03/06/2019 by militaryphonies
Thomas Aaron Vachét comes to us from Appleton, Wisconsin but has spent a lot of his time down in Florida. He grew up in Indiana. Thomas, or Tom, is 66 years old as of March 2019.
Tom owns a couple of businesses and offers life and fitness coaching based on Navy SEAL principles.
And why not? After all, he claims he was in the Navy, went through BUDs, and was a Navy SEAL while in Vietnam.
And of course Tom wears the U.S. Navy SEAL bling – some subtle…
… and others very, very subtle…
Just a guess above. Not definative, but since he uses the SEAL expression on one of his Facebook business pages – Train in Chaos…
Some of these are a stretch, but he has other claims and references that leave nothing to the imagination and are not so subtle…
There are other references to BUD/S training…
Here, Tom talks about two tours of daily, heavy combat. (implying Vietnam)
Tom has been a successful coach, working with many pro athletes, but how much of the SEAL claim was leveraged? Here is an endorsement…
And another endorsement…
Some of these things are a little borderline, but on his business LinkedIn page, there is no subtlety about claiming Navy SEAL and having “Combat related injuries.”
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ACTIONS CONDUCTED BY MILITARY PHONIES
After contacting the UDT/SEAL archives, the Naval Special Warfare Center and checking the UDT/SEAL database we found that there is NO record of Thomas Aaron Vachét ever completing BUD/S Training or being assigned to a SEAL Team.
Thomas Aaron Vachét’s military records were ordered through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
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NATIONAL PERSONNEL RECORDS CENTER – NPRC
CRIMINAL, NEWSPAPER AND OTHER RECORDS
The following would have occured a few short months before he went into the Navy.
Here is Tom Vachet in 1973 aboard the USS Preble. The ratings are blurred out, but they are all OS rating except for Tom, who was probably striking for that rate. An E-3 is a non-designated rating.
Shortly after Vachet got out of the Navy, a wedding announcement ran in the paper – also no mention of U.S. Navy SEAL. Maybe Operations Specialist (OS) sounds like a Special Operator (SO), but the SO rating did not come about until much later.
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DISCUSSION and SUMMARY
Tom Vachet’s summary sheet shows three years of active duty. He was discharged from the Navy as a Seaman (E-3).
The summary sheet shows that he was in Vietnam, or his ship was, and he was awarded a Combat Action Ribbon. So was the ship.
On 24 January 1973, the 7th Fleet reported that the USS Preble’s torpedo tubes and three antennae were damaged by North Vietnamese artillery while the ship was operating off Quảng Trị Province just below the Vietnamese Demilitarized Zone.
It is doubtful that he ever left the ship. Since he does not have a Purple Heart, the claim of “Combat injured” is quite puzzling. However, his summary sheet does show that he was retired from the U.S. Navy and it was most likely a medical retirement.
Nothing in his military records support Tom’s claim of training to be a Navy SEAL or serving with any SEAL units.
The official military records for Tom Vachet do not support many of his claims – many of which are in violation of the Stolen Valor Act.
If these claims were leveraged by Tom for something of value over the years, including monetary gain, work positions, or advertising SEAL experience to further his business, Tom may be in violation of the Stolen Valor Act. Individual state laws may apply as well.
I imagine some of those professional athletes may have exception to what they may have been told by Tom.
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