The Navy has officially corrected Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle’s service record, lowering the medal count that he had claimed in his bestselling autobiography, American Sniper, according to a military spokesperson.
The Navy issued the corrected DD214 form, his official discharge record, on June 14, two weeks after a report by The Intercept found Kyle embellished his military record, despite at least one warning from SEAL commanders that his claims were inaccurate.
In his autobiography, Kyle claimed he received two Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars with a “V” device for valor. After investigating the discrepancy, the Navy now says Kyle earned one Silver Star and four Bronze Stars with a “V” device for valor during his 10-year career as a Navy SEAL.
The Silver Star is the third-highest award given for battlefield conduct.
“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 (report of separation from military service),” wrote Lt. Jackie Pau, a Navy spokesperson. “Specifically, the DD214 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 DD214, which accurately reflects Kyle’s years of honorable and extraordinary service.”
After The Intercept requested Kyle’s service record, documents and Navy officials said Kyle had one Silver Star and three Bronze Stars with Valor, but they now say the number of Bronze Stars with Valor is four. Lt. Lau said the discrepancy was the result of an error on the part of Navy officials sifting through incomplete paperwork relating to Kyle’s award citations and certificates, and the new DD214 reflects every award or commendation Kyle received during his military service.
Normally, the personnel clerk handling a sailor’s separation is required to ensure that the awards match the service member’s official personnel file. The Navy has not explained how the errors occurred in Kyle’s original DD214.
In 2009, Kyle retired from the Navy after serving almost 11 years as a SEAL. He was shot and killed in Texas in 2013 by a fellow veteran suffering from mental health problems.
Kyle’s autobiography, American Sniper, was made into a Hollywood movie of the same name directed by Clint Eastwood.
Taya Kyle, Chris Kyle’s widow, did not respond to a request for comment about her husband’s service record.