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.
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:
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:
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:
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