Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Exposing Fake SEALs

THIS article in today's Washington Post profiles the veterans' groups who investigate people claiming to have been Navy SEALs. There were several aspects of this story that I found intriguing. Here are a few selections:
  • "When news of bin Laden’s death broke, these investigators say, they were soon overwhelmed by reports of suspected SEAL phonies."
  • "The Defense Department has so far declined to make verifying war hero claims easier by centralizing records across the services. At the Washington Navy Yard, for example, the names of recipients of all Navy awards sit in boxes, recorded on 3-by-5 index cards."
  • "SEAL impostors are among the easiest to catch. With a few clicks, their names can be run through a comprehensive and regularly updated database of all men who trained and served with the Naval Special Warfare units, which include the SEALs and their precursor units, from the end of World War II to the present day."
  • "Robinson estimates there are only 7,000 living former SEALs and 2,200 on active duty. By his calculations, the odds of running into someone who has played in the NFL are better than the odds of meeting a current or former SEAL."

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