Well-known Navy SEAL Don Shipley obtains Nathan Phillips' Military records

Retired Navy SEAL Shipley, shares Phillips’ DD-214 on his popular YouTube account, defines Phillips as non-combat vet

The well-known retired Navy SEAL, Don Shipley has obtained the official military records of Nathan Phillips and posted a descriptive story to his YouTube account. The military records paperwork, known as a DD-214 were secured by Shipley due to his connections to the military and work in the area focusing on stolen valor.

He says a lot of the confusion to obtaining was largely due to Nathan Phillips' enlisting name, Nathan Stanard.

Shipley opens his video beating a large bottle of vodka with a spoon and asks his viewers to guess who he is talking about. He shortly thereafter reveals that Nathan Phillips is the subject of the video, who joined the U.S. Marines in 1972 but did not serve in combat.

Throughout the video, which Shipley admits “will probably offend someone” he makes other Native-themed comments including “I am Ten Bears” about the movie Outlaw Josey Wales.

Shipley then describes the DD-214 in which Phillips has served as a private and exited the service as a private and received one medal. He also shows that Phillips went AWOL and was stationed in Nebraska and California. He had also served as a ReferMech or Refridgerator Mechanic.

In addition to Shipley’s remarks, syndicated columnist Phil Kerpen applauded Shipley’s ability to get the military paperwork.

Kerpen tweeted, “Don Shipley got the DD-214. Self-described "recon ranger" Nathan Phillips was a rifleman for two days and a refrigerator mechanic in Lincoln, Nebraska and El Toro, California the rest of his service. Retired a private.”

Shipley quotes an article from Digital Underground, which is a site that extracted the article from Vogue, He recites Phillips’ comments in the article, “You know, I’m from Vietnam times. I’m what they call a recon ranger. That was my role.”

Shipley responds, “I got you down as an electrician.”

Chase Iron Eyes, lead attorney for the Lakota People’s Law Project, says there has been a lot of backlash regarding Phillips’ response regarding comments at Standing Rock over the term ‘recon ranger.’

Iron Eyes told Indian Country Today, “The recon ranger quote was taken completely out of context. I’ve known Nathan a long time. He was speaking about his role at Standing Rock, he was not talking about his role in the military. He has always said Vietnam Times or Vietnam era when referring to his military service.”

Chase Iron Eyes, lead attorney for the Lakota People’s Law Project

A friend of Phillips, who will remain anonymous, also contacted Indian Country Today via phone and email to say he has known Phillips for over 20 years, Phillips has talked about his service extensively for years and has never said he was deployed or in combat.

In the YouTube video, Shipley also says that “I haven’t personally heard him use the words that I am a Vietnam Vet. What I’ve heard him say and what’s written is ‘I was in Vietnam Times.”

Shipley then shows a clip of a CNN video in which Nathan Phillips does say ‘Vietnam Times,’ while CNN does show a graphic that writes “I’m a Vietnam Veteran …”

He describes Phillips as a Vietnam Times Veteran, that might not have corrected people for describing him as a Vietnam combat Veteran.

Shipley’s video thus far has just over 43,000 views.

Follow Indian Country Today’s associate editor Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter - @VinceSchilling

Email - vschilling@indiancountrytoday.com

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Don Shipley's YT channel has been terminated: "This account has been terminated due to multiple or severe violations of YouTube's policy prohibiting content designed to harass, bully or threaten."


The convenience of taking things out of context to serve your own bias is extremely tempting, but it's plain lazy to give in to it, and I personally don't appreciate a vet crapping on another vet. At any time Mr. Phillips could have been reassigned from a support role to a combat role. It really pisses me off that these rightwingers don't just ignore it, but excuse it, when Republican Presidents pretty clearly used their white male privilege to avoid real service (GWB, Trump) and to avoid getting more than a slap on the wrist for going AWOL (GWB), but they conveniently complain about Bill Clinton's Conscientious Objector status, and conspire and lie about John Kerry's actual service in actual combat being actually shot at. Hypocrites.


They also serve, who stand and wait. Anyone who joins the military, no matter whether they are in combat or are a refrigeration tech, are to be admired for their willingness to put their lives in danger in service to our country. A Veteran is a Veteran.

Rev Khan
Rev Khan

Racist is as racist does...and this Shipley dude is a racist looking for a spotlight....people who are racists will believe him because they want to. The rest of us know better. Thank you Nathan Phillips.

deaine R.
deaine R.

Let me start by saying I have never served in the military, all the same I am disappointed that Nathans military service and personal life became 'the subject'. His military record being made a public spectacle - a mockery. Never serving I nonetheless Always believed in the Brother/Sisterhood of the military. I naively believed; No mater what you did you were part of a unit. ALL jobs are integral. Apparently if one did not serve in combat, on the front line, you are fare game to being dismissed and ridiculed. Being a civilian I do understand and appreciate the importance of Nathan Phillips work. Electrical and Refrigeration encompasses residential and commercial importance. Providing power, Cooling computers, refrigeration – (food: an army marches on it's stomach) keeping medication cool, lighting up and cooling dwellings,hospitals and transport vehicles, (including associated components) are all important in maintaining health and welfare of military personnel. Sad how his service and work is trivialized.