Robert Keith English – US Marine Corps Force Recon, Silver Star, Purple Heart, 70 confirmed kills, POSer, Blog of Shame8
Robert Keith English commonly goes by “R. Keith English” or just “Keith” as well as “Kyoshi English” in the martial arts world. English owns a martial arts training center in Richmond, Virginia. He makes a claim of serving in the Marines on his Facebook page.
His office space is adorned with U.S. Marine Corps items that implies service with the Marines, including a “Thank You” poster and card from local schoolchildren.
English proudly displays the USMC emblems and unit logos on his clothing and hats and he even has a Force Recon tattoo. The tattoo has a variation of the Recon logo in that it has a “Grim Reaper” theme because as the affidavit states, English claims that his nickname was “Reaper”.
English leverages his military and law enforcement experience to sell his training…
Keith English responds to praises directed toward him on Facebook for his service in the U.S. Marine Corps which points to common knowledge that he served. He also acknowledges these praises vs. corrects anybody, further underscoring USMC service. He also alludes to the “Meat Eater” moniker.
Several students have supplied affidavits that suggest English has made consistent claims of military service in the Marine Corps. The students attest to English frequently referencing his time in the USMC, including his service as a part of both Force Recon and Recon Battalion. They also suggest that English made claims of awards of both the Silver Star and Purple Heart, being part of an elite team of Marines that carried out a mission to retaliate for the Beirut Marine Barracks bombing of 1983. He spoke of this team wiping out an entire village in Beirut except for one person to allow for telling the story of the Marine “ghosts”. One affidavit also suggests punishment English and other Marines experienced in boot camp at MCRD Parris Island, SC.
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FOIA RESULTS – SELECTED
All results are provided below but they all basically read the same – no official military records can be found for Robert Keith English for any branch of service.
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FOIA RESULTS – COMPLETE
The above results show no service for the US Marine Corps, the US Army and the US Navy. In addition, several queries were made to the Department of Defense Manpower Data Center using both date of birth and social security number independently, in combination, and using a range of different time periods beyond the claimed 1984-1984 dates in the affidavit. All of these queries also came back negative – meaning there was no military service identified for Robert Keith English, Keith English or other various combinations of the name.
NOTE: Although several affidavits (#1 and #3) claim that English stated that he completed BUD/S training which is required for all NAVY SEALs, it seemed overkill to attempt to verify his name in the BUD/S database since there was no record of military service. Also, US Marines are not sent through BUD/S training.
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CONCLUSIONS & SUMMARY
As a result of not being able to establish English as having served in the USMC, some claims made in the affidavits will not be pursued at this time. For instance, the claim of him holding the record for highest marksmanship score at the Quantico rifle range, a record that still stands today. Several other claims fall into this category as well — BUD/S (as mentioned above), SERES, Combat Dive School (Coronado, CA), Airborne (Ft. Benning, GA), training with the Navy SEALs, training with the Israeli Mossad and validation on 70 confirmed enemy kills.
Since several affidavits (#1 and #3) state that English claims he was in the Marine Corps from 1984 – 1988, the only possibility for him to have been in combat to receive a Silver Star and Purple Heart is connected to his claim of serving with “an elite team of Marines that conducted retaliation for the Marine Corps Barracks bombing in Beirut.” The redployment of the BLT 2/8, 22nd MAU to offshore ships was completed on 26 February 1984. This marked the official end of a large presence of US troops in Beirut, Lebanon although there were remnants of rear party personnel as well as a few units with highly specific missions such as engineering support, training and embassy duty.
|The only “elite team” tasked with operating in Beirut, Lebanon was the supersecret Intelligence Support Activity (ISA) sent as an undercover unit. A lead member of the unit was Marine LtCol William V. Cowan who was newly appointed as deputy director of operations for ISA. Cowan prepared an operations plan for retaliation and SecDef Casper Weinberger concurred to send a five man team back to Beirut in which Cowan would command. They landed in Beirut in December of 1983, gathered intelligence and returned to the US in January of 1984. When Beirut’s CIA station chief William Buckley was kidnapped there was no support in Pentagon circles for the ISA to go back to Beirut.
“SECRET WARRIORS: Inside the Covert Military Operations of the Reagan Era” – Chapter 19: ‘Our Men in Beirut’ (by Steven Emerson)
Other Marines that were in Beirut during the 1984 timeframe were interviewed about English and his claim of an elite Marine unit sent to conduct retaliation for the Marine Barracks bombing. The existence of any such team(s) was denied, as well as the story about a village in Beirut where all the inhabitants were killed by this elite Marine team. An exhaustive scan of The New York Times archives revealed the newspaper did not report on such an incident and it is doubtful that this could have escaped the public eye.
There was a U.S. Marine Corps sniper in Beirut, Lebanon in 1983 that went by the call sign “Reaper”, but Keith English is not him. The real “Reaper” was written about in books about snipers, so perhaps this planted a seed and/or served as inspiration?
There were no Silver Stars awarded for the Beirut Multinational Peacekeeping Force and English does not show up in the Beirut WIA database maintained by several researchers supporting the community of Beirut veterans and family next-of-kin.
All off these claims generate more questions than answers. The awards of the Silver Star and Purple Heart elevate things to possibly Stolen Valor. If the claims are used as leverage for acquiring business from people influenced by them; then it involves further scrutiny. Everything hinges on proof of military service and to date the responses to numerous requests sent for R. Keith English’s official military records suggest there is no record of him serving in the U.S. military or the U.S. Marine Corps specifically.
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This Ain’t Hell: http://thisainthell.us/blog/?p=61036