Matthew Morton – US Marine Corps Staff Sergeant, Three Purple Hearts, Four Combat Action Ribbons, Combat Disabled, Blog of Shame


04/09/2023 by militaryphonies


Matthew Michael Morton comes to us from Saint Louis, Missouri. At the time of this writing, April 2023, Morton is 48 years old.

Matthew Morton

Besides numerous claims on Social Media, Morton has written a book called “Adaptive Bodybuilding” in which he claims he “spent 5 years in the US Marine Corps, serving from 1992 to 1997, retiring with the rank of Staff Seargent. [sic]”

Cover of “Adaptive Bodybuilding” by Matthew Morton

Morton also claimed in his book that he was awarded three (3) Purple Heart medals for being wounded in combat, along with four (4) Combat Action Ribbons for service in Somalia (1993), Rwanda (1994), Albania (1995) and Bosnia (1995). He also claimed that he “was part of a team that rescued downed U.S. Air Force Pilot, Captain Scott O’Grady from behind enemy lines.”

Excerpt from book “Adaptive Bodybuilding” by Matthew Morton

Morton also claims in the Preface section of his book that he had left the Marine Corps with PTSD and disabilities that he had amassed.

Preface from book “Adaptive Bodybuilding” by Matthew Morton

What’s not entirely clear, but perhaps implied by Morton’s statements, is whether he received combat injuries that lead to him being restricted to a wheelchair. If not directly stated, it appears heavily implied.

Facebook – Matt Morton

Twitter – Matt Morton

However, in the following video posted to Morton’s Instagram profile, it shows him using his legs without the aid of a wheelchair, although he does hobble a bit…


Morton claimed in his book that he was part of the rescue team that retrieved US Air Force pilot Captain Scott O’Grady…

Excerpt from book “Adaptive Bodybuilding” by Matthew Morton

Morton also had this photo posted on his Facebook profile, appearing to claim he was one of the Marines in the photo of the rescue team…

Facebook photo

A contributing factor for this case is Matthew Morton was posted on the popular Stolen Valor site “This Ain’t Hell” – now called “Valor Guardians” – by the late owner Jonn Lilya.

A newspaper article from the Southeast Missourian spoke about Morton’s account of the rescue mission. There was no mention of his injuries, the article instead focusing on the rescue mission.


Although Morton had some light brought to his situation based on martial arts claims, there was no mention of his disabilities or Marine Corps combat-related injuries as he has claimed. This post on This Ain’t Hell was in 2016.

NOTE: As a disclaimer – we do not investigate martial arts claims, so cannot speak to any of that.


The newspaper article above mentions that Morton joined the Missouri National Guard after his time in the Marine Corps. We find it curious that his disabilities that he claims are related to his Marine Corps service would not have been an issue upon joining the Missouri National Guard. If he was medically retired from the Marine Corps, or for that matter bound to a wheelchair, he would have to have obtained medical clearance to join the Guard.


The blog posted on This Ain’t Hell had Morton’s case brought to them by someone on the flight crew of the mission that rescued Capt Scott O’Grady, and this pilot claimed Morton was not on the roster of the 61 people that were there.

Again, we found it most interesting that Morton did not seem to exhibit the combat-related disabilities that appear to drive the central core of his bodybuilding principles based on limiting him to a wheelchair.


Now, there is a new book by Morton that was recently announced on his Facebook page…

NOTE: The U.S. Marine Corps may want to contact Matthew Morton about the use of the official Marine Corps seal on the cover of both of his books. It implies that they endorse his book, and usually they are extremely protective of the use of the USMC official seal.

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Matthew Morton’s military records were ordered through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. We filed with the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) and the US Army because he served with the Missouri National Guard, as put forth in the newspaper article from 1999.

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FOIA Results – NPRC – Summary Sheet -Matthew Morton

FOIA Results – NPRC – Assignments – Matthew Morton

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Although third-party, meaning we don’t know if they were supplied to This Ain’t Hell or they obtained the records themselves, we supply them here. They appear to accurately reflect the results that we obtained from the NPRC. The combat history page is particularly illustrative of Morton’s deployment experiences.

FOIA Results – TAH

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The length of service is consistent across all FOIA results – 1993-1997 – representing a four year enlistment. We find it odd that he claimed that he served for five (5) years in his book, but perhaps he was counting delayed entry time.

Excerpt from book “Adaptive Bodybuilding” by Matthew Morton

The claim of “retiring” from the Marine Corps is a bit odd but leads one to believe it was a medical retirement since Morton only completed four (4) years. However, the dates of his enlistment are from June 14, 1993 to June 13, 1997 – exactly four (4) years. That would cast some doubt on a medical retirement but it is possible that the dates coincided. As stated previously, a medical retirement or medical issue, in general, would have to be overcome to enter the Missouri National Guard – no small hurdle.


All documents – the NPRC summary sheet and the DD-214 – state that Morton was a Lance Corporal (E-3) vs. the Staff Sergeant (E-6) that he claimed.

Morton left the service as an E-3 Lance Corporal. Although it is possible that Morton achieved a higher rank with the Missouri National Guard, he made a specific claim in his book that he retired as a “Staff Seargent” [sic] in the Marines.

Excerpt from book “Adaptive Bodybuilding” by Matthew Morton

Morton’s official military records do not support his claim of retiring as a Staff Sergeant in the Marine Corps.


Morton did seem to be assigned to the overall MEU that was involved in the Capt Scott O’Grady rescue effort in 1999. The pilot that helped with the ‘This Ain’t Hell’ blog claimed that Morton was not on the roster of 61 individuals that were part of the rescue.

We will leave this claim to those knowledgeable about the event.


Morton’s records do not support the claims that he has a Purple Heart, let alone the claim of three in his book. Also, there are no Combat Action Ribbons (CARs) listed. Claims of either one of these medals are covered in the Stolen Valor Act of 2013.

Morton joined the Marine Corps in mid-June 1993 so it would have been a challenge to complete boot camp, attend advanced infantry training (SCOLOFIN = School of Infantry) and make it to Somalia. In fact, his records show that he went to Fort Sill Oklahoma for artillery school in Nov-Dec of 1993, then on to Camp Lejeune in early 1994.

On October 7, 1993 then President Clinton called for a withdrawal of US Forces in Somalia no later than March 31, 1994.

Morton was assigned to BLT 2/8, 24 MEU in September 1994.


The awards on the summary sheet from NPRC do not support Morton’s claims of all the hot spots that he claims in his book.


If Matthew Morton has used any of these claims to gain anything of value, he could violate the Stolen Valor Act.

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This Ain’t Hell:

9 thoughts on “Matthew Morton – US Marine Corps Staff Sergeant, Three Purple Hearts, Four Combat Action Ribbons, Combat Disabled, Blog of Shame

  1. KoB says:

    “Aliases Bulldog”? NO mofo, embellishing POS! Maybe Alias “BULLSHIT!”…cause that’s what you’re full of. You had what appears to be perfectly Honorable Service that you have shat upon by your lies. Not only are you standing on the bodies and in the blood of True Warriors by your lies, you have brought dishonor down on my Beloved Artillery Arm. HOW DARE YOU! Nothing more despicable than claiming Combat Wounds when all you may have is an award of the Purple Taint. Very possible since you’ve got that meat gazing smirk about you. Why don’t you take copies of your Book of Lies with you when you report for your next duty station @ Brucies’ Bath House (enter thru the rear). They can use the pages as toilet paper.

    Only good thing about this post, is admin did pixel out that poor puppy dog’s face and save him from shame. ESAD as you enjoy your Google Fame…Bitch!

  2. HARRY J DILLON says:

    Just another Wanna’ be, POS for sure.

  3. Eugene D Harless says:

    Guy is full of shit, A shame since he did serve and deploy to a danger area. One thing, since he was an 0811 he was NOT one of the guys they would tap to be on a TRAP Team ( But I have had deployments where an Arty Battery actually did do the TRAP training. Also pretty much impossible to pick up SSgt in 5 years or to be on the USMC Wrestling team and win Multople medals whilst serving in a FMF unit.

  4. Animal says:

    15-20 minutes? The 1MC called the CAT reaction team to the PHIBRON war room at about 0200. I don’t remember what time the TRAP team got back to the Kearsarge, but the sun was up and had been up for a while. The Sparrow Hawk had launched on 46’s and were orbiting the Kearsarge and the Bald Eagle (I was the FiST leader for the Bald Eagle) was loading our 46’s because the 53’s were receiving a lot of ground fire and SAM launches. 15-20 minutes my ass.

  5. Skivvy Stacker says:

    Times of eligibility for the CAR, in the time period he served.
    El Salvador: 1 Jan 81 to 1 Feb 92.
    Operation RESTORE HOPE (Somalia): 5 Dec 92 to 31 Mar 95.
    Cambodia: 1 Jun 92 to 15 Nov 93.
    Operation ASSURED RESPONSE (Monrovia, Liberia) : 7 to 18 Apr 96.
    Kosovo Campaign: 24 Mar 99 to 27 Jan 00.
    Operation ENDURING FREEDOM: 11 Sep 01 to 28 Dec 14.
    Operation IRAQI FREEDOM: 19 Mar 03 to 18 Dec 11.

    His claim is that he served in the Corps between 1992 and 1997.
    So, that excludes El Salvador, and Kosovo. He says he served in Kosovo.
    Assured Response was a non-combat operation.
    OEF and OIF happened well after his time in…so that leaves only Restore Hope, and Cambodia. Cambodia doesn’t really count, because it was a United Nations operation of Transition of Power in that country overseen by a “peacekeeping force” of 51 separate countries. And as pointed out in the main body of this presentation, it’s highly unlikely that he could have served there.

    So, that leaves us with no possible way he could have earned even ONE CAR, let alone FOUR.

  6. […] folks at MilitaryPhony send us their work on this Matthew Michael Morton fella. Morton comes to us from Florissant / Saint […]

  7. James S Houk says:

    I’m going to call the face he makes in every photo, “poser puss.” I’ve got to believe he has told these lies so often, he believes them. He seems so self-impressed.

  8. Hatchet says:

    Despicable embellishing POS – in spite of all your ‘service’, you learned nothing from it – there is NOT a single ounce of Semper Fi in you!! Please accept your first prize – my MIDDLE FINGER🖕And now that you know the all what we all know – remember Morty – THE INTERNET NEVER FORGETS. Bug-wit…

  9. Moose says:

    I can’t go into many details, but this guy lives very close to me and recently called the police on one of my neighbor’s kids. You wanna talk about a first class piece of shit? This guy is the worst of the worst.

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