You might remember the story of Sherri Papini’s kidnapping in November. She was released mostly because of the efforts of Cameron Gamble, an Air Force veteran who was hired by an anonymous donor to secure her release. He gave them a time frame in which they could accept a large cash payment in exchange for Sheri. When they didn’t respond in an appropriate amount of time, Cameron took the offer off of the table and told the criminals that he was coming for them. Within hours, Papini was found alongside a country road and unharmed, mostly.
In the aftermath, the amateur phony hunters came out of the woodwork questioning Gamble’s experience and training. Like Katie Zavadski and Kelly Weill at the Daily Beast.
For years, Gamble sold anti-abduction courses, touting his alleged military training. Gamble advertised himself as a specialist in kidnapping-prevention training, although his actual record in that field, and as a hostage negotiator, is vague at best. According to military service records, he enlisted in the Air Force 2002 and was discharged in July 2005. He was a Senior Airman when he was discharged, a rank just above Airman First Class, assigned to work as a vehicle operations apprentice. The Air Force could not provide the terms of his discharge, but bankruptcy filings show he received disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
He often cites his Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape training in online biographies, and the Air Force confirmed that he has completed a Combat Survival Training Course—as do all aircrew members. He also claims to have trained special forces soldiers at Fort Rucker in Alabama, but the Army post did not respond to requests by The Daily Beast to confirm Gamble’s claim.
After leaving the Air Force, Gamble founded multiple companies with military-sounding names including the Catalyst Advanced Training Group and Project TAKEN.
Even I have trouble with the records of folks who have served in special warfare units, which is why I have friends in the various branches that help me sort through the stuff. The Daily Beast and others haven’t bothered with the experts. Cameron went to Don Shipley to clear his name.
Don called today and asked us to help get the story out there. He has promised several other iterations of his interviews with Gamble. Here’s his introduction. Language warning;
Category: Real Soldiers