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The Navy reportedly booted SEAL Team 7 out of Iraq after a senior enlisted platoon member allegedly raped a female service member
When the commander of Special Operations Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve unceremoniously booted SEAL Team 7 out of Iraq this week, the U.S. Special Operations Command justified it "due to a perceived deterioration of good order and discipline within the team during non-operational periods."
But according to an alarming new report in the New York Times, "deterioration of good order and discipline" seemed to be an understatement.
While the Navy initially indicated that an alcohol-soaked July 4th party was the core driver of the decision, a senior Navy official revealed to the New York Times' David Philipps that a senior enlisted platoon member had allegedly raped a female service member assigned to the SEAL platoon.
In addition, "when commanders began investigating the allegations, the entire platoon invoked their right to remain silent" under the Fifth Amendment, Philipps reports. "At that point, the official said, commanders decided to send the whole platoon home, including the lieutenant in command."
When reached for comment by Task & Purpose, SOCOM spokesman Ken McGraw said the command was "unable to confirm the nature of any allegations that are currently under investigation."
The alleged sexual assault and subsequent circling of the wagons appeared to be the last straw for SEAL Team 7. In July, SEAL Team 7 Chief Eddie Gallagher was found not guilty of murder after being accused of stabbing a wounded ISIS fighter to death in Mosul in 2017 while deployed there.
During the Gallagher trial, fellow SEAL Team 7 member SO1 Corey Scott claimed that he, not Gallagher, has executed the fighter. Scott had been offered immunity as a witness for the prosecution, and the Navy subsequently weighed perjury charges against him.
As Task & Purpose's Paul Szoldra previously noted, Gallagher's court-martial revealed that other members of SEAL Team 7 constructed a bar at their compound and were regularly drinking alcohol. Indeed, Gallagher's commanding officer is scheduled to go to trial in September.
This is all to say nothing of the cocaine abuse allegations currently roiling SEAL Team 10 and the fallout from the Mali hazing incident that resulted in the death of Army Special Forces Sgt. Logan Melgar at the hands of two members of SEAL Team 6. But according to a March 2018 Pentagon report to Congress, SOCOM doesn't see any problems with ethics and professionalism in its community.
"The SOF [special operations forces] culture requires more than adherence to the minimum standards of compliance with applicable law and policy," the report stated. "SOF personnel who manage violence under the stress and ambiguity of combat require the highest level of individual and organizational discipline."
"This is more than just adherence to the Uniform Code of Military Justice and ethics regulations, the report added. "Rather, it is the cornerstone of the values system that trust and faith are built upon at every level within SOF."
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday told North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to "act quickly" to reach a deal with the United States, in a tweet weighing in on North Korea's criticism of his political rival former Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump, who has met Kim three times since 2018 over ending the North's missile and nuclear programs, addressed Kim directly, referring to the one-party state's ruler as "Mr. Chairman".
In his tweet, Trump told Kim, "You should act quickly, get the deal done," and hinted at a further meeting, signing off "See you soon!"
It is impossible to tune out news about the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump now that the hearings have become public. And this means that cable news networks and Congress are happier than pigs in manure: this story will dominate the news for the foreseeable future unless Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt get back together.
But the wall-to-wall coverage of impeachment mania has also created a news desert. To those of you who would rather emigrate to North Korea than watch one more lawmaker grandstand for the cameras, I humbly offer you an oasis of news that has absolutely nothing to do with Washington intrigue.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will return three captured naval ships to Ukraine on Monday and is moving them to a handover location agreed with Kiev, Crimea's border guard service was cited as saying by Russian news agencies on Sunday.
A Reuters reporter in Crimea, which Russian annexed from Ukraine in 2014, earlier on Sunday saw coastguard boats pulling the three vessels through the Kerch Strait toward the Black Sea where they could potentially be handed over to Ukraine.
Nine years after losing both legs in Afghanistan, he's found purpose in family, friends and inspiring others
There's a joke that Joey Jones likes to use when he feels the need to ease the tension in a room or in his own head.
To calm himself down, he uses it to remind himself of the obstacles he's had to overcome. When he faces challenges today — big or small — it brings him back to a time when the stakes were higher.
Jones will feel out a room before using the line. For nearly a decade, Jones, 33, has told his story to thousands of people, given motivational speeches to NFL teams and acted alongside a three-time Academy Award-winning actor.
On Tuesday afternoon, he stood at the front of a classroom at his alma mater, Southeast Whitfield High School in Georgia. The room was crowded with about 30 honor students.
It took about 20 minutes, but Jones started to get more comfortable as the room warmed up to him. A student asked about how he deals with post-traumatic stress disorder.
"I believe in post-traumatic growth," Jones said. "That means you go through tough and difficult situations and on the back end through recovery, you learn strength."
It didn't take long for a central theme to emerge at the funeral of U.S. Marine Pfc. Joseph Livermore, an event attended by hundreds of area residents Friday at Union Cemetery in Bakersfield.
It's a theme that stems from a widespread local belief that the men and women who have served in the nation's armed forces are held in particularly high esteem here in the southern valley.
"In Bakersfield and Kern County, we celebrate our veterans like no place else on Earth," Bakersfield Chief of Police Lyle Martin told the gathering of mourners.