234 reunion on the grinder

BUD/S Class 234: Where Are They Now?

Ever since I was about 13 years old, I wanted to be a Navy SEAL. 

I read every SEAL book I could get my hands on, bought the T-Shirts, ran to their cadences, and even had a SEAL flag hanging above my bed for a few years.

The pinnacle of my desire to be in the SEALS was when a certain documentary came out a couple of years after I graduated high school (1999). (check out my full list of favorite SEAL documentaries)

That documentary was none other than “BUD/S Class 234“, which aired on the discovery channel.

buds class 234 listing on amazonI would post the full documentary here, but every time it’s posted to Youtube inevitably it gets taken down.

The documentary closely followed a BUD/S class from 1st phase, all the way through to their graduation.

It documented the trials, tribulations, and sheer pain and suffering that each man endured, and is one of my favorite documentaries to this day.

I taped it on a VHS, and watched it so many times that the audio and video quality of that same tape now is terrible, to say the least.

Needless to say, I never ended up going to BUD/S, or even joining the Navy for that matter.

Related Article: Top 20 Reasons To Join The Military (And 7 Reasons NOT To)

I recently stumbled across the documentary on Youtube just a few weeks ago, and gave it another watch.

It got me thinking, what ever happened to these guys?

Who made it through BUD/S and who didn’t?

What did they end up doing with their lives?

Where are they now?

Throughout this post, we’ll talk about each candidate that I could successfully find information on.

I scoured countless reddit posts, linkedin profiles, archived newspaper articles, youtube videos, etc.

I tried to not include anything that could possibly be deemed classified / sensitive information, keeping their current locations secret.

Also, many of the guys that were actually in class 234 personally reached out to me and gave me some juicy details.

Lastly, I got a chance to speak with Lively over the phone a few times, and he gave me even more info!

He graciously sent over pics from their 100 class anniversary, of which you’ll see below (thanks Travis!).

Note: If you were in BUD/S Class 234, or have any info you think you can add to this article, please contact me here.

I’ve had several guys contact me since I posted this, and it’s been a tremendous help!

You can remain completely anonymous.

BUD/S Class 234 Statistics

Original class size: 80
How many original students graduated (no rollbacks): 17
Class 234 roll ins graduated: 8
Total class graduation size:  25
Graduation Date: June 1, 2001.

Here’s a copy of the graduation program that I obtained:

buds class 234 graduation list
Actual program from the BUD/s Class 234 graduation

Lt. Tarey Gettys

tarey gettys buds class 234

Originally from Irvine, CA.

Gettys was probably the most filmed candidate in the documentary.

the smurfs buds class 234

As the highest ranking member of the class, he was also incidentally the officer in charge (the OIC).

Related Article: Navy Enlisted And Officer Ranks And Pay 

As the OIC, the instructors paid him a lot of (unwanted on his part, most likely) attention.

Not unusual for any BUD/S class, but as a result of his position in the class, he also got a lot of camera time.

Where is Tarey Gettys now?

According to his LinkedIn profile, Gettys is both an investor and board observer for GIS Strategic Ventures.

GIS is a strategic initiative arm of Guardian life insurance, one of the largest mutual life insurance companies in the US. (Source)

Prior to that, he had an 8 month stint as a General Manager of Vievu, a company that specializes in body cameras and other video technologies.

IT3 Travis Lively

travis lively buds class 234

Originally from Erving, MA.

Lively was probably one of the most memorable characters from BUD/S class 234.

He earned a reputation for not only being quick witted and camera-friendly, but by all accounts was one of the most well-liked students in the class.

In fact, he was one of my personal favorites (not that you care, anyway 😉

Where Is Travis Lively Now?

After serving over 10 years as a Navy SEAL, Lively worked as a subject matter expert in the tactical employment of UAS / UAV aircraft.

He also went on to become a professional screenwriter and producer, most notably a cameo in the documentary “Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story”.

He (along with several of his other classmates) can also be seen briefly in the opening scene from the movie “Lone Survivor”.

Insider Scoop

From Demeter:

I haven’t spoken with Lively in a few years, but I know that he is focusing more on the production and screenwriting projects that he has now. He used to have a pretty active Facebook account, but most of the guys scaled back on social media after Ty Woods and Glenn Doherty were killed. There was a lot of information going around that wasn’t positive.

Update (2/18/2020)

I actually reached out to Lively via his Instagram page (link here), and ended up having a very cool 1 hour phone call with him.

Some of you may not be aware, but BUD/S class 334 graduated back in November of 2019.

It’s a tradition in the Teams that the BUD/S class that graduated 100 classes before attends the graduation for that particular class.

It turned out to be a Class 234 reunion, and Lively was cool enough to send me over a bunch of photos from that night / 334 graduation day.

Check them out below:

bud/s class 234 reunion

class 234 reunion

234 reunion on the grinder

buds class 234 reunion at the bar

reunion class 234

ET1 Luis Rivera

luis rivera buds class 234

Originally from Luling, LA.

Rivera was the class LPO, or leading petty officer, and at 29 years of age, one of the oldest in the class.

He was probably best known for not only his tenacity, but also for the fact that it was his 3rd attempt at BUD/S.

Rivera was known as a class motivator, pushing other students to overcome their own mental and physical boundaries.

In fact, he was such a motivating figure that his class nickname was “Mom”.

He was also, incidentally, the honor man for BUD/S Class 234.

After graduating from BUD/S class 234, Rivera moved on to SEAL Team 3 Alpha Platoon and served as a platoon chief.

He ended up serving 24 years and 8 months, retiring as a Senior Chief in March of 2015.

Where Is Luis Rivera Now?

Rivera actually has led a very interesting, if not challenging, life.

I won’t get in to the details here, but if you’d like to read his full story check out his bio on this site.

Rivera is like the textbook definition of bad ass, and a true hero.  Watch his story below:

ENS Justin Legg

justin legg buds class 234

Originally from Spotswood, NJ. (which is actually about 30 min. south of where I grew up)

Justin Legg was another class favorite, and received a decent amount of camera time.

The first few times I watched it, I was always getting Legg and Gettys mixed up because they looked so alike (at least in my eyes).

gettys and legg buds class 234

Justin Legg graduated from the US Naval Academy in 2000 with a degree in Systems Engineering.

He actually started with BUD/S class 233, but on the Saturday morning before hell week started he ended up in the hospital with an unknown injury.

He was rolled to Class 234, where he ended up graduating.

Where Is Justin Legg Now?

Legg has a really long story, almost to the point where I’ve thought about writing up a full “Where is Legg now” article.

I’ll probably do that at some point.

To make that long story short, he ended up deploying to the middle east twice, including a 7 month tour during Operation Iraqi Freedom. (Source)

After a bout with cancer (which he beat, btw), he currently works as an associated with an International Consulting Firm in the Washington D.C. metro area. (Source)

He also works as a motivational speaker, check out this recent interview he did with Team Never Quit below.

If you could take Leggs’ motivation / tenacity / never quit attitude and bottle it up or put it in a pill, you could make $1,000,000’s.

A truly remarkable man and story.

Social Media Profiles

Ryan Bischoff

ryan bischoff buds class 234

Petty officer Ryan Bischoff successfully completed hell week with Class 234, but was having some issues during dive phase (phase 2) of training.

After numerous unsuccessful attempts at passing pool comp, he was rolled to BUD/S class 235 and ordered to start on Week 1 day 1.

He ended up graduating with Class 235 and moving on to the teams, serving from August 1999 to January 2004.

Where Is Ryan Bischoff Now?

According to his LinkedIn page, Bischoff currently resides in his hometown of Juneau, Alaska.

Upon discharge from the Navy, he served a brief stint as a Protective Security Specialist with a a private security company called Triple Canopy.

Bischoff has been working as a journeyman for Alaska Electric Light And Power Company (AEL&P) as a journeyman since 2006.

Insider Scoop

I ran into Bischoff in San Diego (Clairmont Mesa) a few years after BUDs. He wasn’t working at Triple Canopy quite yet. Instead, he was running personal protection for someone in Beverly Hills. He was just getting ready to make the transition to Triple Canopy.

IS3 Eric Potter

Originally from Aurora, CO.

Potter was made famous in the movie “Lone Survivor”, successfully answering a math question posed by Instructor Patstone.

You might remember it, but here’s the clip in case you don’t:

He was also the dude that was discovered to have an underweight pack in Phase 3 (land warfare), along with Lively.

Where Is Potter Now?

I couldn’t find a ton of info on Potter, only that he did indeed graduate and eventually ended up at an SDV team in Hawaii. (Source)

According to his LinkedIn profile, he’s still actively serving in the Navy.

Update (4/5/2019): I recently learned that Potter was promoted to Senior Chief. (thanks Kevin!)

IS3 Steve Chayra

steve chayra buds class 234

Originally from Las Vegas, NV.

I don’t remember Chayra as much I as I remember Legg, Gettys, or Rivera, but that could just be because he didn’t seem to get that much camera time.

Chayra served as a SEAL until 2006.

Where Is Steve Chayra Now?

After completing his time in the SEALS, Chayra moved on to personal security and protection for high net worth individuals.

According to his LinkedIn page, Chayra is now a business owner at Red Road Training.

Red Road Training specializes in personal transformation of mind and body strength, and Chayra has personally worked with professional athletes (like Giants Defensive End Romeo Okwara), and

There’s actually a really interesting interview with Chayra on Youtube, check it out below:

ENS Brad Kolarov

kolarov buds class 234

Originally from Poway, CA.

Kolarov always struck me as a very intelligent guy.  In one scene in the BUD/S class 234 documentary, each boat crew was instructed to complete a task.

I can’t remember exactly what the task was, but it involved log PT.

Out of all of the boat crews, Kolarovs’ crew was the only one that completed the task exactly as it was assigned.

Attention to detail…

Upon graduating BUD/S class 234, Kolarov was assigned to SEAL Team 7.  He served for 9 years, achieving the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

Where Is Brad Kolarov Now?

According to his LinkedIn page, Kolarov is now a managing partner and co-founder of B23, a software development company located in the Washington D.C. metro area.

Prior to that, he was an account executive at Amazon web services for 3 years. (Source)

BM3 Justin Carr

justin carr buds class 234

Originally from Bolingbrook, IL.

Justin Carr is another one of the students that received limited camera time, but he did in fact graduate with class 234.

Where Is Justin Carr Now?

After completing his time as a SEAL, Carr earned his doctor of pharmacy from the Univ. of Iowa in 2013.

Carr is now a pharmacist for the California Department of Corrections at Salinas Valley State Prison.

You can read his full bio here.

ENS Stephen Holley, Jr.

stephen holley buds class 234

Originally from Dallas, TX.

Holley didn’t get that much camera time either, but he did in fact graduate from Class 234.

Prior to BUD/S, he graduated from the US Naval Academy.

After graduating, he served as a SEAL officer at SEAL Team 5 for 5 years, a completed four deployments to Iraq and Southeast Asia. (Source)

Where Is Stephen Holley Now?

After an honorable discharge from the Navy, Holley went on to co-found a company called Trident Response Group, a risk management firm. (Source)

After a few stints in commercial real estate, Holley ultimately founded a non profit organization called “Carry The Load” in 2011. (Source)

He also founded a company called SixSite, a line of hunting gear. (Source)

He was recently interviewed by Valor Magazine, check it out below:

ENS Bradley Geary

I always thought Geary kind of looked like Steve-O from “Jackass”.

geary buds class 234

Originally I wasn’t sure if Geary graduated with Class 234, but I do know for a fact that he did become a Navy SEAL.

It wasn’t until I acquired the graduation program that I confirmed he in fact did graduate 234.

An interesting fact about Geary is that he was actually a very accomplished swimmer before his time in the Navy.

According to one story I read on Facebook, he actually won a berth to the Olympic trials, but missed a slot on the team by 2/100ths of a second. (Source)

He attended BUD/S class 234 after graduating from the US Naval Academy.

Where Is Brad Geary Now?

I couldn’t find any recent information on him, other than this Youtube video.

One article quoted him talking about fallen SEAL Danny Dietz, and the article mentions that he served with him.

Since Dietz was assigned to SDV 2 in Virginia Beach, we can infer that Geary likely made his way to SDV 2 after BUD/S and SQT.

Now serving as a Commander (0-5), Geary actually gave the commencement address for BUD/S Class 334. (100 classes from his own graduation)

Insider Scoop

I’m not sure if Brad Geary made it over to the east coast or not. I know that I spoke with him a little while after BUDs and he and his wife were living in [redacted]. I don’t remember what Team he was assigned to; just that he was doing something like Herbalife on the side.

Update – 5/28

Geary’s uncle Dean reached out to us with an update, here’s what he had to say: 

I can give you an update on Brad Geary, I am his uncle. He is currently on his third tour at Coronado. He went to Coronado 4 or 5 years ago as second in command. He then went to Pearl for 3 years and is now back at Coronado as Commander of the BUD’s training facility.

Here’s a recent photo of him briefing the Under Secretary of the Navy (the Honorable Mr. Gregory J. Slavonic) while observing a training evolution at the Navy Special Warfare Center in Coronado. 

commander bradley geary
Image: Dvidshub.net

Lou Picchione

lou picchione buds class 234

While he didn’t get as much camera time as some of the others, Picchione was another popular guy in the class.

I couldn’t find whether or not Picchione graduated with Class 234, but he did ultimately become a Navy SEAL.

Update 12/7/2021

It turns out that Picchione graduated with BUD/S Class 243, according to a source that was in the class with him. (thanks Shane!)

From the same source, I was also told that Green (the guy who was having trouble on the conditioning run) ended up going to flight school and became a pilot.

Where Is Lou Picchione Now?

Picchione spent 5 years active duty in the SEALS, serving on Team 5.  According to his bio, he’s actually still active with his SEAL Team reserve unit.

He went on to work in executive protection with Alexander Global Strategies.

You can read his bio here.

STG2 Danny Fox

danny fox buds class 234

Originally from Williamsville, MO.

Fox successfully graduated BUD/S class 234, and is still serving as an Active-duty SEAL.

From an update I received, he is now serving as a Master Chief. (thanks Kevin!)

Jeff Boss

jeff boss navy seal buds class 234

When I originally wrote this article, I actually completely missed Boss.  I have no idea how that happened, as he was seen during several portions of the documentary.

Someone sent us an update on what happened to Boss (thanks Sean!), check it out below:

Boss (Jeff Boss) was removed for stress fractures (I believe) on Monday night of hell week. The last evolution he’s shown in during the doc is steel pier but he was taken out some point afterwards. He ended up getting rolled and classed up with 236 with Michael Murphy, graduated, and did 13 years in the Teams. He was on SEAL Team 4 and also ended up at DEVGRU for a period of time, completing 8 deployments in total.

I’m about 99% sure that this is Jeff in the graduation photo for BUD/S class 236 (sort of a famous photo):

jeff boss navy seal graduation photo
Image: Navy.mil

boss buds class 236 graduation

Where is Jeff Boss now?

After his time in the Teams, Boss went on to become an author, Forbes contributor, entrepreneur, and motivational speaker.

According to his Forbes profile, he’s also a principle and senior advisor at N2 Growth, a multi-faceted professional services firm catering to CEOs, boards, executive teams, and companies they lead.

You can hear (and sort of see) Jeff Boss speaking about leadership in a crisis in the video below:

(Danny?) Ashlock

ashlock buds class 234

Ashlock was the guy who used to be a tap dancer on Broadway I believe.  He made it through hell week, but was rolled to a different class because of stress fractures.

Ashlock ultimately did become a SEAL, graduating BUD/S class 236.  He did 1 tour of duty, and got out and worked in private security.

Current whereabouts unknown.

EN3 Michael Morgan, Jr.

mike morgan buds class 234

Originally from Dewitt, Michigan.

Morgan was the student who couldn’t breath through his mouth when his face mask was full of water.

He eventually overcame his issues with the help of the instructors, and graduated from Class 234.

I couldn’t find any further information on him.

STG3 Andrew Rosebrough

rosebrough - buds class 234

Originally from Columbia, MD.  At 17 years old, Rosebrough was the youngest student in class 234.

I believe he graduated 234 at the age of 18, however.

A reddit post claims that this is his LinkedIn page, but I couldn’t confirm that.

In fact, if I had to take an educated guess, I don’t think it is. (No mention of Navy service, picture doesn’t quite look like him, etc.)

Update – Feb. 2021

Just confirmed that the LinkedIn page posted above is definitely not the Rosebrough from class 234.

It turns out that he is currently a police officer with the Howard County PD in Maryland.

Checkout the comment someone left about him below: 

“I served with Andrew Rosebrough before he became a Navy SEAL. We went to boot camp together and graduated surface sonar technician (STG) “A-School” with him in late September 2000 before he started BUD/S two months later, in November. He’s now a special operations police officer in Howard County, MD.

Here he is in this picture, far right: https://www.facebook.com/HowardCountyPoliceDepartment/photos/pcb.1443021219068566/1443020972401924/”

ENS Zachary Ruthven

Ruthven was another candidate that didn’t get much camera time.  In fact, I don’t recall seeing him at all, and I must have watched the documentary several hundred times.

Growing up in Edwardsville, Illinois, Ruthven was actually began SEAL training in an earlier BUD/S class, and was rolled back to 234 because of an injury. (Source)

GMSN Matthew Creedican

Originally from Bend, OR.  From a LinkedIn profile that we believe is his, Creedican went on to become a private military contractor for several firms.

He’s currently a managing member at General Technology Systems, a company headquartered in the greater Seattle Area.

GM3 Jeremy Crispino

Originally from Baltimore, MD.  Graduated Class 234, E5 gunners mate.  Started his own company called FabShop NDT, which specializes in advanced ultrasonic inspection. (Source)

Now living in Texas.

STG2 Aaron Justiss

Originally from Alabaster, AL.  Graduated BUD/S Class 234. 

From an update I received, he is now serving as a Master Chief.

PR3 Shaun Fasano

fasano - buds class 234

Originally from Boise, Idaho. According to his LinkedIn page, he’s currently a platoon leader at a SEAL team on the west coast.

As a SEAL, he’s done 7 deployments, and has an associates degree from Boise State University.

EMFN Daniel Spinowitz

spinowicz navy seal

I found out through an anonymous source that Spinowitz actually DOR’d during SQT on 9/11!

I have no idea what happened, but Class 234 was conducting advanced demolitions training on 9/11 in Niland, California. (conducted by none other than Don Shipley)

The class was eating breakfast when they learned of the towers being struck, and for whatever reason Spinowitz decided this wasn’t the life for him.

Spinowitz currently works in construction in his native town of Brick, NJ. (Source)

AO3 Charles Ingeneri

ingeneri buds class 234

Originally from Flanders, NJ.  Graduated BUD/S Class 234.  No information found.

ENS Eric Hu

Originally from Menlo Park, CA.  Graduated BUD/S Class 234.  Information was a bit scarce for Hu, but we did come across this LinkedIn profile which is almost certainly his.

Assuming it is, it appears Eric Hu went on to work as a defense contractor after serving in the Navy.

Hu is currently serving as a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy Reserves, a contractor for a company called Firebird Analytical Solutions & Technologies, and a program manager for CSRA Inc.

ENS Jason Pace

Originally from Irvine, CA.  Graduated BUD/S Class 234.  Previously attended and graduated from the US Naval Academy.

Was awarded All American honors in 2000 on the Naval Academy’s water polo team, and also broke school records as a sophomore. (Source)

Current whereabouts unknown.

IC3 Zachary Haas

Originally from Dana Point, CA.  No information found.

IS3 Robert Holland

Originally from Fresno, CA.   Graduated Class 234, no information found.

GMSA David Lane

Originally from La Mirada, CA.

Students who Dropped in 1st Phase

Albers, Alvarez, Chaney, Butters, Donaldson, Jackson, Macgranahan, Crider, Nowlin, Maust, Gumbuyan, Cirbo, Moseley, Gaines, Mccorkindal, Jackson, Mcgeehan, Schaffer, Cirbo, Griffiths, Banda, Gaines, Green, Prow, Rogers, , Wulfsberg, Perron, Shoemaker, Schimmel, Buck, Koth.

Joshua Demeter

joshua demeter buds class 234

Demeter dropped in first phase, an ultimately became a rescue swimmer for the US Navy.  According to his Linkedin profile, he’s now a branch manager at American Financial Network, Inc. in Washington state.

UPDATE 1/10/2019

Demeter actually reached out to me via email today to clarify his story, here’s what he had to say:

The reason you don’t recognize some names or didn’t see them in the documentary is because the class was ever evolving. I actually had orders to Class 233.

6 of us that showed up for 233 were immediately “rolled” into class 234.

We shadowed 233 through Indoc and 1st phase and helped out with their Hellweek before classing up with 234’s Indoc.

234 actually started out with 125 students. Only 83 made it through Indoc and into 1st phase.

Of the 25 graduates of 234, only 12 were from the original class. We had people rolling in and out of the class throughout the phases.

None of us were happy about the cameras and that included the instructors. Discovery Channel mailed out copies of the final cut to a few people (I was one of the recipients).

Take what you see with a grain of salt; the experience was quite different than what was shown on TV.

I hurt my knee in 1st phase and quit. The cadre there liked me enough to fly me out to San Clemente for a few weeks to run OPFOR (opposition force) with a team of 5 students who had dropped from 233.

We set up watch stations and patrols to try and stop Team 5, Foxtrot platoon from “gathering intelligence” on a water tower acting as a communications array.

We did well enough to impress some of Team 5 and they coordinated for me to get orders there in a support role for my surgery and recovery. I had 2 surgeries on my knee – one in January of 2001 and one in March.

I was assigned over at Team 5 until March of 2002 when I failed my sea duty screening. At that point, the Navy rendered me “non-deployable” and medically separated me.

Related ArticleNavy Jobs List: A List Of All 71 Ratings In The US Navy For 2019

I was able to get a job at Sea World in San Diego that May and worked there as a dolphin trainer until January of 2004. Then, I went to work for SAIC in their bio-solutions division training dolphins for EOD Mobile Unit 3.

Two former BUD/S instructors had just opened up a company called Silver Strand Sea Sports. Their idea was to take the diving from 2nd Phase and teach it to civilians.

SAIC sent me over to test their program and it was fantastic. I ended up with my closed-circuit certification and a little taste of what 2nd Phase must have been like (without the Wheel of Pain).

I bounced around to a few jobs after that before getting into the mortgage industry. In 2010, a recruiter was able to get me into the Navy reserves (with a 40 page waiver).

I found myself stationed back on NAB, Coronado, but this time with ACB-1 (Amphibious Construction Battalion 1).

I was still working residential mortgages while I was in the reserves and recently transitioned back to active duty Navy in May of 2018.

I’m now stationed in San Diego on the USS New Orleans (LPD-18).


mcpherson - buds class 234

A bunch of guys have been asking me if McPherson ever became a Navy SEAL, and as far as I’m aware, he did not.

You’ll remember McPherson as the student who stoically announced in the Lone Survivor’ opening scene that he was ‘100% positive’ that he wanted to be there.

mcpherson yells im positive

I’ll be honest, I thought he was gonna make it.  They didn’t show him too often in the documentary, be he seemed fired up / motivated to be there.

The  last time he appeared in the documentary was Monday of Hell Week, and according to my anonymous source (who was in the class), he rang out on either Monday night or early Tuesday of Hell Week.

He also did not attempt BUD/S again.


hughes - buds class 234

By all accounts, Hughes was the fastest runner in the class. 

He was shown briefly leaning on the hood of the instructors truck after winning the 3-mile timed run, attempting to get warm.

Of course, that warmth was short-lived, as he was instructed to ‘get wet’ shortly thereafter.

The last time he appeared in the documentary was Monday AM of Hell Week, and I believe he quit shortly thereafter.

Other BUD/S Class 234 Students

The following students dropped during the first phase Coronado 1 mi. bay swim:

Carroll, Evans, Hopkins, Sutton, Wellens.

Dropped / Rolled During Hell Week

Dropped on Monday: 


walker - buds class 234

Walker DOR’ing was actually a surprise, I thought he was gonna push through and we’d be seeing him at graduation.

It just goes to show you that you never know who’s going to make it.

After speaking to Lively, he informed me that Walker didn’t attempt BUD/S again, and actually ended up at SWCC, and retired from the Navy as a chief.

Russell, Demski, Casey, Welch, Carter, Hoffman.

BUD/S Class 234 Instructors

1st Phase Instructors

Instructor Terence Patstone

instructor patstone buds class 234

Terry Patstone was probably my favorite BUD/S class 234 instructor.

In fact, he seems to be a favorite for a lot of guys, some even going to the lengths of drawing a sketch of him.

instructor patstone sketch
Source: Imgur.com

Even though he came off like a badass, there was just something about Patstone that told me he was the kind of guy that had a “tough but fair” mentality.

In a recent AMA with Justin Legg on Reddit, he was asked what Patstone was like.

Legg didn’t mince words at all, noting that he was a no-nonsense dude who would lay off you if you put out, or tear you up if you didn’t.

Here’s his full answer:

Great dude. He was no nonsense. If you did good, he laid off, if you were lagging, he tuned you up. I had an epic wrestling match with him in the pool during life saving drills and I had to “save” him. He put dive weights in his cargo pockets and fought me the whole way to the edge of the pool. But if [sic] wrestled 10 years longer than him and I wrestled through college, he finished in high school. It wasn’t fair to him.

From an anonymous source, it turns out that Mr. Patstone was quite the accomplished wrestler actually.  

From the looks of it, Patstone grew up in Maine.

From the source:

Terry actually wrestled more than just high school. He qualified for the NCAA Division 1 tournament out of the University of Maine – 134. (Source)

terry patstone wrestling

He was an absolute legend for us younger kids in our hometown. We flocked to him for guidance. 

It was very difficult to find any current information on him, but one Reddit thread mentioned that he became a rugby coach.

The only evidence I found to support that was this article.

Instructor Ken Taylor

chief ken taylor buds class 234

After Patstone, my other favorite instructor was Instructor Taylor.  He seemed like genuinely a nice guy (I’m sure most of the instructors are, tbh), and seemed to be more of a motivator than a punisher.

According to his bio on METal International, Instructor Taylor served for 33 years in an active duty capacity.

He retired from the US Navy in 2016 as a senior chief petty officer.

Previously he served on 2 SEAL teams, and deployed to locations like The Persian Gulf, Puerto Rico, Korea, and Jordan.

He also played a brief role in the movie “The Objective”, a science fiction film released in 2008.

You can see him right around the 0:39 mark in the trailer below: 

After retiring from the Navy, he went to work for a company called TRX, which makes suspension weight training devices.

He presently works as West Coast Operations Manager for Horizon Performance, a “consulting and SAAS company that delivers cutting edge human assessment and development solutions to elite teams that work in high-impact activities and challenging or uncertain environments.”

Instructor Paul Robinson

instructor r buds class 234

“Take care of the gear, gear takes care of you”.

Instructor Robinson served as a Navy SEAL for 25 years, and at one point was a chief of operations.

After retiring from the Navy, he went on to co-found a company called Six Maritime, which specializes in firearms training and security services. (Source)

Instructor Joseph Patrick Burns

instructor joe burns buds class 234

Lieutenant Joe Burns was the first phase OIC, and from what I can tell from my research, has been for quite some time.

Couldn’t find any further info on him.

Instructor Mad Max (Max Pranger)

instructor mad max buds class 234

Instructor Max “Mad Max” Pranger served in the US Navy for a little over 14 years, most of it as a SEAL.

After retiring from the Navy, he worked several jobs including as a resume specialist, a plumber, and as an ATA instructor with the US State Department.

He currently is an independent contractor / consultant for Trident Services LLC as a weapons and tactics instructor. (Source)

He also has several guest writer contributions to the website loadoutroom.com, writing about a wide variety of military gear.

Instructor M (Dan Maclean)

instructor m - dan mclean

You’ll remember Instructor M as rocking a pretty cool frogman mustache (although not as bad ass as Instructor Patstones IMO!). 

He was featured in the documentary several times, including taking the water temperature, and helping to haul students out of the water during their 50 meter underwater swim test.

In fact, he uttered one of my favorite quotes from the documentary:

‘Come back to the light, or don’t go to the light’

Instructor M served in the SEALs as a hospital corpsman and instructor with 20 years of experience, retiring from the Navy in May of 2003.

According to his LinkedIn profile, he deployed with 5 platoons, and provided advance medical assistance in Thailand. 

Upon completion of his service, he help several jobs ranging from a Weapons and Tactics instructor, to a Drone Pilot and Sensor operator.

He currently works as an Enumerator with the US Census Bureau.

Instructor Hoy

instructor hoy buds class 234

No information found.

Instructor Darren Annandono

instructor a buds class 234

Not a ton of information found on Instructor A. You’ll remember him as the Instructor that built the graves with a paddle hidden in one of the 3.

The boat crews were individually pulled over to the ‘grave’ and 1 of their number was instructed to take a stab at the grave they thought the paddle was hidden underneath.

He also played a game of rock, paper, scissors with many of the students, and of course, the ones losing the game were straight to the surf to get wet and sandy.

One article I read said that he retired from the Navy in June of 2014, but that couldn’t be confirmed. (Source)

Annandono is mentioned several times in the book ‘The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228’.

You can read the whole book free of charge here.

Instructor M

instructor m buds class 234

No information found.

Instructor B

instructor b buds class 234

Instructor B was the BUD/S class 234 proctor, which is sort of the closest thing to a friend the students will have.

They act as sort of a liaison between the instructor staff and the students, and address student concerns, comments, and questions.

No information found on current or former whereabouts. 

Instructor L

instructor l buds class 234

No information found.

Instructor S

instructor s buds class 234

No information found.

2nd Phase Instructors

Instructor Steve Mckendry

instructor mckendry

Instructor Mckendry was seen a few times during 2nd phase. 

McKendry deployed with SEAL Team Two and served with Special Boat Unit Twenty before coming to BUD/S as a Phase 2 instructor. (Source)

At the time, Mckendry was apparently attending college to earn a bachelors degree in Computer Science.

3rd Phase Instructors

Instructor Wiedmann – 3rd Phase Instructor

instructor wiedmann buds class 234

No information found.

Instructor T – 3rd Phase Instructor

instructor t - buds class 234

No information found.

Other Fun Facts

Kate Fleming – Narrator

The narrator of BUD/S Class 234 was Kate Fleming, an american actress, voice artist, and singer.

kate fleming - narrator buds class 234

Some of her other work included playing a teacher in the 1993 short-film “Hard Candy”, as well as the video games “Mario Tennis” (2000) and “Backyard Baseball” (2001).

Fleming died on December 14, 2006 when a flash flood at her home trapped her inside her studio, causing her to drown. (Source)

BUD/S Class 234 Deaths

I read several mentions on some forums that some of the graduates of class 234 passed away / were KIA, but looking at the Navy SEAL Foundation website I couldn’t confirm that.

I also checked with the Navy SEAL memorial, a site which lists the names of all NCDU / SEAL Team members KIA or KIT since World War 2.

As far as I’m aware, there have not been any deaths from members of BUD/S class 234.

Update! 2/26/2019

Through a variety of sources, I recently learned of one death from Class 234.

Edward Austin Koth, who can be seen in Parts 2 and 4 of the documentary, was KIA at Camp Victory, Iraq on July 26, 2006.

koth buds class 234

He was assigned to EOD Mobile Unit 8, serving with Multinational Corps Iraq in Baghdad.

Related ArticleNavy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technician: Career Details

Koth quit on Monday morning of Hell Week, but he’s still a bad ass in my opinion.

Class 234 Graduation List

A list of everyone who graduated from the class is as the beginning / intro of each part.

It’s kind of hard to see each name because of the video quality, but they’re listed.

buds class 234 graduation list

Instructor Quotes

It’s a good day to be at BUD/S.  The sun is up, playing in the surf zone, having a little bit of fun.

– Instructor Taylor

Hurrryyy up, don’t fall back….hurrrryyyy up, don’t fall back….hurrryyy up, catch the pack…

– Instructor Patstone

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

When did BUD/S class 234 graduate?

BUD/S class 234 graduated on June 1, 2001.

How many candidates graduated from Class 234?

The total graduation size for BUD/S class 234 was 25 students, of which 17 original students graduated, and 8 roll-ins graduated. The original class size was 80.

How long is BUD/S?

BUD/S training lasts 6 months.

What is BUD/S?

BUD/S standards for Basic Underwater Demolition / SEAL training, which is the school that all future Navy SEALs must go through in order to become a member.

Related Articles / Resources

How To Check If Someone Was A Navy SEAL

Navy SEAL Ranks

Navy SEAL Copypasta

How To Become A Navy SEAL Medic

Rob V.
Latest posts by Rob V. (see all)
BUD/S Class 234

BUD/S Class 234

4.9 out of 5 (157 Ratings)

BUD/S Class 234 was a documentary produced and aired in 2000 by the Discovery Channel. If you've ever wondered where they are now, OMK has the inside scoop.

Originally posted on 12/31/18

Affiliate Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you click and purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products I have personally vetted. Learn more.

52 Replies to “BUD/S Class 234: Where Are They Now?

  1. Koth became a Navy Diver after buds and came to work with us at mammals. He was good so we sent him to eod school and he became an eod tech. He was very well respected professionally and loved by us all as a brother. He was killed doing his job. He is missed. Hooya Koth. See you on the other side brother.

    1. Were you stationed in San Diego by any chance? Austin (Koth) was my uncle. I came out to visit when I was very young – probably 5 or 6 years old. That would have been 17 years ago now. I remember feeding the dolphins squid and walking around the obstacle course.

  2. You forgot instructor T. He was a cool guy. He was seen on San Clemente island punishing the guy who fucked up the underwater demolision.

    1. Instructor T was right on the money about what he said, paraphrase “You did not do that test burn, it was off by more than 14 minutes. How are officers supposed to trust you if you say something is done and it isn’t? I hate micro managers, but that’s how they are created.”

  3. Boss (Jeff Boss) was removed for stress fractures (I believe) on Monday night of hellweek. The last evolution he’s shown in during the doc is steel pier but he was taken out some point afterwards. He ended up getting rolled and classed up with 236 with Michael Murphy, graduated, and did 13 years in the Teams. He was on ST4 and also ended up at DEVGRU for a period of time, completing 8 deployments in total.

  4. Excellent work Rob. It’s really interesting to see where a lot of these guys are now. The BUD/S Class 234 documentary is an absolute classic. I must have seen it atleast a dozen times. I remember watching lone survivor for the first time and getting all excited when the opening footage is that of class 234. I feel like I’ve learned a lot just from watching all of the guys featured in that documentary, so it is cool to see that a lot of them have gone off and had successful careers in the SEAL teams and beyond.

  5. If this is the same Jason Pace I’m thinking of, I believe he is Herndon, VA now. I used to date his ex-wife for a hot minute. Just saying.

  6. I am not 100% sure if it is the same person, ENS Eric Hu, I may have served with at SEAL TEAM SEVENTEEN back in 2017 for UFG Exercise. He is a LCDR now. Again, not 100% sure because I do not know his first name.

    Thank you for your hard research!

        1. Hey Tom,
          Yeah I think you’re right. The first time I checked that LinkedIn page I completely missed the “Menlo-Atherton H.S.” under his education profile. I’ll update his profile now, thanks!

          Rob V.

  7. I was there! I went to indoc with Class 234 in October of 2000. Many things stand out in my mind but the one thing I won’t forget is how cold the water was and how shitty you’re attitude becomes when you’re cold, wet and sandy. For many years I rationalized that only if I went to BUDS at a younger age ( I was in my 30’s and needed a waiver ) or if I only focused more on water confidence in the pool, I could have made it. It really grated on me for many, many years that I didn’t measure up as a man. The one positive that came out of it was that I was later able to become an Air Force Special Operator and had a very fulfilling career doing that. We had a running joke on the STS Teams (Should have been a SEAL) because in SOF everything is a dick measuring contest, between branches. When guys made those jokes in the back of my mind I said “If you only knew”. BUDS is by far the toughest training in the military (It’s no contest) but by design it should be. The water is unforgiving and fear and panic can sink a mission before it gets started. You can try to game it as much as you want (Winter class vs. Summer) but in the end if you don’t possess an almost psychotic drive to achieve you will fail. I never watched BUDS Class 234 (even though I knew the video was out there) but I do remember the players very well. Lively (Great attitude and a magnetic personality) Carr, Mr. Geary, Mr. Gettys, Rivera (Lightning fast on the O-Course) Legg, Mr. Holly, and Fox are just as memorable as they were on that video. I’m glad they achieved their dreams and persevered through truly shitty circumstances. The Navy is unique that failure at BUDS will test your resolve to actually be a ‘Team Guy’. In failing you will end up on one of those ‘Grey Ghosts’ leaving San Diego Harbor. As Lively often put it “you may go away and maybe after two years you might come back, but I’m still giving hugs”.

    1. Haha Lively, yeah that dude was something else. As for your other remarks, it reminds me of a video I saw Don Shipley (of ‘Phony Navy SEAL of The Week‘ fame) post. Talking to a group of wanna-be SEALs, it was something along the lines of ‘do you want to SAY you’re a SEAL, or do you want to actually BE a SEAL?’.

      The motivating factor for each are on like opposite ends of the spectrum, and I think a lot of guys wash out because the reality of what a SEAL does hits you like a ton of bricks once you enter BUD/S.

      All I gotta say is good on you for trying man! There’s a lot of guys out there that never even attempted the training (including myself!), and the respect I personally hold for guys that even stepped foot in the door is beyond measure.

      I think you’re right to regarding the age. From everything I read, it’s tough for guys pushing their mid-20’s, let alone 30’s!

      It seems like the perfect hybrid would be the body / stamina of an 18 year old, combined with the mental tenacity / toughness of a guy in his 30’s would be your best shot at getting through.

      Any personal stories you want to share?

  8. Lt. Cmdr Geary was OIC of 1st phase when i went through 2013. He came in day 1 of Indoc and gave a speech.

    1. Hey Steve,
      Sorry for the late reply. I’m gonna ask my sources and see if I can find out, give me a day or so.

  9. Very interesting site and information. Thank you. I live in VA Beach and I’m always on the lookout for one of the 234 guys.

  10. If you graduated high school in ’99 you are also a millenials 😑
    There should not be a single millenials who doesn’t know what a VHS is.

  11. Rob, fantastic work. Have always thought about 234, especially since their world would change 3 months after graduating. The what happened to 234 has burned me for 20 years…until now!! Thank you for fantastic work.

    1. No problem at all Bryan! It was actually fun to research / write about these guys. I’ve actually thought about seeing if I could put together some video interviews with the graduates over Skype. I’m not sure if anyone would want to do them, but I might throw the idea out to a few of them.

  12. Joe Burns is actually “Silver Back Gorilla” (SBG) from the book of David Goggins. You can hear here Goggins slipping his name (accidentally, while he was speaking fast). Joe Burns was the BUD/S officer-in-charge for Goggins and mentored him personally too. Great mentor to many great men!

  13. Our unit worked with Koth and his team in Iraq (we were the 5th engineer bn). He was a stand up guy, we lost some guys May 4th, 2006 and he and his team paid their respects at their memorial. He was a really good guy and had one heckuva mustache. I attended his memorial in Iraq, and still have a copy of the memorial brochure if any of you want a copy?

  14. Shouldn’t it be “Chayra” in your pictures, not “Carr”. That is him isn’t it? Not sure, just noting.

    1. Thanks for that BOOya. Disregard the previous comment, I see who he is now. Will get this updated shortly, thanks for sending over!

  15. The documentary mentions that Roberts and Ashlock got through Hell Week (both with broken legs) but were “medically rolled out”. For the layman, what does that mean? I’m guessing that they were allowed to join class 235 right after Hell Week (in other words, they didn’t need to go through Hell Week again). Is that correct?

    1. Yeah basically what that means is they’ll be sent to roll-back land until they fully heal up. Once they do, they’ll join up with the next available class post hell week (because they already completed it). This is assuming that they reached Thursday of Hell Week.

      That could be the next class, or even be a few classes later depending on the severity of the injury.

      Ashlock must have had some pretty serious injuries, because he ended up classing up with Class 236 (he graduated by the way).

      If a student got injured on Monday or Tuesday of Hell Week, and be forced to medically roll out, they would have to start Day 1 Phase 1 all over again.

  16. Thank you so much for following up on all these great dudes! The BUD/S 234 series was absolutely the most meaningful documentary I’ve seen. I watch it often when I feel like not getting after it ( Thanks Jocko). Good to see these guys still doing great things.

  17. Instructor B is Jim Boa from Idaho (if I remember the state correctly… He told me but it’s been so long ago now).

    I went through jump school with him at Benning in 1990. He had a collapsed lung in BUD/S during dive phase and got rolled. He graduated BUD/S class 164. I caught up with him (about 8-10 years after we graduated jump school together) via email a few times and he was an instructor at The Center at that time also.

    He deployed in his early Team days but within short order had to get both shoulders reconstructed. He was still in the Teams when we reconnected in the late 1990s over email but not deploying/deployable. I completely lost track of him since then. All of my friends in the Teams either didn’t know him or didn’t know his where abouts.

    I would love to catch up with him if you every are able to track him down. He was a good dude with nipple piercings that I gave him shit about. Ha ha.

    Great research on 234 by the way.

  18. Awesome job Rob!
    Demeter(?) said to take the film with a grain of salt. Any idea what he meant? Not an accurate portrayal of the BUDS? Thanks!

    1. Sorry for the late reply William. No I actually think it was an accurate portrayal of BUD/S.

      With that said, there’s almost certainly a lot of stuff that goes on when the cameras are turned off. In essence, they probably don’t show some of the stuff that can really get to trainees.

      Also, a lot of guys watch the documentary and think ‘yeah, I can do that’.

      This is very easy to say sitting in front of your computer, warm and dry, with a full nights sleep and belly, no injuries, no instructor(s) harrasing you at every turn, etc.

      It’s an entirely different situation when you’re actually in BUD/S. Hope that makes sense!

  19. I have some rough info on Haas. He was an instructor around the 280ish BUD/s classes, when I was there as a student. He was one of the terror instructors that everyone feared. I think he went on to work at SQT, not sure as to whether he was active or contracting while there.

  20. I saw Instructor Wiedmann at Al Udeid in Qatar in 2013. I think it was around September because our contract ended and we all left in early October. I was working as a bartender at the Fox Sports Lounge there for a company called Sallyport Global. I recognized him from the Class 234 documentary (which I’ve also seen hundreds of times). I even served him a drink, but I didn’t ask any questions or even say that I recognized him. I didn’t think it was appropriate. That’s it.

  21. This was awesome to read. I’ve rewatched the doc about a hundred times and always wondered where they ended up. I was disappointed that he wasn’t able to find out what happened to Rosebrough though because I loved his story of coming to BUD/s at 17 then graduating at 18. Most kids at that age have the physicality to but not the mental tenacity to make it through so I thought it was really cool that he did. Hopefully he made it to the teams and had a good career.

    1. Hey Terry,
      I plan on doing a more in-depth follow up with these guys in the future, which will involve reaching out to them directly wherever I can find them. Rosebrough is at the top of my list to track down, so def bookmark this page and revisit every once in awhile. I promise I will do all I can to track down the details of what happened to him. Stay tuned!

      OMK Founder

  22. I can give you an update on Brad Geary, I am his uncle. He is currently on his third tour at Coronado. He went to Coronado 4 or 5 years ago as second in command. He then went to Pearl for 3 years and is now back at Coronado as Commander of the BUD’s training facility.

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