Arthur Leon Rhodes
Article by Chuck Hardin.
Arthur Leon Rhodes, a.k.a. "Lee Shadow Bear", is an instructor of kung fu san soo in Colorado. He has made a number of claims of elite military service, including service in the US Marine Corps, BUD/S training, service in combat, and assignments to multiple Special Forces units in the Marine Corps and Army. These claims are false. Rhodes' service in the Marines was relatively undistinguished; he served with none of the units he claimed, and received no Special Forces training of any kind.
Bullshido member Deadpan Scientist posted the contents of a message on a kung fu forum by one "Lee Shadow Bear":
For the past 28 years I have been involved with the:
I was involved in American POW location missions in Cambodia, Laos, North Vietnam and Southern China.
Marine Corps 1 Recon, 3rd Recon and 2nd Bn/ 9th Marines Infantry Regiment. I was also an instructor at the Amphibious Recon Crs at Coronado and the Jungle Warfare and Survival School at Subic Bay in the Phillipines. My Primary MOS (Military Ocupational Specialty) was Parachute and SCUBA qualified Recon with a Secondary MOS of Sniper/Scout.
In 1998 after winning the Marine Corps Super Squad Competition in Quantico, Va..the Commandant of the Marine Corps promoted me to the rank of Staff Sgt and offered me the duty assignment of my choice. I was requested and was granted a quota to attend BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolitions/SEAL) training at Coronado and 6 months TAD (Temporary Additional Duty) assignment to the Naval Special Warfare Group. After graduation from BUD/S I was allowed to train with SEAL-3 for three months.
That was some of the best training of my life. It was hard but some of the best times that I've ever had.
My Army affiliations include assignments to the 7th Special Forces Group(Airborne), 2nd Ranger Bn, 1st Special Operations Command, 5th SFG(A) and 1st Special Forces Command. I was involved with Special Forces Operational Detatchment-A334, SFOD-A534(SCUBA), SFOD-A535, SFOD-D...and others.
Since leaving the Army I have continually worked in contract military operations. Read into that what you will. I wont be going into detail about the people I work for or the agencies involved.
I have seen combat from 1975 to present in Cambodia, Angola, El Salvador, Quatemala, Honduras, Nicaraqua, Beirut, Lybia, Lebanon, Syria, Kenya, Uganda, Chad, Grenada, Beirut, Nicaragua, Columbia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Sudan, Iraq, Mombassa, Entebe.
I have been in the past year to Khandahar, Khashmir and Qatar.
"Lee Shadow Bear" appeared on Bullshido under the handle Spook6HOG and made more claims:
Promoted to Lcpl June 1st. Meretorious Promotion to Cpl June 30th same month. Meretorious Promotion to Sgt 14 months later. Meretorious Promotion to SSgt after winning Super Squad Competition.
What The Records Show
"Lee Shadow Bear" shared seven addresses with Arthur Leon Rhodes, a.k.a. "Lee Rhodes", including two PO Boxes. Also, a bankruptcy proceeding for "Lee Shadow Bear" in Colorado in 2003 was filed under Rhodes' Social Security number, and Spook6HOG registered on Bullshido with a birthdate of October 21, 1957, the same as Rhodes' and "Shadow Bear's" birthdates. Bullshido concludes that "Lee Shadow Bear" and Arthur Leon Rhodes are the same person, and that Spook6HOG was him.
Rhodes' actual military records tell a different, less impressive tale.
His actual MOS in the Marine Corps was 7242 (Air Support Operations Operator). This is a fairly straightforward communications technician MOS, and involves no advanced combat training. He served for a total of six years, and went into the Reserves thereafter. He was assigned to the Headquarters and Service Company of the Second Battalion of the Ninth Marines. By the time Rhodes was on active duty on June 24, 1975, the Second Battalion had already seen its last action of the Vietnam War.
He also served in the Army Air National Guard for a year, and left at the rank of Private.
There is no Special Forces service of any kind in his record, nor any combat decorations. He never attended BUD/S and was never assigned to any Special Forces unit. There is nothing in his record to indicate that he ever won the Super Squad Competition, or that he was ever promoted past the rank of Sergeant. While he served briefly at a couple of classified locations and in Okinawa, he did not serve in the multitude of overseas locations he claims.
Aside from the basic fact that he served in the Marines and was assigned to the Second Battalion, every other claim Rhodes made about his service was false.
Steve Robinson, a former Navy SEAL and an expert in identifying fraudulent claims of military service, gave his opinion of Rhodes' record and his claims:
He certainly wasn't a Marine Scout/Sniper, and he wasn't an attendee at BUD/S, and he didn't "train with the SEALs".
I long ago lost count of all the guys who somehow spent a week or two at Coronado for some short amphib course and then years later came up with a story about being a SEAL or training with the SEALs... all based entirely upon their having SEEN trainees running around the base. That simple bit of detail seems to be enough to inspire wannabes to concoct all sorts of elaborate tales later in life.
Coronado is the home of the Naval Amphibious Base, and there are nearly as many Marines on the base as there are Navy personnel. There are a LOT of different schools there related to amphibious warfare, and his assignment could have involved one or more of those schools. If he was at Coronado, then he would have had a hard time NOT seeing the BUD/S Trainees as they ran in ranks from one part of the base to another, from one area to another.
Rhodes' Reaction To The Investigation
I emailed the following message to Rhodes on May 18, 2010:
You made several claims about your military service on Bullshido:
The records are in, and they do not favor your claims:
He has not responded at this writing.
Arthur Lee Rhodes claimed a mysterious and extensive service with various Special Forces units. None of these claims were true. He had no advanced infantry training, was never assigned to a Special Forces unit, was never awarded any combat decorations, and never underwent BUD/S training. His overseas service could not have encompassed the theaters of war he claimed, based on his records.