(Written by Don Shipley, BUD/S Class 131 for NavySeal.com)
Jerry was a Navy SEAL Admiral and Vietnam War veteran with the highest kill count of any Navy SEAL in history. As busy as Jerry was, running a consulting business in Georgia, he always took time out of his day to pass along training advice to aspiring SEALs to prepare them for the rigors of Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL Training on social media sites.
However, all of that great advice Jerry was giving ended quickly when I called Jerry out for being a phony SEAL, phony Admiral, and phony Vietnam veteran who had never even stepped foot in the SEAL training compound.
As a result of my actions, Jerry contacted the Chief of Naval Operations—who he claimed to be friends with—about me, and supposedly contacted his uncle in the Lombardi crime family to request that I be killed if Uncle Lombardi had some spare time.
Of course, Jerry didn’t know the CNO or anyone in the Lombardi crime family; he was just doing what phonies do by making false threats and telling more lies after I had ripped the carpet out from underneath him. Jerry became the very first Phony Navy SEAL of the Week video I did on YouTube.
I’m one of the very few SEALs entrusted with the SEAL Database. The Database contains the names of all the men in our 78-year history—totaling just over 19,000 names—who ever graduated Underwater Demolition or Navy SEAL Training from WWII to the present day.
The SEAL Database is not secret; in fact, SEAL Training is an unclassified Navy school. Everyone knows where it’s taught, and everyone knows what’s taught there. However, it is nonetheless sensitive and will never be posted online where anyone can just check a name for themselves.
Navy SEALs are the number one targeted profession in this nation for imposters. Nobody out there is falsely claiming to be accountants or plumbers, and I’ve verified over 20,000 fake SEAL claims to date. I just need a name and approximate age to check. If a name is not listed, then that person was never a UDT or SEAL. I then send the requester a detailed letter of verification of who I am and how I know that person was never a SEAL. The request remains confidential between us unless the requester asks me to expose the phony.
Of those 19,000 names, with so many being WWII and Korean War frogmen who have died, along with younger SEALs who have been lost to combat, training accidents, car wrecks, cancer, and the sort, we estimate that less than 10,000 men are alive today, on this planet, who ever graduated from any form of Naval Special Warfare training. That 10,000 also includes the 2,500 SEALs on active duty today. With a population of 327 million, your chances of bumping into a living SEAL are about as good as bumping into Jimmy Hoffa at Arby’s.
Knowing those facts, I set out to make the words “Phony Navy SEAL” as widely known as the words Navy SEAL. And while other SEALs had been doing this before me, I took it to YouTube to show the world not only what a Phony SEAL looks like, but also how they operate—their modus operandi.
I get blasted by someone every so often asking, “Why do you care? They’re just harmless liars!” My response is always that I don’t care about the harmless liars. I go after the worst phonies—the real nasty ones—of whom there is no shortage.
I’ve also become an expert in recognizing fraudulent or altered DD-214s, and I’ve posted numerous examples of them on my website. There is also no shortage of idiots who search and find that link for fake DD-214s and call me wanting me to make them one. The videos of the Fake DD-214 Needer Dudes I post are entertaining; however, the problem is serious and widespread, especially for charities that are a favorite target of phonies.
I have busted endless clowns defrauding charities. From being awarded luxurious retreats and having houses built for them, to giving them expensive vehicles, fishing trips, and expensive elk hunts, they line up for something they don’t deserve. They get away with defrauding charities and everyone else by simply saying, “How dare you to question my service!” if questioned about their legitimacy, and it works.
Still, the biggest, most widespread charity fraud, is having a service dog. When you’re a phony and you receive a genuine service dog that has been donated from a charity, your whole story becomes much more believable to others, and defrauding additional charities becomes that much easier.
“Invisible injuries” are another significant problem. When you see a vet without limbs, or who is severely burned or disfigured, the charities are on pretty safe ground. It’s the invisible injuries—namely, the traumatic brain injury and PTSD phonies—that are the big problem, and much checking needs to be done.
A bigger problem still is how skilled these morons become at perfecting their lies after years of doing it.
If you or I are caught in a lie, we just want to hide under a bed in shame. But not a phony! He uses that as a learning point to better his story for the next time he uses it. And they get very good over the years.
For reference, when two SEALs meet, a verification takes place instantly between the two. They ask each other, “What was your BUD/S Class?” “What Team were you assigned to?” “Who was your CO?” and “Who was your swim buddy?”
Somehow, those SEAL-on-SEAL questions leaked out to the public as a standard for “how the average guy can verify a phony SEAL,” and those questions are no good.
Why are those questions no good? They are no good because you don’t know the answers to them unless you’re a SEAL. For instance, if he said his CO was Captain Crunch, how would you know if he was lying? If he said SEAL Team Three and BUDS Class 180, how would you know if that’s accurate? By watching any of my videos, you know that all phonies throw out a BUDS Class and Team assignment the second I ask for one. Of course, they are all BS… The best way to verify a guy claiming to be a SEAL is to not believe him in the first place. Trust your gut if the story sounds like BS, as nine times out of ten, it is. If you met me on a street somewhere, it would take you about five questions before I told you I was a SEAL.
You’d ask, what do you do? I’d respond by saying I’m retired. You’d ask, retired from what? I’d say I’m retired Navy. You’d ask, what ship were you on? I’d say I wasn’t on a ship. You’d ask, well where were you stationed? I’d say, Little Creek, Virginia. You’d ask, what did you do in Little Creek? I’d finally say I was a SEAL.
I wouldn’t avoid telling a person I was a SEAL for long, but real SEALs don’t just start spewing SEAL, SEAL, SEAL the minute they meet someone. We don’t spew it because we don’t like the reaction we get from people when they do find out. Conversely, a phony will in a nanosecond.
To SEALs, talking about jumping out of planes, putting mines on ships, and traveling the world with a machine gun sounds braggish. It makes us uncomfortable talking about it in most instances.
A new fad is people asking me for advice on how they can start busting phonies on their own. They ask, “Where do I begin?” because today everybody wants to bust phonies. My advice is always the same: run away.
I’ve made my bed and I’ll gladly lie in it busting phonies; however, most phonies are really strange and very vindictive when confronted. In fact, they can make your life hell, and a few have done it to me. But I was a SEAL, they were not, and Jimmy Crack Corn because I don’t care, so I just keep exposing them.
I’ve also crossed into other services phonies. My latest was a phony Ranger and Green Beret who cried endlessly talking about the horrors of Iraq and Afghanistan when I recorded him on the phone talking to me. Of course, it was totally false, and he had a lot of explaining to do to the church that helped him so significantly from his supposed “war trauma.”
My YouTube Channel, Buds131, was deleted after I exposed Nathan Philips, the American Indian phony Vietnam Vet moron who went viral. However, I was smart enough years before, after going to YouTube Prison half a dozen times for violating YouTube policies, to start my own mini-YouTube, videos.extremesealexperience.com.
When I post a phony now, that phony stays on my site forever. I no longer have YouTube yanking videos when the phonies cry or attempt to boot me for so so-called cyberbullying.
I relocated five years ago to the Eastern Shore of Maryland from Virginia with my wife of 40 years, Diane. We own 80 beautiful acres of waterfront farm in the heart of spectacular duck, goose, deer, and turkey hunting, and I take wounded guys and children with cancer and their families hunting with Extreme SEAL Adventures.
Diane and I run Extreme SEAL Adventures by ourselves, with no employees, and we don’t take a single thin dime for ourselves from the charity. Diane and I make our money from the monthly $10 video website membership fee from our wonderful subscribers.
Folks donate to Extreme SEAL Adventures as well, but nobody donates as much time and money to the 501 c-3 Extreme SEAL Adventures charity as Diane and I.
We work tirelessly, as we both served in the Navy and met on a ship. We raised a Navy SEAL son who was medically retired after 15 years for wounds received in combat, and our daughter is married to a serving Navy SEAL who has been in numerous gunfights.
When you join our video website or pay for a verification, you are supporting the simplest, most transparent charity out there, and can see from all of our videos where every dollar goes at Extreme SEAL Adventures.
I guess, in some strange way, I discovered a way to make phonies pay for stealing the valor of veterans by having them pay for verifications. That money goes to the charity, and the viewing of videos featuring these idiots fuels the charity. It’s a beautiful thing…
Have a look at http://videos.extremesealexperience.com and http://www.extremesealadventures.org if you have some spare time. My video site subscribers also receive free SEAL verifications.
Thank you for your support. It means a lot.
By the way, the number one false claim phonies make is “I can’t tell you, it’s classified.” That is completely false.
MY VERIFICATION LETTER: https://www.extremesealexperience.com/Fake-Navy-Seal-Verification
Sir or Madam,
I greatly appreciate your interest in upholding the honor of the US Navy SEAL Teams, and your search for the truth. My efforts to expose SEAL imposters are performed as a public service, and in honor of my fallen SEAL Teammates who truly earned the right to the title “US NAVY SEAL,” but who are no longer able to stand forward in defense of their honor, their reputations, and their Teams.
If the name you provided is spelled correctly, I do NOT find a listing in the SEAL Database (SEAL Teams, Underwater Demolition Teams, and predecessor units from 1943 to the present day) for anyone named XXXX XXXXXXX. I have also examined possible alternate spellings and names with similar pronunciations, without finding any that appear to be applicable.
Unless he has undertaken the unlikely action of a legal name change—an action for which there would be evidence in the form of court documentation—based upon the information you have provided, I can state conclusively that XXXX XXXXXXX NEVER COMPLETED SEAL TRAINING, and he is not now, nor was he ever, a Navy SEAL or Navy Underwater Demolition Team member.
Countless SEAL imposters show “proof” of their SEAL claims in the form of SEAL Insignia (Tridents), SEAL Coins, SEAL Award Citations, and SEAL Training Graduation certificates, which are unfortunately all available online. Numerous others get SEAL Tattoos, Photoshop their faces on SEAL pictures, and alter actual military discharge papers to reflect SEAL service. Myriads of imposters claim that the Navy removed their name from the SEAL Database when they encountered trouble during their service, and nothing could be further from the truth.
Many SEAL imposters when confronted with the information I have provided will resort to claiming that their records are sealed, burned, or classified as Secret—and that there are no official records of them. Before any classified operations may be undertaken as a SEAL Operator, a man must first successfully complete the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) Training program and then the follow-on secondary training program. The names of those who successfully graduate from that training program sequence are compiled in the SEAL database. Later participation in classified operations has no impact on whether or not a person is listed as a graduate of the training program.
There are records of every man who has qualified for the title of “SEAL.” There have been and will continue to be secret missions, but there are no secret SEALs.
When discovering that a person was never a SEAL, many people would like to know what that person actually did in the military, or if he served at all. For a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request of that person’s military service, you should contact www.pownetwork.org via [email protected] and provide the necessary information. A $20 donation will cover the cost. Please inform POW Network that I have verified the SEAL claim when contacting them.
Thank you again for your concern in this matter, and for your assistance in upholding the honor of the US Navy SEAL Teams. If I can be of any further assistance to you in this matter, please contact me at your convenience.