Richard A. McKinney – US Marine Corps, Operation Desert Shield/Stom, Somalia, South America, Philippines, Twenty-Six (26) Confirmed Kills, Blog of Shame


04/22/2019 by militaryphonies


Richard A. McKinney comes to us from Muncie, Indiana. He was born in Hollywood California and grew up in Ohio. McKinney is 51 years old as of April 2019.

Richard McKinney – Facebook

McKinney is an Islam convert and earlier in his life he served in the United States Marine Corps. His military service seems important to the story he tells because he paints a portrait of hatred – especially toward Muslims.

Richard McKinney – Holding photo of himself in USMC
Richard A. McKinney – Photo from time in the USMC

The following post on Facebook tells his story – born in Hollywood CA, grew up in Cincinnati OH, used and sold drugs, ran away from home, joined the Marine Corps in 1986, discharged in 1993, joined the Army in 1995 and was medically retired in 2013 after being injured in Iraq in 2006.

McKinney – Facebook

This is important to understand because McKinney’s story narrative has been picked up on and carried on several media outlets – including CBS and MSN. Basically, the theme of his story is that it is a journey from hatred to understanding.

McKinney – Islamic Awareness Week

CBS Sunday Morning carried his story as well as others.

CBS Sunday Morning – “The Secret Lives of Muslims” (Emmy nominated series)
Richard McKinney – His teardrop tattoos, claiming one for each confirmed kill

This is the same video without the introduction…

In this video, McKinned claims that he has twenty-six (26) confirmed kills but “stopped adding after 26.”

He claims that he fought in the Middle East several times, was in [Operation] Desert Shield/Storm, South America, Philippines and Somalia.

He claims that the first time he was shot at, in the context of military service with the Marines, he thought back and realized he was in English class that same time a year ago.

In the following article, The Facing Project: The Anger is Mine, McKinney said that anger got him an early discharge from the Marines, and the PTSD got him discharged.

In the following Op-Ed, titled “I wanted to kill Muslims, too. But then I saw the light,” McKinney wrote that he fought in Somalia:

McKinney – Op-Ed Article

In the following article from the Ball State Daily News, McKinney is said to have been a Sergeant (E-5) in the Marine Corps. He works for Ball State.

McKinney – Ball State Daily News – 22 March 2016

To several people, some of the claims just didn’t sound right, especially to someone that served with him.

Facebook comments below Richard McKinney’s story.
Reddit comments about McKinney CBS Sunday Morning broadcast

In addition, the people that investigate Stolen Valor were swamped with requests about Richard McKinney, many having some doubts about his story.

. . . . .


Richard A. McKinney’s military records were ordered through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

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FOIA Results – Richard McKinney – Summary Sheet
FOIA Results – Richard McKinney – Awards Continued
FOIA Results – Richard McKinney – US Army National Guard Assignments
FOIA Results – Richard McKinney – US Marine Corps Assignments 1980s
FOIA Results – Richard McKinney – US Marine Corps Assignments 1991-92
FOIA Results – Richard McKinney – US Marine Corps Assignments 1993
Richard A. McKinney – USMC Manpower & Reserve CAR/HSM Database

. . . . .



Richard A. McKinney’s official military records show that he was in the Marine Corps and US Army National Guard from 1986 – 2013. Oddly, the Combat Action Ribbon (CAR) is not listed but it shows up in the USMC CAR/HSM database.

His time in the USMC shows he was a Cannoneer (0811) and an assualtman (0351) usually meaning TOW anti-tank.


People that served with him say the unit didn’t get there until after the fighting in Desert Storm, so that would explain the Kuwait Liberation Medal but no CAR.

SOMALIA – 1993

People that served with him say they went to Somalia but they didn’t see much, if any, combat action. He was awarded a CAR but the heavy fighting was by the US Army and not the Marine Corps – think “Black Hawk Down” movie.


There are several claims that he got out of the Marines as a Sergeant (E-5) but his CAR says a Corporal (E-4) the same year (1993) he got out. Also, the US Marine Corps summary line in the National Guard records points to him being an E-3.


There is no “war” or conflict other than Panama, Desert Storm (Iraq), Bosnia, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq (2003) during his time in the service but his records do not show some of the deployments that he claimed – namely South America and the Philippines. The Philippines was most likely a liberty stop so the image of deep-jungle insertion to fight anti-government insurgents may not be realistic.

His MOS of Cannoneer and TOW Missle would not put him into covert status and have him inserted into hotspots around the world that are kept off his military records. For this reason, we doubt some of his claims.


Lastly, he claimed in the video that the first time he was getting shot at he looked at his watch and realized a year before he was in English class. If he joined in July of 1986, school would have been out so he must have been talking about being somewhere in the spring of 1987 when he was being shot at which would make his English class in spring of 1986. We could not think of any US conflict in spring of 1987 where the Marine Corps would send him where he would be getting shot at.


This is probably the wildest claim that McKinney makes. Although military records do not keep track of such things for a regular MOS’s, McKinney simply did not have the geographical assignments supported in his records that would put him in conflicts that he could rack up such numbers of kills.

We even asked people in artillery if an artilleryman would claim such a number through their regular duty. After a chuckle and our assurance that the question was serious – we got a hard “no.”

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6 thoughts on “Richard A. McKinney – US Marine Corps, Operation Desert Shield/Stom, Somalia, South America, Philippines, Twenty-Six (26) Confirmed Kills, Blog of Shame

  1. Jon Morgan says:

    This POS was not a Sniper at the Soccer stadium in Mogadishu Somalia 1992-1993. That was SSgt Craig M. Johnston. Even SSgt Johnston didn’t have 26 confirmed. There were Marines at the Airport, Embassy, Port, and soccer stadium. The only Marines that got the CAR were the one that did the raid on Aidid compound Jan 93. SSgt Johnston was the only Sniper that day too.

  2. Mike P says:

    Glad that I’m not the only one that thought that something doesn’t smell right with this guy and his story.

  3. Bill Ledford Ledford says:


    Sent from Mail for Windows 10


  4. Gregory Romeu says:

    I suppose our country owes this POS a debt of gratitude for the entertainment that he provides us?

    What a way to destroy your “established” military service!

  5. […] folks at Military Phony send us their work on Richard A. McKinney, who served both in the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. […]

  6. Walle, A. says:

    “I think I get 26 virgins for every one I iced. That’s how it works, right? Ha-ha, but seriously folks…”

Comments are closed.


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