(U.S. Navy/Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Jayme Pastoric)

A member of the Navy's elite SEAL Team 6 who was named its Sailor of the Year in 2016 has been charged with pretending to be someone else over text messages so he could get nude photographs from women.

Petty Officer 1st Class Aaron Howard faces a general court-martial at Naval Station Norfolk, although his civilian defense attorney is seeking to have the case dismissed during a hearing next week.

The case is thrusting the ordinarily secretive naval special warfare community into an uncomfortable spotlight once again.

On Wednesday, a platoon of San Diego-based SEALs was sent home early from Iraq "due to a perceived deterioration of good order and discipline within the team during non-operational periods." And earlier this week, Navy Times reported that members of Virginia Beach-based SEAL Team 10 routinely used cocaine and were able to cheat drug tests before they were caught last year.

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