The legislative history of 18 U.S.C. § 912 indicates a Congressional intent to punish persons who falsely represent themselves as officers or employees of the United States. In construing 18 U.S.C. § 912 and its predecessors, the courts generally have ascribed a twofold purpose to the statute: to protect innocent persons against fraud and to preserve the dignity and good repute of the federal service. See United States v. Lepowitch, 318 U.S. 702, 704 (1943); United States v. Barnow, 239 U.S. 74, 80 (1915); Honea v. United States, 344 F.2d 798, 803 (5th Cir. 1965). The gist of the offense, however, is the false personation of federal officers. See Lamar v. United States, 240 U.S. 60, 65 (1916); United States v. Robbins, 613 F.2d 688 (8th Cir. 1979).
[cited in JM 9-64.300]