Back in September while under investigation for his novel No Easy Day, former U.S. Navy SEAL and author Matt Bissonnette also fell under further government scrutiny for his involvement with Electronic Arts and developer Danger Close’s military shooter Medal of Honor: Warfighter. Although Bissonnette had since left the service, his contributions as an adviser to that game and the details of his book both came under investigation by the Department of Defense for potentially releasing classified information regarding how the SEALs operate. Along with Bissonnette, seven other active duty Navy SEALs also served as consultants for the game.
A new report now suggests that those seven SEALs have been disciplined, and all those involved are under further investigation regarding their role in the game’s development.
According to CBS News, the Navy SEALs in question (at least one of which served on the successful mission which resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden) served as paid consultants for Warfighter, and may have revealed military secrets while assisting EA with the game. There has been no word on what specific secrets were revealed, and in all likelihood that information will never be released. The report indicates that all seven SEALs have received letters of reprimand — a major impediment to future promotion– and have had half their salaries docked for two months.
News of The Department of Defense taking an interest in the SEALs’ involvement with Warfighter first hit the wire in September, but focused primarily on Bissonnette. His book No Easy Day, which he wrote under the pseudonym Mark Owen, gave a firsthand account of the raid that targeted bin Laden. Although the market is no stranger to first hand accounts of military missions told by those that participated in them, all such projects are supposed to first be submitted to the Pentagon for approval to ensure that no classified information is released. In the case of both Bissonnette’s book and with the SEALs that worked on Warfighter, no approval was ever sought, although Bissonnette’s lawyer claims that the book was properly vetted by a special operations attorney prior to release. At the time, EA indicated that it wasn’t aware the SEALs’ required any government oversight for their role with the game.
Leading up to and after its October 23 release, Warfighter‘s marketing has promoted the game’s ties to real-world military experts and well-known military scenarios — including an upcoming map pack for the game called “Zero Dark Thirty” that recreates the SEAL Team Six raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound.