Nicholas William Paea, Fails The “Q” Course, Claims SF And Purple Hearts




Cincinnati, Ohio/San Diego, California –  Meet Nicholas Paea, he loves to tell people he was a Long Tabber that served multiple tours in Afghanistan and Iraq with 7th Group. He also likes to tell of his Purple Heart’s, two of them in fact. He claims one is from being hit by an IED, which gave him a TBI(Traumatic Brain Injury).

He also claims a Bronze Star with Valor, he is also wearing a CIB(Combat Infantryman’s Badge) with a star, which means he would have had to seen action in another theater besides the War on Terror. Because you can’t get two CIB’s unless you saw action in another theater besides Iraq/Afghanistan not to mention he has his Infantry cord on the wrong side of the uniform!

We were contacted about Mr. Paea after he was spotted at a Disabled American Veteran’s event in Cincinnati by a real member of the SF community, this long tabber, whom we will not name, actually believed him until his last line. He told him that he completed the “Q” course without having to go through Robin Sage.

Since 1974, Robin Sage, the culmination exercise for the SFQC, has been the litmus test for Soldiers striving to earn the coveted Green Beret. (Prior to 1974, similar exercises were held under the name Devil’s Arrow, Swift Strike, and Guerrilla USA.) It is during Robin Sage, held in 15 rural North Carolina counties, that Soldiers must put all the skills they have learned throughout the SFQC to the test in an unconventional-warfare training exercise, this is a requirement to earn the Green Beret, so this threw up an immediate flag.

People started digging and finding all of Paea’s claims online, below is a snapshot of his LinkedIn profile before he changed it recently. These were taken by members of the SF community soon after the chatter started about him.





These are the awards he claimed on the above account:




Mr. Paea also did an interview with “The Activist” which is a newspaper at the University of Cincinnati, as you can see below, he claims to be a former Green Beret who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and suffers from PTSD and TBI. He was trying to start a Veteran’s support group at the college, this was also one of the reasons questions got asked, because someone on the board at the college knew our Green Beret and asked him about Nick. The Green Beret’s are a small community, everyone know’s everyone and if you don’t, someone you know does. After the questions started, his Vet’s group did not make it to far off the ground.



Our SF contact also said he gave a speech to the UC Army ROTC about life as an SF operator, he called the LTC there but it was too late because he already gave the talk.

The Disabled American Veteran’s also made him a poster boy due to his claims, according to the below snippet from the website he suffered a brain injury and back trauma while serving in Afghanistan.



In the Facebook post below, he signs his name as SSG, U.S. Army.



Here’s another photo of Paea in uniform:

unnamed (1)


In the photo below, he is wearing what has been identified by the Special Force’s community as a Green Beret ring.




The snapshot below was taken from a review he did on a product he bought:



After digging all of this up, we started sending out request to check on his real status, because no one in 7th had ever heard of this guy, and the claim that he did not have to complete Robin Sage to graduate really sent waves through the community.

The first thing to be confirmed was that he did not successfully graduate the “Q” course(Special Forces Qualification Course).  This was the response from the JFK Special Warfare Center and School:


“Paea was a member of Class 2-00 on 16 Dec 99 Started SFQC Communications Sgt Course Ph 1 class 2-01;

Admin Recycle to class 3-01 on 24 May 01.

Relieved from SFQC Communications SGT Course Ph 1 class 3-01 for admin reasons on 17 Jan 02.

No record of any additional training”


He did not earn the tab, nor did he earn the Green Beret, so after finding out this it brought all his other claims into question. We contacted several different record’s repositories to make sure we had all of our bases covered. The record’s the Army has on Mr. Paea in no way reflect what he is claiming.

Here is the response from St. Louis:

NARA1newAs you can see above he has no record of any deployment’s to a combat zone, he was stationed in Camp Casey, this is where he was separated from. No record of any Bronze Star’s with Valor, Purple Heart’s, or CIB’s and no record of “Q” course completion.

We wanted to make sure nothing was missed so we also reached out to our POC’s at Fort Knox, the response from them is below:

  • Rank: Private. Highest rank held was Specialist effective July 2003.
  • MOS: Infantry, Infantryman (11B)
  • Service: Active Duty from February 1996 to April 2004
  • February to October 1996: Training at Fort Bliss, Texas, and Fort Stewart,Georgia
  • October 1996 to November 1998: 1st Battalion, 3rd Air Defense Artillery, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia
  • November 1998 to November 2001: 3rd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina
  • November 2001 to June 2002: Training, Fort Bragg, North Carolina
  • June 2002 to April 2004: 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Korea


  • Army Good Conduct Medal
  • National Defense Service Medal (2 awards)
  • Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
  • Korean Defense Service Medal
  • Non-commissioned Officers Professional Development Ribbon with Numeral 2
  • Army Service Ribbon
  • Parachutist Badge
  • Expert Marksmanship Badge with rifle bar\
  • Sharpshooter Marksmanship Badge with grenade bar


These are the official responses from the Army, Mr. Paea has not seen combat,  never been deployed and did not suffer any injuries from an Improvised Explosive Device. So more than half of the ribbon rack he is wearing is a lie.

We also noticed he was discharged as a Private, even though it seems he attended PLDC/WLC and BNCOC. Seems he was selected for E5, but never selected before he was released. But the reasons for reduction are not public record unless a Courts Martial was involved.


We got Mr. Paea’s contact information and reached out to him to find out why he had embellished his service record, to our surprise he did respond to us several times.  We sent him one last email to try to close the loop on all of it, but he never responded and I feel we gave him ample time.










In the emails above he tells us that he borrowed the uniform, but that does not explain the claims to the SF member at the DAV event in which he claimed SF, and all the articles. I really hope he is being honest about the claims to the VA through the DAV,  and that his claim was for the parachute mishap not an injury from a non-existent deployment.

The Special Forces community is a small community compared to the Army as a whole, in speaking with the Operator who spoke to Paea that day, he informed me that in all of Cincinnati he knows of one other Green Beret in the city. One day they will learn that posing is not as easy to get away with as it used to be. Someone will call you on it, and when they do, you just might find yourself here as well.

For some reason I have a feeling we will be adding updates to this story in the near future.


UPDATE: 20140428

Just received a call from one of our SF contacts, he made contact with Mr. Paea, he admitted to him all of the above. He also said he would post a public apology for all to see on his Facebook profile, we shall see.


UPDATE: 20140428

As he said he would, he posted an apology to his timeline:


Click the link below for the apology on Facebook:

Facebook Apology Link

UPDATE: 20140429

The link above no longer works, he kept the apology up for several hours and removed it, you can see the snapshot above.

Guardian of Valor Merchandise


What are your thoughts?
59 comments on “Nicholas William Paea, Fails The “Q” Course, Claims SF And Purple Hearts
  1. Whats funny is he claims he borrowed the uniform, but thats clearly a 2nd infantry division patch on his arm. Which is the unit that he was stationed at last. So im calling bull on the borrowed uniform.

    • My opinion: I am beyond thrilled to see Nick Paea finally exposed for the fraud he is. I am one of his many ex-mothers-in-law. He never divorced his first wife, married a second time and then married a third time to my daughter in 1999. They have a son who will be 16 next month. He does NOT pay child support. He and his new wife, I’ve lost count on which one this is, just relocated to a beautiful house, they take incredible beach vacations and brag about it all over Facebook, all without supporting his son. I think he has five kids by three or four different women. He was in Korea when my grandson was born in Georgia. When he came back, they were stationed at Ft. Bragg, living on base housing. He got sent overseas, leaving my daughter and grandson behind at Ft. Bragg. She thought everything was fine. He suddenly stopped her allotment and quit paying on their car, which was repossessed. My grandson was a toddler and my daughter was a stay at home mom. She suddenly had no income. The Army was fine with that. While he was overseas, he got someone to forge leave papers for him so he could go to Russia to meet other women. The Army was fine with that. Nothing ever happened to him, he was never held accountable. My daughter got a job while still at Ft. Bragg, trying to support their son. We sent her money to help. She didn’t even have a car because of him. He didn’t even have the guts to tell her he wanted to end their marriage, he just let her figure it out. He finally came stateside and helped get her moved out of base housing. She returned to Georgia where we and our family helped her and her son get back on their feet. He has lied, schemed, connived, manipulated, conned, charmed, whatever, his entire life. His dad was a veteran and a decent man who is probably rolling over in his grave. My grandson is an amazing teenager, probably headed to The Citadel after graduation, in spite of Nick Paea, who isn’t fit to lick the boots of Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden, let alone any American veteran who has sacrificed for our country. He is a lowlife dirtbag who thinks no matter what he says or does is fine and OK with everyone. No one is ever supposed to question him, he has an explanation for everything. He has gotten by with every rotten thing he’s ever done his entire life. FINALLY, someone has outed him. THANK YOU. My opinion.

        • Kathy, I confused, was your grandson born before he married your daughter? You said “he was in Kuwait when my grandson was born”, his record states he was in N. Carolina from Nov. 98 to Nov. 01. His record shows no Kuwait service. Please clarify the

          • I served with him in Kuwait. I was a 14R. He was a 14S. He served on a Bradley Linebacker in out unit, which no longer exists. The Linebacker ADA companies were disbanded around the beginning of the 2001 war.

            He remained in my KABAL the entire time we were deployed and did not go to Russia from Kuwait or during the months that we were deployed there. It was considered a Hazardous Duty deployment. However, it was not during a combat operation. The operation was named Operation Desert Thunder (Desert Blunder to us ground pounder types). He was on the last C-5 flight out, with me and our Plt. Sgt. back to Hunter Army Airfield in Ga enroute to Ft. Stewart, Ga. I went on Leave for days a week or so after returning, so I am unaware of his potential travels during that period.

            I have no opinion on the valor issue, as when he popped into my head tonight I decided to look him up. Surprised, but not entirely shocked at what I found. He earned the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal during that time (1998ish), which is not reflected in his records above. I have the orders and slept in the same tent. They were unit orders, and that also authorizes the award for him. He was a Specialist at the time that I left the unit.

            I had faith in him as a brother in arms. I want to make that clear. He worked hard. If the false claims are true, I am disappointed, but I would like to make sure the facts are clear, as well.

            I left Ft. Stewart in 1999 for Korea, myself. After leaving had no contact with him.

      • ” My grandson was a toddler and my daughter was a stay at home mom. She suddenly had no income. The Army was fine with that. ” Let’s not blame this on the Army. If they had reported everything properly, the military strictly enforces the financial support of dependents. With or without his blessing they would have taken from his pay to support her and the child.

  2. Korean defense medal listed on records and 2nd Inf Div patch on arm. How come the records don’t specify his Korean service–or any overseas service. If you are in ten years it is difficult not to do one or more overseas tours.

      • I must have read it through too fast before, or I saw the 506th posting and skipped the rest being ignorant of the more recent history of the regiment. It’s hard to understand the guy doing ten years of service, no matter what the did or did not do, and making up stuff to make himself look better. But so many have done this that it must be some common fantasy. We’ve had two such cases here in our little part of Florida.

  3. There were a couple references to “earning the Beret and the Tab.” I’ve been out since ’96 but, to the best of my knowledge, you only earn the tab. The beret is issued to anyone that joins an SF unit. One of the last views I had after clearing post at Bragg was two females wearing berets with flashes. That kinda ticked me off when I thought back to what I had to go through to get my “Flash.” As I understand it; issuing the beret and flash is what precipitated the “Tab.” to show SF qualification. Getting my tab? It was thrown across the counter at me by a Spec 4 in S4.

    • That is all incorrect. The maroon beret is worn by non-SF personnel serving in a supporting role in a SFG. The tab AND the Green Beret are earned upon successful completion of the Robin Sage event, and may not be worn by anyone who is not SF qualified. Period.

      • Actually Bob is partially correct. Back in the 70-80s they let support personnel wear the Green Beret for a period, then it was thankfully stopped and they now wear the maroon beret with the group flash.

  4. A possible explanation for BNCOC maybe Sopc (not sure of spelling). Some group recruits I was in Korea with failed out of selections but already had leadership schools because of sopc.

  5. He’s also wearing a HALO badge. Guys like this really piss me off – I’ve busted many “so called” Rangers, SF guys and SEALS. One dude claimed to have won the Medal of Honor.

  6. “I try not ti discuss my time in the Army with anyone.” Really? It seems you were happy to talk to EVERYONE about it tunitl you got called out.

  7. As Mr. Elmer posted before, How in the hell do these POS’s get Va benefits and the guys that truly earned them can hardly get anything. I have a good friend that was in an IED explosion and you wouldnt believe the BS he goes thru. Its not like he asked to have a large chunk of his brain blown out.
    After having retired from the USN after 21 years, I have the utmost respect for him, just hate the crap he has to go thru just to get the meager help he more than well deserves. Then to see these pieces of trash get benefits just makes my blood boil. I dont know how the guys from Stolen Valor do it on a daily basis. I would be getting arrested daily for throttling these pieces of trash.

  8. Im a veteran, U.S. Army 6 years mechanic no combat duty. U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman 8404 FMF Corpsman, deployed for Desert Storm with 3rd Tracks out of Camp Pendleton. Good men died, families still grieve, kids will never know their dads. This S.O.B. needs about fifteen minutes in a undisclosed location with vets from different conflicts. He HAS earned a beating and he sincerely deserves it !!!

    • I am the wife of a Retired Msgt from the Air Force. I believe that people who do these things should be punished by the people who TRULY DESERVE the awards and ribbons. I would be glad to help with the punishment!

    • He does have two non commission officer professional development ribbons and completed BNCOC ( now ALC) in his record though. In my experience SPC (or privates) can’t go beyond PLDC (now WLC). As stated in the article he may have been a higher rank and some point and got knocked down and that wouldnt be public record. Steven offered an explination for the BNCOC. I don’t know anything about what he was talking about though. That’s outside my relm of knowledge. Id go out on a limb saying he was probably an E5 SGT at some point, possibly selected for E6 SSG.

  9. FWIW. uniform has several errors. the “blue cord” is the Infantry lanyard, not worn by SF and also worn on the right arm, not the left. French lanyard is a unit award, not worn on the left but rather the right arm. the Parachutist qualification is worn on a SF background trimming (oval), not on his uniform. and one could go on with error “mistakes” he made.

  10. I remember being a PVT in Korea and being told not to end up like Paea. This guy has been getting called out on stuff for years. It’s just now made it to Guardian of Valor. Good to see some great work done here.

  11. There are going to be fakes in life anywhere you go. JUST LOOK AT OUR WHITE HOUSE NOW. Case proven. You just have to decipher between the bull and the truth and when you discover the bull, blow their cover and watch them squirm. Life’s too short to worry about the morons of the world.

  12. Retired after 26 years from the Army. Been around the world a couple if times. See POS like him often, in fake uniforms. Call them out every time, will continue til the day I die

  13. Nicholas, lying bitch, step up to the plate. I earned my SF tab and my CIB and don’t need a piss ant like you smarting off after being such a coward. Get ready to get pinched. I just turned your info over to a close friend in VA. If you are receiving any benefits from your lies, you will lose them shortly as well as face criminal charges. Get over that, punk!

  14. Just before graduation from basic training, we received a day pass. One of the guys. Was taken to the orderly room by an nco. As the nco stated, he had more medals than the General and was a private. Dead give away. Last time I saw George. He was very quiet and stayed alone. But, no ucmj. Happened in FT Ord. 1966.

  15. I had the dubious distinction of knowing this dickbag in both C Co 3-505 PIR and in 1-506 IN (I was in C Co and he was in B Co). He went to selection and the Q course with my best friend and didn’t finish the Q. Showed up in Korea as an E4 (briefly wore the tab IIRC) with some bullshit story that he had made it through the Q but got kicked off of an ODA. Went AWOL with a Russian drinky girl. Got chaptered. We got deployed to OIF but he didn’t (but seems to be wearing the 2ID combat patch in the photo here like he did). And I don’t remember him getting busted up on a jump. Shitbag.

  16. All I wish to say is that it is very sad apology or not that a Service Member would try and gain type of personal gain from lies. It’s appalling…. I served my Country for 17yrs and some do have numerous tours in hostel areas and was blown up while serving in one. I am permanently disabled for the rest of my life and so many other like me fought for our lives. Men, Women in World War 1,2 Korea, Vietnam who fight for so many yrs just to get few more percents of VA aid and this Pawn scum lies to get aid… Talks about all he almost lost, he should have to pay back money given to him based on lies. Makes me sick to be honest…. The Great Men and Women who serve our Country with Honor r classified with this Jackass…. Just isn’t right, not my a mile.

  17. I spoke to the Army personnel in charge of allotments myself. She told me Nick could stop the allotment if he wanted to and the Army couldn’t make him support his family. Fact, true story. He stopped all his allotments, which included his bills and furniture payments.

  18. My name is Anthony. I am 14 years old. Nicholas Paea was apparently a role model for me, and now ex – step father for a few years. When we first met he told me he was in the army stationed in Korea. He moved in with me and my mom. When he moved in all he brought was his cloths and an Xbox “all he most likely had”. My mom bought him a truck to move from Montana to California. Also she rented a place for him to stay, furnished from Ikea and paid all utilities upfront including first and last payment for the place. My mom was in Real-Estate so she had no problem affording it. The only problem was she was blinded by love to see who he really was on the inside. Not the phony kiss ass man he is on the outside. He and my mom got married about a year or 2 after that and had 2 kids named Charles and Alex. One day I came home to find all of his stuff on the porch in front of our house with a letter on it that said “you are history“. I walked in and asked my mom what’s going on. She said nothing. About a weak later Nick returned home because he was apparently on a business trip with his boss Larry Flynt “Owner and Founder of Hustler” when he was really at his current “wife’s” house doing God knows what, who worked for Flynt as well, they both got kicked out from that job because of “strict policy against employee relationships”. There were many occasions before that too. I am now 14 and having his lying unfaithful face in my memories giving me the chills after reading this not to mention the fact that he abandoned 3 families and 5 kids and lied about the number of wife’s and children he had before to my mother. He had 2 children with my mom and never sent even a sent a birthday card after my mom kicked him out on august 26th 2010 for cheating. When his youngest child was turning 2, instead of being with his child, he was celebrating Thanksgiving with girlfriend Julie now his wife. He used to tell me the stories of how he got blown up by a tank or battle ship or whatever it was. He use to also make Green Beret shirts and Special Forces shirts. One day I asked him to make me one. He said ok but I couldn’t wear it out of the house. When I asked why he had no response but umm umm it’s dishonorable. I thought it meant I would be dishonorable but look at this story then tell me who he really meant. What goes around comes around what’s happening to him right now is well overdue. The karma of his 5 biological children “K., B., M., C., and baby A.

    • Anthony, I am the M in those initials. I honestly cant believe he done that to Alex and Charlie. He was deployed when I was born and left my mom and me when I was 4.He said was coming back and he never did. My mom told me that he would not be coming back and sometime after that I was walking with her and I started crying and she asked what’s wrong and I asked what did I do for him to leave and not come back anyways I would like to talk to if you could email that would be great. You can email me at

  19. PLDC & BNCOC (ph1 anyway) are the first things you used to do after getting selected and arriving at the Q if you didn’t already have them under your belt (regardless of rank), at least in that time period. It would seem that this turd and I were in the Q at the same time and got dropped around the same time…of course, I never claimed that I passed nor do I forget which shoulder my cord goes on and I earned my stripes, CIB, & 2xPHs. This chunk of human detritus needs a good boot stomping.

  20. I used to screw him when he was married to one or two of his wives. He wasn’t a bad screw, but damn would he cheat his way through the bar. He used to talk about leaving his wife and kids and having a life and kids with me, but that never happened, he just moved on to the next girl. He ended up divorcing his wife, obviously. But hey…I see he’s doing well now. Good for him! Whether he’s special forces or not doesn’t matter, he was hung and all the right places. As far as his wives and several kids, well…sucks to be you guys. Should have had a better daddy!

    • What is wrong with you Jennifer Hiben? Initially, I was just disgusted with this piece of garbage stealing valor, but of course where there is smoke there is fire. This poser has neglected his responsibilities and does not fit the definition of man or human being. Who messed you up so bad that you could be so flippant with regard to his children?
      Which pole palace do you work at?

  21. I knew this dbag in the course and in the 506th. He never completed the course because he quit. He was caught by his 1sg, myself and another guy that was med dropped from the QCourse, in Korea. That’s why he went AWOL with s bar girl he was chaptered out way before we deployed. His reasoning for the false wearing of the long tab was that his 214 had his mos as 18 series. Everyone that goes through or attempts to go through had their MOS changed day one it doesn’t get changed back when you leave for what ever reason.

  22. I met paea when I was stationed at Fort Bragg. He was trying to hit on me and I found out he had a wife and kid on base. Fortunately I had some friends in Special Forces who told me the loser was recycled and then dropped from the Q course because he was a complete dirt bag. Now that I hear that he has not only left a trail of crap all over the world, seems like he left a trail of ex wives, baby moma’s and kids all over the world as well. I’m Airborne and served with honor. I hope his current wife becomes his ex-wife and his exposure protects others in the future from this sociopath.

  23. I have to say that as a veteran, like many of you (I’m sure), I personally think this guy is getting off too light. This “man” not only dishonored the uniform and those who bled for this country but he left a literal trail of broken houses, fatherless children & cons. There simply has to be something the Federal Government, VA or authorities can do with this piece of garbage because he has destroyed lives (literally) while hiding behind a mask and that just doesn’t sit right with me.

  24. It took me 18 years to get 100%. for PTSD and Residuals for a right hand avulsion 20% here……30% there. Denials, appeals and i had the DAV helping me. Only 29 months? Makes me sick. What I don’t understand that some of these guys have prety good service records and decent awards. They just wann go that extra fathom.

    AGCII -retired NAVY PUKE

  25. The guy should have just done what I, and over a dozen other Veterans from around the country did; look for successful things other campus’ are doing- then adopt their practices into your campus to start. Then get funding, form the Student Veterans of America- and TRULY help your fellow Brothers and Sisters. That’s what we did, but then again, who am I…LOL

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