Mike Kavanagh; phony Navy SEAL

| December 12, 2017 | 90 Comments

Our partners at Military Phonies share their work with us on this fellow Mike Kavanagh who claims to be a Navy SEAL in social media conversations;

The real deal SEALs at Military Phonies couldn’t find Mike in the SEAL database so they got his FOIA;

Their summary of his career;

As we wander through these records we can come to a few conclusions. We have found at least three Navy NECs awarded. He attended an EOD Scuba Diver school in Key West and was given NEC 5345 (Scuba Diver). A follow-on school called EOD/Technical Escort is next on the list but shows an N/A in the completed box with no NEC awarded. He then reports to the USS Bowen DE 1079 for duty as an Electricians Mate third class. Two years later (1973) Mike goes to Second Class Diver school and earns the NEC 5343. He was an E5 in 1975 and by 1978 he was earning NEC 5311 (Saturation Diver) and it appears his records show him as an E6. During that year his records show him receiving two blocks of dive training with one being 17 weeks long and the other 14 weeks in duration. That’s why its confusing that he would be released from the Navy the following year. Those types of schools usually require an extension of guaranteed service. His official records show he was discharged as an E4. The DD214 he provided to us shows he was discharged as an E6. We have no explanation for this discrepancy. There is no record of Kavanagh ever attending SEAL Training or even being near a SEAL Command. He shows no SEAL or EOD Navy Enlisted Codes in is records. He also shows no record of service in Vietnam.

Category: Phony soldiers

Comments (90)

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  1. A Proud Infidel®™ says:


  2. 2banana says:

    A pretty cool career with some pretty cool schools.

    NOT A SEAL but he probably worked with them at some time.

    And he did more cool things than about 80% of the rest of the Navy…

    Don’t know why that wasn’t enough.

    • Steve says:

      Exactly! If you had a movie made about your job, you definitely don’t need to embellish!

      Saturation diving looks like pretty gnarly stuff. I’d be stoked to say that I did that as a job.

      I. Just. Don’t. Get. It.

  3. Combat Historian says:

    Your phony SEAL of the day…

    So the guy has all kinds of training and duties as a diver, which is a pretty impressive resume of duty and service, then steps on his dick and got booted, and is now claiming to be a SEAL…

    Sad and pretty pathetic…

    • Hondo says:

      Yep – did things requiring true guts and courage, then crapped all over his otherwise admirable record by claiming to be something he never was.

      SoUnDs FaMiLiAr, DoEsN’t It?

      • HMCS(FMF) ret says:

        Just like the sHoRtBuSwInDoWlIcKeR, he took a shit all over his honorable service…

        • Kevin Kavanagh says:

          Mike is my dad – not sure why that record is messed up, but we left the Navy from Coronado in the early 80s. He never even told me he was actually a seal until a few years ago, and I’m in my 40s. That hat was a gift from his Dr at the VA who was trying to help him acknowledge his life accomplishments and actions. It’s the only non-uniform thing I’ve ever seen him wear with a trident on it. (as I kid, I thought the trident was the Navy symbol because everyone I met had the same one).

          • EODJay says:

            Yes, a sock puppet! I love when they show up.

            • EODJay says:

              In light of all the posts by Kevin, I’ll walk back the sock puppet claim. For now. All this shit is suspect.

              Alright Kevin, let me break this down in Big Bird terms. The amount of time that it would take someone to just attend Dive school (multiple by this story), UDT, EOD, SEAL would be years Just in schools. We haven’t even taken into account any OJT and probationary times. All of this time wouldn’t just be a blip in someones assignments.

              There’s a laundry list of other discrepancies that I will not address. I’m not in the business of arming phonies with intel.

              However, just for a chuckle, I still want to know where he went to EOD school and how long it was.

              • Kevin Kavanagh says:

                I’m not sure where or how long, but I do plan to ask him over and talk about it. I’ve been meaning to try and have a candid conversation with him about his time in the navy and after (we traveled to other states and countries for several years still after he got out). His specific work in the Navy was never talked about much growing up and we were basically told not to talk about it, but he was always disappearing for days or weeks at a time.

                I’m as interested or more as anyone in here about what really happened.

              • Ex-PH2 says:

                Okay, Kevin, “disappearing for weeks at a time” simply means he was deployed somewhere and nothing else. If it was 50-some years ago, it’s no longer secure information, even if it was back then.

                For example, anything I worked on back in the 1960s that may have been secure info back then is no longer “secure”. Some of it is, in fact, plastered all over the internet now. So if your dad says he can’t talk about it, he should know the war is long since over and nothing, including tapping citizens’ phonelines, is “secret” stuff any more.

  4. EODJay says:

    I can help here. Used to be you would attend chemical school before you went to EOD school as EOD deals with chemical weapons. During this time frame he should have had a direct follow on school that is not listed in his records. I’ll keep that school to myself so I don’t unintentionally arm any prospect phonies.

    Looking at his records, I can’t tell if he made it through chem and decided to DOR or if he just didn’t make it through chem.

    • Bobo says:

      It would be hard to believe that someone would remove himself from the EOD pipeline but continue to stay in the diving field. Why not just go on to be an EM who happens to be dive qualled?

      • Kevin Kavanagh says:

        Mike is my dad. I’m not entirely sure what happened with the schooling, but some of that record they publish is missing information. It doesn’t list several of our later posts and has the discharge location wrong. We left the Navy from Coronado in the early 80s. Dad has never spoken much about exactly what he did, but all I remember (possibly out of order?) is Electrician>EOD>UDT>SEAL>Sat Diver. The EOD/UDT thing is the order I don’t know.

  5. Ex-PH2 says:

    He went into Dive/Salvage, which is hard enough, then leaves the Navy. Maybe made some massive mistake – something like that – and was let go. What he was doing was difficult enough. There is no reason to pretend he was something else. It’s worse when he posts implied threats in his comments in public. Just plain stupid.

    • Kevin Kavanagh says:

      Mike is my dad, and yeah, he’s never pretended to be anything he isn’t (unless it was in the line of duty maybe? I don’t really know). That site seems to be missing the last couple years of our posts. When he left the Navy, we were in Coronado in the early 80s. That hat was given to him by his VA Dr a couple years ago, and is the first thing I’ve ever seen him wear other than a uniform with a trident.

      • Ex-PH2 says:

        I don’t give a damn about his hat. It’s his behavior toward other people that is obnoxious and disturbing. Making implied threats is a hostile way to respond.

        And stop repeating yourself, Kevin. It’s annoying that you can’t post something relevant to what I said. It means you didn’t read my comment and you’re just copying and pasting stuff to look like you’re responding.

        • Kevin Kavanagh says:

          Sorry, you’re right, I think I copy-pasted this. I wasn’t sure how the response notification thing worked on this site, and I wanted to reply to as many as I could.

          I certainly can’t defend his words that come off sounding threatening.

  6. OldManchu says:

    Just when I thought the phony Rangers might have a chance to catch up in the score, along comes this jerk.

  7. NHSparky says:

    E-4 after 9.5 years spells at least one of two things: major dickstepper or a rock with lips.

    • Graybeard says:

      One has to wonder.
      Mike Kavanagh did some cool stuff – stuff way beyond my ability, gets up to E6, it seems, but leaves shortly after a school that seems to require some time commitment as an E4.

      Does not past the smell test.

      • Kevin Kavanagh says:

        Mike is my dad and I have thoughts about what happened after that school. I have no proof of anything, but I’m under the impression he went to work for another government agency eventually (we continued to move around the world every couple years). Also, I don’t know why it doesn’t show some of the remaining posts we had (several appear missing), but when he left the Navy, we were in Coronado in the early 80s.

        • Daisy Cutter says:

          I admire you for coming out and offering what you can in defense of your dad.

          Here is the thing though – why would he be letting you take the lead on this? He will quickly find that he cannot answer specific questions without digging a deeper hole for himself. At what point is he going to protect you and tell you to disengage? He deleted his Facebook page. That should tell you something.

          • Kevin Kavanagh says:

            I don’t even think he knows that I know. Some random person sent me a link via FB message to the first site, and the only things that person has posted are links to that same page for others. As for the FB account delete, I don’t know. I’ll have to ask – maybe I’ll learn something else today.

            • Daisy Cutter says:

              The more questions that you ask him, the more he will realize he is on a dead end street. There’s an old saying – When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

              Moving forward, it will be important for you to see how your father reacts to all of this. It is embarrassing to say the least. For whatever reason, somewhere along the line, others may have associated him with being a SEAL when he mentioned all of the diving experience. Who knows? Maybe it was easier to just say he was a SEAL rather than explain the complicated difference. I have no idea WHY he chose this path, but his character should reveal itself, especially with you involved with it. If he lies, he may not see he is hurting anyone. If he realizes that it may hurt others around him he may come clean. Telling the truth is a lot easier. There are no stories to keep straight.

              • Kevin Kavanagh says:

                Thanks for the honest feedback. I’m going to see what else I can come up with. I’ve been meaning to ask him to come over and see if he would chat freely about his time with the teams. I do know (fuck, maybe?) that he worked closely with the teams as either EOD or UDT. He always said he went EOD/UDT/SEAL/Sat Diver, but maybe you’re right – maybe it’s an association thing.

        • PTBH says:

          Kevin, you are correct in that a few pages were missing from the record of assignments. The investigators realized this but felt they had enough to move forward with this case. There is still nothing in his training that suggests he was a SEAL. Nothing. Also, he is not in the BUD/S database, and he would have been if he did the training to become a SEAL.

          • Kevin Kavanagh says:

            Thank you. Is it possible for you to share those missing pages? I’m seeing all this for the first time myself. I’m not sure when the BUD/S school was started, but he said he worked with the seals before joining the team (although until today I never knew what team, except he had some quirky sayings and our locations and dates seemed to align with 6, but that could just be my own childish imaginings). Is it possible to get assigned to a team during special projects based on something other than BUD/S? I have no clue how any of that works. As one other poster here mentioned, maybe it’s a terminology thing that became easier to say SEAL than whatever-kind-of-special-attachemnt-to-enable-seals. I’d like to find out for myself as well. Thanks

            • PTBH says:

              I should have clarified – the entire military record was ordered and the NPRC did not include the record of assignments for some years. The records can be requested again to include the omisson but it will take 3-6 weeks. Even then, they may not include the missing pages if they are not in the record.

              When the NPRC fails to include some records it is oversight. Some would have you believe that it is the super-secret nature of the work that someone did in the Navy – i.e. classified and sealed, only to be opened by the President of the United States in a time of crisis.

              The truth is much simpler – they failed to include them for whatever reason.

            • PTBH says:

              There are people that work with the Teams in support roles, but that does not make them a SEAL.

              Cook, medical support, logistic support, boat crews, etc.

            • TSM says:

              UDT/SEALs went to BUD/S. He never went to BUD/S and that is a fact. His claims are all false which would include his claim that you had to be EOD to be UDT. I would guess that there are less than 130 Vietnam veteran SEALs left and they tend to know each other. He is not known. His list of assignments show no commands where he would of supported the Teams. I was in the Teams 20 years and every command I was at was listed. He was career oriented as he was in so long but something seems to of happened to drive him out of the service. Faking UDT/SEAL is the worse thing someone can do because we are one of the few units that has a list of every single one that has ever served. Team 6 did not come around till after your dad left the service. No matter how many of his record pages are missing he never went to BUD/S

              • Kevin Kavanagh says:

                Thanks for the insight to how it works, I appreciate it. I’m learning a lot today.

                • TSM says:

                  And I spent 11 years of my career at 2 so he should stop claiming that. I tell you what. If he will come to a SEAL reunion, East or West coast or the Muster at the Museum in Florida and convince us all he was a SEAL I will pay for his lifetime membership in the Association. Plus it is strange that he isn’t here speaking for himself. If I was called a fake I sure as hell would be blasting the page. But he just sits back

          • Hondo says:

            Actually, I think his record of assignments provided in the FOIA reply is complete with respect to his active duty service.

            The NA 13164 summary sheet gives his dates of active duty as 27 Feb 1970 – 31 Aug 1979 (inclusive). The period 1 Sep 1979 through 28 Oct 1981 was service in the US Navy Reserve.

            The two assignment sheets listed cover virtually all of his time on active duty. The first entry on the first record of assignments sheet is dated 27 Feb 1970 and indicates an enlistment. The last entry on the 2nd record of assignments sheet is dated 29 Aug 1979 and indicates Transient status. He was released from Active Duty on 31 Aug 1979. I don’t see any glaring gaps in the record of assignment.

            If his service in the USNR was in an inactive reserve status, it’s entirely possible there may be no entries for same since he’d already satisfied his 6 yr total military obligation when he entered into the USNR. And his discharge from the USNR on 28 Oct 1981 may well be consistent with having exceeded HYT for an E4 in the USNR.

            Bottom line: I don’t think there is anything else. The records provided seem to fully cover his time on active duty, and his roughly 2 years in the USNR was quite possibly in inactive reserve status since he’d satisfied his total military obligation when he entered the USNR.

            • Kevin Kavanagh says:

              Thanks for explaining that. I know we were at a few bases between 79 and 81. I never knew he was reserve, because (as far as I know) he still worked actively the whole time with the Navy until we left in 81.

              • EODJay says:

                Where did he go to EOD school and how long was it?

                • NavyEODguy says:

                  Hey EODJay. You know an EOD Tech can’t really answer that question. 1) they’ll claim its TS; 2) or, I went to school A for this course, school B for this course….how do you expect me to remember every school and course I took to become an EOD Tech? Geez, some people.

                  • EODJay says:

                    Very true. I don’t know what I was thinking. BTW, I was a terra firma tech and went to the school down there and second phase, up there. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. I talked to a few Tech friends in the wetter service to get them to weigh in. I sure hope they do, they’d have fun with this clown.

  8. FuzeVT says:

    Why do these guys claim to be something that is so easily debunked (via the SEAL data base)? It’s like claiming the Medal of Honor – it’s just to easy to debunk.

    Or at least it seems that way to me. Are there really people who get away with this indefinitely? I know people get busted here and other places after lying for years, but sooner or later it SEEMS LIKE it always catches up to you. Am I wrong?

    • Atkron says:

      I have to guess that they either don’t realize there are people watching for this shit, or they just don’t think about anything….at all.


    • Andy11M says:

      remember FuzeVT, military fakery is always just the tip of the shit iceberg.

      • Kevin Kavanagh says:

        Mike is my dad – not sure why that record is messed up, but we left the Navy from Coronado in the early 80s. He never even told me he was actually a seal until a few years ago, and I’m in my 40s. That hat was a gift from his Dr at the VA who was trying to help him acknowledge his life accomplishments and actions. It’s the only non-uniform thing I’ve ever seen him wear with a trident on it. (as I kid, I thought the trident was the Navy symbol because everyone I met had the same one).

        • Daisy Cutter says:

          Messed up how? You mean that it doesn’t say “SEAL”?

          This is always difficult with family members. It will take a while before you realize that your father lied to you. I know this is difficult to believe or accept, but this is the truth and it will take a while to sink in. Better that he comes clean with you vs. drag it out. It tends to get messy.

          Ask yourself – does he keep in contact with his SEAL buddies?

          • Kevin Kavanagh says:

            Well, it’s missing the last few years of service for one thing. I’m not too familiar with the particular docs, as I’m seeing them for the first time today, but I know I was on bases in more places than are listed there.
            And yeah, he’s kept in contact with some. A few have stayed in our home. The contact gets fewer and farther between as the years go by.

            • Daisy Cutter says:

              Do you have the names of his SEAL buddies that are willing to vouch for him?

              • Kevin Kavanagh says:

                I remember a few first names, but I don’t have direct contact with any of them. I’m going to see what I can find. I’d like to get to the bottom of it as much as anyone – I’ve always wondered what my dad actually did, but have never really asked him point blank.

                • Daisy Cutter says:

                  The military records basically tell the story of what he did. They are difficult to read if you were never in the military. Heck, they are difficult to read even if you were in the military. 😉

                  Ask him why he went from an E-6 to an E-4 which is a drop in pay grade. We don’t have to know here on this forum. I’m just saying to ask for your own benefit.

                  • Kevin Kavanagh says:

                    I appreciate the suggestion and will find a way to ask about that. I’ve been tempted to ask him over for dinner and candid conversation – looks like now is a good time. thanks

                    • Dave Hardin says:

                      Your father was a Navy Diver and a deep water diver at that.

                      He has plenty to be proud of what he actually did do.

                      He was never a SEAL

                    • Graybeard says:

                      To affirm what Dave said: what your father did do in the Navy was outstanding. He was a far better man than I.
                      Why and how this “SEAL” thing started is another question. You know your father better than we can. He may be having some issues that need addressed professionally, or he may just have decided he wasn’t cool enough and wanted to be cool.
                      Hope you can get it sorted out for his, and your family’s, sake.

  9. rgr769 says:

    Another day, another fake SEAL POSer. At this rate, in fifty years a quarter of the male population 40 to 80 years old will have claimed to have been Navy SEALs. Except, by then we will have fake female SEALs in the mix.

  10. Andy11M says:

    I like the super generic SEAL hat he has on. Doesn’t list a specific team, just “The SEALs”. In a way that’s smart. Nobody can pin him down on some random fact if he had a team on it. Of course if he had a hat with anything other than SEAL team 1 or 2 on it claiming Vietnam, someone who knows would call him on it.

    • Kevin Kavanagh says:

      Team 2 according to the information he posted in response to the questions on that site.

      Mike is my dad. That hat was a gift to him from his Dr at the VA who was trying to get him to acknowledge his accomplishments and life decisions. It’s the only non-uniform Trident I’ve ever seen him wear. Some of the info on that site is missing. We left the Navy from Coronado in the early 80s.

      • rgr769 says:

        Sorry you have to learn the truth, but your father was never a SEAL if he did not attend and graduate from BUD/S school. And his records show he did not, period. He also lied about having served in Viet Nam, which he did not do either. What he did do was honorable and now he has ruined that with his lies.

  11. Kevin Kavanagh says:

    Mike is my dad –

    There seems to be some missing info (as far as I recall my own life anyway).

    The site making the claims looks to be missing info somehow. We lived on both coasts in the states and last station was Coronado into the 80s. Don’t know why that and some other posts are missing, but I also know my dad had always kept pretty quiet about his actual job. Some days I’d wake up and mom would say ‘dad had to go to work’, and he’d be gone for days or weeks. He never acknowledged he was even on the teams to me until a few years ago, and I was born in the early 70s. To this day I have no idea what team he was on or what he did, other than he was apparently very good at it and enjoyed it.

    The hat in the picture was given to him by his Dr at the VA in an effort to get him to acknowledge his life and actions and accept the truth. Prior to this I’d never seen him wear anything with a trident on it other than his uniform (which I actually saw only a handful of times, he lived mostly in civvies).

    • Kevin Kavanagh says:

      I learned something about my dad today. Apparently he was on team 2 according to his response so someone asking him questions.

      • Daisy Cutter says:

        Sorry, I posted and then saw your response.

        What time frame was he at SEAL Team 2? Who was his commanding officer during the time he served with SEAL Team 2? Where was SEAL Team 2 based out of during the time he was with them.

        Thanks for your help in getting this all cleared up.

        • Kevin Kavanagh says:

          I learned he was on team 2 when I read that comment today (I always sort of imagined he was in the early days of 6 because the timing and our locations aligned). He’s never been very open about his time with the teams and I’ve never really pushed for answers. occasionally when we’ve had random conversation about some place we lived (a few other states and countries after he left the Navy) he’ll say, “I wonder if I should tell your mom why we were there” (they’re divorced and have been for like 30 years). I could tell you where we lived and in what years maybe. But then my childhood lessons about not talking about dad’s job comes back. LoL. Maybe I’ll dig some more on my own for a bit. I don’t know a good way to share my contact info, other than you can find me via instagram under username __kevink__

          • PTBH says:

            Do you have a Facebook page?

          • Mark Lauer says:

            Son, none of that works.
            My dad was in Air Force Intelligence when he served (1948-1955). He could tell us that. We always knew he was AF Intell, that he was in Japan, and that he worked mostly in administration. NONE of that is secret. The only thing he couldn’t tell us was what kind of information he handled. That’s it.
            So, every time I hear someone say; “he couldn’t talk about being a SEAL, or RECON, or Green Beret”; I know they’ve been lied to. There is nothing secret about those units or about being in them.
            Aside from which, the “classified” operations those guys engaged in back in the 70s are no longer classified.

    • Daisy Cutter says:

      If he said he was on the Teams, which Team was he on, please?

      A simple question that he should be proud to answer.

  12. Ex-PH2 says:

    I suggest that Mr, Kavanagh provide his class number. All BUD/S graduates know their class number, including any who started during the Vietnam period.

    If he can’t provide his class number (which can easily be verified), he was not a SEAL. Working with a team does not make him a SEAL. It simply makes him part of support. And, no, the class numbers are NOT classified.


    Gotta love that alcoholic skin tone of his that would make Rudolph jealous.

  14. mr. sharkman says:

    What a complete dumbass.

    After having spent years referring to myself as a ‘Navy Diver’ when the situation and/or the conversation demanded it; ‘You were in the Navy? Cool! What was your job? What did you do?’, that is enough to get a couple of ‘awesome!’ ‘so cool’ and a couple of beers – as well it should be (apologies to all Navy divers for borrowing their title over the years). The hoops required to be any kind of diver in almost any military are worthy of pride.

    And if some dry and safe civilian who thinks being a Navy diver is somehow less honorable (less honorable than what? Being a good looking Ron Jeremy on viagra @ 30 meters under the sea?) than being a Teamguy/combat swimmer/combat diver) then they can go fuck themselves with a few bites to the groin from a hungry tiger shark.

  15. JBar says:

    This guy has to be trolling the hell out of everyone. There is no way someone who is successfully using the internet, posting comments on Facebook and blogs, and text messaging others can not understand how technology has opened up communication and verification. I can understand how people could have easily pulled the wool over peoples’ eyes back in the day of paper records, etc, but this guy… He is some kind of special. Like others have said, why blow an honorable and quite accomplished experience like this? He is persistent.

    Mike is my dad!

  16. EODJay says:

    Come on back Kevin. We’re waiting for answers.

  17. annabelle says:

    i wonder if the old guy is having dementia problems… they have anger issues and false memories.

  18. EODJay says:

    Hey Kevin, what did you find out? You said you were going to come back and give us answers, so give us answers.

  19. hoofhearted says:

    close, but no cigar (Trident).

    quit trying to get laid over 1970s accomplishments, mikey.


    to TAH: merry christmas, from NOfuck, VAgina…

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