Internal Navy documents raise questions about famed sniper Chris Kyle’s official military record and the one described in his autobiography.
Kyle’s service record lists citations that include one Silver Star and three Bronze Stars with Valor, but in his 2012 book American Sniper he lists two Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars all for valor, according to a report by The Intercept published on May 25.
The Silver Star is the third-highest military combat decoration. The Bronze Star is awarded to servicemen and women for heroic or meritorious achievement or service in a combat zone.
The online magazine obtained the documents through a Freedom of Information Act request filed in late January to the Department of the Navy. In the documents, personal and sensitive information is redacted, but citations are clearly visible.
Kyle’s discharge paperwork supports details written in his book. His DD214 form, which covers his 10-year career that ended in 2009, indicates he received two Silver Stars and at least five Bronze Stars.
However, Navy spokesman Cullen James told The Intercept that an individual’s official military personnel files is the authoritative source for verifying decorations and awards.
“The form DD214 is generated locally at the command where the Service member is separated,” he said. “Although the information on the DD214 should match the official records, the process involves people and inevitably some errors may occur.”
Defending Kyle’s record, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry wrote an Op-Ed that contradicts Navy officials. “[A] DD-214 is THE definitive record of a person’s time in…