In what will undoubtedly be interpreted by many as an act of defiance against President Trump, the top Navy SEAL, Rear Admiral Collin Green, will notify Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher and three officers that their case is being sent to a review board which could end in their expulsion from the SEALs.
"This is a review of their suitability to be a SEAL," a Navy officer said. The action would come less than a week after Mr. Trump intervened in the military justice case againstby ordering him to be restored to the rank of chief petty officer, despite his conviction for posing for a photograph with a dead ISIS prisoner.
The president's restoration of Gallagher's rank and clemency toward two other former Army soldiers, was welcomed by many conservatives but questioned by critics like former Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey, who said in a tweet that that without evidence proving the innocence of or injustice against the accused servicemembers, their "wholesale pardon...signals our troops and allied we don't take the Law of Armed Conflict seriously." He called it an "abdication of moral responsibility."
Although the action is being taken by Green, who is the head of the Navy Special Warfare Command, it has the backing of both the secretary of the Navy and the chief of Naval Operations, this officer said. The officer explained that this is an administrative action which was not affected by the president's legal action last week.
The other officers are Lieutenant Commander Robert Breisch, who was the troop commander; Lieutenant Jacob Portier, who was the platoon officer in charge and reported to Breisch; and Lieutenant Thomas MacNeil, who was the platoon assistant officer in charge.
Gallagher wasin the 2017 killing of a wounded Islamic State prisoner in Iraq. He was cleared of all charges except for one — for posing for photos with the captive's dead body.