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Trump tweets he’s overturning new Navy SEAL gender-neutral ethos; calls it ‘ridiculous’

President of the United States Donald J. Trump and Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, meet with service members at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, Nov. 28, 2019. (DOD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Dominique A. Pineiro)
October 01, 2020

President Donald Trump on Thursday tweeted that he would reverse a Navy decision that changed the Navy SEAL ethos and Special Warface Combatant-craft Crewman (SWCC) creed to be gender neutral, after American Military News exclusively reported the changes Monday.

Trump tweeted, “I will be overturning this ridiculous order immediately!” linking to a tweet referencing the original American Military News story.

The changes to the Navy SEAL Ethos removed terms like “man,” while the SWCC creed was similarly changed, with a reference to the elite Navy boat unit as a “brotherhood” being changed to a “group of maritime warriors.”

Naval Special Warfare spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Stroup confirmed the changes to the ethos and creed in an emailed statement to American Military News on Monday.

“Naval Special Warfare continues to deliberately develop a culture of tactical and ethical excellence that reflects the nation we represent, and that draws upon the talents of the all-volunteer force who meet the standards of qualification as a SEAL or SWCC,” Stroup said.

Stroup said the changes to the ethos and creed statements were made to comply with changes in law opening the potential for women to join the elite military units.

“The previous versions of the SEAL Ethos and SWCC Creed were written prior to the law allowing women to serve as operators in Naval Special Warfare. The changes do not in any way reflect lowering standards of entry, rather they ensure that all those who meet the requirements to train to become a SEAL or SWCC are represented in the ethos or creed they live out. This improves the posture of the NSW force by ensuring we draw from the greatest pool of talent available.

Stroup confirmed, “To date, no women completed the SEAL or SWCC qualification training pipelines.”

Former Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher first raised awareness of the changes in an Instagram post, sharing an image purporting to show a leaked memo describing the changes.

On Wednesday, former Navy SEAL Rob O’Neill tweeted “Long Live the Non-Binaryhood.

Responding to Trump, Twitter user Joyce Alene tweeted, “It’s almost as though the President doesn’t believe women can and have made important contributions in our military…”