- The officer responsible for US Navy special-operations forces will step down from his position in September, The Intercept reported over the weekend.
- Rear Adm. Collin Green’s retirement follows the controversial court-martial of Special Warfare Operator Chief Eddie Gallagher.
- President Donald Trump, who supported Gallagher, disagreed with Green’s pursuit of a peer review for Gallagher’s case.
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Special Warfare Rear Adm. Collin Green, the US Navy admiral responsible for the service’s special-operations forces, will step down from his position in September, The Intercept reported over the weekend.
Green, the commander 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 in SEAL Teams 2, 3, and 5 and in senior roles for NATO’s special-operations command and US Central Command.
His retirement follows the controversial court-martial of Special Warfare Operator Chief Eddie Gallagher. Green moved to withdraw Gallagher’s Trident pin, which signifies membership in the Navy SEAL community.
Green in November ordered a peer evaluation of Gallagher, who had been demoted and charged with war crimes, including the murder of an ISIS prisoner of war and the shooting of two people in Iraq in 2017. Gallagher was acquitted of those counts but convicted of a lesser charge of posing for a picture with the dead ISIS fighter.
However, President Donald Trump intervened in the Navy’s judicial system to free Gallagher from pretrial detention and to restore his rank after the conviction. Trump said that he was “sticking up for our armed forces” and that “there’s never been a president that’s going to stick up for them, and has, like I have.”
The apparent disagreement between Green and the White House fuelled the controversy in the Gallagher case.
“There’s a long tradition in the military,” Timothy Parlatore, Gallagher’s civilian attorney, told Navy Times. “You don’t rebel. You resign.”
The incident led to other resignations by Navy leaders. Navy Secretary Richard Spencer was forced to resign after expressing 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 that he did not believe Trump “really understands the full definition of a warfighter.”
“What message does that send to the troops?” said Spencer, a former Marine officer. “That you can get away with things. We have to have good order and discipline. It’s the backbone of what we do, and the Trident review process with the senior enlisted reviewing fellow senior enlisted is critical.
“The senior enlisted of our military are the backbone of our military,” Spencer added. “They are the girder of good order and discipline. They can handle this. They can handle this in each one of their communities.”