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An Open Letter to Sgt Major Lovell…. March 26, 2015

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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SgtMajor RelievedSgt Major Lovell, I am the author of the blog post you reference in your email to 3/2. I am indeed a former enlisted US Marine Sgt. and also a former US Naval Officer. Instead of ‘disgruntled Former Marine’ you can call me “Sir” as you would have when I served….I served honorably as an Infantry Marine, Scout/Sniper, and Reconnaissance Marine and was discharged on a disability.  I am certainly not ‘disgruntled’.  In fact, I earned my own Combat Action Ribbon as a sniper long before you claimed to have earned your own.  I am certainly more than a “blogger”  Please read my bio and my DD214.  If that does not convince you, you can read some of my articles in National Review, The Counter Terrorist, SC Magazine and others.  Or you can listen to my interviews on NPR, NewsMax and other outlets.  Additionally, I have worked with numerous charitable organizations to help Marines and others. Upon becoming aware of your recent statements, I have decided to post your very self serving ‘apology’ for the world to read. After publication of my story, I  invited you, the USMC, and anyone else who questioned my story to contact me directly.  You did not, the USMC did not and instead, you published an apology attempting to discredit me as a simple blogger and disgruntled former Marine. Today I received an email from a Marine who had taken me to task for the blog post.  He vigorously defended YOU only to find you had lied.  His opening statement to me was telling of his own character and the contrast with your statement is clear.  It said: “When a good man is wrong, a good man will admit it. I was wrong,…”  Instead of owning up to your actions, you continue to try to blame others.  I can only thank God that I never had the misfortune of serving under you while I was an enlisted Marine. I have heard numerous stories and your ‘apology’ below simply demonstrates the accuracy of those stories.  You failed to mention to “your” Marines that you had been contacted about the inconsistencies in your story and given the opportunity to correct said inconsistencies. You did not and I posted my article.  If you would like to contact me, I am easy to find. Here is the email from Sgt. Major Lovell to the Marines of 3/2. “I want to apologize up front for how impersonal this email is, but with the Battalion spread to the winds across the planet and the very short turn I’m on, I just didn’t have the means or time to address you all in person. Many, if not all, have heard of the attack on my reputation via social media. Specifically, a former disgruntled Marine took shots at me by grossly misinterpreting my biography from Facebook to a blog site. I didn’t make it hard for them by being lazy in my attention to detail to ensure that all ribbon racks and documentation I possessed were all 100% accurate. As such, I allowed myself to have some info out there that is correct, and some that is not. Because of this, 4th Marine Regiment has lost trust and confidence in me to continue to serve as your SgtMaj, and I have been relieved and will leave island today.

We all wear a uniform that affords certain liberties in our great country. Of those is freedom of speech. It is because of that, I hold no hate in my heart for someone exercising their rights; only extreme hurt. Hurt yes, because my career is now over long before I wanted it to be; hurt yes, because I cannot continue to serve with you and see this Battalion continue to stand out as the Corps’ best; hurt yes, because of the pain my family is now in; but mostly hurt because of those who think the worst of me. For 21 years I’ve made a reputation for myself…some if it by learning from my mistakes…and some of it by working my butt off. At this level it was all about setting an example for the over 1000 men that make up this great Battalion, and the thousands who look upon us as the example. I did not set the appropriate example for you. I’m blessed to have to many standing by me who truly know me and know better than to take a blogger at his word. While I was lazy in my attention to detail, I have never taken credit for something I have not done…ever. I have a hard time taking credit for the stuff I have which is why I’ve never been much of the story teller I guess. Lastly, you have and will continue to hear bad rumors about me. I understand now that Marine Times will pick up this story too. I cannot describe to you the stress that has placed on me. I’ve truly been beaten to the ground and continue to be kicked while I’m down… I need all of you to know that I gave you everything I have and I’m very proud to see what this Battalion has become from where it was. I’ll do my best to try and focus on all the good you have provided me by your efforts. PLEASE, do not let this Battalion slide in any way. You’re on the verge of becoming legends. God Bless you all.”

Bowe Bergdahl to be Charged with Desertion! March 25, 2015

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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Bergdahl1-e1427306712825Wow…Bowe Bergdahl is actually going to be charged with Treason and Misbehaving in front of the enemy. For those who don’t remember his name, Bergdahl was the Soldier who abandoned his post, was ‘captured’ (cough, cough)…by Taliban-aligned Haqqani network in Afghanistan , the traded by the Obama Administration for 5 Taliban Terrorists.

US Marine Sgt Major Lovell Relieved after False Claims Verified March 24, 2015

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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SgtMajor RelievedIt is both a sad day for the Marine Corps but an important day.  The Marine Times just posted a story stating that “Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Lovell III was removed from his post as the infantry battalion’s sergeant major on Monday due to a loss of confidence, said 1st Lt. Luke Kuper, a spokesman for III Marine Expeditionary Force.”  His claims were first reported on this blog and subsequently investigated by the USMC.  While it is always sad when a distinguished Marine’s career is destroyed, it is an important step for the US Military to take Stolen Valor seriously .  In addition to having falsely claimed a 3rd Combat Action Ribbon and Sniper School Honor Graduate, the USMC also corrected Lovell’s claims of service in Kosovo and with the Israeli Defense Force.

EMV- CHIP & Choice..not Chip & PIN…Start Moving! March 23, 2015

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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platinum11chip_fr_h_1987After deviating from my ‘security’ theme, I am back to talk about InfoSec.  Last week I had the opportunity to attend Visa Accredited EMV Consultant Training at Visa’s Headquarters in Foster City, CA.  As always, Visa put on a top tier program with numerous experts in Payment Card ‘chip’ technology.  Since the topic was EMV most of the experts were from Across the Pond.  Thanks to Mark, Chris and the others for great training!

For those who are new, EMV or “Europay, MasterCard, Visa” is a technology where a microprocessor ‘chip’ is embedded in a payment card (credit card, debit card, etc.).  It is often erroneously referred too as “Chip & PIN” but EMV really only applies to the Chip technology.  If a region or issuer wants to prefer PIN, they are able.  Visa has a “Chip and Choice” model where they allow Chip with signature, no signature, or PIN depending upon the issuer, the risk and type of transaction (ie. Debit for Cash or ATM require a PIN).  There was too much information over 2 days to talk about in this post but there was one point I learned and wanted to pass on..

In October 2015, Visa is offering a ‘liability shift’ for merchants who adopt EMV.  My belief (it was wrong) until I attended the training was that the EMV liability shift only affected those merchants who 1) accepted a ‘chip’ card and on ‘chip’ transactions.  These are known as ‘chip on chip’.  It is critical that Merchants understand that the liability shift occurs for merchants who accept transacitons over a dual interface terminal (Chip and NFC) who accept transactions of ANY form.  As an example, if you accept 99% mag stripe transactions but you have dual interface terminals…the fraudulent transacion due to counterfeit have liability shifted to the issuer!  It does NOT have to be a Chip on Chip transaction.

The Second important point to remember is that Visa is offering a Technology Incentive Program (TIP) that states if a Level 1 Merchant accepts 75% of transactions over a Dual Interface terminal, they do not have to validate compliance with an onsite assessment.  There are some caveats to this so make sure you read the rules!

To get ready for implementation, ensure you download the Visa Merchant Readiness Acceptance Guide here.

RHIP- Sgt. Major of Marines (3/2) Embellishes his Record.. SgtMaj. Kenneth C. Lovell III March 19, 2015

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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Lovell2UPDATED:  The USMC has changed the bio and the original BIO has been cleansed from the Google Cache.  I have updated the post with a link to the original Bio.. In the Marine Corps the phrase “RHIP” or “Rank Has Its Privileges” is common. Along with privileges comes responsibilities…This post is one of the most difficult I have ever had to write.  I had reflect on whether to write this post but I have written similar posts on civilians and veterans who have Stolen Valor and felt it only fair to address one of ‘our own’ brothers (a sniper) who, in my opinion, has stolen the valor of other brave Marines. I don’t feel it is equitable to take civilians to task for something I am unwilling to take my own brother to task for…

In this case a Marine Corps Sgt Major Kenneth C. Lovell III (the HIGHEST enlisted rank in the Military) has embellished his record for reasons that he will not or cannot explain.  It is frustrating, infuriating and tragic.  When we consider why the Lance Corporal at the neighborhood watering hole feels compelled to embellish his record to pick up girls, we need look no further than this Sgt Major’s actions.  Shameful is too polite a word to use for his actions.  As the senior Enlisted Marine in the Battalion and one of less than 2,000 E9s in the entire Marine Corps, it is his job to carry the standard for enlisted actions.  Sgt Major Lovell was not just a Scout Sniper but was also a Drill Instructor and on the President’s Detail at 8/I.  This Marine, more than any, knows the regulations and responsibilities associated with being a leader.  His actions are inexcusable.

Sgt. Major Kenneth C. Lovell III came to my attention quite by accident.  His original biography was posted when he was assigned as the (not promoted…thank you Msgt. Miller for the correction) Battalion Sgt Major (THE senior Enlisted Marine in the entire Battalion) of 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines (3/2).  Some Snipers noticed his claims of being a Scout Sniper PineSchool Honor Graduate. His original bio stated he: “…attended the Scout Sniper Basic Course in which he was an Honor Graduate.” You can read his bio (the original) here.  Not only was Sgt Major Lovell NOT the honor graduate of his class, but the actual honor graduate, Sgt. Aaron Pine (picture to left) is a Marine Sniper who passed away after his service in the USMC.  It is disturbing that a Sgt. Major Lovell would steal the honor from such a valiant Marine.  It is shameful and disgraceful on many levels.  Sgt Major Lovell has since changed his bio to read “Distinguished graduate”.  Let me be clear for those who are not familiar with Marine Corps Scout Sniper School.  For those few Marines who manage to graduate from Scout Sniper School and transition from PIG to HOG there are only two types of honors in the course….there is THE Class Honor Graduate (I finished about 12 out of 15..so not me) and the Class High Shooter …everyone else is simply a HOG and honored to have passed such a rigorous training course.  There is NO ‘distinguished’ graduate…that is, to be polite, complete bullshit and the Sgt Major knows this. Even his ‘distinguished’ graduate description is still wrong and disingenuous, at best.

Sgt. Major Lovell also claimed to have 3 Combat Action Ribbons (CAR) (see pic to left).  His original bio stated that he had : “…CAR3the Combat Action Ribbon with two gold stars in lieu of third award.” For those who are no in the Navy or Marine Corps, the CAR is a defining decoration. It is a ‘by name’ award that indicates that a Marine has been in combat.  Only 1 CAR per theater can be earned.  For any Marine, having 3 CARS would be an accomplishment.  This raised some flags.  When confronted, Sgt. Major Lovell amended his bio to include only 2 Combat Action Ribbon awards yet his picture shows him wearing 3.  This is not a simple oversight or mistake.  A CAR is a personal decoration and is coveted by Marines.  This was clearly an attempt to assume an honor that was not awarded.

I work with various groups that see stolen valor on a daily basis.  Often it is a coach telling his young players he was a “Green Beret” etc.  Often it is some young veteran who is telling his girlfriend he was a SEAL.  These are unfortunate and frustrating but relatively harmless.  When we have a senior enlisted Marine embellishing his record, it not only hurts other Marines who may be competing for promotions but it sends a very dangerous message that lying about military service is acceptable.  Sgt Major Lovell has disgraced not only the Marine Corps but the rank of Sergeant Major.  He should be ashamed yet something tells me he is not.   Sgt. Major…in the words of a Master Gunnery Sergeant that I highly respect…..”Square yourself away!”

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