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Old 10 June 2011, 18:32
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How to check if someone is, or was, SF?

Hi all,

I'm out of my lane definitely, but I'd like to know if it's possible to check on this individual; the story is an odd one...I work as a paramedic in Ontario, Canada. I had a patient the other day who claimed to have served in Special Forces, completed two tours in Vietnam. The discussion was started due to a tattoo I noticed on his forearm, depicting the crossed arrows and scroll. Above that was a skull wearing a green beret. There was no motto. I know what the real emblem looks like, so I asked him about it. I do have a full name and DOB, as well as the date he left the service, and moved to Canada. I'm just curious because he states that he now plays shows (in a band) at various military legion halls, presumably banking on military credentials. Among other things that made me sceptical were the stories about how "once you feel bullets flying by you, nothing else matters..", etc..and the fact that he was very squeamish about getting an IV. Not that big a deal I guess, but the community I work in has many real vets, and I've developed kind of a "bullshit meter". My sincerest apologies if this guy is for real. Please PM for details of this man.
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Old 10 June 2011, 19:43
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There isn't really an "official" SF tattoo. Since he was your patient, I assume this was a one-time encounter. If this guy wants to inflate his status playing at Canadian VFW-type joints, hell, sounds like he has already fallen pretty far (no offense intended if any readers have that as a life goal)...

Oh, and I've known a few SF guys who were squeamish about needles...or maybe it was just me armed with a needle, since I'm not a very good medic...
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Old 10 June 2011, 20:49
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cool, thanks !
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Old 10 June 2011, 21:12
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To everyone who posted above me:

We have stickies in the SF thread that provide very specific instructions for checking someone's SF status. Please familiarize yourself with them.

Lackey, Brother, we can do the checks here if warranted. Please don't send people elsewhere unless you are sure we cannot help them.

Thanks
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Old 10 June 2011, 21:40
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Be careful...

I don't know the laws in Canada, but if you only know his full name and DOB because he was your patient, in the US it would violate all kinds of laws and regs if you pass that info on for a check like this. If you know his name/DOB from a context other than work, you're good to pass it around.
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Old 10 June 2011, 21:42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no-one in particular View Post
Hi all,

I'm out of my lane definitely, but I'd like to know if it's possible to check on this individual; the story is an odd one...I work as a paramedic in Ontario, Canada. I had a patient the other day who claimed to have served in Special Forces, completed two tours in Vietnam. The discussion was started due to a tattoo I noticed on his forearm, depicting the crossed arrows and scroll. Above that was a skull wearing a green beret. There was no motto. I know what the real emblem looks like, so I asked him about it. I do have a full name and DOB, as well as the date he left the service, and moved to Canada. I'm just curious because he states that he now plays shows (in a band) at various military legion halls, presumably banking on military credentials. Among other things that made me sceptical were the stories about how "once you feel bullets flying by you, nothing else matters..", etc..and the fact that he was very squeamish about getting an IV. Not that big a deal I guess, but the community I work in has many real vets, and I've developed kind of a "bullshit meter". My sincerest apologies if this guy is for real. Please PM for details of this man.
Nothing as to this mans creds, but as an FYI, I believe somewhere in the number of 55-60 thousand Canadians served in Vietnam while serving with US forces and many were in SF/Rangers etc..... So, to find a number in Canada would not be to surprising to me.


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Old 10 June 2011, 23:51
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When you're right, you're right...

Thanks Gavin, we do operate under similar laws, so I might be in a wee bit of trouble if I share his info. Typically, you're not allowed to share the patient's identity in conjunction with their medical history/ complaints. So, while I wasn't going to share any medical details, you're probably right anyway. Best to be safe rather than sorry. In any case, I just didn't get that vibe from this guy; I've known a bunch of SOF guys, and while they are all Canadian, I don't imagine their temperaments or demeanors vary much from other SOF guys worldwide. Which is to say, not like this guy was.
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Old 11 June 2011, 05:47
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I suppose that one thing that is beginning to bug me is, is there a point in attempting to investigate each and every random person who claims to have been a "Green Beret in Vietnam?" (Or Iraq/Afghanistan, for that matter)?

If theoretical "Green Berets" are not profiting from their bullshit, or if they are not harming a damsel in distress, or harming a family, should we care? Should we attempt to police each and every person who claims to be one of us? Is this even feasible? Ideally, we would be able to swiftly and easily expose anyone who fraudulently adopts our bloodline. In reality, I think that we all know that this is not possible. As I see it, we have to focus on egregious offenders. How do we define "egregious offenders?" In my opinion, we recognize them in the same way that we recognize pornography: We cannot define them, but we know them when we see them.

I will say this: a name and a DOB is not sufficient information for a look-up. If the individual is relatively young, say 50 years of age or less , then DOB, SSN and BASD (Basic Active Service Date) are required for an UNCLASS database query. This data can be found on the DD214. So if a party seeking a database look-up can secure an unexpurgated copy of the alleged service member's DD214, then a database query can be done. If the individual is or was a commissioned officer, then they will not appear in the database, and other methods must be used. If the alleged service member is older than 50 years old, then they are on the margin where their records may not be electronic, and they may not have a record. Again, other verification methods must be used.

I am not comfortable doing such look-ups for members of the general public. In fact, I will not do them. Do not ask. Making me say no to you will make my blood pressure spike.

I may be persuaded to do them for police agencies seeking to confirm the bona fides of police applicants, for example, or for security companies seeking to verify the qualifications of job applicants. We all know that there have been plenty of fake "former SF" contractors running around Iraq and Afghanistan, and I think that we should attempt to purge them. Those guys can be a serious hazard, and they can cost the US government and contracting firms a lot of money. The Chris Christoff case, where he caused mayhem in Hungary, is perhaps the epitome where a guy fraudulently claiming to be a veteran of CAG disrupted a joint US-Hungarian government training program. He should be in jail for what he did.

In cases where an applicant provides a DD214 as part of a hiring process, we can assume that the alleged SF soldier consents in advance to a database look-up as part of their application for the position. The verification merely confirms the validity of the DD214. But I suspect that there may still be potential privacy concerns, not to mention potential legal complications that I am not qualified to recognize. SOCNET is a bulletin board and a virtual community. We are not an investigative agency, despite rumors to the contrary. That is my story, and I am sticking to it.

For the record: In the event that someone wishes to verify the qualifications of someone older than 50 years of age, much more information is required. And the look-ups are often laborious and time consuming. In such cases, records are at the school house, and bothering a Sergeant Major to ask the nice old ladies in tennis shoes who work there is not a good use of their time. Just my opinion, unless we are dealing with an egregious offender. These cases are usually best referred to the Special Forces Association website. The Locator forum there is the best option in these cases.

I am open to leaving query threads open if you guys really want to spend time on them. As I mentioned in that other thread, I am going to try to be nicer. Seriously. But I still have some reservations.

I do think that we need to update the stickies that are posted at the top of this forum and the Army Special Operations forum.

If one of you guys would be so kind as to appropriately plagiarize the above paragraphs and post excerpts in those stickied threads, I would be grateful. Please do not make me do it. I really do have to watch my blood pressure, and I have to move on to other responsibilities.

There is no doubt that we need to include that "Let me google that for you" link.



Thanks.
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Last edited by magician; 11 June 2011 at 09:22.
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Old 11 June 2011, 08:34
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no problem

no worries; as you said, he's not REALLY harming anyone anyway. It's just one of those annoying things like seeing some guy walking around wearing an Airborne t-shirt (for those of us who were/ are AB). Thanks for setting me straight. Take care !
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Old 20 June 2011, 11:03
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For the record, no more checks will be done unless the requester confirms that they have already done a google search using the name of the alleged perpetrator and the search terms "special forces."

In other words, before you ask us to check whether somebody is "Special Forces," you should state, "I have done a google search using the name of the subject and the search terms "special forces" and I have come up empty."

Thank you.
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Ranger Classes 12, 13, & 14-81: 1st PLT, "Bad 'Muthers," Co A, 2d Ranger Battalion, 1980-84.
SFQC 4-84: ODA 151, Co B, 2d Battalion, 1SFGA, 1984-86. SF Association: M-10547.

Last edited by magician; 20 June 2011 at 11:09.
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Old 20 June 2011, 13:23
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Allow me to ADD:
The next thief of mass on the planet that steals the boards bandwidth by starting a thread with ANYTHING to the effect of:
I KNOW THIS IS OUTTA MY LANE, BUT
REALLY OUTTA MY LANE, HOWEVER
PRETTY FAR OUTSIDE MY LANE I KNOW
etc....
OR ENDS IT WITH
NOW BACK TO MY LANE
Will be shot, made fun of for being stupid enough to admit they were wrong and posting anyway, and finally chastised like a child who brings a football to a basketball court and tries to dribble the damn thing.

Honestly folks...how hard is it?

If it's out of your lane, THEN STFU and get back IN your lane.

That is all....
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  #12  
Old 20 June 2011, 13:26
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There were and continue to be lots of non SF qualified folks assigned to SF.

In the VN days they wore berets, though were not SF qualified.
Today they do not wear berets-I think.
Before the "Long Tab" the "Full Flash" on the beret indicated SF Q'd.

Yeah-it's not a big deal-unless you have bothered to have gone through all the stuff required to be SF.
Maybe like a leg claiming airborne status?
It can be hard, sometimes to determine SF status-there are grey areas.
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Old 21 June 2011, 01:11
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Originally Posted by MikeP View Post
There were and continue to be lots of non SF qualified folks assigned to SF.

In the VN days they wore berets, though were not SF qualified.
Today they do not wear berets-I think.
Before the "Long Tab" the "Full Flash" on the beret indicated SF Q'd.

Yeah-it's not a big deal-unless you have bothered to have gone through all the stuff required to be SF.
Maybe like a leg claiming airborne status?
It can be hard, sometimes to determine SF status-there are grey areas.
It's 2 'pp's' Mike....

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Old 21 June 2011, 09:00
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It can be hard, sometimes to determine SF status-there are grey areas.
With all due respect, sir: there is no gray area. Not today.

A man either graduates from the Q Course and then serves on an ODA, or he does not.

Support personnel are designated today with the MOS suffix "S." As you know, the "S" suffix used to be used as an MOS designator for graduates of the Q Course before the mid-1980's. That then changed in the mid-1980's, with the creation of the 18-series MOS's.

Prior to this time, and specifically during your era, the Vietnam era, any guys who fell into "grey areas" were very few in number, as you know. And they were eventually given orders granting the "S" or other indisputable qualification designator.

If your point is that not all "SF qualified" personnel were graduates of the Q Course, your contention would of course be correct, but these examples would again be few in number, and they would be confined to a specific era, meaning your era, or even before your era.

As for determining "SF status..." I agree that it can be difficult at times. The number of men who have served in the SF Regiment is very large. I do not know how far back the records in the schoolhouse stretch. Getting someone to do a physical records search can be difficult, as they can be quite time consuming and onerous.

For older gentlemen whose service began prior to 1979, they may or may not have digital records in the searchable database. I do not know when the records were digitized.
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Old 26 July 2011, 11:37
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Back in the day(1969), as a naive young grad of the SFOC, I saw a number of non-qualified people assigned to the groups. Non-qualified officers wore a beret with their rank above a "candy-stripe" piece of the flash indicating which group they were assigned. I recall anyone assigned to a group could wear a beret as long as they had completed Jump School. As stated in the above post, the flash was the mark of qualification.
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Old 27 February 2012, 18:03
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I'm no hero, but I ran with hero's! Every great soldier I ever knew at one time or another wore the beret! I would love to have a $1.00 for every former beret, seal, pow, etc. I've met since my return to domesticity some 28 years ago. It don't take long to id the real ones from the wannabe's. Just gotta know the questions
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Old 27 February 2012, 18:08
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I'm no hero, but I ran with hero's! Every great soldier I ever knew at one time or another wore the beret! I would love to have a $1.00 for every former beret, seal, pow, etc. I've met since my return to domesticity some 28 years ago. It don't take long to id the real ones from the wannabe's. Just gotta know the questions
Lol. You also just gotta know how to follow the rules. Please post an intro as per your welcome email.



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Old 31 October 2012, 20:30
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i have done a google search for my father he told me growing up he was in the 101st airborn i would like to find out more info on what he was in while he was in the army and wha medals he got if any..

i did the google search anybody have any thing else i can search?
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Old 31 October 2012, 20:36
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i have done a google search for my father he told me growing up he was in the 101st airborn i would like to find out more info on what he was in while he was in the army and wha medals he got if any..

i did the google search anybody have any thing else i can search?

The 101st Airborne is not Special Forces, so you're in the wrong spot. You may well be able to get information about your dad, though, by doing a FOIA (Freedom of Information ACT) request.

http://www.foia.gov/
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Old 1 November 2012, 07:41
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Originally Posted by gregory View Post
i have done a google search for my father he told me growing up he was in the 101st airborn i would like to find out more info on what he was in while he was in the army and wha medals he got if any..

i did the google search anybody have any thing else i can search?
'Spell check' is also your friend- on this website we do not use text writing but we DO use punctuation....
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