The head of the Navy SEALs is calling for a return to “good order and discipline” following a recent series of incidents in which the elite special operators have exhibited bad behavior.
“We have a problem,” wrote Rear Adm. Collin Green in a July 25 letter to Naval Special Warfare (NSW) and obtained by ABC News.
“Some of our subordinate formations have failed to maintain good order and discipline and as a result and for good reason, our NSW culture is being questioned,” Green said. “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.”
The commander directed SEAL leaders to provide him a written plan of action by Aug. 7 that details how teams will address ethics concerns. He also ordered leaders to “engage everyone in your formations,” including those deployed overseas, about the problem.
“I want all hands to understand that ‘we have a problem’ and that this is our main effort and my top priority,” Green wrote.
Last month, a platoon of Navy SEALs deployed to Iraq was ordered back to the United States after an ongoing investigation found they had been drinking alcohol during their deployment. Additionally, an allegation of a sexual assault on a female service member by a member of that unit is currently being investigated.
Days earlier, it was revealed that some SEAL Team 10 members were abusing cocaine while stationed in Virginia and worked to evade military drug tests.
There have also been a series of high-profile murder cases involving the SEALs, including Chief Eddie Gallagher who was recently acquitted on charges of killing an unarmed ISIS militant.
In his confirmation hearing this week, the incoming Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday told senators he would “quickly and firmly” deal with the misconduct and find the “root problems” of it.
“I commit, senator, to getting a better understanding of those issues, to holding people accountable if and where they need to be held accountable, to getting after the root causes — so if there is a problem with the culture and community, that that is addressed very quickly and very firmly,” Gilday said.