|Years of service 1978 – 2003|
Role Navy SEAL
Spouse(s) Diane Shipley
|Relations Son - DJ Shipley|
Unit United States Navy SEALs
Name Don Shipley
|Allegiance United States of America|
Rank senior chief petty officer
Awards Navy and Marine Corps Medal for heroismNational Defense Service Medal
Service/branch United States Navy
Donald W. "Don" Shipley is a retired United States Navy SEAL. Following his retirement, he gained recognition for publicly outing false claims of military service.
Don Shipley joined the United States Navy in 1978 and became a Navy SEAL in 1984 after graduating BUD/S class 131. 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.
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.
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.
After 24 years of Navy service, he retired as a SEAL Senior Chief in 2003.
Shipley was also a Boatswain's Mate.
After retirement, Shipley worked as a Security Contractor for Blackwater Security Consulting, spending a year in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Shipley currently runs a training course with several former U.S. Navy SEALs called Extreme SEAL Experience which trains potential SEALs as well as individuals interested in experiencing the rigors of SEAL training.
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.
Exposing fraudulent SEAL claims
Shipley has garnered attention for his work publicly exposing individuals who falsely claim to have served as SEALs. He and his wife Diane produced a series of YouTube videos, "Phony Navy SEAL of the Week", which combine footage of Shipley telephoning impostors and calling them out for their acts of "stolen valor", with interactions between him and Diane and movie clips that relate to the topic at hand.
The success of the YouTube series eventually spawned a more extensive series of professionally produced video segments which are available at the website 'Extreme SEAL Videos'. In addition to a featured show in which Don and Diane personally travel around the country to confront fraudulent individuals posing as Navy SEALs, there are numerous other video segments, including Q&A sessions with the Shipleys, a cooking show hosted by Diane, and footage from the Extreme SEAL Experience training course.
Shipley is also a Special Guest Contributor at 'SOFREP.com'. 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.
Shipley is also a film producer, known for Secrets of SEAL Team Six (2011), and Inside Edition (1988).