Senior Navy SEAL officer quits after apparent disagreement with Trump
Special Warfare Rear Adm. Collin Green, the U.S. Navy admiral in charge of the service’s special operations forces, will step down in September, Interception reported this weekend.
Green, the commanding officer of Naval Special Warfare Command, graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1986 and completed the Basic Underwater Demolition / SEAL course two years later. He served on SEAL Teams 2, 3 and 5 and in senior roles for NATO Special Operations Command and United States Central Command.
His retirement follows a controversial court martial by the chief of the Special Warfare Operator, Eddie Gallagher. Green offered to remove the Trident pin from Gallagher, which means membership in the Navy SEAL community.
Green in November ordered a peer review of Gallagher, who had been demoted and charged with war crimes, including the murder of an ISIS prisoner of war and the murder of two people in Iraq in 2017. Gallagher was acquitted of these charges but found guilty on a lesser charge of posing for a photo with the dead ISIS fighter.
However, President Donald Trump intervened in the Navy justice system to release Gallagher from pre-trial detention and restore his standing after conviction. Trump said he “supports our armed forces” and that “there has never been a president who is going to defend them, and has done it, as I have.”
The apparent disagreement between Green and the White House fueled controversy in the Gallagher affair.
“There is a long tradition in the military,” Timothy Parlatore, Gallagher’s civilian lawyer, says Navy Times. “You are not rebelling. You are resigning.”
The incident led to further resignations of Navy officials. Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer was forced to resign after expressing his disagreement with Trump’s actions. According to a New York Times report, Spencer and Green had threatened to resign if Trump intervened on Gallagher’s behalf.
After his ouster in November, Spencer told CBS News he didn’t believe Trump “really understands the full definition of a fighter.”
“What message does this send to the troops? Said Spencer, a former naval officer. “May you get through this. We have to have good order and discipline. This is the backbone of what we do, and the Trident review process with the enlisted senior examining other enlisted seniors is essential. .
“The high ranking of our army is the backbone of our army,” added Spencer. “They are the backbone of good order and discipline. They can handle it. They can handle it in each of their communities.”