Westchester Man Masquerading As Brigadier General For Years Finally Outed By True Veterans

Fighting Men Say Stunt Pulled By Fermijon Marrero Nothing But Despicable

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Veterans in Westchester County say they feel betrayed and angered.

They’re upset about a man who has claimed to be a highly decorated military officer for years and he’s not, reports CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown.

Seen marching proudly as grand marshal in the New Rochelle Memorial Day parade was Brig. Gen. Fermijon Marrero, a highly decorated member of the military and the community.

But as it turns out, Marrero is no general at all.

Records show he was discharged from the military in 1976 as a private, but he’s spent the last several years active in veterans groups around the state, masquerading as a top-ranking military intelligence officer.

“Initial reaction is this guy’s a scoundrel and from what else was dug up on him he’s been a scoundrel all his life,” said Thomas O’Keefe, Post Commander at American Legion Post 8.

O’Keefe commands the New Rochelle American Legion and said Marrero fooled everyone with a fancy uniform and stories of escaping from a prisoner of war camp in Vietnam.

“He mentioned he was chained in a tiger cage to a Marine,” O’Keefe said.

“He gave us a story that I thought was incredible and really brought tears to my eyes when I think of the things he told me,” added Peter Parente of the United Veterans of New Rochelle.

But Marrero’s story started to unravel recently. He was invited to a veterans function, but apparently could not produce the right documentation proving who he was. According to O’Keefe, Marrero doesn’t have a DD Form 214.

“If you don’t have a DD 214 you’re not a veteran,” O’Keefe said.

CBS 2’s Brown confronted Marrero on Thursday.

Brown: “You are not a brigadier general?”

Marrero: “I am not a brigadier general. I am NOT a brigadier general!”

Marrero admitted to the farce, saying instead he is actually a general with the Army Cadets. That is not an official rank, but an honorary title. However, Col. Joseph Land, who oversees the Cadets, told CBS 2 on Thursday night that Marrero’s claims are false. He’s apparently no general of any kind.

Marrero said he pretended to be a one-star general because he liked the adulation.

Marrero: “It felt good.”

Brown: “It felt good?”

Marrero: “Yeah.”

Brown: “How did they treat you?”

Marrero: “Great.”

Brown: “One guy called you a scoundrel. He said you are a disgrace.”

Marrero: “He can go to hell for all I care!”

Brown: “Do you understand how they could feel?”

Marrero: “Yes, I understand how they could feel … betrayed or something like that.”

Brown: “Do you understand?”

Marrero: “Yes, I understand.”

“This is obviously a betrayal to the most sacred of all our patriots, especially MIAs and POWs,” said Ron Tocci, a former state legislator and chairman of the Veterans Committee.

Marrero told Brown he loves his country, but the veterans he fooled call him a disgrace to the uniform.

“He can go where the sun doesn’t shine, and I’d like to be the one to close the door,” O’Keefe said.

Veterans said they did not do a background check on Marrero because they didn’t want to question the rank of a general. They said in the future, they will.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below …

  • Robin Donka

    I was fooled by a poser this year, who wanted for his dying wish to go to the wall and the wall of fallen police officers and to the Tomb of the Unknowns, where he was to be buried after he passed away from stage four cancer, that he claimed was from Agent Orange. I flew 1800 miles, only to find a healthy man, to young to have been in Vietnam. And the lies just kept coming. He is still on facebook, telling his lies to another group of innocent believers. I just do not understand why someone would go to all the trouble of living a lie!

  • Joseph Ronda

    He came down to the Star Of The Sea – Sea Cadet Corps back in 2010 trying to recruit some of our members into his “charter school”. One of our member had him come down to the drill deck and he showed a phony identification card saying United States Army. What he didn’t know was that I was a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, my Cadet Executive Officer was a Naval Reservist, my Cadet Medical Officer was a retired US Army nurse, and my Cadet Training Officer was a veteran of both the Navy and later the Army. We all looked at him like WTF. His ID was 1/4 inch bigger than the actual military ID, it had the great seal of the United States rather than the seal of the US Army, and it was missing the chip that military ID cards have on it. When he told us his stories, I said “Really??? I’m an Iraq War veteran and these three are Army and Navy Vets having served during the gulf war and other theaters”. When he left we all cracked up laughing saying he’s gonna be caught.

    Joseph Ronda, Cadet-Brig Gen.
    Star Of The Sea – Sea Cadet Corps

  • mike jones

    Morons! you did not learn a thing while youl were in the service! igh rank dose not keep them from lying, he must have been a presdent Clinton supporter (you know he did not lie , he just told un truths in court)!

    You always check the facts!

  • spencer jane

    He’s a General. He’s General Manager of Rutgers Tenant Patrol in the projects
    where he lives

  • DanTe

    I would salute him anytime.

    • LMAO

      And look. The loser is already impersonating someone.

  • Richard Blumenthal

    I remember serving with this hero in Vietnam, alongside John Kerry. we also protected Hillary from those pesky snipers in Bosnia!

  • pugphan

    Wow! To think of all the grunts who laid down in Nam and this mofo does this. What a damn shame! I hope somebody kicks his arse real good.

  • A "Going Postal" Worker

    I substantially agree with the comments on this post, heretofore.

    Perhaps this guy is a NEO-CON.

    • Fermijon Marrero

      That’s not what your mom told me last night.

  • nathan

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with impersonating your betters. I do it all the time. It’s the only way I get people to listen to what I have to say.

    • Toothless Dawg

      Nathon, That only serves to make you a loser


    The higher up in title a person is, people tend to give more respect! So it’s their own fault.
    America wanted the “President Obamas’ papers”, yet not this pertender.
    James 2:9, “But you have respect of persons, you commit sin, and convicted of the law as a transgressor.” Check one, check all…

  • spencer jane

    Mr. Marrero is not from Westchester. How about the Lower East Side In Mahattan,NY. That is a shame.

  • Sydney Portis

    I blame the Supreme Court for finding the Stolen Valor Act unconstitutional. It would have prevented posers like this fool. Ridiculous.

  • SFC Thompson

    This is an on going issue with people. I had a run in with a member of an American Legion in NY. The guy said he was a former sniper. I fell for it just to find out he was nothing more than a Sons of the legion. Never served a day in his life. I think that once your found to be a fraud you should be disbanned from even the parking lots of such organizations

  • DC

    Most of you people need to take a chill-pill and sit quietly for a while. The “shame” is not because of this mentally disturbed person, the shame comes from all those that fell for his nonsense. Focus the anger where it belongs – on the gullible public (and public officials) that are too lazy to check credentials.

  • gerwiz

    Up he goes on the “wall of shame”, with Jane Fonda

  • Robert

    I can’t figure how this guy put it over on real veterans….military vets have their own lingo, and you’d have to be a pretty good actor to put it over on them..or I would think….now fooling civilians like me…that would be easy

  • Bartholomew Harte

    Too bad this lowlife can’t Really be “Chained to a Marine” Right Now!!
    One Sad Sack of Hooey!

  • steve

    He should travel to Washington and take his place with the other frauds on Capitol Hill. He will blend right in.

  • Bob

    God Bless our troops and veterans. Shame on Marerro for pulling a stunt like this. It’s a discrace to those who served and who put themselves in harms way for the rest of us who they never even met.It’s a slap in the face of all the families who lost love ones while serving their country. Now that he is on the radar I’m sure this will not end well for Marerro. He will surely be dealt with appropriately and justice will restore the honor to those who were made a fool out of by this phony general.


    What a disgrace to our nation to have people like this man in our country! Representing someone who should be honored and to find out that he has lied to numerous of people. To the surprise..he lives in my community! How scary is that to know that we have people like him in my community who has dishonored our nation. SHAME ON YOU JOHN MARRERO!!!!

  • COL Joseph Land, Sr., USAC

    For the record, Mr. Marrero does not now, nor has he ever, had ANY affiliation with the U.S. Army Cadet Corps. He is certainly NOT a BG in the Army Cadets.

    Chief of Staff
    Headquarters, U.S. Army Cadet Corps

    Office: 859-484-2100 x16 Cell: 352-514-4222
    Fax: 859-484-2105

    General Info: http://www.goarmycadets.com

blog comments powered by Disqus
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live