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

Vincent Schilling

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

Comments (236)
No. 1-34

It NEVER was about "indian peoples" or "native peoples" plight". The NCAI was established early on in dealing and handling the affairs of native peoples (honestly), but that all changed into 1990s when Casino generating tribes starting grandizing and making profits for Casino Revenue. The Indian Gaming sits on an est. $35 BILLION in casino gaming monies from one year 2017. And it keeps growing. Indian Gaming Tribes fund and "own" NCAI and it is the NCAI that funds and "owns" the Indian Country Today - which what this is. Imagine all the profits and revenues that indian peoples "never" get to witness and see all the while the "organized tribal profiteers" use the sacred and honor term "indian sovereignty" to provide separate between themselves and outside intervention. If the level and quality of NEWS that gets manufactured out from a supposed "news-journal", it only begs the question, what else do "they" do under the guise of looking out for indian peoples?

David Odell
David Odell

Shipley is wandering off his "seal" base and exposing his bias here. The qualification to be labeled a Veteran of a Foreign War, is simply to serve during any conflict, not in the conflict. So, every military member serving since the early 2000's whether stateside or deployed is a VFW. Also, we do not distinguish veterans by their specific jobs, because at any moment, anyone on active duty whether you are a supply clerk or a munitions specialist, can be deployed and killed. Being a veteran is not about arguing who did the most or the worst. Else we have a lot of questions about Officers who eat steak in far away bunkers while the privates are being bombed in the trenches. So, to be a private is much more dangerous than being an officer for sure. So, the elitist view of a seal , doesn't fly in the barracks of the ones who know they are the cannon fodder. 50,000 Americans died in Vietnam and Nathan was closer to the list of dead than Shipley. And yea, Natives serve at a higher percentage than non-natives. And yea, anti-war protestors were still harassing vets in 76. Seals get air support and special treatment. Privates get dropped and maybe picked up, maybe not. Shipley amplifies my view of elitist officers who still have their legs while demeaning the service of those closer to the Q. Maybe he should do a video about how many privates died and how many seals.


SEAL Shipley left out the part where your esteemed Elder has two judgments and two Unpiad Income Tax Liens. Maybe instead of picking fights with kids in DC, he should have used his trip money to pay his debts.

Bravo 6Fox
Bravo 6Fox

I’m a Vietnam vet and knew he could not be a Vietnam War because he is only 64 years old and I’m 72. That said I have to say that we Catholics will defend our children, families and property until death. These were children waiting for their buses to go home. They are off limits.

Long winded
Long winded

What a debacle! Is there no integrity anymore? If I can bring your character into question I can dismiss the validity of everything you say and stand for. Meanwhile, if I flourish my commitment with vague descriptions I can stand taller in a room full of posers. Even further, If I can make lite of your people I can stand as a beacon to all that is right with my people. All the while there is no one listening to what is needed in a world full of hate and oneupmenship! Absolutely no one is standing on a solid foundation of righteous indignation. Oh, but look how many "views" they have! Sheesh!