In a story originally broke by CBS news, seven members of the Navy’s elite Naval Special Warfare Development Group, better known as SEAL Team Six, have landed in hot water for working as consultants for the new Electronic Arts first-person-shooter, “Medal of Honor: Warfighter.”
The game does not recreate the bin Laden raid, but it does portray realistic missions, such as an attack on a pirates’ den in Somalia. It was produced by Electronic Arts, which boasts that real commandos, both active duty and retired, help make its games as realistic as possible.
The Navy alleges that their actions violated the nondisclosure agreements all SEALs sign, and disclosed classified information to Electronic Arts.
The seven SEALS (does that sound really apocalyptic to anyone else?), including one who participated in the raid on Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound, were subjected to non-judicial punishment or NJP. NJP is a form of military justice that allows commanders to discipline their subordinates without going as far as a full-on court-martial (which can result in criminal convictions). However, the in this case the consequences of NJP were severe: the EA Seven were issued formal letters of reprimanded. Within the Special Forces community, such letters often considered a career-ending punishment as they make promotion difficult, if not impossible. The SEALs were also required to forfeit half of their pay for two months.
Four additional SEALs, who have since transferred to other units, are also currently under investigation for their role in the consulting work.
In a Fox News article, Rear Admiral Garry Bonelli, the deputy commander of Naval Special Warfare Command was quoted as saying that the disciplinary action “sent a clear message throughout our force that we are and will be held to a high standard of accountability.”
This comes on the heels of retired SEAL Matt Bissonnette, alias Mark Owen, publishing No Easy Day and incurring the wrath of the Navy. Bissonnette, now a civilian, is facing civil action from the Pentagon over the book’s release.
The Pentagon’s stance is that releasing information about the secretive world of Special Warfare puts current Special Forces operators at risk, and threatens the success of current and future operations.
Robert is a science geek with a passion for science fiction. He has a BS in general biology and currently works in an occupational health lab at The University of Arizona. Additionally, Boumis has published three short stories, all science fiction, and does costuming in his spare time. His interests include classic science fiction novels, sci-fi films, filmmaking, UFOs, and video games. Follow his Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Robert-J-Boumis/142544852462290?ref=ts