John Giduck; Stolen Valor bully

| July 20, 2012

A week or so ago, I was honored with a request of some folks from SOCNET for our help in assisting them in a legal battle they’re having with a stolen valor thief turned bully who happens to be a lawyer. John Giduck was discharged from the Army after a lengthy career of 58 days and proceeded to build another career based on lies about his military experience – you know because all of that Drill & Ceremony gives him a distinct advantage in the world of private security. Well, the folks at SOCNET outed him as a phony and started damaging his business, so like some of the phonies we’ve had here, he struck back. I’ll let the folks from SOCNET explain the whole story;

I am a member of the U.S. Special Operations Website known as SOCNET.COM. It is, since 1996, a place for military, law enforcement and special operations personnel to “hang out” and commiserate. It is open to the public at large and often serves as a sounding board to verify someone’s bonafides in the aforementioned careers; as well as discuss various other topics.

In 2007, a member asked about an individual named John Giduck who made claims, in writing, that he was a former US Army Special Forces Soldier, Ranger, tactical parachute instructor, etc. Mr. Giduck specializes in lectures and seminars given to law enforcement and military organizations about active shooters in schools. He based his work on a book he published (Mar 2005) about the Beslan School Siege in Russia (1 Sep 2004). As usual, several of us contacted former associates to establish Mr Giduck’s credentials. Within a few days we learned that Mr. Giduck had never served in the Army nor ever been a sworn police officer. Needless to say, it put a severe ‘dent’ in his credibility and ability to critique tactics, techniques and procedures. Several of us reported our findings on SOCNET and let it go. Lots of posers, but not a lot of time to deal with them..

His company, Archangel, immediately went on the offensive and posted very long diatribes about his expertise, duty, loyalty, etc. The usual fluff one expects from individuals with direct financial ties to posers: Attack the people who question them, but not directly address facts associated with their fraudulent background. One Archangel employee, Anderson, went as far as to physically threaten a SOCNET member. The post was archived so as not to inflame the situation any further. Anderson owns a gun store in Colorado, so the threat had some degree of credibility.

After three months of harangue, Archangel and Mr. Giduck’s proxies gave up and SOCNET ignored them as well. In November 2011, another associate of Archangel and Mr. Giduck re-opened the controversy by resurrecting the old thread from 2007. This associate, Mason, is former SEAL who defrauded the Navy of $110,000 and turned on his commander Richard Marcinko (“Rougue Warrior”) in exchange for a lighter sentence. The irony of a known poser using a convicted felon to defend his ‘honor’ was not lost on us…

Mason essentially warned SOCNET as a whole that if we did not apologize to Mr. Giduck, there would be trouble ahead. We did some research and discovered three things: Whenever someone used Google and searched used “John Giduck”, SOCNET was the number one search result. Second, fewer law enforcement organizations were contacting him for speaking engagements. Many of us believe they didn’t call him back because he really didn’t provide any real value-added to their policies or training. Third, he just published another book on how a person can “Bring Out the Green Beret in You”. He co-wrote the book with Anderson. The free publicity on SOCNET apparently harmed his book sales.

Mr. Giduck stepped up his campaign along two lines: First, he promised to reveal Personal Identifying Information (PII) of every member of SOCNET he could find. Many of the members of SOCNET are on active duty or serve in sensitive duty positions. His first revelation was of an active-duty Army Special Forces Soldier. We later found out that Mr. Giduck used the Special Operations Association and the Special Forces Association to find the Soldier and publicly release his information. This Soldier is a Silver Star recipient (from Afghanistan) and serves as a Team Sergeant in a Special Forces Group.

Ron McCan, a former president of the Special Forces Association and an employee working at the Special Forces School, used his access to sensitive records and Army Knowledge Online to provide Mr. Giduck everything he needed to place the Soldier’s life in danger as well as his family. Ironically, this Soldier was the first to back away from the controversy surrounding Mr. Giduck when the President of the Special Operations Association, ‘Tilt’ Meyer, informed the Soldier that Mr. Giduck was in fact an ‘Honorary’ Lifetime Member of the SOA as well as legal counsel for the SOA. In other words, this Soldier had nothing to do with challenging the credibility of Mr. Giduck.

You can view the results of his efforts to reveal the PII of SOCNET membership at his web site [Editor Note: I removed the link to protect TAH readers from a dangerous script at the website mentioned]:

Second, Mr. Giduck mailed a ‘pseudo’ lawsuit (early 2012) directly to the Soldier demanding $200,000 from him; as well as contacting the Army directly to investigate the Soldier. The US Army cleared him of all wrong-doing.

Since March 2012 several of us on our own time began open-source research into Mr. Giduck’s past and post our findings. Among the things we discovered:

Mr. Giduck was a practicing attorney in Colorado. One of his last clients was Donna Yaklich, a woman accused (later convicted) of murdering her husband, a Pueblo PD Police Officer. He had an public affair with her after the husband’s death and flew to the Caribbean with her when the Pueblo PD issued a warrant for her arrest. She later returned, turned herself in and retained better counsel…

Mr. Giduck said he never served in the military. We found he enlisted in the Army and failed out of basic training after 58 days.

Mr. Giduck went to Russia and publicly claimed he trained with the Russian SOF, Spetsnaz, as well as consorting with the FSB. The FSB is the successor to the KGB from the Soviet era. This item set off alarm bells with those still in government service. The reason being is we are duty, morally and ethically bound to report these instances to our security and counter-intelligence. There is no “wiggle room” on that process either.

Mr. Giduck consistently provided background information to various organizations throughout the USA alluding to his military experience in SOF. This information is on the internet in cached files or the actual web sites.

Mr. Giduck used the ‘legend’ he created to segue himself into sensitive facilities as well as a national-level Tier One Counter-Terrorism organization. Mr. Giduck does not have a security clearance granted by the DoD or the US Government in general.

There are several other instances of his claims not matching actual experience. SOCNET has a compendium at these URLs:

Timeline of Claims

Outline of Activities by functional area.

Mr. Giduck has a ‘spot’ on the Poser’s “Wall of Shame” at the POW Network web site.

Other people also questioned his credibility:

This article was written in March/April 2011, but the seminar Mr Giduck spoke at was January 2010; almost two years BEFORE the Giduck Issue was resurrected by Giduck’s employees on SOCNET.

The second URL above is especially damning because it’s written by a retired Intelligence Analyst from the CIA. Mr Cariens, the analyst, started reporting on John Giduck’s so-called research on the VA-Tech Shooting in 2008 (three years before Giduck’s employees resurrected issue):


Mr. Giduck finally revealed two weeks ago what his real intention with collecting and publishing PII: He filed a civil lawsuit against 21 members of SOCNET and 30 unnamed “John Does”. Case Number 12CV128, Park County Courthouse, Colorado. Rather than elaborating on the lawsuit, I’ll summarize: It’s childish, very poorly written and is a textbook example of SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation). Coincidentally, Colorado does not have anti-SLAPP regulations as do many other states. It also comes on the heels of the SCOTUS overturning the “Stolen Valor” Act as an infringement of First Amendment rights. Mr. Giduck’s lawsuit will be the first of many more suits filed by posers to defend their ‘legends’; particularly on the internet.

No doubt you’re asking why I’m writing to you regarding this situation. In short, I’m asking for your web site’s help in publicizing this vendetta Mr. Giduck has against anyone who challenges his credibility.

Below is a letter from another member of SOCNET that best sums up the situation:

“If Giduck is allowed to win this fight it will open the door for every military poser busted on this and other websites to file suit. This suit is about money. It has been from the beginning. That was apparent from the first e-mail that slipped out of his control where Giduck states that he is looking for some deep pockets to sue and win a summary judgement.

This isn’t just about SOCNET. It’s about all of us. If he wins, we will have lost our right to have a free-speech-based opinion about those who would steal what cost us so much to earn. For years this man has posed as a Ranger and a Special Forces Soldier to sell his snake oil to LE and military personnel all over the country, and he has profited greatly. His profits are now in danger due to the truth coming out and him being exposed as the poser that he is. He has infiltrated the Special Operations Association as well as the Special Forces Association and has used them against us.

The first person he attacked, MSG XXXX, is a life member of both associations. MSG XXXX is a Silver Star recipient and an active duty E-8. Giduck attempted to extort $200K from MSG XXXX through threat of a lawsuit. MSG XXXX was served this legal document after his personal information was handed over to Giduck by the SOA. Later, the President of the SFA also used his official access as a contractor at SWC to obtain further personal information about MSG XXXX which was also handed over to Giduck. Neither association lifted a finger to stand behind our brother, MSG XXXX. MSG XXXX crime? He asked the SOA President how John Giduck could be a life member of SOA,(as per Giduck’s promotional materials) when he only served less than two months in the Army. Turns out Giduck was an “Honorary” life member. A fact that Giduck didn’t bother to mention. Giduck obtained his honorary membership in SOA by cash donations and providing free legal representation. Giduck was also the “Registered Agent” for the SOA, meaning that he had legal control of the association.

This is not an indictment of the entire SOA. They are mostly of a different generation that shy away from the internet. Most of them probably weren’t aware of any of this. The SFA is basically in the same boat. Cash donations bought influence and access. I will let others speak about the SFA if they so choose, as that is out of my lane.

Bottom line is, we, and what we stand for, are under attack. Our brothers are victims of this frivolous lawsuit filed by this impostor. We need your help. We talk about our brotherhood a lot and how we will always stand together. Well, that time has come. This website is a powerful force as we have seen many times. I’m asking you to get actively involved in this situation and stand beside us. If he is allowed to win, the consequences are dire. Not only for our brothers who are being sued and whose families, homes, careers and financial well being is at stake, but for the future of SOCNET and others like it.”

A small group of us on SOCNET are trying to get the word out publicly of Mr. Giduck’s actions. We are asking your assistance, and asking your readership to spread the word about Mr. Giduck. Mr. Giduck is fast becoming a serial litigator and will use the litigations as a source of revenue to supplement his income as a speaker. Jonathan Keith Idema did the same thing as does the Westboro Baptist Church.

I apologize for the long diatribe, but I felt you needed some situation awareness regarding Mr. Giduck’s actions.

We could really use your help. We’re not backing down from this and those of us named in the current lawsuit have no choice. We’re in it to win it.

I’ve seen where Giduck has even fooled author Brad Thor, whose novels I’ve stopped reading because of his relationship with Giduck. I don’t tolerate bullies very well, and TSO and I have been the subject of a few recently. I don’t blame these guys for not backing down. Since the Supreme Court put it all on our shoulders to enforce the standards of our veteran community, none of us can surrender an inch to these childish little thugs.

So now you know the Giduck story. Share this link to get the word out and move us up the search engine results for John Giduck

Category: Phony soldiers, Stolen Valor Act

Comments (171)

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  1. GPC says:

    Good on the SFA.

  2. Wile E. says:


    It was the SOA, not the SFA who put MSG Clouse’s info and emails into Giduck’s hands.

    They have since cut all ties with Giduck- and IMO that one individual is responsible for this goatrope, nobody else.

  3. Hondo says:

    Wile E.: thanks for the correction, and my apolgies for the error. I was working from memory and didn’t have time when posting the above to go back and double-check.

    Do you know (or are you at liberty to say) what actions, if any, are planned by the SOA and/or others regarding the “fine individual” who provided MSG Clouse’s info and e-mails to Giduck? I can’t really tell from your comment above if anything was done or is planned regarding that individual’s breach of trust.

  4. Hondo says:

    And yes, I now fully agree that the SFA is to be commended. Looks like they did the right thing and put Giduck’s contributions to what IMO is the best possible use: helping expose Giduck as a fraud.

  5. Wile E. says:

    Hondo- that is way outside my lane.

    Those who are wired into those organizations are handling it in the way they see fit however.

  6. Hondo says:

    Wile E.: thanks for the feedback; you had no obligation to reply. Good to hear that the organizations are taking action internally. Hopefully they’ll impress on the individual who breached trust that such behavior is reprehensible.

  7. GPC says:

    Radio program talking about Giduck.

  8. RN says:

    Silverbullet is a fraud. I listed to the radio show and recognized him right away. He is a pathological liar. Ask his business partner or his wife. He should not be talking about honor.

  9. Sniper111 says:

    Just posted this elsewhere and thought it was worth repeating here…

    Hey everyone. I’m Sniper111 on SOCNet as well as a named & served defendant in the Giduck goatrope.

    I started my adult life out kind of like Giduck himself. I joined the Army and wound up getting bounced out of Basic Training (I took an 11-X contract). I had messed up my knee in high school and blew it out during a road march. Docs found evidence of previous surgery which I didn’t disclose and I had joined during the big RIF years so they gave me a choice of an EPTS Entry Level Separation or getting hammered for a fraudulent enlistment. I took the former.

    When I got out I went through a police academy down south (I am originally from NY) and became a cop. I came from a family of cops to include my uncle, father and grandfather so you can say I was following in the family tradition.

    While on the job there I went through several stages in my career from patrol to precision marksman and K9 which was my last. I took the love of the German Shepherd dogs with me and continue to be involved in the breeding and training of working dogs. I also met someone who would radically change my life.

    This individual asked me if I would ever consider working overseas. After considerable discussion and a few interviews I began training for a job in Iraq and left to go do PSD and FP. During my time there I worked with some major high speed guys. My company was heavy with Special Forces and Delta. To be honest I felt I was WAY out of my league working with guys like this- literal legends- but I shut my pie hole, followed instruction and rose from a shooter slot to a shift supervisor, to finally running the AT/FP Program at the Phoenix Academy and COIN CFE at Camp Taji- a joint US/Iraqi SF training center and MITT team school.

    I then moved on to Baghdad operations where I was part of the ISOF SOPMOD HMMWV program, delivering specialized Humvees to US and Iraqi SF units all across Iraq which is where I was severely injured.

    While I was over there I made a mistake every Private has been told, quite specifically, not to make. I gave my wife a general power of attorney. I mention this because she bought a house, sight unseen, on Long Island NY. At the time we were renting in North Carolina. This plays a significant part later.

    Well, I came home all broken up. Turns out my injuries which I thought were a bum knee and a sore back were MUCH more severe than anyone had thought, including the docs at Ibn Sina in Baghdad. I had utterly messed up my spine which led to a multi-level spinal fusion and numerous operations on my leg. I was looking at years of rehabilitation just to be able to walk again.

    I had been a member of SOCNet for quite some time now- both for entertainment value and for the LEO related section. It was after my disability that I first heard of Giduck and what keyed me up was his whole involvement with Donna Yaklich.

    I said before I became a cop but that wasn’t really true. You ARE a cop- it is something you either have in your blood or you do not. Giduck picking up an officer’s widow at his funeral is to me simply disgusting and a slap in the face of everyone who ever pinned on a badge. To take this to the next level he became aware of her involvement int he contract killing of her husband and went on vacation with her to Jamaica using her dead husband’s life insurance to finance the trip so yeah- that put him on my radar big time. The same place in his heart Don Shipley has for fake SEALs is the same place I have for cop killers and their associates.

    I get Stolen Valor but the whole imbroglio with the SOA and the SFA and all of his biographies at speaking engagements saying he was SF/Ranger and articles written about him that say he was SF/Ranger and books published that say he was SF/Ranger weren’t in my lane. There are people FAR more qualified to speak to that than I. I stayed in my lane.

    My comments on Giduck on SOCNet are still there for everyone to see. Was I insulting? Damn right- and I stand behind every single word I said.

    I do not think a man who vacations with a cop killer and whose employees to this day say that Ms. Yaklich had no other option than to pay two neighborhood kids to shotgun her detective husband to death deserve to be telling cops how to do anything, much less be paid to do so. This is why I believe Giduck targeted me which in and of itself is funny considering, as had been mentioned here as well as elsewhere (and taken direct from his own email communications) that he was looking for “deep pockets”.

    I am on disability. I cannot stand nor sit for more than 30 minutes at a time without severe sciatic pain. My knee varies between 2x and 3x normal size- to the point I have more stretchmarks on it than the Octomom has on her belly. The docs all try to give me various pain medications but I make do with Motrin- having seen what painkillers do to people when I was a cop.

    Since I am on disability, none of those funds are available to Giduck if he wins. Not a cent- it’s Federal Law. That house my wife bought 7 years ago? I’m 200 grand upside down on it since the market crashed. It is filled with fabric covered aluminum wiring, the sheathing is dry rotted to the point shingles are falling off at random, the roof is slowly rotting from being shaded 24/7 and the windows are all single pane 1970’s vintage.

    I also owe 18,000 on a vehicle worth maybe 10. The man would literally be doing me a huge favor by taking it and my house off of my hands. I literally have nothing of value worth taking which is why I find my whole involvement in this thing amusing.

    But whether or not he wins I know that I can sleep well at night. I never had to prove to the world that I was the most interesting man in the world, having spent a decade in Russian uniform and knowing how to deal out ninjafied black high speed death with entrenching tools. I was, and always will be, a former cop who got to do some really cool things in a really bad place with some truly high speed guys who remain my friends to this day- and that is more than enough for me.

    Thanks for the time guys and to our supporters- please keep donating. PayPal is A couple bucks goes a long way in helping us fight this guy and we need all the help we can get. None of us has those “deep pockets” Giduck says he is looking for.

  10. GPC says:

    Don’t worry Sniper he won’t win.

  11. Stark says:

    I suspect that he knows he can’t win this- the filing is an extremely transparent joke. I think his goal is simply to make criticism of him, his laughable suggestions, and his poorly written book(s) too expensive to be worthwhile. I’d be willing to bet he has used either lawsuits or the threat thereof to silence criticism in the past and hopes he can do so again. We all know that he hasn’t been slandered, we all know that he is a public figure, and we all know that he can be mocked, derided, and laughed at. His suggestions and the persona he is attempting to project practically demand it. This little “debate” has been going on for quite a while and the one thing I have taken from it is that Johnny cannot address the legitimate criticism that has been levelled on his ideas…. If he could, he would have done so by now. “Cowardly” seems an appropriate description of his actions up to this point in regards to the manner he has chosen to deal with legitimate criticism of him. Maybe one of these days he will see fit to man up and actually try to defend his ideas instead of attempting to simply silence the legitimate criticism of his “scholarship.” Unfortunately, his actions up to this point suggest he lacks either the intellect or the character to do so. His ideas are a joke that is no longer funny. Oh yeah, you’ll also note that his supporter never address the issue, simply tries to redirect and attack. Just as (s)he has done in this thread. I take this as a tacit admission that (s)he knows Johnny’s ideas are unworkable and will never gain public support or win in a debate.

    A side note, I vaguely remember Johnny’s pal CSM Anderson writing a letter that was published on our favorite comedy site, Socnetlies in which he claimed that none of the criticism of Johnny was effecting Johnny’s business. In fact, I think he stated that Johnny was being booked for more speaking engagements than ever. This would seem to shoot Johnny’s claim that his “business” was harmed square in the ass. Unless someone was being dishonest….

    Sniper, I am sorry you got caught up in this absurd lawsuit. I wonder whether it would have been attempted if we had a loser pays system. Somehow, I doubt it.

  12. dennis yaklich says:

    John Giduck is being sought out as a supposed expert on Chechnya and terrorism. here are some reason why the press should not be wasting their time

  13. Wile E. says:

    I love you guys in a totally non DADT way

  14. GPC says:

    Nice to see he made the Fecal Four.