Rumor Doctor blog archive

Do 'hookers' owe their moniker to a Civil War general?

Maj. Gen. Joseph “Fighting Joe” Hooker was one of the many commanders that Abraham Lincoln had to replace before finding the right person to lead the Union army. While Hooker lacks the historical gravitas of Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman or Philip Sheridan, he has a special place in military lore as the alleged namesake of a term for women of ill repute.

Even The Rumor Doctor has heard that Hooker allegedly allowed his troops to consort with prostitutes, hence the term “hooker.”  But where does the lore end and the truth begin?

Is former Army Spc. Jasper Lake a hero or fake?

The military honors troops for exemplary service, so the thought of servicemembers wearing decorations that they were not awarded is deeply upsetting.

Even more upsetting is the idea that a veteran would claim combat valor as a ruse to collect money from the public.

Can DOD civilians outrank troops?

Even though they don’t wear uniforms, Defense Department civilians can supervise U.S. troops. One need look no further than the Pentagon to find officers toiling away for their civilian masters.

But can Defense Department civilians actually outrank troops? That’s what Dan Coakley wanted to know during his deployment to Iraq in 2008 with a brigade from Army Materiel Command.