Seals in trouble over Medal of Honor game

“Seven members of the elite SEAL Team Six, which gained global attention leading the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, are in trouble with the U.S. Navy for divulging classified information to developer Danger Close Games for Medal of Honor Warfighter” say an article in today’s Hollywood Reporter.  “Each of the seven soldiers received a punitive letter of reprimand and a partial forfeiture of pay for two months. In the military, these actions can impact future promotions.”

As reported in concurrent coverage in Wired Dangeroom, “Letters of reprimand have gone to seven SEALs who helped Electronic Arts out on Medal of Honor: Warfighter, a recently released game that boasts of “connect[ing] dotted lines to real global terror events.” The scenarios in the game involve “Tier One Operators,” the elitest of elite commandos, chasing down pirates and terrorists across the world. CBS reports that the military has determined the game reveals unspecified classified information, and has put the SEALs on notice that they’ve gone too far to make the first-person shooter realistic.

According to Danger Room, “The disciplinary action could spell an ignominious and unexpected end to the seven SEALs’ tenure in the elite service, potentially ‘killing their chances for promotion,’ CBS reports. The rebuke “essentially makes it hard for them to continue as SEALs,” an anonymous defense official told the Los Angeles Times. Worst comes to worst, they may have to leave the military altogether, which is a mind-boggling way for people who pulled off one of the greatest feats in U.S. military history to go out — especially given how much work the military has done to pimp out the SEALs.

 

The rebuke reflects a schizophrenic attitude inside the military to how public the secretive SEALs should be. In February, Act of Valor showed real SEALs, on camera, during training missions that the producers massaged into a fictional narrative. The Navy worked with its producers for years — precisely so the film could be a good recruiting tool.

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