L-R: RADM Green, GEN Scot (7-Days In May) LTC Vindman
What do RADM Collin Green and LTC Alexander Vindman appear to have in common? From my foxhole, they both appear to, on the surface, have difficulty checking their egos and admitting that Donald J. Trump is the, By God President of these United States and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy. Here’s Article II, Section 2, Clause 1, for their edification:
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.
All of us watching the absurd excuse for an impeachment inquiry currently taking place under the palsied hand of Representative Adam Schiff, have seen, heard, and read about the testimony of Army Lieutenant Colonel Vindman. Vindman has outdone himself in projecting the image of an immature, mid-grade officer who believes his opinion on U.S. diplomatic initiatives outweighs that of the man charged by the Constitution with evaluating, deciding on, and then executing them.
RADM Green currently assigned as the Boss SEAL, appears to have the same issue as to who ultimately decides issues of good order and discipline in the Armed Forces of the United States. I’m sure many of you have been following the rapidly evolving story of Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer and Special Warfare Operator (SEAL), Eddie Gallagher.
Short version, SCPO Gallagher was tried on a number of criminal acts while in Iraq. Due to gross misconduct on the part of the Naval JAG team prosecuting him, Gallagher was ultimately acquitted of all but one charge — being one of several SEALs posing with the corpse (as opposed to corpsman) of a dead ISIS terrorist. Punishment for that usually involved some bad paper in the personnel file and that’s it.
The Navy at first tried to sentence him to confinement and reduction to the lowest pay grade. The convening authority softened that to reduction by one grade. President Trump, as Commander in Chief and the ultimate arbiter of all things military, stepped in and restored Gallagher to the rank of Senior Chief Petty officer.
At this point, one would think that a Flag Officer would have gotten the message. As I’ve noted elsewhere, in over 4 decades in and around the Green Machine, I’ve only met one stupid Flag Officer, and the guy in charge of Navy SEALSs ain’t her. But RADM Green appears unable to take the hint, or his ego didn’t allow him to. He directed that the SEALs convene a board of officers to determine if Gallagher, who retires shortly, will be allowed to keep his SEAL Trident (Budweiser) badge.
Here’s where this story goes from ego-driven bad judgment, to what appears to be outright insubordination or even worse, some sort of soft mutiny. The Boss SEAL, RADM Green and the SECNAV had leaked that they would both resign if pressured by President Trump to allow SCPO Gallagher to keep his Trident. As both Streiff and Stu Cvrk (I’m gonna go buy that boy a vowel for Christmas, I swear) have explained and analyzed in detail, the “mutiny” in this case appears to have resulted in the SECNAV being asked to resign by the Secretary of Defense. My side bet is that the Boss SEAL, who started this food fight with POTUS, and the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) aren’t far behind.
Here’s what really bothers me about this whole deal and what makes me thank God each and every day that Donald J. Trump was elected POTUS. President Trump was elected on a mandate to “Drain the Swamp!” Heretofore, I had been under the naive impression that it was the nasty old senior civilian bureaucrats who were the whole problem. They’d moved up in the ranks and now had pay, position, and privilege commensurate with their time in the system…and were using it to support leftists and to undermine outsiders like President Trump.
Silly me, I had assumed that the Military was immune from such petty vindictiveness, such open and notorious defiance of the President of these United States. I had thought “the buck stops here,” Harry S.Truman, had put a stop to such nonsense by having the backbone to fire the wildly popular General MacArthur for rank insubordination. Along those lines, I had attributed LTC Vindman’s conduct to immaturity and perhaps just not understanding his place in the Chain of Command.
After the events of the past few days, I’ve come to a far different conclusion (yeah, call me a “slow learner”). Based on the conduct I’ve seen displayed by RADM Green and ADM Mike Gilday, the current CNO, I’ve come to the belief that LTC Vindman isn’t just another immature, self-important mid-grade officer entrusted with responsibility beyond his ability to perform. No. He’s the next generation in training—in training to take over when RADM Green, ADM Mike Gilday and the rest of their generation are put to pasture through the regular rotation plan. He’s part of a longer-term “7-Days in May.”
The rot is deep, reaching down to mid-level, field grade officers. President Trump is doing the right thing. He needs to continue. He needs to reestablish good order and discipline in the U.S. Military, first and foremost by reinforcing the chain of command, at which he sits atop. I was certainly no Obama fan. However, when President Obama fired General Stanley McChrystal for — essentially — insubordination, I applauded the move. I don’t care what your politics are, you don’t get to badmouth the President of These United States (or allow your staff to do so) to a National Publication…or anyone else for that matter.
RADM Green, the same applies to you. If you have an issue with an order given by the President of these United States, you have two choices: Resign/Retire and THEN whine about it or shut up, salute smartly, and execute with all due vigor. Failure to do so is the beginning of mutiny and undermines the civilian control of the military ethos, that sets us apart from every country on the face of this small, pale blue dot, caught in a sunbeam. We don’t need a 7 Days in May, or a 9 Days in November. President Trump understands this.
READ: BREAKING: SECNAV Denies Resignation Threat
READ: BREAKING: U.S. Navy Will Take CPO Gallagher’s SEAL Trident Despite POTUS Twitter “Order”
READ: Admiral Who Tried to Boot Eddie Gallagher From the SEALs May Be Investigated for Talking Smack About President Trump
READ: President Trump Orders Navy To Revoke Medals Given To Eddie Gallagher’s Prosecutors
READ: President Trump Restores Chief Petty Officer Gallagher to his Pre-Court Martial Rank
READ: Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher Acquitted of War Crimes Charges by Court Martial
READ: Judge Tosses Military Prosecutor in Trial of Navy SEAL
READ: Judicial Fragging in the Military (VIP content)
READ: Trump Issues Pardons in Three Highly Controversial War Crimes Court Martial Cases
Mike Ford, a retired Infantry Officer, writes on Military, Foreign Affairs and occasionally dabbles in Political and Economic matters.
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