President Donald Trump announced in a tweet on Thursday that the Navy would not be allowed to take away SEAL Eddie Gallagher’s Trident pin — the pin that symbolizes membership in the elite SEAL force.
“The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher’s Trident Pin. This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!” Trump said in the tweet.
The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher’s Trident Pin. This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 21, 2019
Trump’s announcement appears to overrule the Navy’s order – headed by SEAL commander Rear Adm. Collin Green – on Wednesday for Gallagher to appear before a Trident Review Board on Dec. 2. There, Navy leadership was expected to decide whether or not to allow Gallagher to remain in the SEALs.
The Gallagher family described the action as “one final act of retaliation against Eddie and our family.”
However, the Navy leadership’s order was in defiance of Trump’s intent in clearing Gallagher of all misconduct and allowing him to retire honorably, when he reinstated Gallagher’s rank late Friday and vowed to expunge his record.
“Given his service to our Nation, a promotion back to the rank and pay grade of Chief Petty Officer is justified,” the White House statement said on Friday.
The order of Rear Adm. Green was received with criticism from the president’s own son, as well as other military members.
“This is an absolute sham and nothing more than ego and vindictive hatred! Eddie won! Stop the BS and let this guy go back to living his life,” Eric Trump tweeted on Wednesday.
This is an absolute sham and nothing more than ego and vindictive hatred! Eddie won! Stop the BS and let this guy go back to living his life.
“Edward Gallagher: Navy launches review of SEAL’s fitness to serve in elite force – CNNPolitics” https://t.co/uYNfVKOGCd
— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) November 20, 2019
Navy SEAL Rob O’Neill, the man credited with firing the shots that killed Al Qaeda terror leader Osama Bin Laden, tweeted Wednesday, “I’ll give Chief Gallagher my Trident.”
I’ll give Chief Gallagher my Trident. https://t.co/1ifzpsGAl7
— Robert J. O’Neill (@mchooyah) November 20, 2019
After he was exonerated of the charge of murdering an ISIS fighter and other charges, Gallagher was convicted of posing for a photo by the corpse of that ISIS fighter along with at least 10 members of Alpha Platoon, SEAL Team 7, though Gallagher was the only one charged for the act.
He was sentenced to reduced rank from an E7 to an E6, forfeiture of partial pay for four months, and four months confinement, which he already served during nearly a year of pre-trial confinement that President Trump intercepted.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday decided to uphold the sentence, denying Gallagher’s request to retire as an E7, but preventing him from retiring as an E1, a typically automatic consequence in accordance with Navy regulations.
Following Gilday’s decision, Trump had stepped in last week to restore Gallagher’s rank, along with pardoning U.S. Army officers Clint Lorance and Mathew Golsteyn convicted and accused of murdering Taliban militants.