A former US Navy SEAL is under fire from his own for using his SEAL status to push his way into the public eye- from a series of books to a run for Governor of Missouri.
Former SEAL Eric Greitens -who spent two years as a SEAL and recently posted a video of himself using a minigun as a “full hooyah” bid for the Governor’s seat– is under attack by fellow SEALs for using his earning of the coveted trident to push himself into the public eye- despite the fact that he never served with the SEALs in any combat capacity.
SEAL critics of Greitens posted a video (at the top of article), according to The Missouri Times, calling Greitens out.
Initially, the creators of the video were asked if the video had a political slant to assist Greitens’ opponent.
“Was it a political video? F*** no,” one member said, saying that none of the team cared who got elected. “Guys here are Republicans, Democrats, Independents….apolitical guys who care about this country and the Teams.”
Greitens’ critics feel that the aspiring Governor -who is the CEO of the Mission Continues non-profit and author of four books- is one of the handful of SEALs who have cashed in their tridents for fame in the post-Bin Laden raid era which has seen SEAL popularity spike in recent years. In addition, he carefully words his own accolades to avoid admitting that he never saw combat with the SEALs, instead taking on rear-echelon or largely advisory roles with the Navy and Marine Corps.
These grievances are reflected in the video, which has almost 59,000 views.
“I made the video to show fellow SEALs how wrong Eric and other SEALs who disregard their oath as silent professionals are,” one of the video’s creators said. “It went viral amongst Team Guys because we are tired of guys like Eric.”
“It sickens me to hear someone tell people they were a Navy SEAL and a war hero without ever even having served on a platoon,” another SEAL noted. “Eric misleads the American people into believing that he was a Navy SEAL war hero, but he never served as an officer leading SEALs on missions. He earned his SEAL trident, but he never served in the capacity he leads people to think he did. He is the only SEAL officer that I’ve ever heard of who didn’t lead a SEAL platoon.”
The former SEALs declined to reveal their names and identities, and while they are critical of Greitens’ mild SEAL status being used to push himself forward, they were supportive of his work with Mission Continues. Despite this, they do not want to come forward.
“A lot of us don’t want our names in the public because of what we did overseas. There’s a security threat to ourselves and our families,” one said. “There’s active duty guys on this call that can’t speak because their careers would be ruined. There’s guys on this call that are involved in nonprofit organizations that support SEALs. There’s a lot of reasons why we can’t come out to say we represent the community against Eric Greitens.”
One SEAL -with over 20 years of service- expressed his disgust, particularly with the manner in which Greitens removed himself from the SEAL community while still running on the glory of his trident.
“It is a disgrace on our community,” he said. “This guy is just riding on our coattails and on the coattails of our valor. What leadership did you have, what did you learn about leadership in two years? In the time when we needed people the most, at the height of the war, he says ‘No, I’m just going to go a different route.’ It’s a disgrace… What happened to the silent professional?”
Greitens has responded to the claims, giving the following statement:
“What a joke. Only the dishonest press would give dishonest people a second shot at pushing demonstrably dishonest information,” he said. “These politically motivated attacks from this anonymous group are horribly false, incorrect, and flat out cowardly. My military service and record speaks for itself – I’m proud of every day that I served. And the public support of my fellow SEALs and service members says all that needs saying.
But let me be clear on one thing: The military is filled with servants whose dedication to country is awe-inspiring. I have tremendous respect for everyone who wears or has worn the uniform. Since returning home from my last deployment as a Navy SEAL in Iraq, I have dedicated my life to helping fellow veterans, and I will continue to fight every day to see that their values of service, of sacrifice, and of hard work live on. I’ll share that message with anyone, anywhere, anytime.”
Greitens’ critics seem to outweigh his supporters in the SEAL community.
“When you commit to be a SEAL you are committing to the taxpayers to serve four years,” one SEAL explained. “It takes approximately two years to get through training, and the vast majority serve at least four more after they finish training out of a sense of obligation to each other. In our culture, it’s not just about getting your Trident then getting out to talk about it, especially when you never served in a platoon. There is very little respect for a guy who serves the bare minimum of two years after getting his Trident and then gets out, especially if he then promotes himself through being a SEAL which is expressly forbidden by our ethos.”
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