As reported back in May, Chris Kyle’s service record showed many inconsistencies with the truth according to an investigation within the Navy. Officials began looking at Kyle’s record and forms starting in 2012, determining that the awards and medals reported on his official forms were incorrect. Instead of the reported ” two Silver Star and six Bronze Star medals with “V” device for valor,” the documents show that Kyle only received “one Silver Star and four Bronze Star medals with “V” devices.”
After a thorough look through their processes and information available, Kyle’s record has officially been amended by the Navy and his medal record has been lowered according to USA Today:
“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.”
It is unclear who made the original error, and it appears to be a clerical mistake that was not corrected by Kyle or other Navy officials. The Navy is automating its personnel record system to prevent such errors.
The newspaper also notes the other unverified claims made by Kyle in his 2012 memoir American Sniper, including an incident during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and his alleged altercation with Jesse Ventura that resulted in a widely reported defamation court case in 2014.
The error in Kyle’s medal count seems to be the result of a clerical error as opposed to some effort to falsify a record, something which would have made no sense according to Army veteran Dwight Mears in USA Today:
“This whole issue is very troubling and inexplicable, particularly because Kyle seemingly had no need to falsify his military records,” said Dwight Mears, an Army veteran and former professor at West Point who has researched the military awards process. “It isn’t clear that he stood to benefit any more from the misrepresentations, as his service was impressive and almost equally as noteworthy without the addition of any unearned awards.”
None of this will do much to change the minds of those who support the former Navy SEAL — or those who question his heroism. But it does clarify his official record and ensures that portion of his legacy isn’t tarnished.
(Via USA Today)