- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 27, 2019

The Navy is canceling planned “Trident Reviews” against three Navy SEAL officers linked to Chief Eddie Gallagher, whose case was championed by President Donald Trump.

In a statement released Wednesday, acting Navy Secretary Thomas B. Modly said he directed Adm. Michael Gilday, the chief of naval operations, to end the review board for Lt. Thomas MacNeil, Lt. Cdr. Robert Breisch and Lt. Jacob Portier.

All three officers were in Chief Gallagher’s chain of command when he was accused of war crimes in Iraq, and convicted of posing with a dead Islamic State guerrilla’s corpse.

Like Chief Gallagher, the three officers will be able to keep their coveted Navy SEAL Trident pin, known in the ranks as “The Budweiser.”

“Given the unique circumstances of these three remaining cases, I have determined that any failures in conduct, performance, judgement or professionalism exhibited by these officers be addressed through other administrative measures,” Mr. Modly said in his statement.



He said the special warfare community and the whole Navy have “dangerous and important work to do.”

“In my judgement, neither deserves the continued distraction and negative attention that recent events have evoked,” Mr. Modly wrote.

The decision to take action in these specific cases, Mr. Modly said, should not be interpreted as diminishing the requirement for Navy personnel to act with honor, whether on or off the battlefield.

“Navy uniformed leaders have my full confidence that they will continue to address challenging cultural issues within the Naval Special Warfare community,” he said.

The decision to end the Trident Reviews for the three Navy SEALs is one of Mr. Modly first acts since the firing of former Navy Secretary Richard Spencer over the way the case was handled while he led the service.

Kenneth Braithwaite, a retired Navy admiral and current U.S. ambassador to Norway, has been tapped to be the next Navy secretary.

• Mike Glenn can be reached at mglenn@washingtontimes.com.

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