Navy: American Sniper Did Not Earn Second Silver Star

| by Michael Allen
Chris KyleChris Kyle

The late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle reportedly did not earn the second Silver Star he mentioned in his book, "American Sniper."

Kyle stated in his 2012 book: "I would end my career as a SEAL with two Silver Stars and five Bronze [Stars], all for valor," Navy Times reports.

The Navy says Kyle earned four Bronze Stars with a combat "V" (valor) and one Silver Star.

The Navy re-released Kyle's discharge paperwork, the DD214, on June 14 to clarify what medals he received as a Chief Special Warfare Operator during his decade-long career.

Navy spokesman Ens. Marc Rockwellpate said:

After thoroughly reviewing all available records, the Navy determined an error was made in the issuance of Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle’s form DD-214. 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.

"American Sniper" co-author Jim DeFelice slammed the Navy in an email to the Navy Times:

In revising the discharge documents, the Navy is now admitting to sloppy record-keeping, either in 2009 or today. However, I find it difficult to believe their records have become more complete in the years since the discharge papers were first issued.

I don't know who or what or why things got fouled up, but the bottom line is this: Chris saved countless lives on the battlefield, was awarded numerous medals for valor, and should have gotten even more.

Kyle's other co-author Scott McEwen questioned the Navy's proof:

I have been presented with no information that in any way questions the valor or medal count of my friend and American hero, Chris Kyle. I grow tired of the constant attacks on his reputation, and question the motivation of those making the attacks.

I have another question to be asked and answered: how many American Warriors are alive today because of Chris Kyle? That is a number I would love to see. I can guarantee it is in the 100s.  It is far more important than medal counts.

"Taya [Kyle's widow] will not be making any comments at this time," Stewart Smith, a spokesman for the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation, stated in an email.

Doug Sterner, an Army veteran in charge of the Military Times Hall of Valor database, confirmed that Kyle earned only one Silver Star:

Chris Kyle, I don't know what to make of the situation. Obviously he only got one Silver Star. We know that he did not get a classified award. The bottom line is he served, he got one Silver Star, which is one more than I got, and he was human enough to make the mistake of exaggerating his record.

Former Republican Gov. Rick Perry of Texas slammed The Intercept when it brought up the question of Kyle's medal count.

"This article is part of a disturbing trend in the left-leaning press to undermine the heroism of men and women who are willing to risk their lives in the defense of our nation’s freedom," Perry said.

A Navy officer, who asked not be identified, said Kyle was warned about his incorrect medal count at least one time before his book was published.

Other current and former SEALs say Kyle's heroism was not the issue, but rather the inflated numbers of his medals.

The Navy's actions confirmed The Intercept's claims, but Perry has not issued a comment.

Journalist Michael J. Mooney, who wrote a separate book on Kyle, said in 2014 that other stories recalled by Kyle were not verifiable, such as killing bad guys in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and fighting off carjackers in Texas, The Washington Post reported.

Sources: Navy Times, The Washington Post, The Intercept / Photo Credit: Cpl. Damien Gutierrez/U.S. Marine Corps

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