Ohio Congressional candidate Rich Iott (R) likes to spend his free time as a Nazi reenactor, replaying the experiences of the 5th SS Wiking Panzer Division, a unit in the German army during World War II.
So what about his own military record?
Iott is a colonel in the Ohio Military Reserve, “an unarmed, volunteer state militia that is authorized by the Ohio Adjutant General,” and has taken 59 courses, mostly by correspondence, with the Army, Navy and Marines, according to the Toledo Blade.
And a section of his bio page boasts about his role in the Reserve:
Rich is a proud member of the Ohio Military Reserve, a component of the Adjutant General’s Department of the State of Ohio, where he holds the rank of Colonel. He is in his 28th year of service. He is a graduate of the USMC Command and Staff College and the USAF Air War College. He has been awarded the highly coveted Israeli jump wings and the Senior Parachutist wings of The Netherlands.
He also lists State of Ohio/Soldier in his FEC filings.
The Blade also reports that “Mr. Iott’s claim to be a member of the military, when he was never on active duty, have rankled those serving in or retired from the armed forces.”
Retired Ohio Adjutant General John Smith, for example, told the Blade: “He’s stretching it in terms of what the Ohio Military Reserve does. He’s giving the impression, I would suggest, that he is involved in matters related to national security and to state matters, and they are not. They are never consulted.”
And Iott’s opponent, incumbent Dem Rep. Marcy Kaptur, says that “his service is being misperceived by the public, because a lot of people think or assume that he was a colonel in regular forces. It is not an active unit. It has not served in the active duty forces of the country.”
Iott, for his part, has denied the allegations, and says Kaptur’s comments show “she’s devoid of any ideas and can’t run on her record.”
Full coverage of Iott here.