This letter is significant because Kerry’s defenders have claimed since the outset that none of the SwiftVets ever served onboard Kerry’s boat. The author of this letter was the Officer in Charge of the swiftboat that night–Kerry’s senior officer who would have had to have signed the award recommendation.
(For the record, I was personnel officer in the Navy. I served nine years active duty, mostly in the submarine force, from 1985 to 1994, and two years as an active duty reservist with an in-shore combat unit. I am very familiar with requirements and procedures for awards.)