Troy Nehls Slammed for ‘Stolen Valor’ After Wearing Pin He Didn’t Earn

Republican lawmakers are not happy with a Texas representative who continues to wear a military pin he didn’t earn — and over a year after the Army revoked it.

Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas), an ardent supporter of former President Donald Trump, is facing allegations of “stolen valor” as he continues to wear a Combat Infantryman Badge pin on his suit jacket, despite the Army revoking the pin in March 2023. 

“It’s really shameful,” a military veteran Republican lawmaker told NOTUS. “It speaks to deep insecurities. Combat Infantry Badges are given out for combat. He didn’t earn it.”

“If you’re wearing something that’s specifically been addressed as something you can’t wear, that is stolen valor,” another Republican lawmaker told the outlet. “It’s specifically addressed in U.S. Code, that particular badge.” Wearing the pin is “illegal and stolen,” the lawmaker said.

Retired Navy SEAL and current Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke added that “as a former commander, it matters what you wear on your uniform,” noting that “if you didn’t earn it, you shouldn’t wear it.”

“That’s ridiculous, that’s stolen valor,” said Rep. Wesley Hunt (R-Texas), who wears the Combat Action Badge himself.

The badge in question is only awarded to Infantry or Special Forces personnel who are engaged in combat. Nehls never saw combat when he served as a Civil Affairs officer in Afghanistan and Iraq, thus making him ineligible for the pin. Still, he continues to wear the pin on his suit lapel on the daily, just under his pin for the 118th Congress.

Nehls’ military feats first came under scrutiny after a CBS News investigation in May revealed that the Pentagon rescinded his Combat Infantryman Badge because of his deployment as a Civil Affairs Officer. In 2006, he was retroactively awarded the Combat Action Badge, which is for Army soldiers who are neither Infantry or Special Forces but are “actively engaging or being engaged by the enemy.”

Whether he was awarded more than one Bronze Star has also come into question. His military record and the Department of Defense say Nehl’s received only one Bronze Star — yet Nehls took to social media to denounce the DOD, writing last month that the department was wrong. “I have two,” he wrote.

“For the doubters,” Nehls continued, posting photos of military documents showing the Bronze Star — the Army’s eight-highest award — was bestowed to him twice, once in 2004 and another in 2008. 


Nehls’ press secretary, Emily Matthews, told CBS News that “Congressman Nehls doesn’t wear medals he wasn’t awarded.” His office claims he was not aware of the Pentagon rescinding his Combat Infantryman Badge, despite the Pentagon saying he was made aware in March 2023 when it occurred.

Nehls is one of the House of Representatives’ most vocal Trump supporters. He’s been spotted wearing a shirt emblazoned with Trump’s mugshot, and Rolling Stone reported in December that when Nehls was asked what House Republicans’ hoped to gain from a Joe Biden impeachment inquiry, he yelled: “All I can say is Donald J. Trump 2024 baby!”

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