In the military, a misbehaving outfit tends to lose a lot of privileges when they consistently screw up- and Navy SEALs are no exception.
Rear Admiral Collin Green, commander of Naval Special Warfare issued a multi-page memo ordering a “back to basics” approach, in hopes that it will overhaul the “thuggish” image of SEALs that has dominated media and military culture in recent years.
Both SEAL and boat teams will now be held to the same standards of other Navy personnel, to include “routine inspections of your units and strictly enforce all Navy grooming and uniform standards, including adherence to all Navy traditions, customs and ceremonies.”
While the bearded and hair-gelled modern swashbuckler has dominated the public perception of SEALs, the return to standards appears to be a way to ensure that the teams clean up their image, after a wake of scandals and high-profile cases.
“The drift ends now,” Green said of SEALs and misconduct.
According to the Navy Times, other changes include the banning of “unofficial unit insignia” below troop level, a restructuring of instructor and leadership roles, and other ways to ensure younger SEALs are being “raised right” in the post-peak GWOT era.
“You will only allow your best to train and mentor our Force,” Green said in the memo.
Green will now be briefed on a bi-weekly basis to ensure all teams are up to spec and operating as they should.
“We are a family that values ownership and accountability of our actions,” he wrote. “We value the aggressive introspective study of our mistakes required to turn our weaknesses to strengths. We will be strong in character, strong in accountability, strong in moral and ethical foundations, and strong in leadership.”
For Green, SEALs will be the “best of the best,” even if it means having fewer of them to go around- a “quality over quantity” mindset.
“We are US Naval Officers and Sailors first and foremost,” he wrote.
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