- SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher reportedly planned to give up his Trident, after disagreement over whether to allow him to retire as a member of the elite community reached the highest levels of the military – and the White House.
- “This isn’t a twist any of us saw coming,” Gallagher’s attorney Timothy Parlatore told the Navy Times.
- President Donald Trump reinstated Gallagher’s rank after he was demoted for posing with a dead ISIS fighter while on tour in Iraq. Trump also tweeted that he would not allow Gallagher’s Trident to be taken from him.
- Though Navy leadership had planned a review board to determine whether Gallagher could remain a SEAL, Secretary of Defence Mark Esper said on Monday that Gallagher would keep the Trident per Trump’s tweet.
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SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher, whose rank was restored by President Donald Trump after he was convicted of taking a photo with the corpse of an ISIS fighter in US custody, was prepared to give up his Trident pin, the insiginia that designates him as a Navy SEAL, according to the Navy Times.
The fight over Gallagher’s insignia reached the highest levels of the Navy, as well as the Pentagon and the White House over the weekend. On Monday, just as Gallagher was prepared to relinquish his pin, news reports announced that the Navy Secretary Richard Spencer was being fired, and Gallagher wouldn’t be required to go before an administrative review board that could recommend he be booted from the SEALs.
“This isn’t a twist any of us saw coming,” Gallagher’s attorney Timothy Parlatore told the Navy Times.
After Trump restored his rank on Nov. 15, Gallagher had decided to give up the insignia voluntarily for the benefit of the SEALs and the military, fearing that his case had brought too much controversy to the community, Navy Times reports. And then Trump intervened, demanding Navy SEAL leaders back off a plan to launch the review board.
“From the beginning, my primary responsibility was to save Eddie Gallagher’s life, then to save his reputation, but Eddie Gallagher loves the Navy and he loves the SEAL teams. He’s been falsely accused of attacking the institution, but it’s an institution we both love and want to improve.”
Gallagher was acquitted of murdering a teenage ISIS fighter being held by the US, as well as firing at Iraqi civilians, during a 2017 deployment. The prosecution’s case fell apart when one of their witnesses, a Marine serving with Gallagher’s platoon, admitted to killing the young ISIS fighter.
The last opportunity for the Navy to discipline Gallagher was to bring him before a Trident review board, in which a group of his peers would examine Gallagher’s actions and make recommendations to the head of Naval Special Warfare Command, Rear Adm. Collin Green. Green and the Navy Personnel Command would then communicate their recommendations to the chief of naval operations and the Navy secretary, who would make the determination about if or how they would discipline Gallagher.
Navy Secretary Richard Spencer had reportedly promised Trump that Gallagher would retain his Trident, if the review process was allowed to go through. But Defence Secretary Mark Esper fired Spencer on Sunday and said he would not allow this review and that Gallagher would keep his SEAL status.
Correction: Due to an editing error, a previous version of the headline incorrectly stated that Trump pardoned Gallagher’s conviction. Trump only reinstated Gallagher’s rank of chief.
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