The top admiral in the Navy plans to announce a review in which peers will determine whether to remove SEAL Eddie Gallagher’s Trident pin following his highly publicized war crimes case, a senior U.S. defense official told Fox News on Tuesday.
The Trident is bestowed on SEALs to reinforce “good order and discipline” across the force, the source told Fox News.
Commander Nate Christensen, a spokesman for the Navy, told Fox News that the chief of naval operations, Adm. Mike Gilday, supported Rear Adm. Collin Green’s decision to uphold a mitigated sentence against Gallagher, who was acquitted in July of killing an Islamic State fighter in Iraq.
A San Diego jury formerly sentenced Gallagher to a reduced rank and four months of confinement, which he has already served, for posing with the body of the dead ISIS fighter, which was considered the least egregious of the seven charges he was facing.
The White House announced that Trump signed an order last Friday reversing the sentence and “directing the promotion of Special Warfare Operator First Class Edward R. Gallagher to the grade of E-7, the rank he held before he was tried and found not guilty of nearly all of the charges against him.”
Capt. Tamara Lawrence, a spokesperson for the Naval Special Warfare Command, confirmed Tuesday night that the department has “implemented the president’s order to restore Chief Gallagher’s paygrade.”
The impending move by Green would be a direct contradiction of Trump’s order and would move the issue into the jurisdiction of the Trident review board of Gallagher’s peers, which is expected to deliberate and finalize his sentence.
There have been about 150 instances of SEAL Tridents being removed in the history of the SEALs.
A senior U.S. defense official told Fox News that Trump’s order in favor of Gallagher went against the example the Navy hoped to set in light of Gallagher’s actions.
The president granted the release of Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance from a military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., six years after he was found guilty of second-degree murder. Trump also ordered that murder charges against Maj. Matt Golsteyn, a former Green Beret, be dropped.