Don Shipley (Navy SEAL)

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Don Shipley
Born (1961-07-15) July 15, 1961 (age 58), Pennsylvania
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branchSeal of the United States Department of the Navy (alternate).svg United States Navy
Years of service1978–2003
RankBMCS GC.svg Senior chief petty officer
UnitUnited States Navy Special Warfare insignia.pngSEAL Team 1
United States Navy Special Warfare insignia.pngSEAL Team 2
AwardsNavy and Marine Corps Medal
Diane Shipley (m. 1980)
WebsiteExtreme Seal Experience

Donald W. "Don" Shipley is a retired United States Navy SEAL, who has gained recognition for his activism investigating and publicizing individuals who have made false claims of military service.[1][2]

Military service[edit]

Don Shipley joined the United States Navy in 1978 and became a Navy SEAL in 1984[3] after graduating BUD/S class 131.[4] Shipley served in SEAL Team One, SEAL Team Two, the Naval Special Warfare Center, Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S), and Naval Special Warfare Group Two (NSWG-2), NAB Little Creek, Virginia as a SEAL Advanced Training Instructor.[5]

While serving with SEAL Team Two, Shipley conducted operations in Bosnia and Liberia. He became the first non-corpsman SEAL to graduate from paramedic school. He served in eight SEAL platoons, was platoon chief in five, and awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for heroism during a search and rescue mission.[6]

Setting records for immense water and land demolition shots and running high-risk training courses, he served as an explosive expert instructing police departments across the country in booby traps and improvised explosive devices. When not in a SEAL platoon or deployed overseas, his time was spent running blocks of training for SEALs in air operations, land warfare, and demolitions.[5] After 24 years of Navy service, he retired as a senior chief petty officer in 2003.

Post-military life[edit]

After retirement, Shipley worked as a Security Contractor for Blackwater Security Consulting, spending a year in Pakistan and Afghanistan.[5] Shipley ran a training course with several former U.S. Navy SEALs called Extreme SEAL Experience which trained potential SEALs as well as individuals who were interested in experiencing the rigors of SEAL training.[7][8][9]

Don Shipley originally started Extreme SEAL Experience in 1992 for the United States Navy. It was designed to train Sea Cadets for recruitment purposes. It later transformed into a full program designed to prepare those interested in Naval Special Warfare for the intense nature of BUD/S training.[10][11][12]

Activism activities[edit]

Shipley has garnered attention for his work investigating individuals who claim to have served as SEALs or other high-profile military service claims.[2][13] He and his wife Diane produced a series of YouTube videos, "Phony Navy SEAL of the Week", which combined footage of Shipley telephoning individuals suspected of false claims and questioning them to determine if stolen valor had occurred and how far the individual would persist in a deceptive claim. The videos also included interactions between him and Diane and video clips that related to the topic at hand.[1]

The YouTube series transitioned into a series of video segments which are privately hosted on his website Extreme SEAL Videos on a paid subscription basis.[14] In addition to a featured show in which Don and Diane travel around the country to engage individuals that may have stolen valor, there are other video segments, including Q&A sessions, a cooking show hosted by Diane, and footage from the Extreme SEAL Experience training course.[15]

Shipley has also been a Special Guest Contributor at ''.[16] The site provides news and analysis from former military and Special Operations veterans. He states, "...the FBI estimates that there are 300 SEAL Impostors for every living Navy SEAL. Verifying at least a dozen and often over 20 fraudulent SEAL claims each day, I put the number much, much higher than 300." He estimates there are roughly 17,600 who have completed Naval Special Warfare training since 1943, about 10,000 of these are alive, and 2,400 of them on active duty.[17][18]

Shipley's YouTube channel was terminated as of February 21, 2019.[14] He alleged that it was in retaliation for exposing activist Nathan Phillips' claims of having been a Vietnam veteran and "recon ranger" when Phillips had only served in the Marine Corps Reserve as a refrigerator technician and anti-tank missile man. YouTube issued a statement saying the account was terminated because Shipley was sharing too much identifying information including home addresses and phone numbers in violation of YouTube policies that could lead to harassment of others.[19]

Other work[edit]

Shipley is also a film producer, known for Secrets of SEAL Team Six (2011), and Inside Edition (1988).[20]


  1. ^ a b Gaynor, Michael (30 August 2015). "If You're Lying About Being a Navy SEAL, This Man Will Catch You". The Washingtonian. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  2. ^ a b "VIDEO: Another fraud gets DESTROYED by Don Shipley". Connecting Vets. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  3. ^ "Extreme SEAL Experience "Don Shipley Bio" Episode 1". May 11, 2011. Archived from the original on February 27, 2013.
  4. ^ "NAVY SEAL TRAINING PROGRAM NAVY SEAL BUD/S TRAINING Extreme SEAL Experience".[better source needed]
  5. ^ a b c Hansen, Louise (July 8, 2007). "Seal Recruitment a Tough Mission; Navy Commandos Stretched Thin by Wars and Departures". The Washington Post – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Archived from the original on September 21, 2014.
  6. ^ Hansen, Louis (September 15, 2006). "Camp camouflage". THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT. Norfolk, VA.
  7. ^ Shin, Annys (May 21, 2011). "Aiming for a SEAL of approval". The Washington Post – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Archived from the original on September 21, 2014.
  8. ^ Murray, Rheana (June 21, 2012). "Navy SEAL 'Hell Week,' now available in civilian strength". New York Daily News. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  9. ^ "EXTREME SEAL EXPERIENCE". February 2, 2019.[better source needed]
  10. ^ Sterner, Doug; Sterner, Pam (20 November 2013). Restoring Valor: One Couple's Mission to Expose Fraudulent War Heroes and Protect America's Military Awards System. Skyhorse Publishing Company, Incorporated. pp. 165–166. ISBN 978-1-62873-914-5.
  11. ^ James, Chris (May 9, 2011). "After Bin Laden Raid, Fake Navy SEALs Are 'Coming Out of the Woodwork,' Says Watchdog". ABC News. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
  12. ^ "Don Shipley, retired Navy SEAL, busts another phony Nikko "Kaha" De'Lozada". Archived from the original on July 31, 2013. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
  13. ^ Jonah Engel Bromwich (20 October 2017). "Fox News Apologizes for Featuring Veteran Who Lied About Being a Navy SEAL". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 January 2019. Don Shipley, a retired SEAL who tracks down and reports those who fraudulently claim to have been part of the special operations force..
  14. ^ a b Widener, Laura. "YouTube bans fmr. Navy SEAL Don Shipley over exposing stolen valor". American Military News. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  15. ^ Matt Gutman (3 January 2014). "Exposing a Navy SEAL Imposter: How A.J. Dicken Was Found to be a Fake". ABC News. Roberts and the team watched an expose about Dicken that had been posted online by retired SEAL Senior Chief Don Shipley, who runs a SEAL-style training camp in Virginia
  16. ^
  17. ^ "All posts by Don Shipley". Retrieved September 2, 2014.
  18. ^ Shipley, Don. "The Scourge of Navy SEAL Imposters: Part One". Retrieved September 2, 2014.
  19. ^ Norman, Greg (2019-02-27). "Navy SEAL who 'outed' Nathan Phillips' military record post-Covington claims YouTube retaliated, banned him". Fox News. Retrieved 2019-03-09.
  20. ^ Secrets of SEAL Team Six, retrieved 2019-04-07

External links[edit]