Navy lowers medal count for Chris Kyle

Sep 2012
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"Clerical error" has been corrected and new DD 214 issued to his family...


Navy lowers medal count for SEAL Chris Kyle
The Navy personnel form that Kyle signed and initialed when he left the Navy in 2009 credited him with two Silver Star and six Bronze Star medals with “V” device for valor, according to the document. Kyle, whose best-selling book American Sniper was later made into a Hollywood blockbuster, wrote that he had been awarded two Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars. He was killed in 2013 by a veteran he had mentored.

However, the Navy’s investigation of Kyle’s record, which began in 2012, determined that Kyle had commendations for one Silver Star and four Bronze Star medals with “V” devices. The service issued a revised form, known as the DD 214, on June 14. The Silver Star is the military’s third-highest award; the Medal of Honor and Service Cross are the first and second.

Kyle had made other, unverifiable claims, including his account of shooting dozens of rioters in New Orleans in the chaos that followed Hurricane Katrina. He also wrote that he had punched a man later identified as Jesse Ventura, the former Minnesota governor. A jury awarded Ventura $1.8 million in a defamation lawsuit against Kyle’s estate.

“After thoroughly reviewing all available records, the Navy determined an error was made in the issuance of Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle’s form DD214,” Ensign Marc Rockwellpate, a Navy spokesman, said in a statement. “Specifically, the DD 214 did not accurately reflect the decorations and awards to which Kyle was officially entitled. After notifying his family of the error, the Navy issued a corrected copy of the DD 214, which accurately reflects Kyle’s years of honorable and extraordinary Navy service.”