We were sent Donald Cakerice aka Donald Waterhawk by a Green Beret who had seen his video Video of Don Cakerice in his costume. in which he is dressed in a Vietnam era jungle fatigue shirt and tiger strip pants wearing a Green Beret with the 5th Special Group flash and Special Forces crest. The fatigue blouse has his real name “Cakerice” along with novice airborne wings and the air assault badge. The unit patch is the Screaming Eagle of the 101st Airborne Division. In the video, he is holding a display of his military achievements and awards. He then states, “Hey Trump, I went through this (pointing at his display) (then as he kneels) so that my people could do this whenever, wherever, and for what ever reason they chose.”
His display includes Special Forces Tab, the Special Forces Unit patch, the Combat Action Badge, the Combat Medic Badge, Expert Marksman Badge with two Qualification Bars, a mounted ribbon set consisting of the following in order mounted, starting top row, left, Army Commendation Medal, Purple Heart, Bronze Star with Valor device, Vietnam Service Medal 60 device, Vietnam Wound Medal, Army Overseas Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, RVN Gallantry Cross. So in his mount, the Army Commendation Medal is of higher precedence than the Bronze Star Medal with Valor device and the Purple Heart! The proper order of precedence, if he had, in fact, earned all of these awards would be Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Overseas Ribbon, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Wound Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal. So if you are going to display Military Ribbons, earned or unearned, at least research to get the order of precedence right!
Next, he displays the full sized medals, from left to right, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Purple Heart Medal, the Bronze Star Medal with Valor device, the Army Commendation Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, the RVN Gallantry Cross with Palm device, the Vietnam Wound Medal. Once again take the time to display them in order of precedence!
So we took our normal steps of due diligence, first attempting to verify his claims of being in Special Forces and the 5th Special Forces Group by submitting his name and claims to a group of over 5,000 verified Green Beret soldiers representing service from the earliest days of Special Forces, Special Forces soldiers who served in Vietnam through those still serving on Active Duty and in the Reserves today. No one knew or had heard of Donald Cakerice in Special Forces. Next we turned to the historical records of Special Forces in Vietnam, once again no Donald Cakerice could be found.
Our next step was to request the military records of Donald Cakerice from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) under the auspices of the Freedom of Information Act. We received the military records of Donald Cakerice in a letter dated October 17, 2017.
This is a synopsis of the military service of Donald Cakerice from his Department of the Army Form 2-1 Personnel Qualification Record:
Dates of Service: December 9, 1969 - July 1, 1971
Duty Status: Discharged
Rank/Grade: Specialist Four
Assignments and Geographical Location
- 9 Dec 68 entered service Fort Knox, KY
- 10 Dec 68 - 20 Feb 69 Duty MOS 09B00 Basic Combat Tng E Company, 10th Battalion, 5th Brigade, Fort Knox, KY
- 20 Feb 69 Casual Duty Enroute to Fort Sam Houston, TX
- 23 Feb 69 Duty MOS 09B00 Driver Training Company D, 4th Battalion, USAMEDTC Fort Sam Houston, TX
- 17 Mar 69 Duty MOS 91A10 Aidman Advanced Individual Training Company C, 1st Battalion The USAMEDTC Fort Sam Houston, Tx
- 17 Mar 69 Duty MOS 91A10 Aidman Advanced Individual Training Company B, 3rd Battalion The USAMEDTC Fort Sam Houston TX
- 24 Mar 69 Duty MOS 91A10 Advanced Individual Training Company B, 2nd Battalion, The USAMEDTC Fort Sam Houston TX
- 29 May 69 Casual Duty Enroute to Fort Benning GA
- 30 May 69 Basic Airborne Training 42nd Company, 4th Student Battalion (ABN) Fort Benning GA
- 30 Jun 69 Duty MOS 09B Phase I Special Forces Training Company D USAMATG (ABN) Fort Bragg NC
- 11 Aug 69 Duty MOS 91B2S (S is the designator for Special Forces at the time of training) Medical Specialist Training Special Forces, Company A, USASF Training Group (ABN) Fort Bragg NC
- 10 Sep 69 Assigned to Replacement Unit USA Special Forces Training Group (ABN) Fort Bragg NC
- 2 Oct 69 Casual Duty Enroute USARFPAC Vietnam
- 27 Nov 69 Duty MOS 91A10 (note no “S” identifier, not Special Forces Qualified) Aidman Headquarters Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion, 11th Artillery, 101st Airborne Division (Ambulance) USARPAC (Vietnam)
- 10 Jan 70 Duty MOS 91B20 Medical Corpsman, Headquarters Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion, 11th Artillery, 101st Airborne Division
- 6 Nov 70 Dropped From The Rolls
- 12 Apr 71 Casual assigned to Company A, USA Personnel Confinement Facility Fort George G. Meade MD
- 1 Jul 71 Discharged
Decorations and Awards:
- National Defense Service Medal
- Parachute Badge
- Vietnam Service Medal with 4 Campaign Bronze Services Stars (NOTE THIS DOES NOT SIGNIFY SERVICE IN FOUR CAMPAIGNS, INSTEAD SIGNIFIES SOLDIER WAS IN COUNTRY DURING A TIME PERIOD THAT INCLUDED FOUR CAMPAIGNS)
- Vietnam Campaign Medal with 60 Device (NOTE 60 DEVICE SIGNIFIES 6 MONTHS SERVICE IN VIETNAM BETWEEN 1961 to 1973)
- Army Commendation Medal with no clasps signifying one award
- Sharpshooter Badge with Rifle Bar
- Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm (The Republic of Vietnam authorized members of units and organizations that were cited, to wear the Gallantry Cross Unit Citation Emblem with Palm and Frame (no medal is authorized).
Therefore Cakerice is not authorized to wear or display the following awards, badges, and uniform items he has displayed:
- Special Forces Tab, Special Forces Crest, Special Forces Green Beret are not authorized as Cakerice did not complete Special Forces Training and was not awarded the MOS designator “S” signifying successful completion of Special Forces Training.
- Bronze Star Medal with Valor device. There is no record in the NPRC of Cakerice receiving this award.
- Purple Heart Medal. There is no record in the NPRC of Cakerice receiving this award.
- Air Assault Badge as Cakerice never attended nor graduated from an approved Department of The Army Air Assault School. Assignment to the 101st Airborne Division is not a qualifier for the Army Air Assault Badge.
- Expert Marksmanship Badge with two qualification bars. Cakerice only earned the Sharpshooter Marksmanship Badge with Rifle Bar.
- Combat Medic Badge. There is no record in the NPRC of Cakerice receiving this Badge.
- Vietnam Wound Medal. There is no record in the NPRC of Cakerice receiving this award. NOTE: During the Vietnam War, the Wound Medal was often issued to Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) personnel for combat wounds received fighting the forces of North Vietnam or the Vietcong. The medal was seldom bestowed upon members of allied militaries such as the United States military and then only if the allied soldier in question was attached and under the direct command of a South Vietnamese unit. For service members of the United States military, the Wound Medal is not authorized for wear on a military uniform.With the fall of South Vietnam in 1975, the Wound Medal became obsolete. It is now only available through private dealers in military insignia.
So, Donald Cakerice entered the Army on 9 December 1968 and completed Basic Combat Training at Fort Knox Ky. Then completed Advanced Individual Training as an Aidman at Fort Sam Houston TX. He then completed Basic Airborne Training at Fort Benning GA. Next he went to Fort Bragg NC for training as a Special Forces Medic, completing Phase one of Special Forces Training, failing to complete Special Forces Medical Specialist Training. At this point he was NEVER in Special Forces, never was he awarded the MOS designator “S” as a Special Forces Soldier. He never earned the Green Beret, never served in 5th Special Forces Group. He was then sent to Vietnam assigned as a Aidman and Medical Corpsman assigned to a field artillery unit in the 101st Airborne Division. As he never attended the Air Assault School, he is not authorized to wear the Air Assault Badge. Merely being assigned to the 101st Airborne Division DOES NOT AUTHORIZE WEARING AIR ASSAULT BADGE, ONE MUST SUCCESSFULLY GRADUATE FROM A DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY APPROVED AIR ASSAULT COURSE TO EARN THE AIR ASSAULT BADGE.
As to Donald Cakerice’s military service after assignment to the 101st Airborne Division, he was “DROPPED FROM THE ROLLS” on November 6, 1971. A soldier is “DROPPED FROM THE ROLLS," in accordance with Army Regulation 600-8-6, Personnel Accounting and Strength Reporting states in paragraph 3–21. Rules for reporting soldiers dropped from rolls
a. Active Army soldiers will be reported as DFR when they—
- (1) Remain AWOL for 30 consecutive days. The DFR will be effective 0001 on the 31st day of AWOL, which is also the day the SIDPERS DFR transaction will be submitted.
- (2) Are confirmed to be a deserter. (See AR 630–10, chaps 3, 4, 5, and 6.)
- (3) Leave Active Army to enter the USMA or other Service academy as a cadet. The DFR is effective on the date of entry to the academy
Cakerice was returned to Duty in Casual status on April 12, 1971. Army Regulation 600-8-6, Personnel Accounting and Strength Reporting states in paragraph 3–25. Rules for returning a soldier to the rolls from dropped-from-the-rolls deserter.
- a. Soldiers will be accessed into the strength of the Active Army from DFR status, effective on the date they—
- (1) Surrender to, are delivered to, or are apprehended by, or for, military authorities.
- (2) Are available for transfer to military custody after being held by civilian authorities for reasons other than at military request.
- b. AR 630–10 provides policy for the assignment of soldiers RMC from DFR status.
- c. When a soldier is transported to a PCF (Personnel Confinement Facility)
Army Regulation 630-10 chapter 4 addresses the procedures when a soldier DFR is RMC.
After posting his anti President Trump, pro kneeling during the National Anthem, Cakerice debated his military service with several Facebook members. During these discussions, Cakerice made several claims as follows:
- Don Waterhawk “Finished Q course summer ‘69...geese people, you can get all this stuff minus my SS/bd from Freedom Info Act
- Don Waterhawk
Well, Don, this is exactly what we do at the Guardians of the Green Beret. We do due diligence in our research. Based on your military records, your claims above “Ya know people, you can get all the info you need from Freedom Information Act minus SS/BD. I am not going to publish my DD-214 anymore than you would. Finished/completed Q-Course at Fort Bragg summer 1969, Assigned 5th Special Forces Trng Grp Vol. terminated because I passed the Secret Sec. Clearance, but not the final Top Secret Clearance because I was a dual-citizen of US/Germany (my mother), and didn’t want to wait around doing Instructional Duty, until JAG officers got their shit together. I was a gu-ho little punk then/volunteered for Vietnam Service and was sent to the 101st. Started my service Dec. 8th 1968, finished July 1 1971. Come on people, dig and do your research before Gavin. My daughter’s class did a project on Vietnam Vets, it ended up that Congressman John Siberling (Ohio) giving me a Bronze Star w/V that I never knew I had before I retired from the Sheriffs Dept... (see pic). I don’t have a CIB because I was a Medic, not Infantry. I really can’t believe I have to sit here and write all this shit down. Geeze people..., All this is on paper... do your research instead of bitching. I am to damn old trying to please you. Check your paperwork Donald R. Cakerice (they also spelled my name Lakerice at Jump school” are totally fabricated. Per your military records, you failed to complete the Special Forces Qualification Course. You started the course in June 1969 and completed Phase I. You started the Special Forces Medical Course in Aug 1969 and then were assigned to the Replacement Unit, US Army Special Forces Training Group on 10 Sep 1969. No Q-course completion, no graduation, no earning of the “S” Military Occupation Specialty designator as a qualified Special Forces Soldier. You state you were assigned to the 5th Special Forces Training Group, this unit never existed. You were never assigned to the 5th Special Forces Group, instead you were assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion, 101st Airborne Division US Army Pacific (Vietnam). The part of your tale concerning your security clearance is bogus. The qualifications to be a Special Forces Soldier include:
GREEN BERET QUALIFICATIONS
Army Soldiers who wish to join the Special Forces and don the Green Beret must meet the following requirements:
20-30 years old
Be a US citizen
Be a high school diploma graduate
Achieve a General Technical score of 110 or higher and a combat operation score of 100 on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery
Qualify for a secret security clearance
Qualify and volunteer for Airborne training
You must take and pass the Army Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA)
You must successfully complete the Pre-Basic Task list
You must have 20/20 or corrected to 20/20 in both near and distant vision in both eyes
One year of college is preferred, but it is not mandatory for enlistment
A Top Secret clearance may be needed at some point but does not disqualify.
JAG would not have input into your clearance as that is a Personnel Action.
Many of the soldiers in Special Forces during the 1950s and 1960s were in fact foreign nationals admitted under the Lodge Act. The Lodge-Philbin Act was a US federal law, passed on 30 June 1950, which allowed for the recruiting of foreign nationals into a military force fighting under the command of the US Armed Forces.
Now to the most important aspect of your military service, AWOL, Dropped from the Rolls, Return to Military Control, assignment to the Army Personnel Confinement Facility, Fort Meade, MD and subsequent Discharge.
It is a disgrace that you would make that video, highlighting your false military service claims. You were not a Special Forces Green Beret. You never served in the 5th Special Forces Group or any other line Special Forces Unit. You disrespect every Special Forces soldier by your claims, you're wearing of our Beret, and your ridiculous tattoos claiming service in the 5th Special Forces Group, your tattoo of the Special Forces Crest you never earned and tattoo of the Combat Medic Badge with is nowhere in your military record.
Donald Cakerice aka Donald Waterhawk you'll now be added to Guardians of the Green Beret Hall of Fakes, Frauds, and Phonies.