Ray Barrera; phony Vietnam vet

| November 6, 2015

Ray Barrera

Our friends at Professional Soldiers send us their work on this fellow, Raymond Barrera, Jr, who claims to have been a Special Forces captain in Vietnam. In his Amway magazine, Achieve, he tells of rescue operations he participated in while he was in Vietnam and how he made a freefall jump once and his chute didn’t open;

Berrera Article1

Well, according to his records, he wasn’t a captain when he left the service as a Reservist in 1980, and even though he served in Special Forces units, he never left the Continental United States, there are no Vietnam service medals or campaign medals. I see where he went to the Basic Airborne Course, but I don’t see any free fall training – although his 2-1 isn’t complete, it still doesn’t appear in his “Training”.

Ray Barrera FOIA

Ray Barrera Assignments

Ray Barrera Assignments2

Ray Barrera Training

It looks like his Special Forces training was the correspondence course, too. But, he had Special Forces hair;

Ray Barrera ID card photo

Category: Phony soldiers

Comments (82)

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  1. Hondo says:

    Looks to me like someone never bothered to complete IOAC and got 2x nonselected for CPT as a result. I could be wrong.

    • Hondo says:

      Addendum: I also wonder if he successfully completed his SF correspondence work. According to the NPRC FOIA reply, his records on file there don’t show him rating the long tab.

      • Martinjmpr says:

        Well, the SF Tab didn’t exists until 1985 IIRC so that would have been after his service ended, so I’m not sure that’s dispositive.

        He does seem to have spent a lot of time in the 12th SF Group, which would lead me to believe he probably did complete all 3 phases.

        I don’t know what it was like in the 70’s but in the early 80’s the process went like this: Phase 1 was done as an AT (Annual Training, the two-week active duty session that reservists and guardsman are required to do every year), then phase II, which was the “specialty” portion, was done by correspondence courses (though I think there was also training during regular IDT drills) and finally phase III, which was a formal exercise, was done as an AT. Similar, in some respects, to the way that the Guard and Reserve do OCS.

        The correspondence course portion of it is why people who got qualified that way were referred to has having a “paper flash” (before the SF tab was authorized in 1985 or so, the way you knew someone was fully SF qualified was that they wore a full flash behind their crest while non-SF qualified troops wore the crest directly on their beret with a “recognition bar” underneath. The “recognition bar” was the same color as the flash and was commonly called a “candy stripe.”)

        After the “long tab” was authorized, the term “paper flash” became “paper tab.”

        I don’t know when the Guard and Reserve finally did away with the paper tab but if I was to guess I’d say either in 1985 when they “professionalized” the SF branch, or else it was after Desert Storm when the woeful training status of the Reserve Components became a big scandal.

        I was in 5/19th SFG (COARNG) twice (as a support guy), the first time from 1983-84 and the second time from 1999-2003 so I got to see the change first hand. It was pretty dramatic, the guard/reserve of the 1980’s was a joke.

        • Martinjmpr says:

          ..Having said the above, it’s also possible that he completed part of the SF course and never finished it. Guard and Reserve units had a habit of keeping people on the rolls even if they failed to get qualified.

          Part of this was the “good ol’ boy” club where if you got on the right side of the full-timers they’d “take care” of you (I saw a lot of overweights and PT failures that never seemed to suffer for it) and the other part was the pressure put on the units to maintain high retention numbers even if it meant not kicking out the dirtbags.

        • I personally know of individuals that have “served” in SF guard units, some over 10 years and never went to the SFQC, never SF qualified etc. and they call themselves Green Berets. Yes, we have found them and made examples of them. Only in a Guard unit can one hold an 18 series MOS and stay there indefinitely. That doesn’t happen in an AD unit. I was AD SF 83-2000.

        • Hondo says:

          SF tab was supposedly created in 1983 (I thought 1984). However, award was retroactive to anyone who was previously SF qualified or who met one of the other alternate means of retroactive qualification defined in AR 600-8-22.

          His records obviously wouldn’t show the tab, but they would show SF qual (if he were qualified). It’s an open question regarding whether NPRC would translate that into current-day terminology or not. You’re probably correct that they wouldn’t, but I seem to remember seeing some FOIA replies from that era where they had. Not sure.

          • I believe he’s “paper qualified”. His records could be updated by NPRC to reflect his award of the “Paper Tab”.

            Our problem is his outright lies concerning his rank, Vietnam Veteran status and his bullshitte jump stories.

            Ray is nothing more than a lying, bottom-feeding scumbag.

          • Martinjmpr says:

            83 seems too early. As I said, I was in 5/19th then and at that time the flash was how you designated a fully SF qualified troop.

            I suppose it may be that it hit the AD units first since we were pretty much a low priority at that time compared to AD.

            That was also before the 18 CMF was created, so an SF soldier would keep whatever MOS he had before, whether it was 11B or 71L (Clerk/Typist) and the soldier would get the SQI of “S” added to his MOS (so a SSG who was a 71L would go from 71L3O to 71L3S.)

            Not 100% sure but I believe 1985 is when the 18-series CMF was created and I had thought (corrections welcomed) that this was also when the SF Tab replaced the flash as the way of showing who was qualified SF.

            In 1990 I was on AD and transferred into 3/1 SFG at Fort Lewis and even as a leg support guy (they sent me to jump school in 1991) I was issued a green beret with the full flash.

            Incidentally, when 5/19th deployed to Afghanistan in 2002, I believe there was one guy left in BN HQ who still had a “paper tab.”

            • Hondo says:

              1983 surprised me too – I was thinking 1984 when CMF 18 was created. But here ya go:


              • Tony180a says:

                Hondo I graduated the Q course Jul 84, think we were the 2nd or 3rd class to graduate with tabs. Memory fails me but I think it was Oct 1984 when I got orders transferring my PMOS to 18E.

                • Hondo says:

                  Believe 1 Oct 1984 (beginning of FY85) was when CMF 18 became effective. The long tab was apparently formally created over a year earlier – see my comment above and link to QM Museum page on the subject – but implementation, as usual, took a while.

                  • Tony180a says:

                    There was some shitbaggery that went on during that transition. Soldiers being awarded 18 series MOS with no “S” identifier. There was a program that 5th SFG(A) ran in 85-86 time frame called GRIT that upon completion reclassed as primary MOS or gave secondary MOS of 18E to 18B and 18C. There was a SSG who ironically was doing pretty good in the course until it was discovered that he had never been to the Q course. He had been awarded 18B as a secondary during the transition to CMF18 then he initiated a 4187 to make 18B his primary. He was dropped from the course and sent packing from group with bad paper.

                    • Hondo says:

                      Doesn’t surprise me one bit. Whenever there’s a way someone can “slide by” and get ahead, someone will try. And some who try will get caught – and burned.

  2. GDContractor says:

    Another thing…. all these shitbags claim “retired” when they didn’t earn it. 13 and a half years and the esteemed rank 1st LT… close, but no cigar. Glad the martial arts community had a place for him.

  3. Tom Huxton says:

    I will reserve judgement until I see the tat.

  4. OCCD says:

    Funny how no one ever claims to have been a truck driver or cook.

  5. Dapandico says:

    Wax on, wax off.

  6. Thunderstixx says:

    In the years I have been going to the VA I have never met a truck driver, payroll clerk, cook or even a friggin hospital orderly, and there were many.
    They were all special forces and all of them went to Laos, Cambodia, and killed thousands of NVA and VC…

  7. MCPO NYC USN Ret. says:

    Of the 6,000 or so SF guys that served in the War of Viet Nam, I have met 10,000 of them at the VAMC on 23rd Street in NYC.

  8. GDContractor says:

    This Barrera douchebag is a Facebook Friend of William Roy’s. He’s alike a special little mushroom growing out of a cow patty.

    Here’s where we talked about him before, in the William Roy thread:

    Pattern recognition for $300 Alex.

  9. nbcguy54ACTUAL says:

    I liked in his little story how he talks about during his HALO jump, it was the jet blast that shredded his main. I guess the plane must have descended with him considering what HALO means.

    Off topic, I’ve won a lot of money at the Sandia Casino.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      I love you, no shit. Buy me a stove. 🙂

    • Instinct says:

      Wait, this shitbag is in my neighborhood?

      • Instinct says:

        Sorry, that was about Ray.

        Hey, NBC – maybe you can run into him at the casino…. with your car.

      • nbcguy54ACTUAL says:

        Karate One International in Albuquerque.

        • Instinct says:

          Yeah, I’ve heard of that school. Not a great reputation, and that’s being kind.

          • Hondo says:

            Hmm. Now I’m really convinced that the folks at bullshido.net might be interested.

            • 11B-mailclerk says:

              Are they the ones who investigate claims of mastery of that obscure martial art…



              • 11B-mailclerk says:

                I wish I had a dollar for every Pseu-Do expert I have met.

              • Hondo says:

                bullshido.net is a legit martial arts site – discussion, info, etc . . . . One of the things they do is investigate martial arts qualification claims (multiple black belts, championships, certifications, etc . . . ) that seem, well, bogus.

                They investigated Stephen Burrell, the “fourth most dangerous man in the world” (along with many others), and found his martial arts claims to be mostly bullsh!t – just like TAH found his claims about his military record to be mostly bullsh!t.


                • 11B-Mailclerk says:

                  Whoops. I shouldn’t post stuff without first re-reading it.

                  Not my intent to disparage the site. Your context clearly indicated “legit”. Was trying to make a pun on phony “artists”, thus Pseu-Do.


                  Obviously I am not making a living in comedy….

      • Cake_14N says:

        I live here too. Perhaps we should meet and greet this turd and see what happens when he is asked about the status of his claims?

  10. Perry Gaskill says:

    Barrera lost me at the Vietnam-Thailand border part. Must be some Amway special salesforces territory fu.

    • Hondo says:

      Yeah, methinks his knowledge of geography is a bit lacking.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      Oh, that border! Yes, that’s the one the CIA never discusses, not even now. It was the one where Barerra’s squad ran into an unknown clearing in the dense jungle and engaged a bunch of enemy Fireants in an unending duel, with only one potty break each and a game of baseball at the end of the firefight.

  11. Combat Historian says:

    I’ve served at Bliss, it’s just like Vietnam; you cross the Mekong (oops! Rio Grande) and it’s like “Indian Country” and everythin’…///

    • Hondo says:

      Haven’t been stationed at Bliss, but I have traveled extensively in that general area.

      Anyone who would confuse that area with SEA must IMO have been engaging in “better living through chemistry” – as in, “lots of heavy chemicals”. (smile)

    • CLAW says:

      I’m thinking he was actually thinking about MacGregor Range and not Fort Bliss proper.

      When we out at MacGregor unit training in the summer of 72, it was just like Vietnam de-ja-vu all over again for me.

      • CLAW says:

        Pen and ink change:

        Delete the”a” in MacGregor.

        Should read McGregor.

        No excuse, just mis-remembering without factual name checking.

      • CLAW says:

        McGregor Range, New Mexico. What a wonderful little hole in the wall it was back in 72.

        I was one of the original plank owners to the reactivated 1/3 (Towed Vulcan) ADA (or as we were known for a short while the 5/562d ADA) that was forming up for training in the spring of 72. Signed in to the Battalion in mid-March when there were maybe 75 people already assigned.
        Started training as a Gun Bunny but was recruited by a mechanic buddy to go see the Motor Officer. They needed a parts clerk. So I and another buddy flipped a quarter. I called it and ended up the parts clerk. The other buddy went to the S-3 shop as a driver/clerk-typist.
        Time went by, training and receipt of vehicles and guns progressed, and in July we got word we were being moved out to McGregor Range. Seems the 3rd ACR was moving from Ft. Lewis down to Ft. Bliss and we were occupying the barracks/headquarters area that was slated for them.
        So, lock stock and barrel, out to McGregor we went. Lots to do out there, had wonderful balmy weather conditions to contend with and lots of coyotes to keep us company.
        Anyway, long story short, completed our training and unit moved to Ft. Campbell in November/December to join up with our parent unit, the 101st Airborne.
        As far as I know, all the follow-on ADA outfits did their training out at McGregor until the Army filled out it’s Divisions with ADA assets.

  12. CC Senor says:

    I’ve been to Viet Nam and been to Puerto Rico on TDY. Got drunk in both places, so it’s easy to see how he might have confused the two. No, come to think of it, it isn’t. Bayamon wasn’t anything like Lai Khe.

  13. Hondo says:

    I’m kinda wondering if the folks over at bulshido.net would be interested in hearing about this guy.

  14. Richard says:

    Is that a really small halibut on his head?

  15. I once did a HALO from a BlackHawk, tailgate onto St Mere Eglise. Upon exit my chute was also “shredded” by the jet blast. I cut away the main and went for the reserve. It wasn’t there, funding cuts, no reserve. I died.
    True story!

  16. CLAW says:

    George Plimpton could write a book about him.
    Bert Lahr could portray him in a movie.
    This is why the active duty forces didn’t think too highly of the Reserves and National Guard during Vietnam.

    This man is truly a cowardly paper lion.

    • Hondo says:

      CLAW: you might be surprised at just how many reservists served in Vietnam proper.

      58,202 US military personnel died in Vietnam (includes those who have DOW since the war). Of those, more than 10% – 5,977 – were members of the Reserve Components.


      LBJ refused to ask for a large-scale mobilization of RC assets during Vietnam. That means the vast majority of those RC individuals voluntarily served in Vietnam.

      Yeah, a fair number of folks “hid out” in the RC during the Vietnam War to avoid getting shot at. But a fair number of RC troops stepped up and served there. Nearly 6,000 came back in a box, or didn’t come home at all (BNR).

      • CLAW says:

        Just remembering them as units, not as individuals.
        TY for the info.

        • Hondo says:

          De nada. I was surprised at the total number also – I was thinking that I’d read somewhere that the total of RC personnel lost in Vietam was in the 2,000 to 3,000 range. Reality was approximately 2x that.

          • CLAW says:

            I think there may be some skewing of the data as to what we think of as Reservists.
            If you look up virtually any of the Aviation Warrant Officer KIA info, they are almost always listed as “Reserve Component of the US Army”.
            Same thing with many of the younger branched commissioned officer Aviators from all services. All listed as Reserve Commission status.
            Maybe that’s why the numbers look bigger than we realized.

            • Hondo says:

              Possible. At the time, officer personnel had a “dual grade” setup – a permanent rank (if they were RA), and their active duty rank (AUS, typically a higher grade) at which they were currently serving. (Those without a RA commission would have a USAR rank unless and until they applied for and received RA status). Believe the same was true with the WO community as well.

              I believe they were nonetheless counted as Active Duty personnel (and casualties) vice RC, but maybe not. If not, that could certainly skew the numbers. We lost quite a number of junior pilots and junior officers in Vietnam. Many of them hadn’t yet applied for or been granted RA status.

              Haven’t been able to find a better answer yet. Might take quite a while.

              • CLAW says:

                Some numbers I’ve seen:

                Estimated at over 40,000 helicopter pilots served during Vietnam.
                2,202 helicopter pilots KIA.

                Many listed as Reserve losses?

                Could be.

                • CLAW says:

                  Here’s a few closer numbers. The total number of KIA from my company in RVN was 43.

                  21 Officers
                  22 Enlisted

                  Of the Officers, 19 were listed as being Reserve Component of the Army, only two listed as Regular Component in the VHPA KIA database.

                  Did those 19 count as a number included in the 5,977 Reservists KIA number? We don’t know, that’s why Hondo and I were kind of spitballing numbers.

                  • SidneyBroadshead says:

                    I think they might. Most OTS and ROTC “90-Day Wonder” commissions were RC. All Academy commissions and the top 10% of OTS and ROTC classes were AD commissions.

                    Officer and Warrant Officer pilots usually had Reserve Component commissions, as they served at the pleasure of the Defense Department – even though they could be reactivated at any time.

          • Jonn Lilyea says:

            5,977 Reservists and 101 Guardsmen were killed in Vietnam.

      • nbcguy54ACTUAL says:

        Point to ponder: How many would have survived if provided with good training…

  17. Ex-PH2 says:

    I’m truly surprised that he and Thunderchicken don’t know each other.

    I know for a FACT that Vietnam had both double canopies and triple canopies. They were ALL over the place.

    We should get those two together!

  18. Green Thumb says:

    His chute did not open.

    I guess that triple canopy jungle top provided the cushioning he needed.

    This turd is so hardcore he probably did not even need a parachute.



  19. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    Hey WAIT, he’s part of Amway, a hard outfit to get into, ain’t it? I bet his Martial Arts background helps him to draw circles and pyramids at meetings like no one else!!! All that time and he made the stellar Officer rank of 1LT, kinda like a fifteen year E4.

  20. Bernath's Fuel Gauge says:

    Wow, another gas bag goes down in flames, maybe a future member of the DRC!!!!!!!

  21. NavyCWORet says:

    Okay, help a squid out…his records indicate Airborne and Ranger qualified and completion of the Special Forces “Extension Course” which I assume to be the “paper tab” you Army guys are talking about. Wouldn’t that put something in his records to indicate SF Qual’d ? Just completion of the course isn’t, in and of itself, qualification right? Can you actually be assigned to an ODA, even in the Reserves, without being SF Qual’d?

    • Hondo says:

      During that time frame, yes – he could indeed have been assigned to a USAR or ARNG SF ODA w/o necessarily being fully qualified. The USAR and ARNG got very few slots for active duty SF training (if any) during those years.

      If he’d completed all the requirements for qualification under RC rules of the day (or otherwise qualified for retroactive qualification – which this guy didn’t; the alternatives generally included wartime service with SF or SF predecessor units during specified periods and conflicts), he should have something in his records indicating that fact. For enlisted personnel, that would have been orders granting the “S” identifier (as Martinjmpr noted above). I’d have to research what went into an officer’s file to document SF qual – I don’t believe officer personnel got the “S” identifier (think that was enlisted-only), but I could be wrong about that. The practice ended 30+ years ago, and my memory sometimes is shorter than my . . . . hair these days. (smile)

      • GDContractor says:

        That then begs the question of how many junior officers were assigned to an ODA while in a full body cast and a year of “intensive therapy”.

      • NavyCWORet says:

        So, because he was enlisted (1967-1970) when he completed his SF Extension Course (1969), he should have an “S” identifier in his record.

        • Hondo says:

          Not sure that the SF Extension Course was all that was required. But if he’d (a) successfully completed that, AND (b) completed all other requirements, AND (c) requested the ASI, AND (d) been approved by the appropriate approval authority (Group Commander, I think) – then he should indeed have gotten orders awarding the “S” ASI identifier.

          Whether NPRC techs today screen records of that era for the presence of documentation of award of the “S” identifier and equate that with award of today’s SF Tab, I don’t know. They might, or they might not.

  22. Sparks says:

    Good Golly Miss Molly! I have better looking old rug laying on my garage floor. Hey Ray, start paying more than $29.99 plus S&H, for a wig…please.

  23. HMCS (FMF) ret. says:

    Damn… dude probably knows Lon Duc Dong, who lives in the hamlet of Ho Li Shit in the province of Phuc Mi. His fav disk is Cream of Sum Yung Guy soup… his “handler was some dude in a purple jump suit” called QUEEFERS… did 14 “deep anal penetration” missions together in “THE SHIT”… Calls himself “the original RICE PADDY DADDY”…