Debunking a phony "Marine Veteran."

This is from someone’s online bio:

“I celebrated my 17th birthday in the Marines. How I got in underage is another story, but I was in the ICorp, 7th division, 7th battalion, and I was a scout/sniper.
I was in Thailand and Cambodia to help with the refugee problems that were being caused by the aggression of a dictator named Pol Pot. I helped train members of the Royal Thai Army in reconnaissance and tactics. I was sent to Angola, Africa on my next tour. I was 18 by now. Pro-communist forces were pushing out the Portuguese colonists in Angola. We were asked by a provisional, pro-west government to help get the Portuguese out with as little damage as possible and to push back the pro-communist forces, so the provisional government could get in to power. Mostly I (we) provided security for Navy SEALS to do their jobs with as little interruption as possible. Unless you have an African history book, you won’t know this conflict existed. It is from these experiences that I really don’t care for hot climates anymore. After the third purple heart, a soldier is given the opportunity to de-enlist. I took the opportunity and came home to Los Angeles. I was 19.”

Is this accurate? I had no idea the US ever sent Marines to Angola.

Also: what is the “Icorp”?

To the best of my knowledge, the US never sent any troops to Angola in an official military capacity. However, the US did have a covert CIA program in Angola called IA-FEATURE for a short time, starting in 1975.

The US sent equipment, and eventually paramilitary advisors. But if SEALS or marines were part of the deal, it seems to have been a well-kept secret.

CIA activities in Angola

I Corps

I thought it was odd that a 17 year old (possibly 18) would be training members of the Royal Thai Army. I’ve never served, but I would expect that members involved in training foreign armies would be older and more experienced, especially when working in Asian societies. I’m assuming it was the 70’s…it’s not like there was a shortage of experienced vets then. Personally, that is the part that doesn’t really stack up for me. I suppose I interpret “help” more along the lines of “I was helping my senior Marine instructors train the Royal Thai Army in reconnaissance and tactics”.

He’s full of shit.

There’s no such thing as a, “7th Battalion.” Each Marine regiment has 3 battalions.

A Marine would never say he’s in 7th Division, 7th Battalion. And I don’t believe there’s ever been a 7th Division (maybe in WWII when the Corps was much larger but not since). You’d say you were in, for instance, 2/7 (that’s second battalion, 7th Marines). Or perhaps just 7th Marines.

In Vietnam if you got 3 purple hearts you were sent home. Unless you wanted to stay. I never heard of anyone getting out just because they had 3 purple hearts.

Nope, he’d just a wanna-be, and not a very good one at that.

In Vietnam the northen most part of South Vietnam was called I Corps. Vietnam was divided into 4 or 5 areas and the number of each area increased as you moved south.

Yes, I checked these facts with a friend of mine who was a Marine during that same time period claimed by this joker, and he immediately identified him as a charlatan, saying basically exactly what SandyHook did. Thanks for the info.

I cannot stand people who lie about military service. They want to grab the glory without making the sacrifice…total scumbags.

I don’t know. The I Corps isn’t exactly something to brag at the pub about and getting sent in underage has been known to happen, especially if he wanted it. What I find least credible is the statement that he was a “scout/sniper.” Snipers don’t exactly have short training and they’re usually (in all militaries that I’m familiar with, which means the Scandinavian ones) selected from existing designated marksmen for extra training rather than selected from recruits.

As for Angola, it could be. The UNITA and FNLA were backed by the western governments and it’s known that at least Israel trained FNLA soldiers in the 60’s and sold them weapons in the 70’s. It’s also known that the US sold weapons to the UNITA, but I doubt that they sent marines to train them. And if they did, I doubt they’d get in enough fights to let one man - a scout/sniper at that - earn three purple hearts.

The timing is especially tricky. If he was in Thailand when it was facing aggression from Pol Pot’s actual regime, that’d be between '75 and '79 most likely, and certainly not after '83. However, Angola achieved independence from Portugal in '74 - although they immediately descended into civil war.

ETA: I say the I Corps isn’t something to brag at the pub about; that’s because of the low name recognition factor, not because they didn’t serve well.

ETA2: As for the 7th Division, may he be referring to the 7th Infantry Division mentioned here?

I Corps was Army - no way in hell a Marine is going to say he was in I Corps. The Royal Thai Marine Corps did train with USMC – in 1961. The Royal Thai Army? Train with Marines? Why?

His story is not entirely inconsistent with being a scout in the Army – I think that’s just an assignment, not requiring special training (that is, any front-line unit has to do some scouting; the Army’s specially trained scouts are in Ranger units). But 7th Division spent 1974 and the years following at Fort Ord, and its mission was directed at South America.

Yeah, I’m going with “liar and ignoramus.”

Here’s the rest of this prick’s “biography”:

"Two years later I was deputized into the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department. I was not big and intimidating, but I had an interesting talent that became evident during the psych tests: I could predict behavior patterns in sociopaths. So I was assigned to a recently commissioned division - Gang Crimes. This was the time when cocaine was starting to ravage LA and most people had never heard of the term “gang” until now. My job, amongst many, was to be a liaison for the department into the gangs. My job was to get to know them and frankly, gather intelligence. Every morning, when I was done, I’d enter my service reports and details into our computer data base, which also went to the FBI and was accessed other cities who were discovering they were developing the crime problems we were already dealing with. I also travelled and gave lectures to other law enforcement about the pathology of gang crimes. I was 21. At 24 I was injured and was retired.

What do I do now? I am an Executive Chef for Marriott Hotels.

How did that happen?
I took my payout and, long story short, I wanted to cook. My mom taught me, as a boy, and I got tired of getting shot at so I got a European culinary education. I worked and travelled overseas, opening hotels in Japan, China, Korea and the Philippines.
I came back to the states, back to LA to work, then transferred to the Chicago area.
I mentioned that I write technical stuff . . . . I, in essence, write commercial cookbooks. I have a catalogue of over 7,000 recipes, tested, photographed and dispersed worldwide on our own computer network for use in training and menu development in all our hotels worldwide. As I have progressed in my job, I become more of a teacher. No chef in the Midwest takes over a Marriott kitchen unless they work with me and I train them. We also do community work, we develop emergency plans for municipalities. Remember Katrina? Who do you think mobilized to feed 100,000 people in the superdome? They had no water, gas, or refrigeration, or food. I wasn’t the red cross, it was us. Hurricane Andrew relief? that was us. Firefighters in LA stuck on the mountains? We have the assets to feed and shelter them. Most people wouldn’t think about this stuff, but our companies are being relied upon more and more to provide public support. I consult for schools, hospitals, food banks and even homeless shelters. That is more and more of what I do as time goes by and the government comes to grips with the truth that they are limited on the ground.
This is what I do now."

So he claims he was a criminal profiler? There’s very limited evidence that kind of profiling actually works. There are other kinds of forensic profiling that obviously do work, such as forensic information technology (getting information off of computers in a way courts will accept as valid) and DNA profiling, but ‘psychological’ profiling has serious issues regarding its track record.

So this is a tangent, but it goes to illustrate his general tone: He hypes his involvement in something that’s fairly glamorized but only questionably supported by the evidence, as opposed to something that is less-known but is known to work reliably. A criminal profiler might have something to say about that. :wink:

The actual Marine who I ran the OP by said that people who make this stuff up are often sociopaths with dangerous tendencies. I’m not surprised to hear it because I seem to recall reading about a large number of very unsavory people - serial killers, con artists, people convicted of selling government secrets to other countries, etc - living similarly deluded fantasy lives and making up bullshit stories like this one.

One more thing in the online bio, Argent, and that is in the phrase, “After the third purple heart, a soldier …”. I think most civilians use the word “soldier” to mean anyone in the military, but those in the Marines would use that term to indicate someone in the Army. I have been led to believe that most Marines would have used the term “Marine”.

I am 100% convinced the idiot in the bio is a poser, and does a disservice to all the men and women who have served their country.

Marriott Hotels does all this?

No, that would be silly. They put him in gangs, which people had never heard of before.:rolleyes:

I like the part where rather than claiming having been a Navy Seal instead says he had to provide security for those pussies.

Sometimes Navy Seals need protection, cuz you know they can’t take care of themselves.

That’s because it’s a Mormon-owned organization. But seriously, this guy is probably a 6th grader based upon his knowledge of the English language. :slight_smile:

The book “A Dance with the Devil” is the memoir of a woman who married a sociopath with a very similar story.

That said, small groups of marines will often provide security for the US embassies abroad. Unless things go really, really wrong, it’s not usually a combat position.

Marine Security Guard is a special program for top-performing Marines. Their primary mission is to provide security for the top civilian position at an embassy or consulate. This normally involves standing duty in various posts around the facility to limit access to the building. In the event of an attack on the embassy, they provide delaying action to allow the ambassador time to escape.

This guy’s lingo is wrong throughout. His narrative sounds just plausible enough for a non-Marine to accept: it has a little gee-whiz factor, but not enough detail for someone unfamiliar with the military to question it.