Palm Bay: Regulations Aren’t For Thomas Rebman.

This past Thursday night, we sat in the audience of the Palm Bay City Council meeting because we wanted to be present when the Morrell discussion came up. (Much more on that to follow.)

During public comments, there were phone calls and emails about Thomas Rebman.

This is not surprising as Rebman had made a post asking for people to help him astroturf the issue of homelessness and himself.

Rebman himself appeared at the meeting speaking to the Council in what is referred to as “Navy Dress Whites” which is the formal attire for Naval personnel.

We already believe that Rebman has issues with the truth, regulations and laws, but even we were surprised that he chose to appear before the Council in his Navy “dress whites.”

Rebman’s signature block on emails generally reads:

Thomas F. Rebman
7th Grade Civics, Odyssey Charter School
ME Reading, Stetson University
LT, USN Retired

It is not as if his service is not known and we take no exception with that.

However, we do take exception with those who break regulations, specifically:

NAVPERS 15665I, Chapter 6 (Section 10) (61002)

3. UNIFORM NOT AUTHORIZED. Retired personnel are prohibited from wearing the uniform in connection with personal enterprises, business activities, or while attending or participating in any demonstration, assembly or activity for the purpose of furthering personal or partisan views on political, social, economic, or religious issues.

Clearly Rebmen was not following that regulation on Thursday night when he appeared in front of the City Council for “the purpose of furthering partisan views….on social issues.”

We also looked into Stolen Valor laws at the State and Federal level.

While his actions are not covered by Federal Stolen Valor Act of 2013, there may be a conflict with the State Stolen Valor Act:

817.312 Unlawful use of uniforms, medals, or insignia.—

(1) A person may not misrepresent himself or herself as a member or veteran of the United States Air Force, United States Army, United States Coast Guard, United States Marine Corps, United States Navy, or National Guard or wear the uniform of or any medal or insignia authorized for use by members or veterans of the United States Air Force, United States Army, United States Coast Guard, United States Marine Corps, United States Navy, or the National Guard which he or she is not authorized to wear while soliciting for charitable contributions or for the purpose of material gain. This section does not prohibit persons in the theatrical profession from wearing such uniforms, medals, or insignia while actually engaged in such profession.

Does Rebman standing in front of the City Council asking for assistance in his charitable endeavors while wearing a uniform which by regulation he is not authorized to wear a violation of FS 817.312?

We believe so.

However, we are sure that Rebman’s wearing the uniform at the meeting was a violation of Navy regulations.

In short, he told other members of the military – both active and retired – that regulations don’t apply to him.

One person we spoke to in writing this said “another decent military career harmed by a person who decided to [defecate] all over the regulations, the law and the people who serve and who have served honorably within the military.”

We agree.

The problem is that Rebman wants a job within the City of Palm Bay and wants to lead the City’s efforts in addressing the homeless issues.

Some of the homeless are military vets – the very people Rebman [defecated] on.

Palm Bay – the City government and its residents – cannot afford and cannot allow a person who appears to have committed an act of Stolen Valor to represent them in anything.

8 Responses to “Palm Bay: Regulations Aren’t For Thomas Rebman.”

  1. Ron Lockwood says:

    Perfectly stated. This man has indicated fraud from day one of his arrival to Palm Bay.

  2. Bob Chadwick says:

    LT, USN Retired

    As a 23 year USAF retiree, I would be interested to know the circumstances of Mr Rebman’s retiring from the navy as a Lieutenant….

    • Anne says:

      He was a mustang, not an academy grad. I heard rumors of possible mental health issues, but those rumors haven’t been substantiated, yet. Public records show arrests for drug possession, domestic violence and violating an order of protection, but I think these occurred after he retired.

  3. Brandon Moore says:

    One thing is certain… We DO NOT NEED another paid charity employee… The City Council is all the charity we can afford. And YES… The US Navy needs to be aware of his actions

  4. KEVIN C McGarry says:

    How are you helping our homeless and homeless Veterans in Palm Bay?

    • AAfterwit says:

      KEVIN C McGarry,

      Thanks for the comment.

      Your insinuation is that because someone allegedly helps anyone, that means they have the right to break regulations they swore to uphold and to violate the law.

      Are you sure you want to go there?

      “The most truly generous persons are those who give silently without hope of praise or reward.”
      ― Carol Ryrie Brink

      Thanks again.

      A. Afterwit.

  5. Trina Moore says:

    I have personally known Thomas Rebman for many years, and there is no one more compassionate for the homeless and passionate against those who would take advantage of or not provide for those less fortunate than Tom. Seems to me that the author is ignoring the pleas for the homeless just to nit pick on his wearing of the uniform. He served our country and earned the right to wear that uniform. Listen to his message, don’t pick on the messenger.

    • AAfterwit says:

      Trina Moore,

      Thank you for the comment.

      Like it or not, the Navy says he doesn’t have the right to wear the uniform in the setting in which he is doing so.

      This is not a “nit pick.”

      As for his “message,” just exactly what message is that? That it is okay to break Navy regulations? That it is acceptable to continue to teach without the correct credentials? That it is okay to lie to the City Council? That it is acceptable to break the law?

      Please let us know what part of that “message” you find acceptable because we don’t think any of it is right.

      Thanks again.

      A. Afterwit.