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Senior NCO busted for unauthorized medals

Officer now in process of retiring
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Former Command Sgt. Maj. John Letuli.

A senior noncommissioned officer with the North Carolina National Guard will be leaving with one less service stripe as a result of a Guard and Army investigation into his wearing unauthorized unit patches, tabs, decorations and badges. Officials would not offer details on the actions of former Command Sgt. Maj. John Letuli.

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The investigation was launched after photos of Letuli appeared on the web site, In one photo, Letuli was wearing a Special Forces patch and tab on his BDUs; in another, he is in Class As, wearing the Purple Heart and Soldier's Medal ribbons, and a Military Freefall Badge, or "HALO wings" -- none of which he earned.

As a result of the investigation, Letuli is in the process of retiring, but as a master sergeant, not a command sergeant major. Letuli is currently assigned to the 139th Regiment of the North Carolina National Guard. Because he was on active duty at the time the allegations surfaced, First Army Division East based at Fort Meade, Md., took the lead in the investigation.

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