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Top Navy admiral upholds sentence for Eddie Gallagher but will let him retire as an E-6
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday on Tuesday upheld the sentence for Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, who earlier this year was found guilty of unlawfully posing with a corpse Iraq but not guilty of allegedly killing an ISIS detainee, allowing him to retire at a reduced rank of First Class Petty Officer (E-6) rather than being automatically reduced to an E-1 in accordance with Navy regulations.
Gilday "thoroughly reviewed the record of trial, along with the clemency request submitted by the defense in the General Court-Martial of Special Operations Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher," Cmdr. Nate Christensen, spokesman for the Chief of Naval Operations, told Task & Purpose in a statement.
"After careful consideration as the convening authority, Adm. Gilday decided to uphold the sentence as adjudged by a jury of Gallagher's peers, but disapproved the automatic reduction in rate to E-1."
On July 3, 2019, Gallagher was sentenced to be reduced to the rank of E-6, to forfeit $2,697.00 for four months, and was ordered confined for four months.
According to a Navy official, Capt. Aaron Rugh, the judge in the case, subsequently reduced the forfeiture of pay to two months due to previous time served, but without Gilday's intervention, Gallagher was slated for an automatic reduction in rank to E-1 due to the length of his overall sentence.
"By disapproving the automatic reduction to the rank of E-1, Adm. Gilday's decision upholds the jury's sentence and will allow Gallagher to remain as an E-6," the Navy official told Task & Purpose. "Gallagher previously served pre-trial confinement and forfeited pay."
In a letter to Gilday requesting clemency that was submitted to the Navy on Oct. 1., lawyers for Gallagher wrote that "no further punishment is necessary" for Gallagher following the loss of his promotion, awards, and his freedom for the crime of posing with the dead ISIS detainee that he was actually found guilty of at court-martial.
"Chief Gallagher has devoted his entire adult life to serving our country and putting himself in harm's way to keep us safe. He has eight combat deployments and numerous medals," reads the letter. "He has endured physical damage amounting to 18 separate documented incidents of brain injuries."
"Given this history, we submit that the suffering inflicted on Chief Gallagher and his family as a result of this case far exceeds what is appropriate for a charge of posing for a photo with a dead terrorist."
Gallagher's attorney Tim Parlatore indicated that he would likely take the issue to a higher level, when asked for comment by Task & Purpose: "Absent any intervention from the White House, he's gonna retire as an E6," Parlatore said.
"Obviously we're disappointed that Eddie Gallagher will not be able to retire as a Chief Petty Officer," Parlatore added. "It is unfortunate that he has to lose a significant portion of his pension for an offense that is ordinarily handled with a verbal counseling.
"In a case which has been so corrupted by illegal conduct on the part of the investigators, prosecutors, and the command, it seems Eddie Gallagher is the only one that's going to be held accountable for it."
The Air Force's top general says one of the designers of the ride-sharing app Uber is helping the branch build a new data-sharing network that the Air Force hopes will help service branches work together to detect and destroy targets.
The network, which the Air Force is calling the advanced battle management system (ABMS), would function a bit like the artificial intelligence construct Cortana from Halo, who identifies enemy ships and the nearest assets to destroy them at machine speed, so all the fleshy humans need to do is give a nod of approval before resuming their pipe-smoking.
An F-15 is rocking a WWII paint job to honor a B-17 pilot who gave his life to save a wounded crewman
An F-15C Eagle is sporting a badass World War II-era paint job in honor of a fallen bomber pilot who gave everything to ensure his men survived a deadly battle.
A U.S. E-11A Battlefield Airborne Communications Node aircraft crashed on Monday on Afghanistan, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein has confirmed.
Beloved basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and seven other people were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Sunday. Two days earlier, Army Spc. Antonio I. Moore was killed during a vehicle rollover accident while conducting route clearing operations in Syria.
Which one more deserves your grief and mourning? According to Maj. Gen. John R. Evans, commander of the U.S. Army Cadet Command, you only have enough energy for one.
After 70 years, service members are finally filing medical malpractice claims against the US military
Jessica Purcell, a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve, was pregnant with her first child when she noticed a swollen lymph node in her left underarm.
Health-care providers at a MacDill Air Force Base clinic told her it was likely an infection or something related to pregnancy hormones. The following year they determined the issue had resolved itself.
It hadn't. A doctor off base found a large mass in her underarm and gave her a shocking diagnosis: stage 2 breast cancer.
Purcell was pregnant again. Her daughter had just turned 1. She was 35. And she had no right to sue for malpractice.
A 1950 Supreme Court ruling known as the Feres doctrine prohibits military members like Purcell from filing a lawsuit against the federal government for any injuries suffered while on active duty. That includes injury in combat, but also rape and medical malpractice, such as missing a cancer diagnosis.
Thanks in part to Tampa lawyer Natalie Khawam, a provision in this year's national defense budget allows those in active duty to file medical malpractice claims against the government for the first time since the Feres case.
With the Department of Defense overseeing the new claims process, the question now is how fairly and timely complaints will be judged. And whether, in the long run, this new move will help growing efforts to overturn the ruling and allow active duty members to sue like everyone else.