Dating is hard, and apps geared toward facilitating it can turn such things into a nightmare. For one hopeless romantic, a deployment letter from a woman has Redditors waving red flags across the internet.

“Hi y’all, I’m a civilian, and recently started talking to a girl from a dating app who says she’s a staff sergeant in the Army and currently deployed at a base in Luhansk, Ukraine,” wrote user Aquariumobsessed. “I really want her to be real but there’ve been a few things that don’t seem quite right.”

While the individual may indeed be a real person, the alleged United States Department of the Army letter is anything but legitimate.

“I hereby approve the deployment of Ssgt. [redacted] of the U.S Army, based on policy authorizing or deployment of active duty soldiers ... pursuant to AFI 36-2619, Military Personnel Appropriation (MPA) and AFI 36-2254, dated on this day: 07/16/2023,” the screenshot of the letter reads. “This deployment will take effect at the Usafricom base in camp, Luhansk, Ukraine.”

In addition to U.S. Africa Command having no presence in Ukraine as an Eastern European country, Luhansk fell to Russia in 2022.

“I thought it was weird to have a Usafricom base in Ukraine, but I obviously don’t know as much as the rest of y’all, being a civilian,” the user shared on the r/Army Reddit.

The letter also indicates that the alleged staff sergeant is one of 130 “Undercover soldiers” with the 87th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion.

What’s even more audacious is that the text of the letter switches between Times New Roman, a typewriter font, and a sans serif resembling Calibri.

Finally, the letter is signed “Best regards” from Defense Secretary Michael S. Greco and Gen. Justin Trent, each of unknown origins.

Marine Lt. Col. Joseph J. McCarthy, a Medal of Honor recipient who served during World War II and died in 1996, also signed the letter ... posthumously.

Observation Post is the Military Times one-stop shop for all things off-duty. Stories may reflect author observations.

Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.

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