His name now is Gary Thomas and he has a UK passport.
Gary has over 16 years experience with Army and Marine Corps SOF units. The majority of this time has been devoted to Sniper programs. As well as graduating from most US Sniper programs, he is also a graduate of the French Foreign Legions Sniper School.
Gary is also a qualified Jump Master. As well as having hundreds of jumps around the world he has also been through the parachute programs of France, Britain, Germany, Israel, Canada and Thailand.
He is also a graduate of the Marine Corps first Silent Sentry Takedown Instructors Course at Mare Island. He is a plank owner of the 1st Marines Close Combat and Silent Sentry Takedown Course, and authored the 1st Marines Silent Sentry Takedown Manual having developed techniques for silently eliminating sentries.
Gary has plenty of real world experience to include combat in Panama, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo and Haiti. Not only does Gary have considerable experience with urban and counter sniper fire having operated in such countries as Kosovo and Somalia, he was also twice decorated for bravery as a Sniper in both countries.
Gary has operationally served in the 11th and 13th Marine Expeditionary Units (Special Operations Capable), 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Force Reconnaissance Company, Marine Corps Scout/Sniper (STA) units, the 11th and 19th Special Forces Groups (Airborne) and JSOC.
Gary has attended the California Military Academy as well as California State University and UOP. He has a BS and an MBA.
Some of Lakis’ claims
∙ Grunt 3/1 mid 80s Action in PI
∙ Marine Corps Scout/Sniper
∙ 1rst Force Recon ‐ Force Recon Jack front plate on his Tahoe, and possible tattoo on calve.
∙ Lt with 11th Special Forces Group
∙ Lt with 19th Special Forces Group
∙ Marine Corps Lt 0302
· Silver Star ‐ Action in Somalia. Holed up in the Olympic Hotel during
BHD. Was with JSOC Tier 1 (Delta)
∙ PHM‐ Action in Somalia. PHM License plate on his Corvette,
∙ 2 Air medals/Somalia
∙ Bronze Star V Action in Kosovo
Gary Lakis is good friends with the current president of the Scout Sniper Association. Lakis hired
the president’s son in hopes that that would keep the association on his side.
Garys original Claim on the Scout Sniper Association Members page. This is how it appeared on Friday
May 31 2002.
Gary A. Lakis #002 Charter/Combat/Co‐Founder B Co 1st Recon, 1st Force, 9th Marines Recon, STA
2/23, PI, Panama, Somalia, Balkans, SS, BS “V”, PHM
Changed as of June 3, 2002&after he was confronted by xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Gary A. Lakis #002 Charter/Combat B Co 1st Recon, 1st Force, STA 2/23
now look at it, 20 June 2002
Gary A. Lakis #002 Charter/Combat STA 2/23
Claims to have engaged in Combat in:
Ø PI USMC 3/1 Lima company‐ (first kill)
Ø Panama (Going to School when the US action started)
Ø Persian Gulf
Ø Kosovo STA 2/23(Body‐count in April 1999) Bronze Star V
Ø Somalia JSOC (Body Count : Holed up in the Olympic hotel during the BHD incident) Silver Star,
USMC Scout/Sniper course (has already admitted to several that this is false)
US Army Sniper Course
NSA Sniper Course Instructor (He has certificates on his office wall to this day)
CIA Sniper Course Instructor ( Never Attended )
OCS w/Army National Guard (actually he failed out in 99)
Q Course (never attended)
Ranger School (never attended)
French Foreign Legion Sniper Course in Djibouti 1996 (never attended)
BUD/S 2nd Phase only with Force Recon. Has BDU top stenciled BUD/S, also has a trident at his house.
Dates of Action Place Service Notes
Apr86‐Apr90 PI, etc 3/1 USMC First Kill
Dec 89 Panama USMC On Course
May 90 Hayward, Ca Lakis issued Guard Card
? Haiti No Info
Oct 93 Somalia “JSOC/Tier 1” “SSM/PHM”
5,8,9/95 1,4/96 Hayward Small Claims/Unlawful det
96 Djibouti Legion Sniper course
4,5/97 San Diego Filed and had Bnkrpt Meeting
? Bosnia No Info
99 Kosovo 2/23 USMC
97‐99 BSM ? Persian Gulf USMC VBSS etc
Here are three letters from three people who have known Gary for some time.
This is the letter from person # one.
I edited my post to eliminate any confusion it may have caused. Referring back to some notes,
here’s the info I was given:
Ranger: Class 2-88
NSA Operations and Intelligence Training Branch Advanced Sniper Course : January 8, 1993
CDQC; Key West, FL: February 18, 1993
MFF coin engraved with the number 0078.
A friend in SF ran a check with the Senior Tac at Ranger school,
No Gary Lakis, not in 2-88 or any other class.
NSA Sniper: I checked. No such course
CDQC: A friend in SF called Key West and talked to the guy who runs the course who happens
to be a former Force Marine himself. No Gary Lakis in any class in 1992 or 1993. No class
graduated on Feb 18th, 1993.
SOTIC: Possible, but my understanding is that Gary was at 3/1 at the time and not even in a
Sniper Billet. SOTIC is also not at Ft. Benning. The jarheads here can be the best judge of
someone attending SOTIC who isn’t in a Sniper Billet. I hear that it’s not likely.
MFF: I personally contacted an Instructor from the school and asked about the coin #. Coins are
issued. Coin #0078 would have been issued in the 1960’s. A little before Gary’s time. Gary does
not have a MFF cert on display to my knowledge. Only the coin.
Let me say again, that this info was given to me by someone else. But I have seen all four of
Gary’s I love me walls and his I love me closet in person. I also know and trust the person who
gave me the info. This person has nothing to gain by taking Gary down, he simply found it
unbelievable and wanted to know the truth. I’m not gonna go after Gary personally, but I damn
sure wont defend him. He put this stuff up there for all to see and did this to himself. Again, if
I’m wrong about all this, I’ll be the first to apologize to Gary. He brought this shit on himself.
What goes around comes around. Gary can do exactly what he told Rod Ryan to do and clear all
this up. Rod chose not to and I think Gary will do the same. Matter of fact, if the Force Recon
assn is checking all this out, that’s good enough for me. I’ll be happy to let the Corps police it’s
own. I just hope someone in the Corps gives a shit and follows all the way through, whatever the
This is the letter from person # 2
Lakis is a fake from head to toe, period. I spoke with an investigator in the IG shop at Headquarters
Marine Corps and he relayed the information I posted earlier.
I have heard, through various sources, that Gary is using the same story he told your guy – that a
disgruntled former employee was slandering him. Evidently, his employer has bought off on Gary’s
story, but the cat is out of the bag and eventually he’ll run out of maneuvering space and will tagged
by everyone as a phony. The best thing folks can do is to ensure that the SOF and defense related
communities receive word on Gary and how bogus his creds are. Eventually, he’ll be forced to seek
another line of work.
This case also illustrates how worthless a DD214 is for verification purposes. Today’s scanners and
associated computer technology enables anyone with some knowledge to modify or fabricate
realistic looking official documents. In Gary’s case, he can have all the documents in the world, but
that will not overcome the fact that to date, nobody has ever been able to find proof of him attending
a single high-speed school that he claimed to be a grad of and nobody has ever found a single
individual who remembers him serving in any high speed unit. Once we started poking around, we
realized that not one person knew or remembered Lakis in any Recon unit. What’s the chances of
that happening if a guy actually had served in a small unit like FR? By the way, his name does not
appear on any Unit Diary records of any Recon unit, which means if he was in a Recon unit, he
wasn’t getting paid each payday because that’s one of the purposes of the Unit Diary function in the
Marine Corps! Get my drift? He isn’t listed on any Unit Diary because he never joined the unit, it’s
For those who are asking him to give it up and admit his fraud, I say that you are being unrealistic.
The story he built is directly tied to his personal income and it is unlikely that he’ll do anything to
damage that. Also, Gary evidently got used to and enjoyed the respect and deference he received as
a “BTDT” and I think he became a bit intoxicated by it. He got used to showing up at sniper school
graduations, conventions,etc., and being shown respect by sincere men who thought he was one of
The bottom line is that like most phonies, he created a story that was so rich in accomplishments,
experiences, awards,etc., that most guys would not think to challenge it’s authenticity because most
guys cannot conceive that someone would ever create a bullshit story of such magnitude! But, as is
always the case, sooner or later someone grows suspicious and starts checking
facts/dates/units/awards,etc., and ultimately the entire story unravels rather quickly.
Gary got so used to telling his story, HE ACTUALLY STARTED BELIEVING IT!
He knows what he did, he knows it was wrong, he knows that he violated the trust of many and
desecrated the honor of brave men who actually lived the life he claimed to. He knows what we
think of phonies and he knows that we now think of him that way and that is the worst punishment
possible for him……..to know that we simply view him as unworthy of our friendship and that our
disgust for his actions is permanent.
No amount of money he makes in the future will ever enable him to forget this. Trust me on this
fellas, he’s paying the price for his actions and will do so for the rest of his life.
This is the letter from person # 3
You hit most of the points regarding schools and training I know something about.
In addition to the CDQC and MFF BS stories, I do not believe anyone other than Army SF refers
to their Sniper school as “SOTIC”.
Finally, the easiest one to disprove is the valor award from Colombia. An area has to be properly
designated for the issue of combat and valor awards. Colombia never has been. I have a pretty
good amount of time in the region, and the only areas in this hemisphere to be so designated
recently have been Grenada, Panama, and after much legislating, El Salvador.
Any valor or combat award for Colombia is BS, plain and simple.
He should be shunned, outed in every forum and event possible, and receive a severe asswhipping,
should he pop off with a BS story around any real BTDT
Subject: Gary Lakis update 11/25/02
This was sent Lakis’ boss on 11/25/02.
If they dont respond we will turn up the heat a little more.
I have known xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx for several years, great guy.
Please see tha L & all get a copy.
Are you aware of the extremely poor reputation your company has with SOCNET, as well as
other similar venues?
It all stems from the false military claims by your Chief Operating Officer, Gary Lakis. In simple
terms, he’s a poser who claimed special operations experience and two Silver Stars from combat
in South America. I’ve seen his VMET file (Verification of Military Experience and Training),
and others have checked all possible credentialing including his DD-214. I personally saw the
Silver Star citations hanging on the wall in his den at home. This is a man who was
photographed with the Commandant of the Marine Corps wearing Gunnery Sergeant stripes and
a chestful of unearned decorations. How does a Marine receive Gunny Stripes for four years of
active service and four years of reserve time? His DD-214 says he made Sergeant (E-5).
With millions of dollars worth of contracts in the balance, I doubt seriously if you’ll take any
action to remove him from your employ. Until that happens, your company is tainted and viewed
as a hideout for posers. If your COO is a phony, that doesn’t speak well of your company’s
vetting process and credibility of other employees. As a professional Soldier, when personnel
call me and ask about your company’s bonafides; I tell them about Mr. Lakis’ actions and
recommend they stay far away from your company. I’m not the only SOF operator who takes
BTW, why don’t you ask Mr. Lakis who wrote and vetted his POI for teaching how to Repel
Boarders for the US Navy? That was me; before I found out Mr Lakis was phony. If I were you,
I’d check the federal copyright laws; because I’ve neither received compensation nor
recognition. That’s the kind of credibility you enjoy amongst real-deal SOF personnel. The only
reason you still have a contract with the Navy right now is because of the extreme
embarrassment on the Navy’s part for being duped; and the fact they think they’re receiving
quality training. I’m sure the sailors will have a second opinion if they ever put that training to
In closing, Surgical Shooting Inc. is a real threat to the safety and well-being of our troops and
law enforcement; and I have no reason to think otherwise. Whether or not a group heeds my
opinion is their business. But I will not sit idly and allow your company to get a “free ride” with
endorsements or recruitment.
Chief Warrant Officer (retired)
US Army Special Forces
‐ Contractor Hailed As Hero ‐ This is a bogus report. Lakis was alive and working in AFG as a contractor
as of last year.
Also FYI he has changed his last name to his wife’s maiden name and was posing as a retired Marine LTC
last year in AFG.