NBC News and msnbc.com
updated 3/11/2010 8:37:00 PM ET 2010-03-12T01:37:00

Three Army commanders linked to a battle that killed nine Americans in Afghanistan in 2008 been given letters of reprimand for reportedly failing to adequately protect their forces and leaving them vulnerable to attack, U.S. military officials told NBC News on Thursday.

The three include the brigade commander, battalion commander and the company commander, Capt. Matthew Myer, who was awarded the Silver Star for bravery for his actions during the battle in the tiny Afghan village of Wanat, near the Pakistani border. The other two officers were not immediately identified.

Taliban fighters attacked an outpost in eastern Afghanistan being established by U.S. Army soldiers on July 13, 2008. Nine U.S. soldiers were killed and 27 were wounded during the fierce firefight, which raged for several hours and was one of the bloodiest of the Afghan war.

The battle and its bloody aftermath became the subject of several investigations.

The three officers have an opportunity to respond to the discipline, but one U.S. military official told NBC the letters of reprimand amount to "career enders."

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