What were you thinking? A faker chaplain speaks


(Photo courtesy of POW Network)

National Guard Chaplain Kurt Bishop built a career on lies about his service, wearing 15 honors and dozens of decorations over 20 years that he did not earn.

But the Christian Science Monitor asks whether that outweighed the good that Bishop–who did not lie about his chaplain credentials–did for others.

If you have some time on your hands *cough-government-shutdown-cough,* sit down with the article, which gets inside the skull of a military faker.

In 2009, a judge advocate general summoned Bishop into his office to tell him he suspected him of lying repeatedly.

“I said, ‘Yes, I did these things,’ ” Bishop recalls confessing, and the National Guard confirms that Bishop from the start collaborated with the investigation. “I felt relief, followed by shame and sheer terror. How am I going to tell my wife?”

After putting their son to bed, Bishop came clean. He told her he had been wearing unauthorized decorations and lying about military training. He told her he had doctored his records to cover his tracks. He told her he had subsequently claimed even more honors and training on official forms, which he then signed, perjuring himself.

Today, Bishop and his wife–hampered by his criminal record–live modestly. Bishop is paying restitution and attends counseling. But he worries that his actions badly damaged the trust that commanders place in chaplains, and that his deceptions have come to define him.

“That tears me up,” he adds, just as when two chaplains said they could not separate Bishop’s deception from their evaluation of him as a chaplain. “If that’s what they use to measure my effectiveness,” he says, “then I wasn’t a very good chaplain.”

[Christian Science Monitor via @armychaplaincy]


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  1. Foolish and what is the point. Today people have NO shame – this dishonors those that actually have done something. Revolting and disrespectable.

  2. This is only the tip of the “wannabe” iceburg. We track over 2,500 wannabe Vietnam POWs. The VA grants benefits to over 260 wannabe Gulf War POW frauds and over 400 wannabe Vietnam POW frauds. Is this a sign of the times? Where has Honor gone? Mike…POW in Vietnam 5 years 8 months.

  3. These people only do the “honorable” thing when they get caught. This guy would still be living the lie if that JAG had never called him on the carpet.

  4. Chaplain or not – he is a fraud and a disgrace to our uniform. What nerve the Christian Science Monitor has asking if his good outweighed his bad…..let him be a good unemployed ex-army chaplain. Why should a chaplain get special privileges? He is an Army officer and should have acted like one or be prepared to pay the consequences.

  5. Leonard B. Glasser, CW4 (Ret) on

    SO where was the MILPO checking officer records? All 201 files are scrubed for promotion and offical photos checked against published orders for awards. CIB, unit roster , PH, med records, he was an AD em GC award, then NG/AR achevement award with clusters who was AB???

  6. I cant believe that this POS is still in!! He should have been other than honorable discharge for lying on official military documents. How when you saw a NG CHAPLAIN with all of these awards it didnt throw off the bells and whistles right away. This man is a piece of garabage that doesn’t deserve to wear the uniform again!!!!

  7. what a POS. if he gets away with this crap, then im leaving the military service for good,the end of my second enlistment is almost up and everyday i can find another reason for me to get out. you have majors shooting people, a top rated csm faking his records and now a chaplan doing the same. i do not want to be compared to the equavilant of this POS officer. makes you wonder actually how many more TOP ranking enlisted and officers that we have to listen to and take orders from in todays army actually have or are doing the same thing…

  8. I actually met him when I was brand new to the Guard and he was my BN Chaplain. I only remember thinking that he had a lot of badges and awards for a chaplain, especially given his enlisted background.

    Seems a shame that he would claim all those awards, especially given that he was a Chaplain and responsible for the moral and mental wellbeing of so many.

  9. Like so many posers out there, this one is not only a bad reflection to our soldier who actually fight, but he also discredits those who wear the uniform at home!

  10. I foster children, and I’ve adopted one. I think I’ve helped a lot of people, and I am not a chaplain. Develop your opinion of him as a person, and it seems that it should be a good opinion, but reduced credit/benefits for his military service. He can still be a good person, and a good chaplain, and be removed from the service.

  11. There is an old military saying: “One aw-S##t ruins a thousand atta-boys.” As far as I am concerned, apply that here. Haven’t read the monitors article, don’t intend to either. You can’t put enough perfume on this to make it smell like anything other than what it is. Honestly earning our medals is what makes our chest stick out, not lying about how we got them. I agree with others – POS.

  12. As Christians, we should forgive this man for his willful deceit and the dishonor he brought to himself and his family. That said, he should still be held FULLY accountable for his wrongful actions and deeds. Should we expect anything less of a uniformed officer?

  13. It really pisses me off to see soliders (and wannabes) wearing metals they don’t deserve. Its spitting on the graves of those who do. And as a 10 year vet of the Air Force Chapel Service this takes it to the next level. We are to be models of intergrity, officers and enlisted.

  14. When is his court martial? Hope the POS gets dishonorable and the boot soon, like last week. I’m just sayin’…

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