Nidal Hasan Receives Promotion, Legion of Merit

Has the U.S. Army promoted accused Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan and awarded him the Legion of Merit?

Claim:   The U.S. Army has promoted accused Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan and awarded him the Legion of Merit.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, March 2013]

Saw on facebook an article reporting that Major Nidal Hassan, on trial for shooting many soldiers, was promoted to Lt. Colonel and awarded The Legion of Merit medal. says there was no block on his promotion, or red flag on his records. Could not be true, please check.


Origins:   Nidal Malik Hasan is the United States Army Medical Corps officer currently in custody and awaiting trial as the sole perpetrator of the 5 November 2009 shootings at Fort Hood, Texas, which left 13 people dead and 29 others wounded. On 8 March 2013, the Duffel Blog published an article positing that the Army had announced Hasan was being promoted from the rank of major to lieutenant colonel and would be receiving a Legion of Merit award:

Army officials have confirmed that Nidal Hasan was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in a small and solemn ceremony in the gathering room of Fort Leavenworth’s maximum security prison.

The alleged mastermind behind the Fort Hood Shootings was ecstatic about the crossing of a major milestone in his military career and thanked all those in attendance. Meanwhile, protests were held outside the base, with people chanting “justice for the victims” and “don’t promote.” One participant stated that this

ceremony was a “slap in the face of all the victims” from the massacre. Base officials refused to comment, declaring that Hassan’s promotion was decided months ago by personnel management officials.

Hasan also received a Legion of Merit from his superiors at Darnell Army Medical Center at Fort Hood upon Hasan’s transfer to Fort Leavenworth. Standard practice in the Army is to award soldiers a “Permanent Change of Station” award reflecting the sum total of their contributions while at their installation. Since Hasan’s movement to Leavenworth’s maximum security facility was technically a Permanent Change of Station, he was submitted for the award as a formality. The Legion of Merit was awarded during the same ceremony as Hasan’s promotion, although the officer presenting the award was forced to move Hasan’s beard to one side to affix it to his uniform.

The award now hangs inside Hasan’s cell, below a framed letter from Osama Bin Laden, congratulating Hasan on the “successful slaughter of dozens of infidels.”

Soon afterwards, links and excerpts referencing this article were being circulated via social media, with many of those who encountered the item mistaking it for a genuine news item. However, the article was just a bit of political humor which played on stereotypes of military bureaucracy. As noted in the Duffel Blog‘s “About Us” page, that web site deals strictly in military-based satire and faux news:

The Duffel Blog serves the men and women of the US Military with a daily dose of military humor, funny military pictures, and faux news. We take an interesting and funny look at military life. We focus on veterans, military stories, defense, politics (sometimes) and life on base — with a comedic twist. We are in no way, shape, or form, a real news outlet. Just about everything on this website is satirical in nature.

The content of this site is parody. No composition should be regarded as truthful, and no reference of an individual, company, or military unit seeks to inflict malice or emotional harm.

All characters, groups, and military units appearing in these works are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, or actual military units and companies is purely coincidental.

Last updated:   8 March 2013