Bin Laden unit Seal Team Six punished over video game

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Silhouettes of US soldiers (file picture)
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It is not clear what military secrets have been divulged

Seven US Navy Seals have been disciplined for revealing secrets during work as paid consultants on a video game, officials say.

They received reprimand letters and had half of their pay docked for two months for work on Medal of Honor: Warfighter.

The active-duty commandos reportedly include one member of the team that killed Osama Bin Laden in 2011.

The game, published by Electronic Arts, does not recreate the Bin Laden mission but purports to show realistic raids.

Those punished were two Senior Chief Special Operators and five Chief Special Operators.

They were charged with violation of orders, misuse of command gear, dereliction of duty and disclosure of classified material.

The seven soldiers worked for two days during the spring and summer on the recently released video game, according to CBS News.

The game's maker has boasted that real commandos, both on active duty and retired, were involved with the process of designing the game to make it as realistic as possible.

It is not clear what classified secrets were divulged by the soldiers while they were consulting for Electronic Arts. But they reportedly used material from the US Navy.

"We do not tolerate deviations from the policies that govern who we are and what we do as sailors in the United States Navy," Deputy Commander of Naval Special Warfare Command, Rear Admiral Garry Bonelli told the Associated Press.

He added that the disciplinary action would "send a clear message throughout our force that we are and will be held to a high standard of accountability".

Four other Navy Seals are also under investigation, US reports said. They are said to have left Team Six but are still said to be on active duty.

Unit in demand

The Navy Seals usually respect an unwritten code of staying out of the public eye.

But the BBC's Jane Little, in Washington, says Seal Team Six is now a household name, celebrated on T-shirts and immortalised in film.

The unit was the subject of a recent TV movie about the Bin Laden raid in Pakistan and will feature in another film, about the rescue of a ship's captain kidnapped by Somali pirates.

Meanwhile, another member of the team on the Bin Laden raid wrote a book, No Easy Day, giving his account of that operation.

Some details of Bin Laden's death offered in the book differed from the official version of events.

The content of the book was not reviewed first by the Pentagon, and officials warned that criminal charges could have resulted from the improper disclosure of secret information.