In July of this year, Naval Officer Edward Gallagher was convicted of posing for a picture with the corpse of an Islamic State captive. For the crime, his rank was reduced from Chief Petty Officer to Petty Officer First Class.
Donald Trump recently stepped into Gallagher’s case and bumped him back up to his original rank. He also said that he would stop the Navy from removing Gallagher from the Navy SEALS. According to a report from the New York Times, multiple Naval officers, including the head of the SEALS, plan on resigning if Trump goes through with his plan.
On Thursday, the President tweeted, “The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher’s Trident Pin. This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!”
The threats were made by Naval Secretary Richard V. Spencer and Rear Admiral Collin Green who oversees the SEALS. The two men would either resign or expect to be fired by the President.
It is not all that uncommon for a Navy SEAL to have his trident removed and no longer be able to serve in the elite unit. According to the Daily Kos, “since 2011, authorities have taken 154 Trident pins away.”
A juror from Gallagher’s case said, “He should have ensured stuff (the photo) like that wasn’t happening. And he didn’t. He doesn’t deserve to wear chief’s anchors.” He then said of a potential Trident review process, “Let other SEALs decide if he deserves to be a SEAL.”