Shreveport Louisiana – Yesterday we started getting inquiries about Melvin Gerard Slack Jr from Shreveport Louisiana. Melvin announced yesterday on several news stations that he was throwing in his hat for Mayor in the upcoming election, and using his Veteran status as a platform. Well, a lot of politicians do this, so what is the big deal?
Well it was the uniform(if you can call it that), he was wearing when he announced on the local news his bid for Mayor. Here is a snapshot of that video below, courtesy of Ksla.com.
So you can see why this caused Veterans in the area to immediately begin asking questions. When we started getting the emails, we sent out a request for his records and while we waited, we tried to see what all this stuff was on his uniform.
1. He is wearing Air Force ABU’s(Airman Battle Uniform), which the Air Force did not start issuing to enlisted trainee’s until 2 October 2007.
2. He is wearing the Flag on the left arm, which the Air Force does not even wear a flag, the Army wears it on the right arm.
3. He is wearing the US Army Special Forces patch on his left arm, as well as the 4th Infantry Division patch which is wrong as it should not be oriented where it looks like a square. It should be oriented in a way that it is diamond-shaped.
4. He has US Army BDU tapes sewn on both sides, his name should be one side. He also has SGT rank sewn on the collars, also for the BDU, which the Army no longer issues.
5. The Air Force patch he is sporting on his left pocket seems to be the 2nd Bomb Wing patch, and the one on his right pocket is Air Combat Command.
6. He is also wearing a Desert Storm Veteran hat.
Below is the video By KSLA where he announces his bid for Mayor:
KTBS.com – Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports I am sure we could continue to pick this uniform apart, as I am sure some of you are doing. But thanks to my contacts at NPRC, I submitted an emergency request and got his records back this morning. According to his official records Melvin enlisted into the US Navy on JANUARY 25th 1989 and was discharged from the Navy during training on MARCH 27th, 1989. A few months later he enlisted in the US Army on MAY 23rd, 1989 and was Discharged due to Medical reasons on MAY 8th, 1991. His records also show he was not anywhere near Kuwait/Iraq/Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm/Shield. Operation Desert Shield began on August 7th 1990 and Desert Storm began with the air war phase at 3 a.m., Jan. 17, 1991 (Jan. 16, 7 p.m. Eastern time) and was followed by a ground assault on 24 February 1991. On October 11th 1989 Slack was en-route to Germany and was assigned to the 66th Transportation Company. On May 21st 1990 he was on patient hold in Fort Rucker, Alabama, and was later discharged on the 8th of May 1991. So yes, he served while Desert Storm/Shield was going on, but his records say he was not deployed in support of these operations. He was not awarded the Southwest Asia Service Medal or the Kuwaiti Liberation Medal. His only awards were as follows:
- Army Service Ribbon
- Overseas Service Ribbon(For Service in Germany)
- Marksmanship Badge with Rifle and Grenade Bars
- National Defense Service Medal(awarded to anyone who served on active duty in the United States military during the Persian Gulf Time Period (August 2, 1990 – November 30, 1995)
So he is also not authorized the Rank of SGT, as he was discharged as a PFC. He is not authorized the SF Patch, the 4th ID patch nor any of the Air Force patches as he was never in the Air Force. Below are the records we received that validates all the above:
So as you can see, Melvin served, and was an 88M(Motor Transportation Operator) and it is not uncommon for Veterans to use their background when running for political offices. But when you do, Veterans listen and watch, and when they see something funny like this, they begin to ask questions. Not sure why he felt the need to wear that uniform and Frankenstein it up the way he did, he must have known someone would ask questions.
He could have ran on the record he has, and no one would have thought any less of him. But when you put your self in the public eye the way he has, and wear something that does not even resemble a regulation uniform, you’re going to get called on it. He really upset Veterans and currently serving Military in the area, our email box started blowing up soon after this aired.
I want to thank two of my investigators who stopped what they were doing to help me get all of this together in a short time, and to all the Vets that brought this to our attention.
UPDATE: 09 JAN 2014
We spoke with KSLA this afternoon in reference to Melvin Slack’s record and why it was so offensive to Veterans. Melvin also reached out to the reporter to explain why he wore the uniform. You can see the full story here: Shreveport Mayoral Hopeful Comes Clean About Military Service