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Disgraced Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is returning to the Navy, but he won't be a SEAL again
Former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens, who resigned in disgrace as governor of Missouri last year, is putting his uniform back on — just not as a Navy SEAL.
Greitens, who stepped down in May 2018 amid criminal charges related to an alleged extramarital affair, has become a reserve naval officer with Navy Operational Support Center — St. Louis, a spokeswoman for Navy Recruiting Command confirmed to Task & Purpose. The Kansas City Star first reported the news.
"In April 2019, Eric Greitens, a [lieutenant commander] in the Individual Ready Reserve, requested to transfer his status to the Selected Reserves as a general unrestricted line officer (designator 1105) and his transfer was approved," Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jessica McNulty said in an email.
McNulty declined to comment on why the Navy allowed him to transfer to the Selected Reserves.
The former governor had reportedly told his friends and supporters that he expects to deploy to the Middle East this fall, but it is unclear as of Thursday whether he is actually heading downrange.
"I cannot confirm that he has orders," Cmdr. Doug Gabos, a spokesman for Navy Reserve Force, told Task & Purpose.
Gabos also could not say what Greitens' current role is at Navy Operational Support Center – St. Louis, other than he is administratively assigned there.
Attempts to reach Greitens on Thursday were unsuccessful.
Greitens resigned as Missouri's governor amid allegations that he had sexually assaulted a woman and threatened to release a nude photo he took of her in order to keep her silent.
A charge of invasion of privacy stemming from the incident and a separate charge of felony computer-tampering for allegedly stealing the donor list of a charity to which he belonged were both eventually dropped.
News about Greitens returning to the Navy comes amid a slew of revelations about how poorly women in general and female sailors in particular are treated by their male counterparts.
Command Master Chief Jonas Doyle Carter resigned after telling sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman to "clap like we're in a strip club" during Vice President Mike Pence's April 30 visit to the ship.
The Navy also launched an investigation after a female Marine found a hidden camera in one of the women's restrooms aboard the amphibious transport dock USS Arlington.
And male sailors aboard the submarine USS Florida compiled a "rape list" of their female counterparts, Military.com reporter Gina Harkins first reported.
"The Navy had a choice whether to allow an accused sex offender and disgraced former politician to join the fleet," said retired Air Force Col. Don Christensen, president of the advocacy group Protect Our Defenders. "Allowing him to return to the active Navy sends a disturbing message that the Navy does not believe survivors."
"This is especially repulsive on the heels of the dramatic increase in military sexual assaults last year," Christensen added. "From Tailhook to Fat Leonard to the recent submarine 'rape list' the Navy has repeatedly proven it just doesn't get it."
SEE ALSO: Amid Multiple Murder Investigations, Pentagon Finds No Issues With Special Ops Ethics Training
WATCH NEXT: The Navy SEAL Charged With War Crimes In Iraq
The inside story of how The Village People shot the Navy's most controversial recruiting video onboard an active warship
The video opens innocently enough. A bell sounds as we gaze onto a U.S. Navy frigate, safely docked at port at Naval Base San Diego. A cadre of sailors, dressed in "crackerjack" style enlisted dress uniforms and hauling duffel bags over their shoulders, stride up a gangplank aboard the vessel. The officer on deck greets them with a blast of a boatswain's call. It could be the opening scene of a recruitment video for the greatest naval force on the planet.
Then the rhythmic clapping begins.
This is no recruitment video. It's 'In The Navy,' the legendary 1979 hit from disco queens The Village People, shot aboard the very real Knox-class USS Reasoner (FF-1063) frigate. And one of those five Navy sailors who strode up that gangplank during filming was Ronald Beck, at the time a legal yeoman and witness to one of the strangest collisions between the U.S. military and pop culture of the 20th century.
"They picked the ship and they picked us, I don't know why," Beck, who left the Navy in 1982, told Task & Purpose in a phone interview from his Texas home in October. "I was just lucky to be one of 'em picked."
Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Tuesday casually brushed aside the disturbing news that, holy shit, MORE THAN 100 ISIS FIGHTERS HAVE ESCAPED FROM JAIL.
In an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Esper essentially turned this fact into a positive, no doubt impressing public relations and political talking heads everywhere with some truly masterful spin.
"Of the 11,000 or so detainees that were imprisoned in northeast Syria, we've only had reports that a little more than a hundred have escaped," Esper said, adding that the Syrian Democratic Forces were continuing to guard prisons, and the Pentagon had not "seen this big prison break that we all expected."
Well, I feel better. How about you?
On Wednesday, the top U.S. envoy in charge of the global coalition to defeat ISIS said much the same, while adding another cherry on top: The United States has no idea where those 100+ fighters went.
A senior administration official told reporters on Wednesday the White House's understanding is that the SDF continues to keep the "vast majority" of ISIS fighters under "lock and key."
"It's obviously a fluid situation on the ground that we're monitoring closely," the official said, adding that released fighters will be "hunted down and recaptured." The official said it was Turkey's responsibility to do so.
President Trump expressed optimism on Wednesday about what was happening on the ground in northeast Syria, when he announced that a ceasefire between Turkey and the Kurds was expected to be made permanent.
"Turkey, Syria, and all forms of the Kurds have been fighting for centuries," Trump said. "We have done them a great service and we've done a great job for all of them — and now we're getting out."
The president boasted that the U.S.-brokered ceasefire had saved the lives of tens of thousands of Kurds "without spilling one drop of American blood."
Kade Kurita, the 20-year-old West Point cadet who had been missing since Friday evening, was found dead on Tuesday night, the U.S. Military Academy announced early Wednesday morning.
"We are grieving this loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to Cadet Kurita's family and friends," Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, superintendent of West Point, said in the release.
The U.S. Army's Next Generation Squad Weapon effort looked a lot more possible this week as the three competing weapons firms displayed their prototype 6.8mm rifles and automatic rifles at the 2019 Association of the United States Army's annual meeting.
Just two months ago, the Army selected General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems inc., Textron Systems and Sig Sauer Inc. for the final phase of the NGSW effort — one of the service's top modernization priorities to replace the 5.56mm M4A1 carbine and the M249 squad automatic weapon in infantry and other close-combat units.
Army officials, as well as the companies in competition, have been guarded about specific details, but the end result will equip combat squads with weapons that fire a specially designed 6.8mm projectile, capable of penetrating enemy body armor at ranges well beyond the current M855A1 5.56mm round.
There have previously been glimpses of weapons from two firms, but this year's AUSA was the first time all three competitors displayed their prototype weapons, which are distinctly different from one another.
The Air Force is investigating whether an airman smoked weed at a missile alert facility for nuclear Minuteman ICBMs
The Air Force is investigating reports that an airman consumed marijuana while assigned to one of the highly-sensitive missile alert facility (MAF) responsible for overseeing Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota.