(Publisher NavySeal.com) Retired Navy SEAL Don Shipley has taken it upon himself to reveal those who falsely claim the honor of belonging to this esteemed military force. Throughout his career as an authentic SEAL, he participated in various operations and engaged in numerous training responsibilities that solidified his expertise in the field.
I first met Don when he called and asked if I knew someone who claimed to be a SEAL and friend of mine who graduated in the same BUD/S class as I did. Once we determined this person did not graduate BUD/S and was not my friend, Don asked if I would silently jump on a three-way phone call with this person, and—at a given moment—he would announce my presence on the call so I could confront him about his lies. However, this person refused to answer his phone then or ever again when Don Shipley tried to contact him.
Don and his wife Diane have now uncovered 50,000 fake Navy SEALs for more than fourteen years, even showing up on their doorsteps will cameras in tow.
“On behalf of a grateful SEAL community, Don has made it his mission to expose the liars who misrepresent themselves as being former or current U.S. Navy SEALs. He has unselfishly accomplished this task using his own finances and his success speaks for itself. Being a SEAL carries with it both a responsibility and an expectation. The responsibility requires adherence to ethos. The expectation requires doing the right thing, making honest decisions, and representing the Navy and our nation as the most formidable warriors we have. Don ensures that is the case.” Paul Evancoe (Class 40)
Navy SEAL Warrior
Don Shipley served with SEAL Team One and Two as a platoon chief petty officer. He later became a Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training (BUD/S) instructor for Advanced SEAL Training. Don was teaching advanced demolitions to BUDS Class 234 at Niland California when 9/11 happened.
As a SEAL advanced training instructor, Don taught booby-trap courses to law enforcement officers throughout the United States: his training was designed to prepare officers for potential encounters with dangerous devices while conducting their daily operations. Shipley also possessed air operations expertise, specifically Arctic warfare, further contributing to his impressive skillset as a retired Navy SEAL.
As a retired Navy SEAL senior chief, Don conducted operations in Bosnia and Liberia, instructed police departments, and worked as a Blackwater security contractor in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Shipley's overseas deployments ultimately afforded him valuable insight into global conflicts, later informing his work as an instructor for other military personnel.
Before focusing on exposing phony Navy SEALs alongside his wife Diane, Don worked for the private security firm Blackwater (now known as Academi). His work involved providing protection services for U.S. government officials stationed abroad, particularly within high-risk regions such as Pakistan and Afghanistan. His extensive military training and experiences have equipped him with the knowledge and skills necessary to not only expose fake military service members but also support fellow veterans through various initiatives.
Extreme SEAL Experience
Don was the creator and point person for the Extreme SEAL Experience, a program providing civilian training and experiences similar to authentic SEAL training. Trainees learn marksmanship on eleven different weapon systems, as well as fast rope, rappel, helo sniping, and various climbing techniques. They also receive training in tactics and close-quarter combat.
Extreme SEAL Experience has been featured on The Today Show, ABC’s Nightline and 20/20, Good Morning America, CBS Inside Edition (x4), Travel Channel (x2), Discovery Channel, History Channel, Future Weapons, Fox and Friends, Washingtonian Magazine, Fox News 5, Fox News Business, and a multitude of other radio and TV programming at a global level.
After ten seasons spent helping 3,000 thrill-seekers experience the gut-wrenching opportunity of a lifetime, Don retired yet again.
Exposing Fake Navy SEALs
Don and Diane's fight against stolen valor kicked off in 2008 when they began investigating individuals who claimed false military service records as part of an effort called "Phony NAVY Seals." Their work sets out to:
- Honor Navy veterans: The Shipleys' efforts protect the integrity of those who genuinely serve(d) in the Navy.
- Protect the SEAL name: By exposing fake SEALs, they safeguard the reputation of the elite special forces group and its members.
- Prevent stolen valor: Their work serves as a deterrent for those who might steal valor from true military heroes.
Various organizations and individuals have asked Don Shipley for assistance in verifying claims made about the military records of others, highlighting the importance of his work within the wider military community.
The Shipleys utilize Facebook, Instagram, and military forums to share information about imposters with fellow veterans.
Shipley's dedication to preserving the honor and integrity of service members has bolstered his reputation as a prominent figure fighting against stolen valor within the military community.
Don’s name also ranks among the “toughest” SEALs ever! Clearly, this man will never retire as we all eagerly await his next adventures.