SEALs Behaving Badly?

| September 7, 2019 | 25 Comments

Oh, say it ain’t so!!!

I am not going into how they should know better, as in ‘wait until you get home’ or any of that other stuff.

It’s the bad PR that comes out of this for the Navy that is the issue. That, and in the hormone-laden world of Spec Ops, some people just cannot step back and cool down before they do something stupid and it gets out. In this case, ST7 misbehaved after some tough encounters and it go back to those at the top. Ergo, the team leaders get to bear the brunt of the punishment for not keeping these Bad Boys from acting up.

So here’s the Military Times/Navy Times story at this link:  https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2019/09/06/why-the-entire-seal-team-7-leadership-team-got-canned/

You decide for yourselves.

Category: "The Floggings Will Continue Until Morale Improves", Navy

Comments (25)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Jeff LPH 3, 63-66 says:
    September 6, 2019 at 9:47 pm
    Just opened up Navy times and the entire senior Seal Team 7 leadership were fired Friday morning due to loss of confidense. I didn’t want to copy and paste the article because of the last time I didn’t do it right so I just mentioned it now and most likely someone will print some of the story. Thanks for taking up the slack on the article Ex-PH2 that I entered the above brief notification comment yesterday.

  2. AW1Ed says:

    Wow. SEAL Team 7’s CO, XO, and CMC all fired. Admiral Green is certainly making a loud and clear statement.

  3. 5th/77th FA says:

    Just as a leader is responsible for the welfare and training of the troops they command, thus they are also responsible for their actions. That’s the way it is. Guess the Admiral is hammering that point home here. I’d be curious to know how it “got back” to higher.

    Navy SEALS coming off of constant combat ops blew off a little too much steam. Who’d of thunk?

    • Mike Kozlowski says:

      …Lord only knows what the USN investigators found while trying to convict Eddie Gallagher. Even taking into account the source, some of it may well have been too much to ignore.

  4. Devtun says:

    CNO Mike Gilday got grilled at his confirmation hearing on the SEAL Teams misadventures. He pledged he would hold NSW accountable. RADM Green got the message crystal clear. CO’s ain’t falling on the sword for anyone. The choke collar will get very tight on troops, and the axe will fall quickly on problem SEALs.

  5. Club Manager, USA ret. says:

    “hormone laden world of special ops” “Hormone laden” would adequately describe me back in the day and I probably caught it working as an Admin NCO for special ops. Does that mean I can buy a SEAL pin or Ranger tab for my biker vest?

    • Comm Center Rat says:

      Les Brownstain says you’d be welcome to wear both a SEAL trident and Ranger tab on your vest while visiting the “awareness association” warriors of Elko, Nevada.

      • Club Manager, USA ret. says:

        Well let’s see. First I would have to buy a bike, then a vest, etc, or maybe grab a C-130 from Little Rock AFB into Salt Lake Guard, then rent a bike. The route to Elko goes through Wendover, NV where I have a long-term relationship with a row of dollar slots at the Peppermill Casino. Since Elko is not that far away, maybe good ole Les would meet me there where after having enjoyed a quantity of adult beverage and lost my ass on the slots would be more than pleased to kick his ass across the desert.

  6. Sapper3307 says:

    Kicked out of the country, they can only spin that so many ways.

  7. Graybeard says:

    I have no real insight into all this, being a mere civilian, other than the apparent increase in reliance on special operations units for more of the heavy lifting, with less time to recover.

    As great as all these guys are, SEALs, Rangers, SF, Recon, et al, they are all in the end just human beings, with the needs, limitations, and frailties that entails. We all have to find ways to deal with stress – and when we are not allowed to deal with it in a healthy way, when it accumulates over time, then there will be an outlet found. That outlet is not always a good one.

    I’m wondering if these Team leaders were not caught in a Catch 22 in the end – and got sacrificed to CYA for some “higher” ups in the Five-Sided Puzzle-Palace who should know better than to put their men through so much.

    YMMV

    • reddevil says:

      No. For one thing, the term Team is misleading because it evokes the idea of a small 6-10 man group. SEAL Teams are large organizations commanded by a Navy Commander (O-5).

      The Seal Platoon (16 SEALS under the command of a Navy LT/O-3) or Task Unit (a grouping of Platoons under a LCmdr/O-4) is the small unit involved.

      The commanders at the Team, Task Unit, or Platoon level along with their Command Chiefs are directly responsible for this. They selected and trained these units for their mission, and set the pace and tone for how they would be executed.

      On top of that, while SOF units deploy frequently, their deployments are typical shorter. 6 months is the norm, 3 is not unusual. Granted, they get turned around quickly and go back out, but still they should be able to keep it together for 6 months.

      How did the word get out? Obviously they either invited the wrong people (probably women) to the party, or someone told someone. As my old CI CWO used to say, the only way for 2 people to keep a secret is for one of them to die.

      With that in mind, on top of the behavior itself, this is an OPSEC, morale, and cohesion problem. If someone talked, they can’t keep a secret. If they invited a bunch of outsiders, what else did they see when they were in the team house? If someone on the platoon ratted them out, there are probably other cohesion issues going on with the platoon.

      Any way you slice it, this is more than just embarrassing and unprofessional. SEALs killed a Green Beret in Mali. The Eddie Gallagher case highlighted not only war crimes and serious lack of cohesion on that platoon. Even if they didn’t ‘murder’ the prisoner, they definitely came right up to the line of humane treatment.

      I know a lot of you think this is just boys being boys, blowing off steam. Got it. There’s a time and a place for that, and it ain’t during combat ops in hostile territory.

      Patton famously set up a system of fines for Soldiers in 3rd Army that didn’t meet uniform and appearance standards. Officers not in direct combat could be fined for not wearing neckties. That might be extreme, but something has to happen. The SEALs are going to make themselves combat ineffective.

  8. 2banana says:

    Hard men who go into harm’s way to close with the enemy by fire and maneuver in order to kill them and destroy thier will to fight…

    Are going to want to drink and get laid.

    Denying this is just silly.

    • rgr769 says:

      Agreed. As long as they don’t commit significant crimes in the process, they should be left alone on their down time. The pussification of our military is making it a cruel joke.

      • Hondo says:

        Unfortunately, they weren’t doing this on “down time”. They were partying in-country, while deployed, and apparently violating GO #1 while doing so. And the allegations of fraternization are troubling as well.

        Those are all longstanding and well-known theater and DoD policies/orders. This means those involved were deliberately violating well-known and longstanding policy/orders – and thus the UCMJ (Art 92). That game is called “you bet yer rank”; get caught, and you’re in a world of hurt.

        Yeah, I know policies were different in Vietnam. Another time, another theater. Today’s theater and policies are different, and they’re the effective ones today.

        Regardless of what anyone personally thinks about GO #1 (I personally think it’s stupid; I thought the same about the mid-1980s blackmarketing regs in Korea), it’s a valid order. Ditto DoD’s frat policies (IMO, as written they go too far). However, if you choose to violate them you’re subject to getting nailed – and nailed hard.

        • 11B-Mailclerk says:

          “Never give an order that won’t be obeyed.”

          Patton had a rather pithy quip on “fraternization”.

          War is not won by saints.

          I sometimes wonder if anyone running things, political or General, has ever actually studied war. They do not act like it.

          And the stupidity of GO1 leads to indiscipline and outright defiance.

          Dumb.

    • Helpful Medal says:

      Aw, bullshit. The problem is that the military can’t fucking drink responsibly. Okay, let’s hear your ideas: only SEALS can drink? Only SF can drink? Can Rangers drink (they fucking don’t because they are actually well-disciplined). Okay, now that we’ve decided who can drink, how much can they drink? One a day? Two a day? Who gets to decide? Who is checking they don’t go over their daily allowance?

      No, no fucking person is going to supervise any of that shit. That’s why we have a no alcohol policy in Iraq and Afghanistan. Maybe if people in the military had the proper fucking discipline to drink a little at a time, we wouldn’t have a problem, but alas, people can’t fucking handle themselves after just a few drinks and you get what just happened in Iraq.

      • 2banana says:

        We have a no alcohol policy in Iraq and Afghanistan because the Americam military is chock full of risk adverse spineless leaders.

        NATO can drink. Contractors can drink. The state department can drink. NGOs can drink. The US Embassy has two fully stocked liquor stores in Kabul.

        • reddevil says:

          Again, it’s not so much that they were drinking as how stupid they were about it. Any leader is going to look at this and wonder what else is going on if flagrant violation of policy is so widespread. What other orders, policies, and directives did they just decide not to follow?

          Should we get rid of GO#1? I think we should consider it. The Gulf War was America’s first ‘dry’ war, and there is no real evidence that it made a big difference. I remember the French dudes on our flank had wine rations.

          We allow drinking in some areas, and we set up R&R sites where you can have 2 drinks a day. The Germans and French seem to keep it together.

          The way the SEALS are behaving plays right into the argument to keep it in place, though. Anywhere GO #1 is in effect you will find people getting around it somehow. DoS, NATO/Coalition troops, contractors, etc. People would get themselves invited to the Embassy, or to the British Mess, etc., That’s Joe being Joe, and a certain level of it is to be expected. Dumb, but normal.

          Being stupid enough to build a rooftop bar in your mission support site and invite outsiders to your party in an era when the SOF community and in particular the SEALs is under a great deal of scrutiny for just that kind of behavior? That is, well, ‘hold my beer’ stupid.

          • Fyrfighter says:

            You’re not wrong on the level of stupid Red, but as a leader n a paramilitary organization, with some small amount of military experience, it seems to me that when you have an order as stupid as GO#1, that you KNOW will be violated / ignored, by keeping it in place, you’re teaching / encouraging people to ignore stupid rules. This soon morphs to “rules you don’t like”, and so on fro there. While troops are stupid for pushing it far enough to get in trouble, the root of the problem falls to command that created the environment.. YMMV

      • Hondo says:

        Painting with a broad brush again, I see.

        Then again, trolls don’t seem to know how to do anything else. So that’s to be expected.

  9. timactual says:

    But they are special! It says so in their job title! They are entitled and get to ignore the rules we peasants have to obey. Just like professional athletes.

    They are supposedly mature adults who know the rules. Like Hondo said, “You bet your rank”. Everyone knows how the system works; transgress a little, you get a wink, transgress a little more you get your hand slapped, transgress too much and you piss off the boss and the world caves in. I have no sympathy.

    • reddevil says:

      When I was a lowly Major I had a job that put me in frequent contact with PACOM, CENTCOM and SOCOM planners and the Joint Staff. My Marine counterpart took me aside and said, ‘The cool part about this job is that you are going work with the top planners in the US military as they write the plan for the war on terror. The crappy part about this job is that you will realize that they are all idiots, just like you.” In other words, never forget that people are people, no matter what their job is.

      I had a similar experience as a non-SOF guy working with Joint SOF for a few years. An old Green Beret (who later retired as a highly decorated CSM) told me that the ‘Special’ in Special Operations doesn’t mean ‘better than’- it means ‘different from’. In other words, SF, SEALs, Rangers, CCT, you name it aren’t better human beings than everyone else, they just have the luxury to get really good at a relatively narrow set of missions.

      The other great rule of thumb the CSM taught me was ‘never underestimate a fat Green Beret…’

  10. Old NFO says:

    Long overdue. Admiral Green has to clean up the teams, he is going to do it by holding people accountable, which hasn’t happened in a while in the Specops community. In the Navy, ultimate accountability starts at the CO and goes down. The three relieved ‘should’ have known what was going on and stopped that behavior long before now. The platoon leader(s) should have stopped the behavior in the field too. Just because they were SEALS does not excuse their behavior.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *