In Defense of Rep. Terry Musser

This weekend I have heard some rather harsh remarks concerning Wisconsin Republican Representative Terry Musser, and the news story that broke in the Capital Times about his military resume.  To hear some talk one would think he had made some huge grievous mistake on purpose for political gain. This whole issue is overblown, and is just not important.

Let us take a look at the nuts and bolts of the issue as reported by the Madison Capital Times.

The Missouri-based P.O.W. Network charged on its Web site that Musser’s military records show he never completed training for the Special Forces, popularly known as the Green Berets. Musser’s official biography in the state Blue Book describes him as having served two tours in Vietnam as a “paratrooper and Green Beret, 6th Special Forces Fort Bragg, N.C.” between 1965 and 1968.  He served with the 6th Special Forces, which were based at Fort Bragg and never deployed to Vietnam, from 1966 to 1967. But according to Special Forces veterans, serving with a unit is not the same as having completed the training to qualify as a member of Special Forces.

If you know Terry Musser in his official capacity as a legislator you know him to be a straight shooter and forthright when he talks to you.  He deals with issues as he feels them in his gut, and he is just pleasant to be around.  That sometimes can be a rare find in the Statehouse.  For anyone to think that he needed to jazz up his military resume to enhance his image just does not understand Terry Musser.  He is down to earth and real.  You may disagree with him on policy, but one cannot say he is a schemer or a manipulator.  (For the record I came to know him while serving as a Committee Clerk for an Assembly Committee, of which he was a member.)

As the Capital Times reported, “Musser said in a prepared statement Friday that while he wore a green beret when serving with the Special Forces in Fort Bragg, “I was not Special Forces qualified. My biography does not make that distinction clear enough.”  He added that he was “not old enough to begin training for Special Forces qualification” and that upon returning to Vietnam, “(I) ended my tenure with the Special Forces.”

In the end, as the news article noted Musser’s case is “not uncommon.”  And I repeat, to know Representative Musser is all that needs to be said about the matter.  This is a simple mistake. 

This whole story is all the more amusing at a time when our President who does have a military record with many unanswered questions used misinformation as a vehicle to lead us to war in Iraq.  Lets keep things in perspective. 

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16 thoughts on “In Defense of Rep. Terry Musser

  1. Perhaps it’s time to take the POW flag down from the Capitol if they’re going to make stupid accusations against our legislators. Besides, I don’t see why any flag other than the US or state flag (or that of a visiting foreign official) should fly above our Capitol.

  2. j. e. hayden

    Many people claim military achievements to which they are not entitled. Shame on Congressman Musser.

    … a 2-time VN vet assigned to Gen Westmoreland’s and Adm Zumwalt’s staffs

  3. First, Mr. Musser is not a member of Congress.

    Second, comments are not posted until I read them and make sure they are not spam. You waited two minutes to get anxious. Both of your comments are now posted.

  4. us_army_strong

    Well if this is a mistake as you have stated, it is one whopper of a mistake.

    My question to Terry Musser is why he let this so called “mistake” ride on for 20 + years until he was forced to spill the beans. I am sure he has had many opportunities to clear the record on his own accord.

    It is interesting how he states he “ended his tenure with SF”. To end tenure with SF, one should have been already SF, he was never SF. Who is this guy kidding?

    And then if he is really sorry, why has he still not corrected his bio (verified uncorrected on 3/26 11:59pm)???

    I just hope Musser can Muster enough honor that he might have remaining to resign before a recall is organized. Hasn’t he caused enough embarrassment to his fellow veterans.

  5. Musser was assigned to and served in a Special Forces unit, therefore it is perfectly reasonable for him to say he “ended his tenure” with them. While those who completed Special Forces training have more prestige in the military, it’s not a stretch for someone who wore a green beret and belonged to such a unit to include “Green Beret Sixth Special Forces” in his bio. Musser’s critics are displaying a lot of unwarranted nastiness.

  6. Joe Masterson

    Musser’s official biography states that he was a “Green Beret.” Now after it is learned by the public that he is not a “Green Beret,” he tells his constituents that he is sorry if he “misled” them. He didn’t mislead anyone, he lied. This is a case of “identity theft” of those real Special Forces soldiers. Musser used their identy, as his own, for personal gain. Shame on Musser, and shame on those who buy into his lie and defend the indefensible. De Opresso Liber!

  7. us_army_strong

    Three more days past… Musser’s offical bio still goes uncorrected…


    Not only does he lie about being SF.

    He lies about lying.

    And finally he lies about have a correction made to his bio.

    Man where will it end???

  8. With all due respect making the change to the bio is not Musser’s to make. The folks who make the changes are ( I suspect) the LRB (Legislative Reference Bureau) as they handle the Wisconsin Blue Book duties. I suspect it will be some time before the change is made. Later this year the new Blue Book will be out and the changes will be made there and on line for sure.

    One more thought that comes to mind is the touchy sensitive reaction of military guys with this issue. If this is all it takes to rattle the military folks how in heck do they stay focused on the battle field? Or are the reponses here just political?

  9. Beretverde

    DEKE… you are clueless. A liar is a liar, a phony is a phony. Making lame excuses for Musser, could be contrived as an accomplice or even aiding and abetting! Musser is part of the “Stolen Valor Syndrome” and I doubt he would EVER go to Ft. Bragg and tell REAL “Green Berets” that he was one of them. As for political… completely apolitical on this one! Stop reaching for the skies and sending red herrrings in Musser’s defense. As for “rattled”… not even close! You need a” swift one” on your fourth point of contact! Get real and wake up to the “crime” of IDENTIFY THEFT! Shame on Musser, I don’t buy his lie (excuse). As an elected leader of Wisconsin citizens, I would think that they would hold him somewhat accountable. De Opresso Liber!

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