U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill today announced her support of putting in place criminal penalties for anyone making a false claim relating to military service or awards to secure a tangible benefit for themself. Anyone found guilty of violating the Military Service Integrity Act of 2012 would face a fine and up to six months in prison.
"Those who have served in our military and been recognized for that service deserve our deepest appreciation-and anyone lying about or misrepresenting that service for personal gain should face tough penalties," McCaskill said. "That kind of dishonesty is a slap in the face to those who have served our country so honorably."
The Military Service Integrity Act of 2012 is being introduced in the wake of the Supreme Court's recent decision in United States v. Alvarez which struck down the original Stolen Valor Act of 2005. The Supreme Court declared in Alvarez that criminal penalties could be imposed if someone misrepresented awards or service in the pursuit of "tangible benefit or personal gain", such as acquiring military benefits or pursuing a job promotion, but they could not be imposed in the absence of the individual seeking such personal gain, as the original Act had outlined.
This legislation would also reinstate measures from 1947 that criminalized the unauthorized creation or marketing of U.S. military decorations or medals that have been authorized by Congress.