You just don’t know for sure in MOST cases unless you’ve been to BUD/S and served in the Teams…


The ONLY 100% way to ever know for sure if someone was a SEAL or not is to verify them through a SPECWAR Insider, a SEAL Verifier like myself or a verification from the Naval Special Warfare Center in Coronado, California Public Affairs Office.

No grainy old photos with the “That’s me WAYYY in the back of the picture.” No SEAL plaques on the wall bought from EBay, no “Shadow Boxes” full of Medals purchased on-line and NO SEAL TRIDENTS that can be picked up just about anywhere.

A number of years back, a SEAL Buddy of mine was stationed at Boot Camp in Great Lakes, Illinois, with another SEAL as “Motivators,” giving swim tests and the like. On the ENTIRE Base, there were only two Navy SEALs. Needing a new Trident for his uniform, my Buddy goes to the Navy Exchange on Base to buy one and quickly discovers there are none for sale. Asking a cashier when they might have some, she replies, “Good luck, those are our best selling item!”       

Outside of an official “Verification,” is a SOLID photograph album. SEALs all have an “I Love Me Wall” and lots of pictures of themselves with other SEALs all over the World.  Clear pictures showing “That’s him” right alongside a bunch of Rag-Tag, Pirate looking guys with guns, dive gear, explosives, BUD/S Training pics and award ceremonies.

One or two pictures are not enough, and I always recall “Technicians” at the Team (Guys who are assigned to SEAL Teams but are not SEALs) diving into Team pictures. Pretty easy to believe a picture of a Team of shirtless SEALs posing in front of the SEAL TEAM TWO sign and a Tech who dove right in the middle of them for the picture. “See… That’s me, SEAL Team TWO.”

One or two pictures means little as verification. It’s also an unfortunate fact that many Imposters have worked at SEAL Teams or have tried BUD/S and failed. They have enough of a working knowledge and lingo to sneak past most verbal requests to verify them.