Lt. Col. Jason Amerine is, literally, an action hero. The Green Beret’s valor and heroic accomplishments over his more than 22 years of Army service have led him to both be featured in the America’s Army video game and made into an action figure.
Since January, however, ABC News reports that the highly-decorated veteran’s honorable record – and his freedom – have been on the line as he faced an Army investigation and potential court-martial over classified information the he allegedly leaked to a member of Congress.Image Credit: Screenshot/ABC News
The investigation began after the F.B.I. filed a complaint that Amerine had shared classified information with Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), a military veteran and member of the House Armed Services Committee, and his staff related to efforts to free Taliban- and al Qaeda-held hostages.
Amerine had been part of a covert Pentagon group that worked to free hostages for years, including Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, Warren Weinstein, and numerous other Americans and Canadians.
After the Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient began to criticize the government’s hostage-recovery efforts as ineffective, including to Rep. Hunter, his security clearance was pulled, he was escorted from the Pentagon, his planned retirement was postponed, and he was placed under investigation.Lt. Col. Amerine meeting with President Bush. Image Credit: Facebook
Now, after months of testimony, Amerine has been cleared of any wrongdoing, and was given a much-deserved ending to a laudable military career.
During his retirement ceremony on Friday, the Special Forces operative was honored with the Legion of Merit medal for “exceptionally meritorious service,” adding that Amerine’s “standards of excellence and professionalism [were] unparalleled” from 2008 until the day of his retirement.
As one of the military’s most prestigious awards, the Legion of Merit is rarely granted to those below the rank of colonel, a sign of Amerine’s utmost dedication to his country.