Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher could still be busted down to E1 due to UCMJ provision

Chief Special Warfare Operator Eddie Gallagher

Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher is not out of the legal woods just yet, it would seem: his current recommended sentence would likely see him leave the Navy as an E1.

While Gallagher managed to dodge some of the more serious murder charges during his highly publicized trial, the jury’s sentence of four months’ confinement and a reduction in rank from E7 to E6 for posing with a corpse would ensure the SEAL’s exit from the Navy at the lowest possible rank.

“Automatic reduction in pay grade is governed by Article 58a of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and regulations approved by the Secretary of the Navy contained in the Manual of the Judge Advocate General,” Navy spokesman Lt. Sam Boyle told Task & Purpose. “The applicable provisions provide for automatic reduction to the lowest enlisted pay grade in a case in which the sentence, as approved by the convening authority, includes confinement in excess of 90 days.”

In short, Gallagher’s freedom may have a serious price.  Unless Gallagher’s sentence is reduced to under 90 days -according to Article 58a- he will automatically be reduced to the paygrade of E1.

Convening authority Adm. Bette Bolivar has up to four months to determine whether that sentence is carried out.

Gallagher’s attorney -Tim Parlatore- said he will be requesting Bolivar disapprove the sentence and reduce the severity to a non-judicial punishment level, as such punishments have been dealt in relation to the charge Gallagher couldn’t shake.

“I don’t think that they appreciate the collateral consequences of what they did,” Parlatore said of the jury.

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