I have never understood the mindset of some people that have such low self-esteem that they feel they have to invent an entire biography from thin air. You have seen them. They’re everywhere. Nary a week goes by where I’m not reading about a guy that was claiming to be a Green Beret/Ranger/Delta Operator/Navy SEAL whose exploits are so secret that they can never be told to the rest of the world.
You know the type, “I was recruited by CIA to be their lead man on a one-man operation to go assassinate senior leaders of al-Qaeda….but I can’t talk about it.” Ugh.
Or worse, the guy who can’t be more than 22-23 years old who claims to have been in the Ranger Bn. had multiple combat tours in SF and in now a Delta operator with numerous “missions I can’t talk about” under his belt. Really? Did you enlist at 13?
And when the pictures invariably come out, they wear the uniform so messed up that they couldn’t possibly have earned every conceivable combat decoration known to man in a fruit salad medley that would make Audie Murphy himself green with envy? Please. And more times than not, the uniform isn’t worn correctly.
These poor slobs have no idea how small our communities really are. It doesn’t matter if you and I served in different eras, we all have common ground and personalities that intersect with one another. And when we come across one another, it takes about 1.2 seconds to tell if we’re dealing with a fellow brother from the Regiment or a troll piece of trash that is looking to work an angle to make himself feel better about his existence or worse, line his own pockets by claiming to be something he isn’t.
These posers need to be called out every time and made to pay the price.
Which brings us to the events of yesterday. I was in Boston and in the waiting room at a hospital while my wife was undergoing surgery and was cruising thru Twitter when I got a message from Doctor Mike Simpson, and asking if I’d ever seen any posts about an individual who was claiming to be a Ranger/Special Forces guy who was associated with the Green Beret Foundation.
BTW, you won’t see this person’s name mentioned here anywhere. Why? It isn’t to protect the innocent. That is for sure. His name isn’t worthy of being posted here among us and those like us. But it is easily found.
Here’s where the rubber meets the road. I’ve never met Mike (to my knowledge) but we follow each other on Twitter. I had read some of his stuff on there and may have commented on a story or two that he either wrote or posted. My memory escapes there. But his bona fides were impeccable. Simpson was a Special Forces medic who became an Emergency Room doc. He’s served for the past few decades and works on with Sheepdog Response Crew with SFer Tim Kennedy and others. He’s also a member of a Facebook Group that is comprised of only Special Forces veterans. No wifes, girlfriends, significant others, or family members are allowed. To become a member, at least one other member has to vouch for you saying that he knows you to be Special Forces qualified. I’ve also seen Doc Simpson post there… So there isn’t any gray area there.
Anyway, I responded to his message that I hadn’t ever seen anything from this individual but after checking, there was already a message in the Special Forces FB group asking the same thing. I said that it was probably a matter for the “Guardians of the Green Beret” (GOTGB) to look into. The GOTGB are a group of overworked Special Forces veterans who, unfortunately, spend far too much time investigating frauds, phonies, and posers who are claiming to be Special Forces. They have the connections to check these people’s military records if they even have any, which sadly many do not even have. The SEALs, I’m told, have the same type of group where they have the names of every individual who’s ever passed their training program. So tread lightly posers.
As soon as I sent Doc Simpson that response, I got a message from the individual involved in he went on a rambling rage, using a slew of hashtags basically saying that everyone who was accusing him of being a phony was a racist. A racist? Judging from everyone’s profile pics, they were all Caucasians.
Simpson saw this guy’s profile and being a Ranger/SF guy (he’s a real one BTW) and asked which Ranger Bn. this guy had been in and what team he was on in SF. These are questions we all ask each other. Why? Because the Regiment is so small, like I mentioned above, it usually leads to knowing many of the same people that cross eras. And that’s how we create new brothers.
This guy claimed to have been in the 1st Ranger Bn. at Ft. Benning, and didn’t want to talk about his SF service since “his experiences made it uncomfortable”. Ouch. Any Ranger will tell you the 1st Bn. is in Savannah at Hunter Army Airfield. And Simpson didn’t ask for a detailed description of his most “hair-raising missions” and giving your team number shouldn’t send an SF guy into a bout of PTSD.
It was strange to see this individual’s Linkedin account. No mention of Special Forces or Ranger service, in fact, no mention of military service at all. Hmm, for a guy that it blasted all over his Twitter bio, why would he omit it off Linkedin? Later another SF guy posted on Twitter that the grainy “team photo” that this poser posted was actually a 3rd SFG team that the real SF guy had been on and he could assure everyone else, that the poser had not been a part of.
Next, this individual shoots me another message and accuses me of being a “Trumper racist” whatever that is. Way to answer a simple question you troll. It didn’t take long for the GOTGB to answer what we already knew, the guy was a liar. Simpson then posted a message from the folks at the Green Beret Foundation (GBF) stating that not only was he not associated with them at all, but according to their records, had never donated anything to them at all. Not a single dollar.
I think that…more than anything pissed me off the most. The GBF is an organization, which if you’ve read these pages here, is one that I feel very strongly about. They do tremendous things for our Special Forces veterans and their record speaks for itself. I try to buy stuff or donate thru their events at every chance, and in fact feel bad for not doing more. To see this person trying to claim association with that was the final straw.
To date there have probably been hundreds of retweets on this individual’s lying, he’s been outed and the GOTGB now have a record of him. But it shouldn’t end there. It is time to hit these lying posers where they live. It is time to start contacting their places of employment. Their employers should know what kind of people they’ve hired especially if their supposed SF/Ranger/SEAL “service” was a factor in them being hired.
Like we tell the candidates in the Special Forces Selection course, “you’re always being evaluated”, well now for the phony posers out there, you are always being watched. And sooner or later, social media being what it is, you WILL be found and caught. And the stigma of that won’t go away quickly nor quietly.
So the next time I’m in the bar and a guy starts to tell me, “I was a CIA/Delta Operator/SF Sniper in the “super secret” 28th Special Ranger Company… and you were really a screen door repairman on a diesel submarine…think again. DOL
Photo Courtesy: Guardians of the Green Beret/Warner Bros.