Navy SEALs punished for revealing secrets to video game maker
A Pentagon official said Matt Bissonnette, a former Navy SEAL, also shared classified information when he released his memoir No Easy Day, described by Bissonnette as “the first hand account of the mission that killed Osama bin Laden.”
November 9th, 2012
01:38 AM ET

Navy SEALs punished for revealing secrets to video game maker

By Mike Mount

Seven U.S. Navy SEALs have been reprimanded for giving up classified information connected to their tradecraft so a video game could seem more realistic, according to a navy official.

The seven were charged with the unauthorized showing of their official combat gear and dereliction of duty for disclosing classified material after an investigation found the seven to have worked as paid consultants for two days with the video game company Electronic Arts, according to a U.S. Navy official familiar with the investigation.

The work, done around the late spring and early summer, was unauthorized by their commanders and against military regulations according to the Navy official.

All seven are active duty members of SEAL Team 6, considered the most elite of the Navy’s SEAL community. At least one of the team members was on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden last year, according to a Navy official.

The seven, all senior enlisted sailors, received their punishment Thursday at their base in Virginia. All seven were given a letter of reprimand and their pay taken for two months. The move essentially prevents their chances for promotion and ends their military careers.

Four other SEALs who have since transferred to west coast SEAL teams are still under investigation, according to the official.

The seven members were consulting with Electronic Arts on the game “Medal of Honor: Warfighter,” according to the official. The game touts that it is developed with the help of former and active duty commandos.

"Naval Special Warfare (NSW) takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and conducts investigations to determine the facts. We likewise take seriously the Non-Disclosure Agreements signed by Sailors and adherence to the articles of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice,” said Rear Adm. Garry Bonelli, Deputy Commander of the Naval Special Warfare Center in a statement given to Security Clearance.

"We do not tolerate deviations from the policies that govern who we are and what we do as Sailors in the United States Navy. 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,” Bonelli, said.

The disclosure of the extra curricular activities of the SEALs comes on the heels of recently retired SEAL who was on the bin Laden raid and wrote a book about the operation.

The publication of the book released a firestorm of complaints toward the author by the Pentagon which said the book revealed secret information about how the SEALs operate. Pentagon officials threatened the author with legal action if the book was published.

To date there has been no further action toward the author Matt Bissonette, who wrote the book under the name Mark Owen.

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  2. Anon

    "All seven were given a letter of reprimand and their pay taken for two months. The move essentially prevents their chances for promotion and ends their military careers." A letter of reprimand and two months pay is neither a prevention of promotion nor a career ending action. It's a slap on the wrist. If they were even remotely serious an article 15 at the least would've been given. Nice reporting CNN.

    November 14, 2012 at 5:56 am | Reply
  3. andrewjun


    November 12, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Reply
  4. Moe

    Wow, after reading this article and all the comments made, I know some of you don't have anything better to do and be belligerent over the internet.

    Video games (shooting) does not make a person capable to shoot, train and/or be adequate for a mission. It's fantasy. If I show someone pictures, exchange a story, or show them a video, he or she will never perform exceptionally on their own. It takes a Master, Mentor, Instructor, or a teacher to show and enable those skills. Knowing equipment goes the same way. I know more than half of this country will not know how to put a half-thousand dollar vest on or even put one together. After reading the book, No Easy Day, I can point out many classified information, but for an ordanary person would probably never catch it on their own.

    Only someone in the Military should point out their views about the SEAL's awarded the court martial and the NJP's.

    But finally, being in the Military, a true warrior will never show his secrets, only for those who will defend the nation and their oath. Loose Lips Sink Ships, beware of unguarded talk. Keep Your Mouth Shut. OPSEC

    November 12, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Reply
    • Arc

      wow way to be a fascist buddy.

      November 13, 2012 at 10:57 am | Reply
    • justagurlinseattle

      they could take a few cues from the Bletchley Park Code Breakers of WW2.....

      taken from Wiki...

      Not until F. W. Winterbotham's book The Ultra Secret was published in 1974[25] did ex-Bletchley Park staff feel free to reveal something of their wartime work. Deaths before that time meant that many parents, spouses and children were never told more than that it was secret work for the Foreign Office or one of the armed services.[26] Even 70 years later, some people still regard themselves bound to remain silent.[27]

      November 13, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Reply
    • Fred

      The government did a very good job of brainwashing you!

      December 7, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Reply
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