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The head of Naval Special Warfare Command reportedly sent a letter to commanders on July 25 proclaiming that "we have a problem," while urging them to detail what issues they see and provide recommendations by Aug. 7 on how to get the SEAL community off the skyline.
"I don't know yet if we have a culture problem," Rear Adm. Colin Green wrote in a letter to the command. "I do know that we have a good order and discipline problem that must be addressed immediately."
"Some of our subordinate formations have failed to maintain good order and discipline and as a result and for good reason," the culture of the SEALs "is being questioned," he added.
Green sent the letter amid a number of high-profile scandals involving SEALs — a community of elite operators numbering less than 2,500 personnel among a force of more than 437,000 active-duty and reserve sailors. The existence of the letter was first reported by CNN's Barbara Starr.
Additionally, Vice Adm. Michael Gilday vowed to identify the "root causes" of ethical concerns among SEALs during a confirmation hearing on Wednesday. If confirmed, Gilday will take over as the chief of naval operations.
Among the issues that have come to light in recent years were the nearly dozen SEALs booted from the service after testing positive for drugs in 2018, as well as others being investigated or brought to trial on murder charges. As Navy Times' reporter Geoff Ziezulewicz noted, other SEALs have been charged with allegedly abusing prisoners in Afghanistan; another was sentenced to nearly 30 years in prison for producing images of child sexual abuse in Feb. 2018. That same sailor was sentenced to an additional 60 years for child molestation on Tuesday.
More recently, the entirety of SEAL Team 7 Foxtrot Platoon was pulled out of Iraq last month amid allegations of a boozy Fourth of July party and an allegation of sexual assault, and Navy Times' revealed several members of SEAL Team 10 were using cocaine and other drugs regularly. SEALs were also involved in the hazing death of a Green Beret in Mali, one of whom is now being investigated for allegedly trying to flirt with and manipulate the victim's widow.
And despite the acquittal of former SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher on murder charges in early July, his court-martial revealed that members of his unit, SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon, constructed their own rooftop bar in Iraq and engaged in other alleged misconduct on deployment.
"We are looking hard as a learning organization to self assess to see, are we assessing and selecting the right people? Are we holding them accountable to standards of honor, courage, and commitment?" Green told the audience at the West 2019 conference, in response to a question from Task & Purpose in February.
Green's acknowledgement that there is indeed a problem stands in stark contrast to a March report to Congress from Special Operations Command, which found there were no "gaps in the administration, oversight, or management of ethics programs or professionalism programs."
You can read the letter below:
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As many as 380 Americans on the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Japan – which has nearly 300 passengers who have tested positive for the deadly coronavirus, now known as COVID-19 – will be extracted Sunday from Yokohama and flown to Travis Air Force Base near Fairfield and a Texas base for further quarantine.
The Army wants more soldiers, and it's using esports to put a 'finger on the pulse' of potential recruits
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
After whiffing on its recruiting goal in 2018, the Army has been trying new approaches to bring in the soldiers it needs to reach its goal of 500,000 in active-duty service by the end of the 2020s.
The 6,500-soldier shortfall the service reported in September 2018 was its first recruiting miss since 2005 and came despite it putting $200 million into bonuses and issuing extra waivers for health issues or bad conduct.
Within a few months of that disappointment, the Army announced it was seeking soldiers for an esports team that would, it said, "build awareness of skills that can be used as professional soldiers and use [its] gaming knowledge to be more relatable to youth."
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A New Mexico Army National Guard soldier from Mountainair, who served as a police officer and volunteer firefighter in the town, died Thursday from a non-combat related incident while deployed in Africa, according to the Department of Defense.
A news release states Pfc. Walter Lewark, 26, died at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti where he was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in the Horn of Africa.
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is requesting about as much money for overseas operations in the coming fiscal year as in this one, but there is at least one noteworthy new twist: the first-ever Space Force request for war funds.
Officials say the $77 million request is needed by Oct. 1 not for space warfare but to enable military personnel to keep operating and protecting key satellites.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. prosecutors on Thursday accused Huawei of stealing trade secrets and helping Iran track protesters in its latest indictment against the Chinese company, escalating the U.S. battle with the world's largest telecommunications equipment maker.
In the indictment, which supersedes one unsealed last year in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, Huawei Technologies Co was charged with conspiring to steal trade secrets from six U.S. technology companies and to violate a racketeering law typically used to combat organized crime.