Seven members of the secretive US Navy Seal Team 6, including one involved in the mission to kill Osama bin Laden, have been punished for allegedly disclosing classified information to the maker of a video game, a senior defence source has said.
The official, who spoke anonymously because of the sensitive nature of the case, said the troops received what the military calls "non-judicial" punishment on Wednesday.
They are said to have provided the information to the maker of a video game. The official said four other Seals were being investigated for similar alleged disclosures.
Each of the seven received a punitive letter of reprimand and a partial forfeiture of pay for two months - actions that generally hinder a military member's career.
The deputy commander of Naval Special Warfare Command, Rear Admiral Garry Bonelli, acknowledged that non-judicial punishments had been handed out for misconduct, but did not offer further details.
"We do not tolerate deviations from the policies that govern who we are and what we do as sailors in the United States Navy," he said. He alluded to the importance of honouring non-disclosure agreements that Seals sign.
He said the punishments this week "send a clear message throughout our force that we are and will be held to a high standard of accountability".
The commandos are alleged to have divulged classified information to the maker of a video game called Medal of Honour: Warfighter.
The two main complaints against the Seals were that they did not seek the permission of their command to take part in the video project and that they showed the video designers some of their specially-designed combat equipment unique to their unit, said a senior military official.
Seals including some of those involved in the bin Laden raid last May, have been uncharacteristically prominent in the news this year.