SEALs Ordered Out of Iraq for Drinking

| July 25, 2019

The Stars & Stripes reports that a Navy SEAL platoon has been ordered out of Iraq for drinking alcohol while deployed according to a report.

A commander overseeing U.S. special operations troops battling the Islamic State in Iraq has ordered a SEAL platoon to return to San Diego early after a “perceived deterioration of good order and discipline,” the military said late Wednesday.

The commander of the Special Operations Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve made the order, U.S. Special Operations Command said in a statement.

“The Commander lost confidence in the team’s ability to accomplish the mission,” the statement said.

The unit was part of SEAL Team 7.

SOCOM issued a statement on Wednesday 24 July 2019 but it offered little detail about what occurred in Iraq to raise the commander’s concern there.

I remember the days of “Boys will be boys” and drinking issues were a slap on the wrist.  Perhaps this is magnified due to it being a primarily Muslim country.  Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like a huge loss of a tremendous asset.

Category: Politics

Comments (51)

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  1. NECCSeabeCPO says:

    General order #1 violation, everyone falls under this order. We had some contract PSD guys get busted for same thing, they were making it. Also many of them got busted for roids.

    • GDContractor says:

      Everyone but the DOS clowns.

      • NECCSeabeeCPO says:

        True,DOS is not under that Task Force, but yeah they get away with a lot of shit, saw it in Colombia also.

      • What does DOS stand for. I’m lost on a lot of these acronyms.

        • Martinjmpr says:

          Department of State? Just a guess. Possibly “OGA” (“Other Government Agency”, a euphemism that doesn’t fool anybody.)

          • rgr1480 says:

            Hey! I work in an “OGA”. Even went down to Huachuca on TDY to work with other OGAs who were working with OGAs within the fenceline.

            Life got complicated … no cell phones allowed. (^_^)

            The best thing? That steak house near the hotel in Sierra Vista. Good steak.

            • SFC D says:

              Cochise Stronghold/Daisy Mae’s? Sorry bud, been closed for years. But, the new owner of the hotel next door has plans to refurbish and reopen. Used to be pretty damn awesome.

          • Thanks for the heads up on DOS Martinjmpr

          • Anonymous says:

            DOS is State. OGA is… well, not fooling anyone: no other agency says “top secret, can’t tell you” (one guess) which gives it away.

  2. 26Limabeans says:

    “deterioration of good order and discipline”

    Isn’t that part of the Surgeon General’s warning label?

  3. Ex-PH2 says:

    Well, what IS more important? Getting the job done or getting an alcoholic buzz?

    And don’t give me that self-righteous crap about “boys will be boys”. That’s bull shit. My father would not give up smoking or drinking, no matter what his doctor said, right up to the day he died. It’s bull shit.

  4. 5th/77th FA says:

    Just one more example of the restrictions we have had placed upon our troops in a God Forsaken part of the world that we have spent way yonder too much Blood and Treasure on.

    Cultural sensitivity my a$$. Was not sure of all of the ramifications of the infamous GO #1 until I started hanging out here years ago. Hell, SEALS and Navy Chiefs have ALWAYS had a rat hole stash of hooch, somewhere, and higher had a don’t ask, don’t tell, didn’t see it policy. I could understand concerns if the troops had been rip roaring drunk, openingly drinking in public. Sounds like to me, they were keeping it in the private areas.

    Odd to me the mooslems frown on drinking, but have no problems abusing children, women, dogs, decapitating, cruxification, stoning of other religions, need I go on?

    Get us the F^CK OUT of here too. Been there basically since Aug 1990 (off and on). Other than taking out So damn Insane, what have we really accomplished in the ME other than the wasting of Blood and Treasure.

    • A Proud Infidel®™️ says:

      I remember being under gawdamnmuddafucking GO #1 when I was in A-stan being told that it was due to culture and said “MY ASS!” to that every time we went outside the wire and saw Hadji shops chock full of beer and/or booze.

      • Mason says:

        Every Muslim DWI said they couldn’t be drunk because “it is against my religion.”

        • Anonymous says:

          “Oh, no, it is haram, but better to strive and fall short than not strive at all… double Johnnie Walker Black, please.”

    • Stacy0311 says:

      Yep, there was a giant CostCo sized liquor store right outside the gate of the Green Zone.

      Terps always asked if I wanted them to pick me up some when they went home on leave. I always politely declined.

      Rumor has it that a agave nectar bottle will hold most of a fifth of Sailor Jerry rum.

    • Hate_me says:

      One major US accomplishment in the ME: ARAMCO.

      Without CASOC/ARAMCO, I would argue we never would have been able to pull France’ and Britain’s asses out of that little dust up they had with der Fuhrer. The Russians may have been able to help them without us, but I doubt they’d have been so inclined.

      Ironic, as it was the brits and frogs who coordinated against American interests in Arab petroleum in the first place.

  5. Comm Center Rat says:

    I remember a Specialist/E-4 being reduced to E-1 for getting drunk on some black marketed alcohol in Iraq over 10 years ago. She ended up checking ID cards at the DFAC for the remainder of the deployment. Just like a garrison Stateside, alcohol related offenses were common occurrences while deployed despite GO #1.

  6. STGCS Ret says:

    I believe the SEALS are now a target of opportunity in the Politically Correct BS world we now live in. The boys have set themselves up for this with infighting and going public – books etc… The drug stuff has also not been that much of a secret these guys are given uppers and downers to maintain optempo so drug testing was not a priority. Its like the old saying locks just keep honest people honest. As with drug testing its the same – so they have been off the leash so long they pretty much do whatever they want. I am a huge fan of the SEAL teams and admire the commitment and dedication it takes to get to that level but some behavior that was once accepted is now no longer being tolerated – you know how it goes when someone screws up we all suffer.

  7. Rob Szrama says:

    You would hope there is more to the story but in today’s military you have to wonder.

  8. A Proud Infidel®™️ says:

    I’m still saying meh, did this come about because someone got stupid out in the open or did someone come across a stash and decided to be a rat bitch in search of brownie points?

    • Martinjmpr says:

      I would guess it’s the first. I,e, the SEALs were basically told “don’t do anything stupid that embarrasses the command” and someone did.

    • MI Ranger says:

      I would side with Martinjmpr, but add to it…I heard it was more than one and more than once. The Command did not want it to be another big investigation after an incident.

  9. Martinjmpr says:

    Hopefully we’re past the Statute of Limitations on this and everyone involved has almost certainly retired, but in the early days of Afghanistan, GO1 was a joke.

    The tent I slept in had a couple of cases of fine German beer (courtesy of the German Special ops unit that was working with us.) We’re talking 1/2 liter bottles of the good stuff. And we weren’t the only one.

    I heard there was actually a bar on Camp Vance (the sub-camp where the CJSOTF was located) although I never went there. It was called “Rosies” in tribute to the TV series M*A*S*H.

    Back then, in the CJSOTF, the word was “big boy rules”, i.e., don’t step on your dick and bring unwanted attention to the CJSOTF.

    And lest you think this was in the middle of nowhere, far from the flagpole, nope: This was on BAF, right off of Disney road across from the XVIII Corps HQ.

    Back then all the attention was on Iraq so we were more or less left alone. I think it was better that way. No, we didn’t have a Starbucks or a Chilis (I guess they have one now?) but not having command eyes on us made for an easier deployment.

    • NECCSeabeCPO says:

      Yes it was a bar, but no, day again no booze at all. Now what people did in there rooms is what ever. The VSP well they did what they did. Was attached CJSOTF-A 2012-2013, went all over SOTF, working for J-7. Stationed out if Vance, with JSOTF HQ

    • mr. sharkman says:

      Your entire post is spot-on, and brings back a lot of memories. Thanks for that.

      I spent a lot of time with Ze Germans you speak of. Sneaking/popping ambushes/kicking doors/shooting faces/’decompressing’ 😉 /racking out, drunk beyond belief/etc.

      Booze after an especially long, extra stressful day/night/week/Op is a long-standing and hallowed military tradition.

      Booze can also be a necessity, when you have a maximum of 2-3 days to catch up on sleep after running like a Terminator for 10 days straight, maybe 1-2 hours ‘sleep’* for every 15-20 hours at 120% power/speed/awareness*.

      * = You’re on major CNS stimulants (Ripped Fuel, etc.; close to 100& purity ephedra), 2-3 muscle stimulants, etc. And then, ‘you need to be asleep in 2 hours’. Fvck. Not happening. You take the CNS stimulants to keep your brain and level of alertness at peak levels (probably a little higher than peak). I don’t know how it is for other guys, but my hearing and vision are well (maybe even far) above average. When I’m on ephedra/Combat B/etc. I hear EVERYTHING. Even with great headphones that can be reversed to be ‘noise cancelling’, it’s not enough.

      So I can go with hard-core high-grade medicinal ‘downers’, which I’ve done a few times. After the first couple of times these were moved to the ‘last option’ list.

      Or, you can ‘take the edge off’ by downing 2/3 of a bottle of something nice (or something not-so-nice, if that’s the only option 😉 ) in an hour or so, then set your combat headphones/headgear to ‘make me deaf’, lay down in as cool and as dark a place as you can find, go thru the Zen Buddhist shutdown routine, and hope for the best.

      But when the drinking of the hard stuff becomes largely recreational and affects you to the point that you are not capable of doing commando type stuff with peak performance, you’ve gone (way) too far (down).

      My $.02.

  10. Martinjmpr says:

    Don’t get me started on the idiocy of GO#1. Treating soldiers like children is just ridiculous. None of our allied partners have silly rules like this to my knowledge and no, their soldiers don’t get falling-down drunk on duty any more than ours do.

    When I was deployed to the Balkans in the 1990’s, they sold T-shirts that had “GO*1” with the circle and the slash on it on one side, and on the other side the shirt read: BEER KILLS: DEPLOY TO BOSNIA AND LIVE FOREVER

    My company was actually based at Taszar in Hungary, which was just outside the GO1 area, meaning we were allowed to drink. And while there were a few alcohol related incidents, it was no more than you would have back in garrison.

    Amazing how treating responsible adults like, you know, responsible adults can have a beneficial effect on morale!

    • Tony180A says:

      I remember the mid 80’s Bright Star and other Mid East exercises we would bring in a pallet of Budwieser and the rules were limited to 2 beers per day and at least 8 hours bottle to throttle.

      Been on to many MTT’s and JCET’S to count to Middle East countries where alcohol was supposedly banned, only to find my host nation counterparts drank behind closed doors ( think Saudis and Kuwaitis don’t drink try flying an international commercial flight they will drain the beer cart. They get holier than thou when they announce entering Saudi airspace.)

      Our cross cultural communications training emphasized not offending your host by turning down food or drink (no matter how gross). Just no alcohol related incidents to embarrass the command.

      Won’t even go into the daily booze consumption by Brit, Canadian and Aussie counterparts on combined operations.

      • mr. sharkman says:

        “Won’t even go into the daily booze consumption by Brit, Canadian and Aussie counterparts on combined operations.”

        Thank The Gods for that, as long as you (and other Americans) are on good terms with them.

        Anyone else who was in A-stan ‘early-ish’ recall the Lobster Tails & Fresh Corn Bread courtesy of the Canucks? 😉

        • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

          “Won’t even go into the daily booze consumption by Brit, Canadian and Aussie counterparts on combined operations.”

          Yeah, I remember seeing the Canadian Camp Julien near the King AND Queen’s Palaces in Djarulaman section of Kabul. We did some Convoys there and when I saw the inside of their club and I was one VERY jealous Mo-fo when I saw the inside of their camp club. YES, they had a daily limit on alcoholic beverage consumption, BUT DAMMIT, they treated their Troops like Adults!

    • timactual says:

      My guess is that acting like children was why they got busted. And since it was the entire unit and not a few individuals I would guess it was too blatant or serious to overlook or cover up. A man’s got to know the limits.

  11. The only thing I kept in my steamer locker in the port elevator machinery room on board the Okie 3 was RC Cola which I bought at the pier 4 Geedunck stand Norfolk NOB and smuggled it on board in trash cans. A lot of the Men which I can say because at that time, there were no PC BS to worry about used to bring hard stuff and beer on board. I heard that some of the Deck Apes had a still going in the Focsle. GI gin was also used in the Chiefs mess and also made in the Oil King shop utilizing the alcohol that was used for testing the # 6 oil. When the ship was over in Viet-Nam, grass use was common which was brought on board by the Marines after an operation. Live ordinance were also found in the Marine Officers berthing spaces inside the A/C ducts. In port Liberty had dogs coming on board to sniff anything out that wasn’t supposed to be there. In a way I’m glad that I left before she went over seas because of the above and a lot of race issues on board. The years 1963-1966 were great but after that with the crew change, things went down hill.

    • Martinjmpr says:

      I can understand Navy ships being “dry” while underway just as I can understand strict no-alcohol policies for ground units who are posted in “Indian Country” and have to maintain a defensive posture at all times.

      But most of our big “garrisons” overseas (Bagram AF, Balad, etc) are located in safe areas that are not in need of such rules.

      GO#1 started as a move to placate the Saudis but then the Army realized they could just have a blanket “no alcohol” policy every time troops went into harms way and that way, supposedly they would not have alcohol related incidents to deal with.

      Given the number of alcohol incidents in areas that were under GO1 I think it’s pretty clear that if the intention of GO1 is to lessen or mitigate alcohol incidents, it’s been a massive failure.

    • Huey Jock says:

      Mercifully, Vietnam was NOT a sober war.

      Imperial quart of Smirnoff $1.25 in the PX.

      I heard a line about the Gulf War: “No booze, no broads, not enough drugs to go around, Let’s get this war over and go home.”

      What was it? Something like 100 hours.

  12. Martinjmpr says:

    Douglas McArthur was arrogant and vain, but he was frequently brilliant. Unlike the post-WWII occupation forces in Germany, who were under strict “no fraternization” orders (orders which, to no surprise, were commonly ignored), there were no such orders in the post-war occupation of Japan.

    When asked why he did not give no-fraternization orders, McArthur replied that “a wise commander doesn’t give an order he knows will not be obeyed.”

    It’s too bad some of the senior commanders in the US military don’t apply McArthur’s wisdom in terms of alcohol. GO#1 causes at least as many problems as it prevents.

    • GDContractor says:

      My uncle was a platoon sergeant in a recon company in the Viet of the Nam ’67-’68, Ch Lai. I’ve read his letters that he wrote to the gal who later became his wife. One of them says something along these lines:

      “Hi, we just got in from the field. While we were out, the captain banned drinking hard liquor in camp. So, I grabbed a bottle of whiskey and went into the mess tent, stood up, and said,”Here’s to Echo Company! Best God Damned Company in the US Army!”. Then I drank from the bottle, and offered it to the Captain. I knew he wouldn’t do anything if I was drinking to the company.”

      My uncle was an irreverent and hilarious guy his whole life.

    • Huey Jock says:

      And the General would probably agree that Military issues should be kept in Garrison. The civilian liberals will lead off on any issue as an opportunity to malign our armed services.

    • Mason says:

      It’s like nobody remembers the 18th Amendment.

  13. Martinjmpr says:

    BTW I think a more accurate headline for this article would be: “SEALs ordered out of Iraq for embarrassing their command by getting caught drinking.

    😉

  14. Herbert J Messkit says:

    I remember reading histories of WWII which mentioned liquor rations for the troops. We did pretty well there destroying two first class militaries. Our record since then is kind of spotty.

  15. Club Manager, USA ret. says:

    Once again the headlines do NOT contain all of the information needed to make a sound decision. To rotate the entire platoon early rather than single out a lack of leadership or a few individuals required some justification. The question that needs answering is where did they get the booze while in-country.

  16. Reddevil says:

    Big boy rules do apply for SOF troops. Bottom line is they generally have their own transportation into theater with sealed shipping cases and can bring just about anything they want. Even then they typically have access to Department of State and Allied forces, who don’t have GO #1.

    But the SEALS have been screwing up Big Boy rules for a while now. No matter what you think about the Gallagher case, there was a lot of ass-jackery going on there. They killed an SF guy in Mali. Any commander or senior NCO will tell you that if there are a few known, publicized cases, there are lots that were handled under the radar.

    No matter how you slice it, this is not good for Navy SPECWARCOM, and it is therefore not good for SOF in general. Joint Force Commanders have a menu of SOF to choose from, and if the perception is that SEALs are not worth the trouble, then they will stop asking for them. The missions won’t go away, so that means more deployments for SF, Rangers, Raiders, and the other SOF guys.

  17. Mayhem says:

    No machine (hic) No machine can do my job (hiccup) until (hic) until it can drink (hic) and do my job

  18. JTB says:

    I think this goes beyond boozing….

  19. Ret_25X says:

    In truth, regardless of my own feelings on GO1, it is a lawful order.

    I don’t like it, you don’t like it, hell, even the GO’s don’t like it…but…Just obey the damned order and move on in life. It is a stupid thing to get into trouble over.

    • PFM says:

      Fun part is GO aren’t subject to it. They entertain guests, and booze is on the menu for social occasions.

  20. LC says:

    Here’s a less-than-fun update – SEAL Team 7 was booted out of Iraq after a senior enlisted member of Foxtrot Platoon allegedly raped a woman assigned to the unit and the investigation was hit with a wall of silence from the team:

    https://taskandpurpose.com/the-navy-reportedly-booted-seal-team-7-out-of-iraq-after-a-senior-enlisted-platoon-allegedly-raped-a-female-service-member

    Seems the drinking wasn’t the reason after all, though it clearly didn’t help.

    • Grunt says:

      Can’t wait for the tell-all book, movie, motivational speaking, and merchandising deal on this one.

  21. SFAlphageek says:

    Hell, if they really wanted to get their attention, they’d extend them in theater for six months every time they screwed up instead of sending them home for it.