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Report: 10 Navy SEALs Face Separation For Drug Abuse Amid New Investigation
Naval Special Warfare Command is in the process of administratively discharging 10 enlisted Navy SEALs and another sailor assigned to East Coast Naval Special Warfare unit for failing mandatory drug tests administered by the command, the U.S. Naval Institute first reported on May 3.
- The SEALs and sailor reportedly tested positive for cocaine and assorted methamphetamines during drug tests conducted between March and April, results that reportedly triggered a new investigation by NSWC "into the circumstances around the failures," USNI News reports.
- "We have a zero-tolerance policy for the use of illicit drugs and as such these individuals will be held accountable for their actions," Cmdr. Tamara Lawrence said in a statement. "We are confident in our drug testing procedures and will continue to impress on all members of the command that illicit drugs are incompatible with the SEAL ethos and Naval service.”
- News of the separations comes just over a year after CBS News aired an investigative report detailing a growing drug-abuse problem within the U.S. special operations community, citing mostly anecdotal reports and testimonials from former SEALs.
- According to data provided by Naval Special Warfare to Task & Purpose at the time, the Navy collected 71,436 urinalysis samples force-wide for testing between August 2014 and February 2017. Of those samples, drug laboratories found 186 samples that tested positive for drugs — a 0.2% rate that mostly included cocaine and marijuana.
Former Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, whom President Donald Trump recently pardoned of his 2013 murder conviction, claims he was nothing more than a pawn whom generals sacrificed for political expediency.
The infantry officer had been sentenced to 19 years in prison for ordering his soldiers to open fire on three unarmed Afghan men in 2012. Two of the men were killed.
During a Monday interview on Fox & Friends, Lorance accused his superiors of betraying him.
"A service member who knows that their commanders love them will go to the gates of hell for their country and knock them down," Lorance said. "I think that's extremely important. Anybody who is not part of the senior Pentagon brass will tell you the same thing."
"I think folks that start putting stars on their collar — anybody that has got to be confirmed by the Senate for a promotion — they are no longer a soldier, they are a politician," he continued. "And so I think they lose some of their values — and they certainly lose a lot of their respect from their subordinates — when they do what they did to me, which was throw me under the bus."
Fifteen years after the U.S. military toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein, the Army's massive two-volume study of the Iraq War closed with a sobering assessment of the campaign's outcome: With nearly 3,500 U.S. service members killed in action and trillions of dollars spent, "an emboldened and expansionist Iran appears to be the only victor.
Thanks to roughly 700 pages of newly-publicized secret Iranian intelligence cables, we now have a good idea as to why.
BANGKOK (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Mark Esper expressed confidence on Sunday in the U.S. military justice system's ability to hold troops to account, two days after President Donald Trump pardoned two Army officers accused of war crimes in Afghanistan.
Trump also restored the rank of a Navy SEAL platoon commander who was demoted for actions in Iraq.
Asked how he would reassure countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq in the wake of the pardons, Esper said: "We have a very effective military justice system."
"I have great faith in the military justice system," Esper told reporters during a trip to Bangkok, in his first remarks about the issue since Trump issued the pardons.
For one veteran who fought through the crossfires of German heavy machine guns in the D-Day landings, receiving a Congressional Gold Medal on behalf of his service and that of his World War II comrades would be "quite meaningful."
Bills have been introduced in the House and Senate to award the Army Rangers of World War II the medal, the highest civilian award bestowed by the United States, along with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
An airman at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base was arrested and charged with murder on Sunday after a shooting at a Raleigh night club that killed a 21-year-old man, the Air Force and the Raleigh Police Department said.