Air Force Finally Corrects Military Record for Ex-Ohio Candidate J.R. Majewski After Media, Dem Attacks

J.R. Majewski, the Republican who hopes to win Marcy Kaptur's House seat. (courtesy J
Courtesy of J.R. Majewski

The Air Force in recent weeks corrected the military record of J.R. Majewski, a former Republican Ohio candidate for a U.S. House seat — about one year after a news outlet cast doubt on his military record in a series of articles right before the election.

“I can confirm his records were updated last month to include award of the GWOT Expeditionary Medal,” Air Force spokeswoman Rose Riley said in an email to Breitbart News on Friday. The Air Force’s correction was first reported by the Toledo Blade earlier this month.

Majewski said he feels somewhat vindicated by the correction. “I’m glad the Air Force fixed my records. However, it should never have been an issue. I served…that’s all that matters,” Majewski told Breitbart News.

Majewski attributes the hit pieces questioning his military service to political operatives. The reports came in late September 2022 — about four weeks before the November 8, 2022 election.

At the time, Majewski was in a competitive race against Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), after beating two other Republican candidates in the primary election.

The Associated Press, who published the articles — acknowledged that “a source” had phoned one of the outlet’s reporters, national political reporter Brian Slodysko, “to say that key pieces of the story J.R. Majewski told voters about his deployment to Afghanistan didn’t add up.”

One of the articles, titled “Ohio GOP House candidate has misrepresented military service,” called into question whether Majewski had actually served in Afghanistan and whether he was a “combat” veteran. The article said:

Majewski also lacks many of the medals that are typically awarded to those who served in Afghanistan.

Though he once said that he went more than 40 days without a shower during his time in the landlocked country, he does not have an Afghanistan campaign medal, which was issued to those who served “30 consecutive days or 60 nonconsecutive days” in the country.

He also did not receive a Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, which was issued to service members before the creation of the Afghanistan campaign medal if they deployed overseas in “direct service to the War on Terror.”

That report was published despite Majewski’s campaign telling the AP before its deadline that Majewski “spent time in Qatar but would land at other air bases to transfer military passengers, medics, supplies.”

His campaign had also told the AP that Majewski “[u]ses the term combat veteran, because he actively served in a combat zone and received imminent danger pay. This by definition, qualifies JR as a combat veteran per VA IB10-438.”

Majewski explained in a statement after the reports ran that he has never claimed to have “undergone a combat tour in Afghanistan” to be involved in any “firefights.”

“As the USAF recently confirmed, I was deployed to Qatar from May to November 2002 — where I served with the 64th Air Expeditionary Group in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, fulfilling outbound transport flights to forward bases and combat zones throughout the Middle East, including Afghanistan,” he said, adding:

For those quarreling over any instance where I have been referred to as a ‘combat veteran’ and arguing over different definitions of the term — I and others I know have just considered it to be mean performing duties in designated combat zones, including Qatar, Afghanistan, and other areas of the Middle East. As I understand it, this is the definition given to me by the U.S. government, and why I received Imminent Danger Pay throughout my deployment in the region.

According to a description on an Air Force website, those eligible for the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal must have deployed abroad, on or after September 11, 2001, for service in Operations Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom, and meet one of the following:

-Assigned, attached, or mobilized to a unit participating in OEF/OIF and serving for 30 consecutive days or 60 nonconsecutive days (there is no time limit required for nonconsecutive days to be accumulated)

-Be engaged in actual combat against the enemy and under circumstances involving grave danger or death or serious bodily injury from enemy action, regardless of time served in OEF/OIF

-Killed, wounded or injured requiring medical evacuation from Operations OEF/OIF

Majewski said after the AP’s articles, Kaptur began using them in campaign ads and promoting them in social media posts.

He would go on to lose the race. A May 30 Politico story attributed Majewski’s loss to the hit pieces (emphasis added):

During redistricting, Kaptur was drawn into a Toledo-based Republican-leaning seat that former President Donald Trump would have carried by 3 points in 2020 under the new lines. But the revelation by the Associated Press that Majewski had misrepresented his military service spooked the National Republican Congressional Committee, which slashed its planned ad buy in the district during the last campaign cycle.

Another AP report about Majewski’s military record referenced documents “provided to the AP and independently authenticated.” Majewski said those documents were not releasable to the public by a Freedom of Information Act request.

Indeed, a May 23 Politico report said military records of seven GOP congressional candidates were improperly released to Democratic-aligned research firm Due Diligence Group during the 2022 campaign cycle, to include Majewski’s. The Politico report said:

The Air Force has notified lawmakers that it improperly released the military records of a total of seven GOP congressional candidates to a Democratic-aligned research firm during the 2022 campaign cycle.

Seven of those records disclosures affected GOP candidates for office in 2022, according to the letter. Five of those Republicans are already known, and two have not been confirmed until now: J.R. Majewski, a MAGA-friendly Ohio candidate who faced campaign-trail scrutiny for misrepresenting his military record, and Robert “Eli” Bremer, who lost in last year’s GOP primary race to take on Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.).

Majewski told Breitbart News, “Basically, the DCCC, Pelosi, Kaptur and the Republican establishment were threatened by me and did everything they could to keep me from winning. I’m a former nuclear executive and they called me an insurrectionist, a liar, a knuckle dragger and accused me of stolen valor when none of that is true.”

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