Nathan Phillips Does Not Deserve the Title of ‘Marine’ After Misrepresenting His Service


In new videos that have been uncovered, Nathan Phillips, who did serve in the Marine Corps Reserves in the 1970’s, said he had deployed to Vietnam. That is contrary to what his DD-214 states: He was discharged as a private after four years and never deployed.

During with his interview on Today, he claimed he always said he never deployed to Vietnam.

As someone who is currently serving in the Marine Corps Reserves, this absolutely enrages me. If there’s one group of people who are lower than those who have never served and commit stolen valor, it’s people who have served and embellish their service. They do so because they feel inadequate about their service and want even more respect from people.

I loathe service liars and embellishers because they should know better. They likely have met people who have actually sacrificed and gone through the horrors of combat.

I do understand the feeling of inadequacy because I experience it myself sometimes. Sure I’m a Marine and have been for three years, but because of my very POG (person other than grunt) job, MAGTF Planning Specialist, and because I went straight into the reserves, I feel like I haven’t done anything worthwhile. I remind myself, however, that this is path I chose during the enlistment process.

Feeling inadequate about ones service is never an excuse to lie about it. It’s why I’ll never refer to myself as an Afghanistan veteran if I never deploy there.

Phillips’ lying and misrepresentation of his service also gets personal because my grandpa and uncle, both Marines, did deploy to Vietnam. My uncle doesn’t talk about his experience and my grandpa gets disability from the VA because he has major health problems from being exposed to Agent Orange. He doesn’t really talk about his experience either.

These are all things Phillips will never experience.

This information is important because of the narrative that was built around Phillips. He also did not help with his phrasing: he has been using “Vietnam-times veteran” to describe his service, and people who don’t know better assume that means “Vietnam veteran.” I believe he did so in order to get more sympathy and turn even more people against the teens in question.

This is why I believe Phillips is undeserving of the title “Marine.” The same goes for anybody who wants to appear as a war hero.

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

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Julio has previously written for Independent Journal Review. He is currently a Military/Veterans Contributor for and serving in the Marine Corps Reserves.