'Veteran' At The Airport Called Out For His 'Stolen Valor' And Shows His Driver License As Proof Instead Of Military ID

He pulled out his driver's license instead of a Common Access Card.

Man pretending to be in the Army TikTok

There’s an ongoing trend on social media where real military veterans are calling out people who are wearing military uniforms, but don’t actually seem to be in the military and never were.

This is what’s called “stolen valor.” It’s the act of posing as someone who has performed military service, and one man at the Baltimore/Washington International Airport was caught trying to do this.


A veteran at the airport calls out a man's 'stolen valor' and grills him for answers.

Almost immediately, it seems like the man who’s recording the video and calling out the stolen valor can tell that the man he’s about to interrogate, Michael Cipriani, is not an army veteran — the act of recording in and of itself is enough to tell us that.

“Hey, thanks for your service,” the real veteran says to the other man donning an Army Combat Uniform (ACU) sitting next to him at the airport. “Oh yeah, thank you. Thank you,” the faux veteran says in response.

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He starts making small talk with Cipriani about the weather as, judging by the conversation, it has gotten pretty bad outside and there might be some kind of delay, but it’s not without purpose. He uses the small talk as a segway to ask him about the USO (United Services Organization) at the airport.

“Have you been to the USO here? I think they have some services for soldiers there,” he asks, to which the impostor responds that he hasn’t because he’s been trying to “stay put” and doesn’t want to “risk getting bumped” from the flight.

Referring to the laptop on Cipriani’s lap, the man recording tells him about “these great videos on the internet called ‘stolen valor’” and describes how these people have “the most audacity,” since he believes that veterans can immediately tell when someone is lying.


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The veteran then asks him about his military status and how he got his combat patch.

I won’t pretend to know anything about military status, ranking, or what any of the patches mean aside from the US Flag, but a quick Google search can tell me what the “EOD” patch on his left shoulder means, and that’s “Explosive Ordinance Disposal.”

The real veteran uses this patch to bait Cipriani into answering his next question wrong, asking him “Who are you with? Who is that combat patch from?” The man sitting next to him answers, “EOD,” but the man who’s recording knows that the real answer to this question is that the “EOD” patch isn’t his combat patch at all, it’s his unit affiliation patch.

The EOD patch would mean he’s part of the Explosive Ordinance Disposal unit, but not necessarily which specific unit under that affiliation — are you keeping up?


The man corrects him and says that his “combat patch” will actually be the one on his right shoulder under the American Flag, which Cipriani never ends up showing him.

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He then asks where he went to school to try and catch him in another lie.

After asking him where he went to school, Cipriani tells him that he went to school in Miami. “So you’re…OCS?” the veteran asks, trying to confirm which program he completed and asking whether he complete one at an “Officer Candidate School.”

Cipriani, not fully comprehending the nature of the question, answers “Miami of Ohio,” which is a different school and place than Miami, Florida, but neither of these places is OCS, and when he’s quizzed on whether or not he knew that, he fails.


By this point, the veteran has sussed out everything he needed to and claims that although Cipriani is wearing the rank of a Commissioned Officer in the United States Army, it doesn’t seem like he has an answer for any of his questions or understands how he gained that rank.

In his attempt to prove that he’s not actually an impostor, Cipriani asks the veteran if he would like to see his ID. Hoping that he would show him the Common Access Card (CAC) he received for being an active duty member of the army, he, instead, pulls out his driver’s license, proving absolutely nothing besides that he’s lying.

According to US Public Law, it’s against the law to impersonate a military offer with the intent “to obtain money, property, or other tangible benefits.” Cipriani here could very well be in violation of the law if he’s using this uniform to gain some sort of benefit at the airport, but the veteran doesn’t seem to want to make a scene out of the situation.


All he wanted was to call out the man’s stolen valor and make him feel bad for his moral error.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Keep up with his rants about current events on his Twitter.