

Since passage of the Stolen Valor Act, in 2005, such deceptions are punishable by up to a year in prison, and dozens of fake vets have since been prosecuted. Others have gone to prison for receiving financial and medical benefits based on false claims.

A force behind the new law was B.G. Burkett, an Army veteran of Vietnam who spent more than two decades exposing legions of fake heroes and co-authored the book “Stolen Valor” that documented the phenomenon.

“It wasn't just post-Vietnam. It's every single conflict that's ever occurred. It happened after the Civil War and it's happening right now in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said of false claims by soldiers.

“The No. 1 reason people do this is low self-esteem. The second you say you are a heroic warrior, people treat you differently,” he said.

Culp, who played quarterback at Stroman High School in Victoria, joined the military in 1990 after attending one semester of classes at a small school in Kansas.

According to Vaughan and other sources familiar with his background, Culp apparently made false claims to being a Ranger repeatedly while in the Army and was seriously disciplined at least twice.

“In high school, he was this big football superstar. He was used to thinking he was hot stuff,” one person who knew him well recalled.

“And when he came into the Army, the Rangers were the elite infantry soldiers. Brian was used to being in the limelight, so he put his mind on that,” said the source, who asked not to be named.

While in Germany in the early 1990s, Culp allegedly was caught with Ranger tabs on a uniform.

At the time, he had completed pre-Ranger school in Germany and was in line to attend Ranger School in Georgia. But his misconduct ruined that, the source said.

A decade later, after re-enlisting in the Army, Culp allegedly lost a plum job as personal driver for a general at Fort Hood when a background check turned up a similar false claim that he was a Ranger, several sources said.

His service records reflect a significant demotion, which sources attributed to his false claims.

Holes in the story

But it was a chance encounter with a former Army Ranger last year that led to Culp finally being exposed. Highway patrolman Derome West said he came upon Culp while patrolling U.S. 281 near Bulverde.

“A pickup with a Ranger tab and Purple Heart plates pulled into the Valero in front of me, so I pulled up beside him,” West recalled.

“He started telling me about how he was in the 3rd Ranger Battalion in Mogadishu, and we got to talking a little bit. There's a little bit of a vetting process,” he said of the Ranger fraternity.

But Culp's story didn't check out with other Rangers who were in the rescue mission made famous in the movie, “Black Hawk Down.” His references also failed him and there was no record of his being in Somalia.

“I have a copy of the joint meritorious unit award that was awarded to all the Rangers in Somalia in support of Operation Gothic Serpent, aka ‘Black Hawk Down,' and his name is not on it. I can state with 100 percent certainty, he was not there,” said former Ranger Raleigh Cash of Illinois, who participated in the Somali operation.

Cash said that when he confronted Culp by phone last year, the story changed. Culp said he had been deployed with a different Army unit that was sent in to help the Rangers. But this story didn't check out either.

“I'm in a unique position. I can say with 100 percent certainty that no one from our unit went to Mogadishu,” said Dan Gronke, a Ranger who was Culp's unit leader in Germany at the time of the Mogadishu episode.

“He was a pretty good soldier, and that's why all this surprises me. When I knew him, he served honorably and didn't make any grand claims, although he was a good story teller,” said Gronke, now of Alabama.

“What amazes me is someone would tell a story of this scale and think no one will ever call him on it,” he said.

For Culp, the long trail of fiction and perhaps delusion may have ended Dec. 4 when he pleaded guilty to three federal misdemeanor charges: falsely claiming to have earned a Purple Heart, falsely claiming to have earned a Bronze Star with valor, and creating a counterfeit military identification.

He will be sentenced Dec. 29 in San Antonio and faces up to three years in prison.

Sometime soon, Culp also finally will gain formal recognition from the brotherhood of Rangers he so desired to claim. A place of dubious honor awaits him on a Web site belonging to an association of former Army Rangers.

“He will, without a doubt, be posted on the Web site on the poseur ‘wall of shame,'” said Scott Billingslea, a former Ranger who is an administrator of the site, Armyranger.com.

“The reality is, he's an absolute liar. And our goal is to see to it that this guy gets what's coming to him.”
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rgrpuck
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Re: Brian Culp

Post by rgrpuck »

Bravo57 wrote:Some time last year, a person by the name of Brian Culp bumped into one of our very own Rangers while attending an event. Our member started up a conversation with Mr. Culp because he saw the Purple Heart License Plates and Ranger stickers on his truck. As the conversation continued, Mr. Culp told Cryhavoc that he was a Ranger that was assigned to Bravo Company 3rd Ranger Bn. 75th Ranger Regiment and participated in Black Hawk Down. Rangers being Rangers, Cryhavoc decided to start the vetting process. I was contacted by Cryhavoc, because he thought he had found one of my Ranger buddies from Somalia and that we could get another warrior on the site. Cryhavoc did mention that it seemed a little fishy the way Mr. Culp acted, but had some of the story straight, so he could not pull the trigger right then.

The name was not familiar with me, so I checked the Joint Meritorious Unit Awards and found that no Brian Culp was assigned to the Rangers during that combat operation. Then the newspaper ran an article about Mr. Culp.

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Full Story Here




As soon as we saw the article, we knew that Mr. Culp was a fraud. Not only was he claiming that he was a Ranger from Black Hawk Down, but he was telling these lies to promote his business. Veterans Outdoor Adventures. As seen below, he talks about how he had "lost blood on foreign soil". When Confronted, Mr. Culp denied ever being a Ranger and hung up the phone. A couple of days later, he contacted me, and stated that he was assigned to E-51 LRS and was in country at the same time as we were, and that the mission he was on was to fast rope into the city and assist in getting the Rangers out. A complete lie. Easily debunked by those who had been there, done that.

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It was then found, that a second article was published, again claiming that he was a veteran of Mogadishu, Somalia with the Rangers. Digging himself deeper in the the hole.

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Later on, Mr. Culp decided that he would make fake Military I.D. Cards and try to get on Lackland A.F.B. He was caught; his Fake I.D. Card was confiscated, and a federal investigation was conducted. He was then charged with 3 misdemeanors, and his Purple Heart license plates were taken away.

Here are a couple of Pictures of Brian Culp wearing unauthorized awards on his Uniform.

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In an attempt to let Mr. Culp share his side of the story, another member of our site contacted Brian Via e-mail to get his side of the story. Again, denying anything that the papers had printed. He also gave the reporter a copy of a doctored DD214 that Culp admitted to Federal Prosecutors was a fake. Here is Brian's reply to Silverback.
Silverback wrote:
Silverback,

You KNOW that those accusations are not true. Your name was given to a reporter a year ago as verfication that I was stationed with you and someone that i had repsected that had served with Ranger Battalion. I had gone down there personally over a year ago and clarrified my units and so forth. I will look into the matter further. I hope all is well with you and yours. Where are you living at now that your retired?

Brian

.
The same newspaper that ran the original story contacted ArmyRanger.com to correct their mistakes. Here is the new Article.


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Full Story Here

Brian Culp was never an Airborne Ranger, and has repeatedly lied and deceived the uniformed to profit for either financial or personal gain.

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Edited to add
By John MacCormack - Express-News Army veteran Brian Culp, whose fictional military career included battle wounds, decorations for heroism and a Somalia rescue mission as an Army Ranger, was sentenced in real life Tuesday to three years' probation.

Culp, 38, had pleaded guilty this month to three misdemeanor charges of falsely claiming a Purple Heart, falsely claiming a Bronze Star with valor and creating a fake military identification card that allowed him access to area military bases.

Under federal sentencing guidelines, U.S. Magistrate John Primomo could have given him up to six months behind bars, and Culp's prosecutor said he was very deserving of incarceration.

“Mr. Culp is an admitted liar. He's a fraud, a fraud of the worst kind,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Moussette, a military veteran who cited two relatives who were awarded Purple Hearts.
Full Story Here
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Re: Brian Culp

Post by Silverback »

FOLLOW UP

Soldier who faked honors ordered to halfway house
By Guillermo Contreras - Express-News

Army veteran Brian Culp, who two years ago was exposed as a fake highly decorated Ranger, was ordered Tuesday to spend four months in a halfway house for violating his probation.
Culp, 39, was serving three years of probation for his phony claims when federal probation officers accused him early this month of failing to follow court orders that he participate in mental health treatment and anger management, pay a $500 fine and not open new lines of credit without permission.

On Tuesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge John Primomo heard how Culp ran afoul.

“I had a difficult time with this the first time,” Primomo said, referring to Culp's sentencing. “You put me in a bad position again.”

Culp pleaded guilty in December 2008 to three misdemeanor charges of falsely claiming a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star with valor and creating a fake identification card that allowed him access to area military bases.

He'd also falsely claimed he was wounded while part of the 1993 Army Ranger rescue mission made famous by the book and movie “Black Hawk Down.”

Prosecutors opted not to file felony charges that he created discharge papers that allowed him to obtain Purple Heart license plates and claim veterans benefits. Prosecutors wanted Culp jailed for six months, but Primomo gave him probation.

At Tuesday's hearing, Primomo found that Culp didn't pay the fine promptly, failed to participate in mental health treatment and borrowed money without permission to buy furniture for his fiancee's children.

Culp, who lives with his fiancee in New Braunfels, testified he has since abided by the conditions. He also said he's had issues at home because his father died in August and his fiancee had a mild heart attack last week.

Probation officer Rachel Ventura testified that Culp was abrasive.

“He always had this aggressive attitude as to why he's reporting,” she said.

The judge admonished Culp for being disrespectful and acting as if he thinks he did nothing wrong. He ordered Culp to live in a halfway house, which will report his progress to probation officers.

“If you step over the line at the halfway house, if you don't scrub the floor or sweep or do what they tell you to, the next time, it's not going to matter what you say to me, you're going to jail,” Primomo told Culp.

When Culp left the courthouse, he ran to try to elude reporters and drove away in a newer-model Ford F250.

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Re: Brian Culp

Post by Jim »

FOLLOW-UP
“Stolen valor” convict back in jail

By Guillermo Contreras, gcontreras@express-news.net
Updated 11:11 p.m., Tuesday, November 15, 2011
. Brian Culp
Army veteran Brian Culp of San Antonio, who pleaded guilty to falsely claiming to be a highly decorated U.S. Army Ranger, is back behind bars.

Probation officers are seeking to revoke the supervised release of Culp, 41, saying he violated probation on a nine-month jail sentence, part of which he served. They allege he failed to inform the office that he was moving, failed to show up for at least one mental-health treatment session, and failed to meet in person with his probation officer as required.

At a hearing Tuesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy Nowak said “based on what I heard today, I find there is probable cause generally as to failing to report.”

The judge remanded Culp back into custody and forwarded his case for a final revocation hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge John Primomo — who had given Culp a break in the past before sending him to jail in August 2010 after Culp failed to follow orders of the probation office.

Primomo sentenced Culp in 2009 to three years of probation, but Culp disobeyed his probation officers and was kicked out of a halfway house for insolence, lying, intimidation and other misbehavior. That resulted in Primomo handing him a nine-month jail sentence.

Culp faces up to a year in jail if his supervised release is revoked.

Culp pleaded guilty in December 2008 to three misdemeanor charges of falsely claiming to be the recipient of a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star and creating a fake identification card that gave him access to area military bases.

He also falsely claimed he was wounded while part of the 1993 Army Ranger rescue mission in Somalia made famous by the book and movie “Black Hawk Down.”

Coincidentally, the U.S. Supreme Court recently has agreed to decide whether Congress can make it a crime to lie about having earned a military decoration.

The case arose from the prosecution of Xavier Alvarez under the 2005 law, the Stolen Valor Act.

Alvarez, an elected member of the board of directors of a water district in Southern California, falsely claimed at a public meeting to have been a Marine for 25 years and to have been awarded the Medal of Honor by Congress.



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Re: Brian Culp

Post by Jim »

Located by the Magician:

Bogus Ranger gets 9 months in jail
By Guillermo Contreras, gcontreras@express-news.net
Published 12:50 a.m., Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Army veteran Brian Culp of San Antonio, who pleaded guilty to falsely claiming to be a highly decorated U.S. Army Ranger, was sentenced Tuesday to nine months in jail.

U.S. Magistrate Judge John Primomo revoked the supervised release of Culp, 41, after he failed to follow instructions from probation officers.

Culp was sentenced in 2009 to three years of probation for three misdemeanor charges of falsely claiming to be the recipient of a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star and creating a fake identification card that gave him access to area military bases.

He also falsely claimed he was wounded while part of the 1993 Army Ranger rescue mission in Somalia made famous by the book and movie “Black Hawk Down.” He was called out by a real Ranger.

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