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Pretty_Lilly's avatar

Is it just a coincidence that when individuals brag about having served in the US Special Forces,it's always The Navy SEALs ?

Asked by Pretty_Lilly (4655points) April 20th, 2010

I was told by a friend of my grandfather, a retired high ranking US officer that the military has several Special Forces,Special Ops & Black Ops Units,for them to be affective they need to remain somewhat obscure as they would be basically useless if everyone knew about them,the members and their M/O but for public relations and as a recruitment enticement,the military decided to make one or two public and cooperate with TV/movie makers in their heroic portrayal in shows & movies.
Every time a good SEALs movie/show comes out recruitment shoots up !
In the 80s it was Delta Force but the Gov.decided to rescind that decision and substituted it with the Navy SEALs.
(The CBS TV show,, “The Unit” was based on Delta Force but the government refused to allow them to use the name and identifying insignias,had they chosen the SEALs,they would have received full cooperation )
My question is: why is it soooo many people now claim to have been in the Navy SEALs, is it just a coincidence ?
You never hear of anyone having served with any other Special Forces Unit “NOT” portrayed in the media.

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21 Answers

mowens's avatar

I can neither confirm nor deny the existence of any special forces units within the United States Government.

mowens's avatar

Most special forces types don’t like attention. :)

Trillian's avatar

I went out with a Marines unit as their EMT for some training. They had CIA with them and they didn’t tell me the name of their unit. I concur with the “need to know” policy. They Gunny showed me some cool stuff, including night goggles that transmitted the image to a lap top. he insisted that I try them on and play with them, after telling me how much they cost. I couldn’t give them back fast enough.
From what he did tell me, they are not talked about for some very good reasons.

Blackberry's avatar

I have never known anyone dumb enough to claim they were or have been a SEAL when they really weren’t….what kind of people do you hang out with???

Pretty_Lilly's avatar

@Blackberry I knew this girl,she was a reservist,she claimed her boyfriend was a SEAL,, even though, when I met him he was kinda small.
My cousin (Dan) used to work at the Marriott,his shift supervisor,claimed his father was an ex-SEAL & in his 60s but still a killing machine,,,,,maybe is just like when my second cousin (Will) told everyone:he was part of the US Golden Knights and it turned out he actually was !!!!
* but as their supply clerk !!

Blackberry's avatar

@Pretty_Lilly Either they are telling the truth, are misinformed because some civilians do not know much about ther military, or are just intentionally lying to seem more interesting than they really are or paint whoever they know in a better light.

It is similar to how people claim to know a celebrity or know someone that knows someone who knows someone famous.

Kraigmo's avatar

Some special forces guys are not proud of what they did and don’t talk about it ..

But I think perhaps that the SEALS must be the largest and most well known of the military special forces, and therefore get the most media attention. I can’t even think of any famous non-SEAL special force troopers. One of the most famous SEALS is former Gov. Jesse Ventura, who is quite proud of the work he did for the Underwater Demolition Team. Also: SEALS are part of the Navy. Other special and secret forces are probably actually under control of CIA or a secret Pentagon unit, but that wouldn’t be easily proven until more retirees who are willing to speak out, are found.

Trillian's avatar

@Blackberry, I knew a really sad ex seal. He was a chief and I don’t know his story but he would strike out all the time at the bars even though he told girls he used to be a SEAL. He actually put his ribbons in a box to take with him the next time. Me and another female HM2 could not stop laughing. I mean. If you’re mackin on a girl and say you used to be a SEAL and she still isn’t interested, why would she then sit and look at your stupid ribbons? She doesn’t know which ones are gedunk and which ones really count. Give it up. She isn’t going to go home with you!

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

People claim to be SEAL’s because they think it will get them laid.
Actual SEAL’s tend not to be such loudmouth braggarts.

ChaosCross's avatar

The dropout rate in the Navy SEALS training program is 97% if memory serves.

If they are bragging, chances are they never finished or are lying to you.

Trillian's avatar

@Kraigmo I know that Tom Clancy was or worked for the spooks. He has the Medal of Honor. I’d love to read the Citation for it, but I’m sure that whatever it was “never happened”. ;-)

Kayak8's avatar

@Trillian I love Tom Clancy, but can’t see that he won the Medal of Honor. All the citations are listed here and he isn’t listed for WWII, Korea, Vietnam, or anything since . . . . I am not aware of any secret Medal of Honor winners . . . could it be some other award?

Trillian's avatar

@Kayak8 Well, it’s been several years since I saw whichever book it was, but he was wearing it in the picture. I didn’t question it at the time…

Kayak8's avatar

@Trillian According to wikipedia, he was rejected from service after failing an ROTC eye exam . . .

Trillian's avatar

Wow. I don’t know that I’d use any wiki as a reliable source. he must have been involved somehow because there was such a fuss about his first couple of books. I understand that they had to de-classify a bunch of stuff.
Well, there you go. I’m as credulous as they come. It never occurs to me that people are lying to me. And I’m always surprised when I find it out.

DarkScribe's avatar

I don’t see Seals as being all that exclusive, there are many other “elite” branches. Both British and American Green Berets were the rage in the sixties and seventies, then various countries Airborne services the “Paras” – the British and Australian SAS. The list goes on.

Brian1946's avatar


“If you’re mackin on a girl and say you used to be a SEAL and she still isn’t interested, why would she then sit and look at your stupid ribbons?”

Apparently some guys have trouble realizing that there actually are some women who aren’t immediately attracted to trained killers. ;-o

Trillian's avatar

@Brian1946 Point taken. Apparently this poor dope had trouble realizing all kinds of stuff.

WestRiverrat's avatar

When the Government pushes one Special Force over another, it usually means they have something better somewhere they don’t want you to look at/for.

TexasDude's avatar

Chances are, the only action any of those folks have seen was with the 101st Chairborne, gunshop/internet commando division.

Bugabear's avatar

People who are in the Special Forces don’t brag about it. Sure, they may have some bar stories but they only tell them to fellow comrades. As for the consultant for TV shows, it’s just a job. And I loved The Unit.

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