Top US Navy SEAL Rear Admiral Collin Green sent a letter to commanders, writing in boldface type, “We have a problem,” in the wake of several reports of misbehavior among the US Navy’s elite corps, CNN reported Thursday.
The letter, obtained by CNN, gives Navy SEAL commanders a deadline until 7 August to “detail the problems they see” and provide recommendations on how the ethical and professional behavior of troops can be ensured.
"I don't know yet if we have a culture problem, I do know that we have a good order and discipline problem that must be addressed immediately," Green said, according to the report.
Although the letter does not point to specific incidents, it comes in the wake of the dismissal of an entire SEAL team operating in Iraq over allegations of sexual assault and alcohol consumption, in violation of regulations. Earlier in July, the Navy Times reported that SEAL Team 10 members were disciplined over abusing cocaine and other drugs during their time in Virginia in 2018.
“Some of our subordinate formations have failed to maintain good order and discipline and as a result and for good reason," the culture of the Navy SEAL “is being questioned,” Green writes.
Reports of misconduct among US special forces have made their way to the highest levels of the Pentagon, CNN says. Earlier this week, Defense Secretary Mark Esper spoke to General Richard Clarke, commander of United States Special Operations Command, about ethics violations and solutions.
"They discussed some of the recent cases that have emerged in the special operations community. They share the concerns," Esper's spokesperson told reporters.
The issue was also raised in Congress. Vice Admiral Michael Gilday, the pick to be the next Chief of Naval Operations, was grilled on the issue during his Wednesday confirmation hearing, CNN report says.
He pledged to get a “better understanding of those issues,” to hold “people accountable if and where they need to be held accountable,” to get “after the root causes and ensure that if there is a problem with the culture with the community, that that is addressed very, very quickly and very firmly.”