Something happened a little while ago that I’m still slightly vexed by, and I’m betting someone on here can make an informed judgement, so here it is: As luck would have it, I have summer leave during Fleet Week in my city. One day I decide to tour one of the ships in port with some friends. It was okay, but definitely geared toward civilians with a casual interest in learning about the Navy, which is still great. Obviously there were plenty of officers and enlisted around. Up on the quarterdeck is a man passed middle age, wearing full Summer Whites with all the insignia of an O-5, shoulder boards, cover and all. He’s getting saluted by everyone, including sergeants, chiefs, and if I recall correctly at least one JO as well. He was also huddled by tourists the entire time asking him questions. At one point someone asked him about his naval career, and when pressed he eventually revealed that he’s not in the Navy. He was an enlisted sailor for 2 years back in the 80’s and has been a civilian ever since, but is now a “Commander” in the Sea Cadets and therefore is allowed to wear the uniform, a claim which to me seemed like a rather dubious justification. My first reaction was to think that this was a pretty trashy and pathetic thing to do. He didn’t have any Sea Cadet insignia or anything to distinguish him from an actual officer. He clearly was aiming to draw attention to himself and enjoyed the spotlight of the uniform. Except he didn’t earn it (and that’s not its purpose anyway). Is this a step below stolen valor? My gut reaction and common sense tell me yes. Am I right or wrong to think this? Like I said my knowledge of the etiquette and tradition here is limited so maybe someone can explain. BTW I’m not knocking Sea Cadets or JROTC. They’re fine activities for young folks interested in the military. Just craving answers to whether this one person was or was not a jerk in his actions.