Sometimes these things go the other way as well. Recently, we had a student start training with us claiming to be a USAF shodan supposedly off the mat for 2 years while in the military. He first told us his sho sho was packed in his belongings and he could not get to it; then it was in the mail; then it was lost; and lastly he paid the instructor and he ran with the money.
I believe the USAF test like any other aikikai affiliated dojo. There are forms to fill out and fees to pay before you step out for the testing mat in front of a test committee. So, bottom line is we were being fed a line of crap. Checked with the aikikai and no record. Thats when the instructor stole the money excuse came up. Checked with NY Aikikai and no record of the guy. He did provide a USAF 1st kyu certificate which looked legitimate but couldn't be verified with Susan Volk-fortunately, he left. We suspect he thought he could get by with elevating himself to shodan in a small town and no one would know-I verify all rank (kyu and dan).
Honesty is always the best policy.