Assclown of the Ides: Rudi (Hans Rudolph) Gresham


Gresham in a photo that used to be on his own website — wearing someone else’s junk. The beret, captain’s rank, CIB and Master Parachutist badge, to name a few, are all phony.

This poser was so incredibly slick that even experienced Special Forces commanders were fooled by him. We’ve been watching this case develop for over two years. Until we first heard about it, we had taken Gresham — who was everywhere, man, like the guy in the old country truck-drivin’ school — as a blowhard and a self-serving crapweasel, but even we’d accepted his SF bona fides.

It didn’t occur to us to FOIA his amazing record, but it did occur to several SF online veterans’ groups, like Guardian of Valor and SF Brothers, that have a public-facing side and a private side, as well as others that have no visible overt presence at all. And they began seeking his records.

As the waves from the active reconnaissance reached Gresham, he began to delete incriminating claims and documents to cover his tracks. But he was too late. Guardian of Valor has the story, although it’s far from completely posted yet.

Hans Rudy Gresham, who, up until about a year ago, was also with Burch in this charity, has also claimed for years to have been Special Forces, and a number of times claimed to have been retired at several ranks.  During the investigation, which was conducted in conjunction with our counterparts at Green Beret Posers Exposed,  and SF Brothers, we found that he claimed to have retired as a Lt, all the way up to a Col.

Well when he was supposedly still serving in the Green Berets, he was also selling ads on the radio as seen in this photo we grabbed for WTMA’s memories from 1971.  WTMA is a radio station out of Charleston, South Carolina where Rudi is from, the caption from the photo reads, “WTMA salesman Rudi Gresham poses in the WTMA control room (1971).”


It looks like even there and then he’s posing: as DJ Johnny Fever. Back to GOV’s tale.

Rudy has spent years spinning webs of lies, telling people he served with General Yarborough in Vietnam, he has been able to get people to believe his lies to the point that he has gotten thousands and thousands of dollars from high profile people.  He even had the Green Beret community fooled for many years believing he was a retired Green Beret officer, some had their suspicions but couldn’t prove it.

Up until about a year ago Rudi was also a board member of that National Vietnam Veterans Foundation, he was listed on their website as Director of Charity. Now we find out that he was also not what he claims to have been all of these years, telling people he was a Green Beret that served in Vietnam when his official records paint a totally different story.

via Hans Rudolph Gresham, Former Senior Advisor To The VA Secretary, Posed As Special Forces Alongside Thomas Burch – Guardian Of Valor.

So what did his records say? Go to Guardian of Valor and check ’em out. He seems to have made PFC more than once (suggesting that for him, rank was a 2-way road). And that’s it. No Vietnam time, we’re sorry to say. Is something missing? The Archives insist that there are no further records.

Go to Guardian of Valor and Read The Whole Thing™.

We’ll leave you with one exit thought:

Here’s the man, the myth, the legend in his own mind, Rudi Gresham, recently:

Gresham in a photo that used to be on his own website -- wearing someone else's junk.

and here’s some other dude. Now compare the two pictures!


Separated at birth?

But it’s not really fair to compare Gresham and former President Carter. Carter really was an officer in the Navy; he didn’t get out as a Seaman Second Class and then spend he rest of his life conning people that he was a  Lieutenant Commander or Captain. Carter really was President; the country elected him, which in retrospect isn’t the dumbest thing the electorate has ever done, or will do, even though we thought it was for a while. But he was and is almost painfully honest.

On the other hand, Gresham has pretended to be a retired Captain (see the image above), a Lieutenant Colonel, Major, Colonel, you name it, anything but a PFC. He’s awarded himself SF qualification, and a Master Parachutist badge. (Your humble blog host doesn’t have the Master Blaster wings, unlike many of his peers, and yet it never occurred to him to do a Gresham and just pin the ever-lovin’ thing on). If Rudi Gresham ever told the truth about anything, it’s probably because he got confused about which lie he’d told to which person or media outlet.

But Gresham was good at two things — impersonation and self-promotion. He weaseled his way into the Special Forces Association and Special Operations Association; he conned people including SF legends and general officers that he had served with them (!) and convinced them that they must just have forgotten him and his unctuous ways.

(Continued overleaf, or it’s Great Wall O Text here. We just don’t feel like putting more pictures of this phony bag of fail on our page).

He was, and is, a relentless name dropper and social climber, and inveigled his way into anything where someone with celebrity greater than his, earned celebrity, was likely to be.

He had even, during the Bush administration, inveigled himself into a senior job at the Veterans Administration — he was supposedly an SES-4 or 4-star-general equivalent as a Senior Advisor to Secretary Anthony Principi, but then again, Rudi is our source for the SES-4 thing so the rank may be just plain bullshit. For a military blowfish, this was leveling up, Everest style.

And then, Guardian of Valor FOIA’d Rudi’s real records.

And then, word got back to Rudi that people were asking about him. As GOV awaited the info from the National Archives and Record Center, Rudi began to scrub his accounts. It was too late. Over the years, he’d rubbed enough guys the wrong way that everybody had something on him. One of them was Tom Marzullo, the former SOG junior NCO who was the coordinator of SF veterans’ counterattack on a CNN-Time fabrication about a SOG operation named Tailwind that ran in June, 1998, the second of two entirely fabricated reports impugning MACV-SOG, a secret special operations unit of the Vietnam war.

Just like when he was running recon, Tom Marzullo had the odds against him. But Tom, with support from other SF vets of all eras, was incredibly successful at fighting the lie and fabrication. CNN/Time’s joint venture, “Newsstand,” collapsed under the weight of its own lies; CNN’s trusted on-air military advisor, Air Force General Perry Smith, resigned in disgust when CNN would not correct the record. The show’s on-air talent, the anti-military and anti-American Peter Arnett, who has been perfectly in his element sneering at SOG, never appeared on CNN again and ultimately lost his job. Producer April Oliver had misrepresented interviews, deliberately cut and pasted footage to change what SOG veteran Jay Graves said (among others, but we knew Jay, so seeing him say stuff we know he would not have said stuck in our mind), and run with as extreme a fabrication as she could. By the end of her version of the story, it was about evil Americans poisoning helpless villagers with nerve gas. Well, she lost her job too, and became bitter and resentful over it. (After all, she was just doing what everybody on TV “news” does, infotainment to fit The Narrative).

In the interest of brevity, here is a brutally edited version of Tom’s statement on how Rudi pushed his own worthless self into control of the SF response to Tailwind — and sold out to CNN for personal gain (as usual).

The first I had ever heard of Gresham was that he was named as the “SFA/SOA Spokesman”…. he was in charge and nobody could say anything without first gaining Rudi Gresham’s personal permission. … this missive fell flat … but we dutifully sent what info we had to Gresham and the SFA.

The next news was that Gresham had refused an offer of a half hour block of prime-time offered by FOX News. … everybody … understood what that would have meant to air our side of the story.

We were all stunned by the news and then mad as hell. …[We] decided to pursue the fight on [our] own.

…he orchestrated network coverage of a beer can strewn dais with inebriated speakers … and this sad performance was arranged by a guy who had proclaimed his expertise in Public Relations. We …watched this display with both shock and anger. Next up [he claimed] to have arranged a three-hour network news special that vanished into thin air….

…The men directly defamed by the false story began legal actions and the one representing CNN in negotiating out of court settlements was none other than Rudi Gresham. News of this spread immediately and Gresham was fired as the SOA spokesman.

Yep, he gathered the information the SF guys and went over to the other side. God alone knows what he promised CNN (and how badly he screwed them, too; it’s what he does). More from Tom:

Given what we knew of Gresham’s past, he had to have known that discarding a half hour prime time network special hot on the heels of the scurrilous Tailwind allegations was almost a death sentence for our side of the story. Prime time network news is harder to break into than an esbat of witches …. So the question becomes “why” and in the light of his later for-fee plum job of buying off the litigants against CNN/TIME, it does not seem a very long stretch to go there. But as yet there was no hard proof, just deep suspicion.

He would do nearly the same thing to undermine the Ranger beret protest in 2000-01, but that’s another story.

In 2013, Tom’s loathing of Gresham was woken from its uneasy slumber by the news whispered among SF greybeards that Rudi G was not just a backstabbing weasel and a glad-handing politician — everybody in the community knew that — but not a former SF officer. Tom and the rest of us had just taken him as one of the high-functioning narcissists who sometimes squeaks through our screening mechanisms. And that brings us full circle to Thomas Burch (the Rolls-driving VA lawyer who was also an SF poser — he had been a non-qual lawyer assigned to SF HQ in Vietnam, not the snake-eater he presented himself as. The Rolls came from a scam charity he ran). Burch had a buddy and co-profiteer in the fake charity, it turns out: Rudi Gresham. Marzullo again, we promise for  the last time:

In the Fall of 2015, a charity that putatively provided aid to hospitalized Vietnam veterans but delivered only a pittance to them, while raking in the cash, comes to the attention of a group of bona fide Special Forces people. As a part of that group, I looked up who was on their Board of Directors. On the board sits Director Gresham and my index of suspicion goes ballistic, so I dig deeper, but the charity is anything but transparent. I contact the SFA where Gresham is still ….

Now it is May of 2016 and the charity is in the news on CNN as scam, reportedly devoting less than 2 percent of their intake to hospitalized veterans. I contacted the SFA who are caught unaware of the unfolding scandal with the charity. We find that the head of the charity is also an SFA member who is characterized to me as having sketchy credentials like Gresham.

Imagine that. A couple of phonies (maybe more than a couple, the investigation continues) profiting off real veterans.

But then, that’s the whole story of Hans Rudi Gresham, former clerk-typist and chaplain’s assistant PFC, former fake officer, current Assclown of the Ideas. Follow Guardian of Valor for more developments. They’re coming.


For completeness’s sake, here’s This Ain’t Hell on Rudi:

Hans Rudolph Gresham, another phony Special Forces officer at National Vietnam Veterans Foundation

And his buddy, non-qual SF staff judge advocate (“lawyer”) turned hero in his own mind, turned VA Deputy Director, SI-mon-tane-yuss-ly turned crooked (or to put the best possible shine on it, “magnificently underperforming”) charity boss:

J Thomas Burch; phony special forces


J. Thomas Burch & the National Vietnam Veterans Foundation

Jonn is mistaken, however, to suggest that the exposure of Gresham was a consequence of the exposure of Burch and his bogus charity, the National Vietnam Veterans Foundation. Gresham’s exposure has been a long time coming


28 thoughts on “Assclown of the Ides: Rudi (Hans Rudolph) Gresham

  1. rocketguy

    I’d be interested in the beret story. I vaguely remember some controversy but zero details.


    damn that is crazy

    even conned guys into believing he was there with them? dude could have been a hell of a car salesman I guess, In another life.

    1. Hognose Post author

      Yeah, he must have sold those radio ads by the carload, while real SFers were changing into baseball caps to keep SOG going under MACV after Abrams ordered SF out of RVN.

  3. DB

    Never met a clerk typist OR a chaplain’s assistant that wasn’t an asskissing weasel. So, really, no surprise there…

    1. Kirk

      I’ve known a lot of good ones, in both jobs, but the majority of those were combat arms guys who got reclassed for medical reasons…

      As a comment, though–Is there a more likely MOS for a flat-out heathen than “Chaplain’s Assistant”? I don’t know what it is about that job, but the majority of the ones I knew were about as religious as my dog, drank like fish, and were the most likely to have chicks in their rooms after hours. Heathens, each and every one, and the senior ones that were sergeants? Yeesh…

    2. tom in arkansas

      I was a Chaplains Assistant. I also turned in and helped bust a couple chaplains that were dirty, screwing the system. (One of those was put out of the Army, the other forced to retire).
      I doubt I was well liked, but I did my job to the best of my ability, certainly didn’t kiss anyone’s anything, and tried to make sure people got treated fairly by the big green machine. Don’t associate this clown with the Chaplains Corps. Most of its members are hard working, moral, and dedicated to the troops they serve. In my time I met more than a few Chaplains who wore (earned) an NCOPD ribbon, a few with Airborne wings and one with a SEALs Trident (likewise earned as an NCO).
      Over the years, I worked around and for a number of SF officers. Those guys were the most unflappable, calm, capable officers I have ever met. Hard to believe anyone is stupid enough to try to fake that.
      Hang this bozo out to dry with the rest of the clowns. He deserves that and more, perhaps a long dunk in a kimchee pond.

      1. Stacy0311

        We have an interesting Chaplain at Guard Bureau now.
        CIB, jump wings, Pathfinder, Ranger tab, SF tab.
        I’m thinking the guy was prior enlisted prior to becoming a Chaplain.
        Very nice, polite gentleman

        1. Hognose Post author

          Those are somewhat rare but not entirely. Some good guys come back as special staff officers (Chaplains, Surgeons, even some SJAs).

          By the way, the new guy at NGB who was Mass. AG is a good egg. His son is a pilot in another state’s ANG. Another good guy. Had occasion to meet both recently.

  4. Kirk

    Hognose, I have to take exception to one thing here, and that’s your sentence there about Jimmy Carter: “But he was and is almost painfully honest.”.

    Frankly, if that’s your assessment of that mendacious asshole, you really shouldn’t be let out in public. Carter has been “on the take” since before he was Governor of Georgia, and if you go digging into the public financials of the Carter Foundation and his Presidential Library, you’ll find that the donor list is pretty fucking skewed towards enemies of the United States. Carter is the man who, for unknown reasons, chose to destroy the Shah of Iran, and who had a rather interesting financial deal going that saved his family business, wherein he was loaned a shitload of money to do that from BCCI, which was later found to be a criminal enterprise run by the Pakistanis and likely financed by the Saudis. You go looking hard at what Carter has done, and the conclusion that this creepy bastard has been on the take from foreign nationals for most of his adult life is nearly an inescapable conclusion. Hell, remember who certified Chavez’s election in Venezuela? Despite many of his election monitors who were actually out at the polling stations reporting obvious fraud?

    Don’t even get me started on the bullshit about Korea, either–Singlaub threw away his career after Carter tried giving the peninsula away back in the seventies, and who shows up later, throwing a monkey-wrench into the works, when the later Bush and Clinton administrations were trying to pressure the Norks into complying with the non-proliferation treaties? Be interesting to know what he got paid for that, and by who… The Iranian-North Korea axis has consistently gotten Jimmy’s support, if not outright assistance.

    Jimmy Carter is neither an honest or a good man. If you think he is either, you’re exhibiting a dangerous naivete.

      1. Kirk

        Yeah, but that doesn’t do justice to this crook’s career of disastrous decision-making on behalf of the Republic.

        My take on Carter’s surviving his recent cancer scare?

        Professional courtesy, extended by his cancer.

        1. Cap'n Mike

          “Professional courtesy, extended by his cancer.”

          I’m sooooooo stealing that line.

    1. Trone Abeetin

      Hey listen, any guy that’ll admit he lusted in his heart has gotta be ok. Right?

  5. Mike_C

    Jimmah Peanut is not my first choice for “politician who looks like HRG”.

    As to Jimmy Carter, Gordon Liddy [in response to a question about what he now thought of Carter after Carter commuted Liddy’s jail sentence] said something like “You need brains, brawn, and balls to be president, and he lacks all three.” (Yes, I know Carter was an almost-nuke and they don’t pick stupid people for that, but still.)

    1. Hognose Post author

      Geez, that is a much better match indeed. Jeb seems like he’s not a bad guy (and he was a good governor in FL) but the nation’s sick of Bushes (apparently not of Clintons, may God have mercy on the Republic).

  6. C Otto

    So, here is one of the few times i can actually throw some real input to this discussion. I knew Rudi Gresham when I was working in DC. I was working at a small store on 15th and Penn called Political Americana. This was a touristy type of store that also carried rare political memorabilia. I was in charge of the older and rare political antiques and whatnot that would come in. This was 2005 to mid 08. He came into to talk to the man I would replace as the memorabilia dealer. Anyway, i wasn’t really paying much attention to thier conversation at first until I heard him mention “Yarbarough”. I spun around and asked if he was referring to the General and the man of 509th fame (I was/am a huge airborne/military history guy) who had passed just weeks before. He said yes, declared that he was his aide-de-camp and that he was a retired Major. Anyway, we kind of hit it off. He would often tell me how much the general would have liked me and so on. But he was a bit of con. He would bring in trinkets and try to get me to trade them for treasures. At one time, I did feel that he was trying to con me, not about his service, but trying to get rare presidential items from me. One of the things he coveted that I had in my store was a Challenge coin from GWB. I had six of them come in over my time working there and had the pleasure of selling one to R. Lee Ermey. But he finally swindled one out of me with a promise to bring something in as just compensation, which i don’t recall happening and one of the last times I saw him. At the time I had no reason not to believe him. He had given me a copy of the SF prayer signed by Gen. Yarbarough, which i still treasure to this day. But I had heard through the grapevine that he had plifered a number of items from the General after he died, but had no way to confirm that.

    Sadly this isn’t the first man I had met that did something similiar. There is a man I knew in PA that claimed he was a retired full bird Colonel in the USMC. But none of his stories added up. One of my friends didn’t buy into it and FOIAed his DD214. The early parts of his story were true, but he must of done something and got busted to clerical work before being mustered out of the service as a PFC. There is also i guy that i currently work with that is setting off my BS detector. I have no doubt he served, but i don’t buy into some of the general, vague and nondescript “combat” he tries to brag about from time to time. It’s sad. Why can’t some of these people just be happy they served rather than lie.

    1. Hognose Post author

      Otto, I can’t answer your last question. As far as the GWB coin, I guess we know how Rudi planned to use that.

      I share your regard for MG Yarborough. When my SFQC Class graduated in February 1984, he was the VIP that handed us our diplomas. What an honor! What’s funny is: most of my classmates did not know who he was. A few of us knew him as the guy who received the beret authorization from JFK, who had designed the jump boot, the parachute badge, the WWII jump uniform and VN era jungle uniform.

      1. C Otto

        Yeah, Yarborough was one of my heroes and one of the great pioneers of the American army in regards to application of airborne troops. I really wish that I could have met him. I was lucky and met a number of paratroopers from the second world war, who sadly have passed on. Another gentleman I was lucky to meet was Ret. Col. Doug Dilliard of the 551st PIB that fought in So. France. Not sure if you heard of him but he stayed on through Korea and Vietnam. When I met in back in 07, the man looked barely 65 and was still in amazing shape. His wife met my friend and I at the door and invited us in. He was expecting us and was in his study. When we walked in he was going through old topo maps. When we asked what he was doing, he repsonded that he was trying to track down some of the men that he lost and were never recovered in Korea, north of the DMZ. He was also still serving as an advisor in DC in some sort of SF capabliity. But funny story, there was a color picture taken of him during an offensive in the Alps, him with all this winter camo on and him looking down the scope of a 03-A4. He recongnized himself, but could not remember this picture being taken or being issued a sniper rifle. We didn’t fault him for not remembering one moment during a war 62 years after. But it was a funny conversation. Col. Dilliard is still living in Maryland, but I feel we won’t be with us for much longer. Sadly, we’ll probably never see thier like again…

  7. BAP45

    Would a little tar and feathering be too much? Im on a history kick and it just sounds like such an appropriate response.

  8. jaytrain

    Some of them do get away with it . The State Of Connecticut has graced our US Senate with Stolen Valor Blumenthal , who lied openly and repeatedly of serving with the USMC in VietNam : elected and reelected .

  9. Keith

    Back in the 1980’s a friend went down to Bragg and heard the following paraphrased slightly.

    Currently serving paratrooper meets W W II vet and they start discussing jump numbers.

    Current trooper: I’ve jumped x number of times into the drop zones here and elsewhere. How many times did you jump back them?

    Vet trooper: Five times.

    Current trooper: Where were those drop zones?

    Vet trooper: North Africa, Sicily, Normandy, Market-Garden and the Rhine.

    You are right never see a generation like that again. Two uncles on mom’s side and one on dad’s side in that war. All survived but only one still alive.

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