Jason Brezler, seated center, holds a meeting with local governors in Sircana on May 7, 2010, outside of Nowzad in Helmand Province.
Brezler faced discharge after emailing classified documents. He challenged the decision. Monique Jaques/Getty Images hide caption
Jason Brezler, seated center, holds a meeting with local governors in Sircana on May 7, 2010, outside of Nowzad in Helmand Province. Brezler faced discharge after emailing classified documents. He challenged the decision.Monique Jaques/Getty Images
Seven years ago, Maj. Jason Brezler sent an urgent message to a fellow Marine in Afghanistan, warning him about an insider threat. The warning wasn't heeded, and two weeks later, three U.S. troops were dead.
What did attract attention was that Brezler had sent classified information over an insecure network. The Marine Corps then embarked on what would be a multi-year effort to kick Brezler out – claiming it was for mishandling information. Brezler maintained it was retaliation for calling attention to deaths he thought might have been prevented.
The U.S. Navy Board of Inquiry decided to remove Brezler from service with an honorable discharge: he wouldn't lose any benefits or rank, Brezler just wouldn't be a Marine anymore.
"In light of my very strong desire to continue to serve and lead Marines, it didn't feel honorable," he told NPR in 2016.
So Brezler sued in federal court and won a new hearing. Earlier this month he sat before a Board of Inquiry again, and on Aug. 9, seven years after he sent the warning to Afghanistan, the panel of military officers ruled in his favor.
"The Board finds that none of the reasons listed above warrant Maj. Brezler's separation from the naval service and recommends closing the case," the decision read.