The Navy has issued career-ending letters of reprimand to seven members of SEAL Team 6 – including one involved in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden last year – for showing some of their secret gear to a video-game manufacturer.
It’s about time the Navy tried to restore some discipline to the SEALs’ ranks.
You think the Army’s Delta Force — and other units you don’t even know about — appreciate what the SEALs have been broadcasting recently? The Navy special-warfare community has let too much information leak from the SEALs, including Matt Bissonnette’s recent book, No Easy Day, about the bin Laden raid.
Why should other U.S. military special operators keep their mouths shut if the only thing that accrues to the once-secret SEALs for blabbing are best-selling books and cash to spill the beans on some of how they do what they do? A retired Navy officer says that there’s concern that all the hub-bub ab0ut the SEALs is “diluting their brand.”
Rear Admiral Gary Bonelli, deputy commander of the Naval Special Warfare Command, put it like this in a statement:
We do not tolerate deviations from the policies that govern who we are and what we do as sailors. The non-judicial punishment decisions made today send a clear message throughout our force that we are and will be held to a high standard of accountability.
Game-maker Electronic Arts paid seven SEALs as consultants on its recently-released “Medal of Honor Warfighter” game. CBS first reported the punishment, which also included a 50% cut in pay for two months.
The Navy had to do something, judging from the promotional material EA issued to promote the game:
Written by active U.S. Tier 1 Operators while deployed overseas and inspired by real world threats, Medal of Honor Warfighter™ delivers an aggressive, gritty, and authentic experience that puts gamers in the boots of today’s most precise and disciplined warrior.
You’d think SEALs would be the first to acknowledge the difference between what they do and a game.