Stolen valor: People are freaking out over Navy SEAL catching imposter

How would you classify Mitch Aguiar's reaction?

Mitch Aguiar/YouTube
Mitch Aguiar/YouTube

So, the lesson here is simple: If you weren’t a Navy SEAL, don’t claim to be.

Think that sounds crazy? As in, who would ever claim to have served as a SEAL without having the actual experience? (Because that was our thought).

Well, said Mitch Aguiar, who is an actual Navy SEAL and an MMA fighter out of Virginia, it happens more than you’d imagine. And that really grinds Aguiar’s gears. He talks about the issue on his video that follows.

So here's the deal: When Aguiar was in the middle of conducting a live Instagram broadcast at a diner in Los Angeles late last month, and he heard a man tell another man that he used to be a SEAL, Aguiar decided he’d ask the “SEAL” a few questions.

On Aguiar’s YouTube page, he explains it like this: “I was at a diner in Los Angeles for lunch and was doing an Instagram live broadcast. I overheard the conversation of the two men sitting next to me. The one guy was telling the other he used to be a Navy SEAL. I have encountered many people impersonating SEALs in the past, so I figured I would ask him a few questions and confirm whether or not he was indeed a SEAL.”

What follows is a truly cringe-worthy encounter. Aguiar peppers the man with questions about his experience before finally delivering the news that he doesn’t believe one ounce of his story.

The man backtracks a bit -- and doesn’t seem to fully understand that he’s been caught lying on camera, with a full Instagram live audience watching -- but Aguiar just gets angrier and angrier.

Click here at your own discretion if you’d like to watch the situation unfold.

Editor’s note: The video starts out harmless enough, but as Aguiar’s emotions heat up, his language does, too. Also, the Instagram fans watching the clip are seen commenting on the video as well, using some foul language themselves.

If you'd rather not watch the clip, here's a quick recap:

When Aguiar asks how long the man was a SEAL, he claims to have served in the role for four years. He had another job within the Navy as well, but as for his time as a SEAL, “that was extra duty,” the man tells Aguiar.

Smirking at many of the man’s responses, Aguiar continues to ask for details about the diner’s service as a SEAL.

The man works as a crane operator now, we learn. He’s hard to hear in the video, at times. Finally, just before the 5:30 mark, Aguiar drops the following on his new “friend,” saying simply, “I don’t think you’re a SEAL, man.”

“How come?” the man asks.

“How come?” Aguiar repeats back. “Because I’m a SEAL.”


Next, the man launches into some kind of explanation as to how things were different in the ‘70s, but Aguiar cuts him off.

“I know all about it,” Aguiar said. “I’ve been a SEAL for 10 years. And I think you should probably not (expletive) say you’re a SEAL when you’re not a SEAL.”

Almost unbelievably, the man then says he never claimed to be a SEAL.

“You just (expletive) sat here and told this guy that you were a SEAL,” Aguiar said. “And I overheard it. And then you sat there and fed me a bunch of (expletive) because you (didn’t realize you were talking to one).”

“Sorry if it came across that way,” the man said.

That sentiment angers Aguiar even more, who insists the information didn’t “come across” any way -- the man was lying.

“Do you have a job?” the man then asks Aguiar.

“Yeah. I’m a (expletive) Navy SEAL,” Aguiar responds, adding that it’s a full-time gig each and every day, and he doesn’t appreciate “insecure” people who lie and claim to be SEALs to impress others.

“You weren’t a SEAL, you never earned it, so don’t sit there and tell people that you were,” said Aguiar, and the man finally seems to concede, answering, “OK.”

The man then tries to shake Aguiar’s hand, but Aguiar turns down the attempt as his rant continues.

Back to those commenters on the Instagram Live recording and Aguiar’s YouTube page -- they’re pretty split when it comes to their opinions of the video. Some people were thrilled to see the imposter caught dead in his tracks. Others thought Aguiar, as a current Navy SEAL, could have shown more class and restraint. So now we'll ask you:

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