How to identify a military fake in a blog, where to begin? This is the story of Cody Sutton of Talladega Alabama, who dropped into SOFREP as one “GySgt. Joseph Preston of 1st Recon Battalion” and tried to con and receive accolades from unsuspecting SOFREP followers. From here on out, I will be referring to Cody as the “Troll”.

Some highlights from Troll’s commenting history on SOFREP

  • I shoulda stayed tanker, I switched over to infantry and got my leg blown off on my 3rd deployment by an IED.
  • I live it through my eyes then, I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD. It really sucks.
  • See I can’t look at Afghanistan without all the horrors coming back like, seeing my teammates die in front of me, getting charred in the IED explosion and losing my leg.
  • I was gonna go for MARSOC after my third deployment ended but that IED ruined everything.
  • I lost my leg in 2011 and now I have a prosthetic leg. Recovery was fine for it but I’m suffering from severe brain trauma and 3rd degree burns on my left half of the body.
  • On my second deployment, we were driving in a HMMWV when we hit an IED. Surprisingly nobody was killed, we just all had shrapnel in our ass.
  • I remember was I was a 0321 when I had to do BDA this one time. My team was walking around the crater looking for bodies. Not one fucking insurgent body. We scanned the remaining houses and there was no pocket litter at all! Just a couple of goats wandering around.
  • My team got ambushed while doing a BDA, two of our guys were seriously injured from bullet wounds to the head. They lived but the brass should let us use fucking UAV’s!
  • My parents died in 9-11, I joined the Marine Corps to avenge them and I did so by killing 20+ insurgents, however I didn’t sign up for fucking BDA, that’s where I lost my leg!
  • Yes, they were working in one of the towers when the fucking sand monkeys flew into it. I was 16 at the time and had to live in a foster home.

Validating the story

As you can see from his comments above, he likes to run his mouth about what HE has done. 99 percent of all combat Veterans who have actually gone toe-to-toe with the enemy don’t boast about it. Many Vets have a certain level of respect for the enemy. So when Troll kept going on and on about how his parents died in 9/11, being a Recon Marine and being combat wounded by an IED, red flags went up everywhere. I needed to look into this guy and checkout his story. So I asked Troll to send me an email so we could have a private talk. The following is a transcript of our conversation along with my footnotes.

(Troll) Did you want me to shoot you an email Mr. Golembesky?

(Ski) Sorry Joe, I am a little confused here, what is your SOFREP.com handle? marlinslayer82? Do you know a Cody Sutton (the name associated to the email account)?

(Troll) This is not my account (email) this is my cousins; did you want to speak with me? You said it on your new SOFREP post.

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(Ski) Are you marlinslayer82? Did you write > My parents died in 9-11, I joined the Marine Corps to avenge them and I did so by killing 20+ insurgents, however I didn’t sign up for fucking BDA, that’s where I lost my leg! (verifying account(s) information)

(Ski) I am confused here, which account is not yours, this email account or the marlinslayer82?

(Troll) Sorry for that confusion Michael. I am Marlinslayer82 and I was using my cousins (email) account, Cody Sutton. I just activated my Gmail account so now it will be under my username.

(Troll) Yes I wrote that

(Troll) Cody Sutton is not my account, Marlinslayer82 is mine.

(Ski) Okay, then I read Cody’s bio on Livefyre. Your parents were killed during 9/11 and you joined the Marine Corps? Tell me your story, what unit were you with when you got injured, did you get medically retired/separated, where in Afghanistan were you? (I wanted him to claim that the bio was his)

(Troll) Ok, that is my bio on Livefyre but I’m using my cousins email account. Alright so I joined the Corps at 18 and was assigned to the 1st Tank Battalion, I served there in Iraq from 2003-2008. I also took part in the battle of Fallujah. In 2008 I tried out for Marine Recon and made it, I served in the 1st Recon Battalion from 2008-2011 in Afghanistan. I was mostly in Kandahar but I was in the BMG (Bala Murghab) for 2 months in 2011. In October in Kandahar we were on patrol when I stepped on an IED and my leg got blown off, I was medically discharged from the service.

(Troll) Did that sum it up or do you need more info?

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(Ski) BMG? What was 1st Recon doing in RC-W? What did you guys up there? (I am a BMG expert)

(Troll) We were doing some Deep Recon for the Marine Commanders (pulled right from Recon manual), not much else. Wasn’t MARSOC there too?

(Troll) We were unofficially there so you probably didn’t know we were in the AO. (What are we here, ST6? Get the fuck out of here)

(Ski) Did you work with the MSOT there, where in BMG were you guys? (getting more specific about his time in BMG)

(Troll) Sadly enough we didn’t get to work with the MSOT’s, I would’ve liked to though. We were really never in the village, mostly in the nearby mountains on the south side of it. (nothing in those mountains, remote even for Afghans)

(Ski) Near COP Professional? (a fake name I made up) I may have been in the same villages, what villages where you near?

(Troll) I was in COP Professional (lie #1) at one point but I was mainly in Akazai near COP Victor. We took part in the battle of Daneh Pasab too. We were in Burida when Robert Gilbert was killed (lie #2). Do you know him by chance? (all of these places he described are on the north end of the valley)

(Ski) Wow, did you know Gilbert? Was your recon team in Daneh Pasab and Burida, what did you guys do there?

(Troll) Yeah I knew Gilbert, he was a good guy, our team was in Daneh Pasab and Burida and we were mostly relaying intelligence to commanders but our scout snipers were helping you guys out from afar. (lie #3, this is where I become mad)

(Ski) You ever thought about writing for SOFREP? Do you have any pics from BMG? (I wanted to see what bullshit photo he would send me)

(Troll) I’ve never thought about writing for SOFREP because I am relatively new to it. I’m gonna have to rummage around my closet to find my recon team in the BMG but I also have a couple of pictures of MARSOC dudes in Daneh Pasab. It’s of MSOT 8222 guys in a firefight with Insurgents; I’ll have to find it. (wait, you are going to send me pictures of my own team?)

(Ski) Awesome, I was a SSgt. when I got out. What rank were you when they medically separated you from the Corps?

(Troll) I was a Gunnery Sergeant. (they always one-up-you in rank, hoping it will intimidate you)

(Ski) Did they at least send you off with a Purple Heart? (He lost his leg from an IED, he must have a PH)

(Troll) Yes I received a Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon for Afghanistan and Iraq, and a couple of others but most importantly I earned the title of Marine. (no Recon Gunny talks like this, too funny)

(Ski) Nice, you were with 1st Recon. Did you stay in California or go back to the east coast. I have family in NY. (working to get his location in the U.S.)

(Troll) I moved to Colorado and I also have family in New York. (Lie #4, an attempt to reinforce his false story)

(Ski) What, where in Colorado? (I live in Colorado)

(Troll) Lakeside, Colorado. (Lie #5, Google uses geo-locating through your computer, that is why his Google+ account has him living in Talladega, Alabama)

(Ski) How did you end up in Colorado and not back in NY?

(Troll) New York was hard to live in and it was just my uncle and aunt, no parents because of 9-11. I moved into Colorado because I used to live there when I was a kid.

(Troll) How was your time in MARSOC?

(Ski) Okay, let’s just stop right here. This is all too much. I will give you one chance and one chance only to come clean. Everything you have told me and posted on SOFREP is a lie. You never served with 1st Recon BN (I called their S-1 admin shop), you were never in BMG, no Purple Heart or IED… so on and so forth. But what really makes me mad is that I was there in Burida when Rob Gilbert was killed, he was a close friend of mine, I fought in Daneh Pasab in April 2010. There was no Marine Recon team there, Marine Recon doesn’t even operate in RC-W.

So this is what you are going to do. Go back to my SOFREP article and apologize to everyone and beg them for forgiveness. If you don’t do that, I will contact the Sheriffs dept. in your area and let them handle it. I pulled in a favor from my Spec Ops friends, so I have all of your information and address. You also might want to delete all of your accounts too.

The ball is in your court. –Ski

(Troll) Ok sorry dude I wasn’t in recon but I did lose my leg from an IED in the marines

(Ski) Bullshit, like I said the choice is yours, Sheriffs dept. or go apologize on SOFREP and delete your accounts. You will be charged under the Stolen Valor Act of 2013 (revised).

(Troll) Ok I did it on your post.

(SOFREP thread) Sorry guys I am not really who I say am I apologize for doing this to you all, sorry.

(Ski) No, not good enough. Tell everyone who you are and why you did it. If not, I will do it for you and then pass all of your information along to your local sheriff’s office. They are waiting for a call back from me.

(SOFREP thread) Ok I’m just a civilian who has no integrity and was trying to get some attention, I am truly sorry SOFREP readers.

(Troll) Is that better sir

(Ski) Yes, we are done here. Remember, the truth will always set your ass free. -Ski

-Troll’s email account was deleted shortly after my last transmission.

So what have we learned here?

If you are a troll, fake, fraud or any other form of douchebag, steer clear of SOFREP.com and my website, Level Zero Heroes. Unfortunately we live in a world where people think they are entitled to things and have no problem with lying and manipulating others for any number of reasons. SOFREP is not an exclusive website, created only for current and former SOF Operators. It is an information hub (with a Special Operations theme) for Patriots and people who are tired of the mainstream media bullshit. People come to SOFREP to get real, no shit insight into current events and topics affecting our country and the world. If you come to SOFREP, be yourself, be a proud Patriot and most importantly be informed!

No one likes a Douche bag. -Ski

Just a little friendly reminder from the gang at Ranger Up…

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Level Zero Heroes | The Story of U.S. Marine SOF in Bala Murghab, Afghanistan

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Dedicated to the loving memory and sacrifice of GySgt. Robert L. Gilbert & SSgt. Patrick R. Dolphin