Seven members of SEAL Team Six, the celebrated counter-terrorism unit responsible for the death of Osama Bin Laden, are in hot water for potentially revealing classified secrets while working as consultants on Electronic Art's recently released shooter, Medal of Honor Warfighter.
CBS News reports that EA hired members of the team to consult on the first-person shooter earlier this year in a bid to keep the game's portrayal of Tier 1 operatives as authentic as possible. Though the game doesn't feature the Osama bin Laden raid, it covers a variety of real-world hotspots and boasts that its missions are based on actual events.
Punishment for the seven SEAL members includes letters of reprimand - effectively ruining any chance at promotion - and cut pay for two months. They're still on active duty, however. Four other team members who are no longer with the unit are currently under investigation.
The SEALs reportedly used classified documents while helping EA build the game, though the nature and sensitivity of the secrets remains unclear.
However, the U.S. Department of Defense indeed confirmed the case in a statement to the website Polygon.
"A non-judicial punishment hearing was conducted yesterday, Nov. 7 and seven Naval Special Warfare (NSW) personnel faced administrative proceedings," it reads. "An additional NSW investigation is ongoing to determine if more personnel may be involved."
"They are being charged with violation of Article 92: Orders violation, misuse of command gear and violation of Article 92: Dereliction of duty, disclosure of classified material. Two Senior Chief Special Operators and five Chief Special Operators received the punishment."
The bin Laden raid kicked off a wealth of media interest in the SEALs. Several books and a number of film projects relied on SEAL Team 6 accounts of the raid, turning its members into valuable resources and, to a degree, overnight celebrities.
Unfortunately, even the SEAL seal of approval couldn't help Medal of Honor: Warfighter win over critics. Released in October, the game's been drubbed by game reviewers and had a relatively poor showing at retail, placing 8th for the month.
Medal of Honor: Warfighter is no stranger to controversy. Over the summer, the game's developers were blasted for blurring the line between fantasy and reality when they posted official website links encouraging gamers to purchase real-world versions of the game's various firearms.