To Fix Special Ops

I have been writing about the antics of our so-called “elite” troops……I should call them problems because it seems to be spreading at an alarming rate…..https://lobotero.com/2019/08/15/seals-have-a-problem/

I have been watching the steps being taken……https://lobotero.com/2019/09/13/closing-thought-13sep19/

The new commander has grab the bull by the horns so to speak and began his clean sweep with SEAL Team Seven……https://lobotero.com/2019/09/13/closing-thought-13sep19/

As I stated in the above post….a good start but why not begin with the SEAL Team Six?

There are lots of opinions as to how to fix this problem……

“How can something like this happen in 2017?”  asked the military judge Col. Glen Hines. He continued, “The question needs to be answered. If we don’t get to the bottom of it, this is going to happen again.” With this prediction, Hines suggests that the Melgar murder, shocking though it might be, was no aberration, but a symptom of a culture decayed from within. He’s probably right. How else to explain the recent spate of serious incidents in the special operations community, which run the gamut from war crimes and spousal murder to child rape and drug trafficking? Perhaps Hines was looking too at the rank and status of the individuals involved in Melgar’s murder, all of whom were highly respected leaders in elite units, including two members of the storied SEAL Team Six. These men weren’t outliers, but rather the type who attract emulation by peers and subordinates: “Kevin was a hero of mine,” commented one Marine special operator I know, before adding, “or was.” When such men commit an act that appears to outsiders to be off the scale, it suggests that similar behavior has up to this point been condoned, even lauded, by the culture to which they belong. And as Hines indicates, unless something is done to fix that culture, Melgar’s murder is likely to be just another waypoint in a descending pattern of illicit conduct in America’s special operations community.

How to Fix a Broken Special Operations Culture

I say forget the Space Force…..combine all these troops from all the services into one force and call it something like…the Irregulars Fighting Force (just off the top of my head)….that would eliminate any cross service rivalry and make cooperation more accessible.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Closing Thought–13Sep19

Once again out elite fighting force, the SEALs, have made the news……I wrote about the events that lead to to action taken just recently….https://lobotero.com/2019/08/15/seals-have-a-problem/

Appears the new commander of the SEALs has made good on his promise to “clean house”……

The top admiral in charge of Naval Special Warfare has fired the entire leadership team of SEAL Team 7 over a “breakdown of good order and discipline,” a Navy official told Task & Purpose on Friday.

Cmdr. Edward Mason, the commanding officer of ST7; Lt. Cmdr. Luke Im, the executive officer; and Command Master Chief Hugh Spangler were all relieved of their leadership posts on Friday, said Capt. Tamara Lawrence, a spokeswoman for Naval Special Warfare Command.

The relief was carried out by Rear Adm. Collin Green, the commanding officer of NSW. Lawrence said their relief was “due to a loss of confidence that resulted from leadership failures that caused a breakdown of good order and discipline within two subordinate units while deployed to combat zones.”

https://taskandpurpose.com/navy-seal-team-7-relief

May be a good start but Team 6 seems to be the one with the most problems….why not start there?

JUst a thought.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

SEALs Have A Problem

My first reaction is to say “NO SH*T”…..

I have been writing about their problems for a couple of years now….https://lobotero.com/2019/07/29/what-the-hell-has-happened/

Now the commander of the SEALs has recognized the problem in public…..

The commander of the Naval Special Warfare Command put the words “We have a problem” in bold font. “I don’t know yet if we have a culture problem, I do know that we have a good order and discipline problem that must be addressed immediately,” reads the July 25 letter from Rear Adm. Collin Green, the man in charge of Navy SEALs. The letter obtained by CNN and the New York Times orders commanders to bring forth problems and recommendations for how to ensure ethical and professional behavior following a series of embarrassing incidents, reports CNN. “This is our main effort and my top priority,” Green writes, noting the culture of the force “is being questioned … for good reason” as “some of our subordinate formations have failed to maintain good order and discipline.”

Retired Navy SEAL Eric Deming brought his concerns to Green on Monday. “I got two boys that are old enough, I wouldn’t even let them be part of [the force],” he tells CBS News. An entire SEAL platoon was sent home from Iraq after allegations of sexual assault and unauthorized drinking. Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher, accused of war crimes, was convicted of unlawfully posing with an enemy corpse. And two SEALs were implicated in the 2017 hazing death of a Green Beret just months after members of SEAL Team 10 were found to have used cocaine in April 2018. Green says addressing such issues is necessary to “recalibrate our culture and regain our credibility.” The head of all special operations forces, Gen. Richard Clarke, is expected to address ethics in his own letter to the force, per CNN.

Recognizing the problems is not a solution…it can be a good beginning but progress must be made.

Then ask…is it a problem that can be corrected?

I have even heard rumblings that the SEALs should be abolished…and I have read an opinion on this questions…..

I recently saw this question posed on Quora and it made me think. Let me start by answering with my opinion, which is NO. But . . .

It’s interesting to look at the history. Marcinko ended up in Federal Prison after he founded Red Cell. I’ve met the man, did booksignings with him, and even was asked to co-write some of his fiction, which I declined. I just didn’t agree with his leadership philosophy as set out in Rogue Warrior. Essentially it was “Do it MY way” not the Navy’s way. His rules took precedence over the legal rules. To me, that was a recipe for disaster which is bearing fruit now.

I’m not certain but I’ve heard that Admiral McRaven who commanded SOCOM and was a SEAL was assigned to 6 and asked to be transferred out due to the slack command culture.

Should the SEALS be abolished?

I hope that the SEALs find a solution……as long as we continue our adventurism and interventions worldwide we will need the SEALs at full capacity and at the ready.

After writing this draft news came out that the head of the SEALs has ordered an investigation…..

The head of U.S. Special Operations Command is initiating a comprehensive review of all Special Operations Forces culture and ethics, according to a memo he sent to commanders Friday evening.

“Recent incidents have called our culture and ethics into question and threaten the trust placed in us,” Gen. Richard Clarke wrote. The review will focus on recruiting, how new SOF members are selected, how leaders are trained and grown, how the force is educated about ethics and how ethical failures are addressed.

The review comes after a string of high-profile incidents involving Special Operations Forces, which include the Navy SEALs, the Green Berets and the Delta Force, among others.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/military/head-u-s-special-operations-forces-demands-review-culture-after-n1041456?cid=public-rss_20190812

This is a long time coming….hopefully this will help the SEALs change the course they have been traveling.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Closing Thought–07Aug19

I have been writing about the problems that the elite special ops group, the SEALs, has been fighting….

https://lobotero.com/2019/07/29/what-the-hell-has-happened/

The commander of the unit has taken the bull by the horns…..so to speak…..

The commander of the Naval Special Warfare Command put the words “We have a problem” in bold font. “I don’t know yet if we have a culture problem, I do know that we have a good order and discipline problem that must be addressed immediately,” reads the July 25 letter from Rear Adm. Collin Green, the man in charge of Navy SEALs. The letter obtained by CNN and the New York Times orders commanders to bring forth problems and recommendations for how to ensure ethical and professional behavior following a series of embarrassing incidents, reports CNN. “This is our main effort and my top priority,” Green writes, noting the culture of the force “is being questioned … for good reason” as “some of our subordinate formations have failed to maintain good order and discipline.”

Retired Navy SEAL Eric Deming brought his concerns to Green on Monday. “I got two boys that are old enough, I wouldn’t even let them be part of [the force],” he tells CBS News. An entire SEAL platoon was sent home from Iraq after allegations of sexual assault and unauthorized drinking. Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher, accused of war crimes, was convicted of unlawfully posing with an enemy corpse. And two SEALs were implicated in the 2017 hazing death of a Green Beret just months after members of SEAL Team 10 were found to have used cocaine in April 2018. Green says addressing such issues is necessary to “recalibrate our culture and regain our credibility.” The head of all special operations forces, Gen. Richard Clarke, is expected to address ethics in his own letter to the force, per CNN.

To state that the unit has a problem is an extreme understatement…..when the troopers act more like Frat boyz than soldiers then “problem” is more deeply ingrained than a mere problem.

Seeing the “problem” is not repairing the damage all these antics are doing to the Team…….lip service is NOT a solution.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

What The Hell Has Happened?

The question is aimed at our elite fighting force, the US Navy SEALs.

There discipline problems keep mounting up and up……

First they are involved in the death of a fellow special ops soldier in Mali…..https://lobotero.com/2019/05/20/death-in-mali-is-justice-served/

Then word came out that there was a discipline problem within the SEALs…..https://lobotero.com/2018/10/26/socom-you-have-a-problem/….as well as…..https://lobotero.com/2018/10/19/its-about-the-discipline/

Just recently the SEALs have been asked to leave Iraq because of their problems…..

A Naval Special Warfare platoon has been recalled from the war zone after their leader lost trust in their ability to carry out their mission — an extraordinary move for a command that has faced recent troubling discipline problems.

The commander of the Special Operations Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq ordered a SEAL team platoon to return to San Diego “due to a perceived deterioration of good order and discipline within the team during non-operational periods,” officials with U.S. Special Operations Command announced in a Wednesday night release.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/07/24/navy-seals-kicked-out-iraq-over-deterioration-good-order-and-discipline.html

Then there was the recent news of SEAL Team 6……

A member of the famed Navy SEAL Team 6 has reportedly been charged with pretending to be another person via text message to get nude photos of women. 

Charge documents show that Petty Officer 1st Class Aaron Howard has been accused of pretending to be multiple people while requesting the pictures, The Virginian Pilot reported Friday

https://thehill.com/policy/defense/navy/454941-member-of-seal-team-6-charged-with-impersonating-someone-to-get-nude-pics

What has happened to the “best of the best”?

SEALs were walking on water as the best military force in the world a decade ago. They killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. They rescued Capt. Richard Phillips from Somali pirates. No one seemed more professional or capable than they were.

The only thing more remarkable about how much esteem the SEALs had is how far they’ve fallen since then. In the latest disgrace, the special operations commander in Iraq just unceremoniously kicked out a SEAL platoon, “Due to a perceived deterioration of good order and discipline within the team during non-operational periods,” U.S. Special Operations Command has announced.

“The Commander lost confidence in the team’s ability to accomplish the mission,” A SOCOM news release said.

Defense officials are not saying exactly what these special operators did to deserve being sent back to San Diego early, but Navy Times Editor Carl Prine revealed the SEALs allegedly threw an alcohol-soaked July 4th party.

https://taskandpurpose.com/navy-seals-discipline-problem

What the Hell is going on within the ranks of the SEALs?

Can the SEALs reclaim their exemplary reputation or will they continue to slide into the muck?  Counties should be aware of these problems before they invite them into the fray.

U.S. special operations forces are adored by politicians and the public, their reputations burnished by feats like the raid on Osama bin Laden, the sea rescue of the Maersk Alabama’s captain and countless other daring operations against high-value targets around the globe. But the special ops brand — brave, honorable, can-do warriors achieving the impossible — is now being undermined by reports of battlefield lawlessness, loyalty over integrity, a willingness to challenge commands and a seeming pattern of disciplinary impunity.

Just this week, the U.S. Special Operations Command called home an entire Navy SEAL platoon from Iraq “due to a perceived deterioration of good order and discipline. … The commander lost confidence in the team’s ability to accomplish the mission.”

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/07/26/special-forces-values-crisis-congress-must-investigate-fix-column/1790315001/

SEAL Team 6 is not alone Team 10 has its problems as well…….

Before they were caught last year, several SEAL Team 10 special warfare operators snorted cocaine or spiked their booze with the banned substance, often defeating military drug tests they termed “a joke,” according to an internal investigation obtained by Navy Times.

The Little Creek, Virginia-based command conducted urinalysis testing on April 9 and April 16, 2018, nabbing six SEALs for allegedly abusing cocaine and other banned substances.

Several SEALs told investigators they previously beat the testing program by swapping out tainted urine for clean samples — but they weren’t screened very often anyway.

Has their “Celebrity” gone to their collective heads?

How long will this continue before some concrete changes are made?

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Death In Mali–Update

I have been following the story of the death of an American Green Beret at the hands of 2 SEALs and 2 Marine Raiders in the West African nation of Mali…….

https://lobotero.com/2018/01/13/death-in-mali-2/

https://lobotero.com/2018/11/27/death-in-mali-continued/

I have been following and writing about this situation since I first learned about the death and the investigation.

The 4 Special Ops troopers were set to go to trial on 10 December and news has come out that the trials will be postponed……

A preliminary hearing for two Virginia Beach-based Navy SEALs and two Marines Raiders charged in connection with the death of an Army Green Beret in Africa in 2017 has been pushed to 2019.

Article 32 hearings, the military’s equivalent to a civilian preliminary court hearing, were originally set for Dec. 10 at Naval Station Norfolk. The Navy did not say why the hearings were pushed back but indicated it expected to hear the case in March.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2018/12/07/hearings-postponed-seals-marines-charged-green-berets-death.html

The family of the deceased deserve  speedy end to their ordeal….and yet the Navy is dragging its feet….why?

Could this delay have anything to do with the discipline problems that are rumored?

https://lobotero.com/2014/11/10/squabbling-seals/

https://lobotero.com/2018/10/19/its-about-the-discipline/

The Navy needs to bring this chapter to a close as quickly as possible and allow the widow and family time to grieve and find some closure.

Americans Killing Americans

Closing Thought–16Nov18

Just a few days ago I read a report on a post I did about a year ago…..a story about Americans killing Americans in the West African nation of Mali….https://lobotero.com/2018/11/13/more-on-the-death-in-mali/

That post contains references to all my past posts on this situation…..

It appears that the US Navy has decided to press charges on 4 members of the special ops team operating in Mali……charges ranging from felony murder to obstruction of justice……

Four members of the US armed forces are facing a slew of charges in connection to the 2017 death of an Army Green Beret in the African nation of Mali. Among the charges leveled against Petty Officer Anthony E. DeDolph and Chief Petty Officer Adam C. Matthews, both members of SEAL Team Six, and two unnamed Marine Raiders are felony murder, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, burglary, hazing, and involuntary manslaughter, the Daily Beast reports. Officials say the SEALs and Marines broke into the room of Army Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar at embassy housing in Bamako in June 2017, restrained him with duct tape, and put him in a chokehold, strangling him while “perpetuating a burglary,” NBC reports. The SEALs reportedly tried to resuscitate the 34-year-old Melgar and also tried to open an air wave by opening a hole in his throat.

According to the Daily Beast, which has reported extensively on the case, there was an “ongoing disagreement,” between Melgar, who was part of a six-person intelligence team, and the SEALs “over the SEAL’s professionalism.” Sources say the SEALs would bring prostitutes to the house and were stealing cash meant to recruit local informants. “The place ran like a frat house,” a source told the site. The SEALs and Marines hatched the plot to haze Melgar on June 4, 2017, while the latter was at an embassy party, and attacked him around 5am. They ultimately took Melgar to a medical facility, where he was declared dead. Later, the four engaged in a cover up, per the Military Times, including sharing information about what they told investigators, withholding information from investigators, and getting rid of alcohol kept in the room.

Maybe now the family of the Green Beret will get the answers they deserve…….

There is more bad news for the SEALs……in the past few months reports keep coming out that there is a discipline problem in the organization…..but first my post from a few months ago….

https://lobotero.com/2018/10/26/socom-you-have-a-problem/

https://lobotero.com/2018/10/19/its-about-the-discipline/

It seems that a bunch of SEALs have gotten caught up in a war crimes investigation……

Military officials are prepared to call nearly a dozen past and present Navy SEALs to testify in the case of one elite Navy commando accused of fatally stabbing an Islamic State detainee in Iraq last year, according to documents obtained by Navy Times.

The records related to the Naval Criminal Investigation Service’s probe offer new insight into the probe that will be aired publicly when the case against Special Operations Chief Edward “Eddie” Gallagher goes to an Article 32 hearing Wednesday morning in San Diego.

The documents suggest that military officials have obtained cellphone text conversations showing Gallagher allegedly sought to cover up the fatal stabbing. The records also show that a different special operator may be acting like a mole for federal investigators by attempting to talk to another petty officer who has lawyered up and invoked his right to silence.

https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your-navy/2018/11/14/more-than-a-dozen-navy-seals-may-get-caught-up-in-war-crimes-investigation/

This is what you get when individuals believe the hype of invincibility…..to believe that any action is acceptable when you are the “best of the best”…..