Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.

The commander of the US Navy Special Operations Command, Rear Admiral Collin Green, issued a letter to his subordinates last week telling them that there is a problem with discipline within the SEALs that must be addressed immediately. It's been obvious for awhile that there is something dysfunctional within special operations generally, and naval special warfare in particular.

Special operations forces are famously afforded latitude in certain regulations not given to conventional forces. Those are supposed to be for legitimate operational reasons, such as modified grooming and uniform standards for working with indigenous forces. They aren't supposed to be a reward for being "special."

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Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar (U.S. Army photo)

An NCIS agent was removed from the investigation into the June 2017 hazing death of Special Forces Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar for reportedly having a romantic relationship with a witness.

The Daily Beast reporter Kevin Maurer first reported that defense attorneys for two of the special operators charged with murder and other offenses in connection with Melgar's death will argue that the NCIS agent became romantically involved with the witness, who worked in the intelligence community.

NCIS spokesman Jeff Houston confirmed to Task & Purpose that an agent had been removed from the case but he declined to say why.

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(Courtesy photo)

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson will now make all decisions regarding sentencing for Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Eddie Gallagher, who was found not guilty of killing a wounded ISIS fighter but convicted of posing with the fighter's corpse, the Navy announced on Saturday.

"Richardson, in accordance with the Manual for Courts Martial, withheld Navy Region Southwest's authority to take any action in the Gallagher court-martial Saturday, Aug. 3," a Navy statement says. "He will assume responsibility for any disposition action in the trial. Any previous post-trial action has been rescinded."

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Western Tidewater Regional Jail

A former member of SEAL Team 1 in San Diego has been sentenced to 60 years in prison for child molestation on Tuesday, which comes on top of a previous federal sentence of 27 years he's currently serving for manufacturing child porn in Virginia.

Ex-Petty Officer 1st Class Gregory Kyle Seerden, 33, pled guilty to seven counts of molestation after a preliminary hearing in San Diego, according to 10 News. Seerden's ex-wife testified that their daughter, now 12, endured abuse since she was five years old.

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Two services. Two incidents involving service members accused of serious misconduct. Two vastly different approaches to openness and transparency.

When U.S. Special Operations Command announced on Wednesday that a SEAL platoon was being sent home early from Iraq because their commander has lost confidence in them, U.S. military officials did not mention that one of the SEALs had been accused of sexually assaulting a female service member. That was first revealed by New York Times reporter David Phillips about 24 hours later.

San Diego-based attorney Jeremiah Sullivan confirmed to Task & Purpose that he represents a member of Foxtrot Platoon SEAL Team 7 who is being investigated for sexually assault but has not been charged.

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Paul Szoldra/Task & Purpose

Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher dodged the most serious charges the Navy threw at him during his court martial, but his final sentence could be far worse than what the jury originally handed down.

If the convening authority approves the jury's sentence of four months' confinement and a reduction in rank from E7 to E6, Gallagher will be busted down to the rank of E1, according to Navy officials.

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