Security, simple as that. The U.S. Marine Corps’ approach to the recent news out of Camp Pendleton shows that being open builds trust with the American public. Trust is exactly what the U.S. Navy SEALs need a lot more of right now, and the best way to restore it is by looking to the other sea service’s example.
Author: Task and Purpose
Two services. Two incidents involving service members accused of serious misconduct. Two vastly different approaches to openness and transparency.
When U.S. Special Operations Command announced on Wednesday that a SEAL platoon was being sent home early from Iraq because their commander has lost confidence in them, U.S. military officials did not mention that one of the SEALs had been accused of sexually assaulting a female service member. That was first revealed by New York Times reporter David Phillips about 24 hours later.
San Diego-based attorney Jeremiah Sullivan confirmed to Task & Purpose that he represents a member of Foxtrot Platoon SEAL Team 7 who is being investigated for sexual assault but has not been charged.
In contrast: The Marine Corps issued a detailed news release on Thursday about 16 Marines at Camp Pendleton, California, who were arrested on allegations of taking part in human smuggling. 1st Marine Division spokeswoman Maj. Kendra Motz also immediately knocked down a false rumor that the division had held a bogus awards ceremony so that NCIS could nab the Marines.
Bravo Zulu to the Marines for providing timely and accurate information. They understand that hiding bad news does not make it go away and let the facts come out in drips and drabs undermine your credibility.
The SEALs and the entire special operations community have much to learn from how the Marine Corps got in front of this story. Some defense officials initially told reporters that the SEALs had been sent home for drinking alcohol, but Phillips first reported the SEALs’ commanders lost confidence in them after the entire platoon refused to talk to investigators about both the sexual assault and drinking allegations.
The full article can be found here.