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In 'Rare Move,' 3 Elite Navy SEALs Are Fired

'Due to a loss of confidence that resulted from leadership failures'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2019 11:15 AM CDT
A Navy SEAL trident.   (Getty Images/pamelasphotopoetry)

(Newser) – In July, a Navy SEAL team was sent home early from Iraq amid allegations of sexual assault and unauthorized drinking. Shortly after that, Rear Adm. Collin Green warned, "We have a problem" in regard to the culture underlying not only SEAL Team 7, but throughout the entire special-operations force. Now, in what CNN calls a "rare move," three top Navy SEALs have been fired, not because they themselves were said to have taken part in any of the alleged behavior, but because they couldn't control their subordinates. "[Green] relieved the three senior leaders of SEAL Team 7 from their positions Sept. 6," US Navy Capt. Tamara Lawrence, a spokesperson for Naval Special Warfare Command, said in a statement, citing "a loss of confidence that resulted from leadership failures."

Those leadership failures "resulted in a breakdown of good order and discipline within the unit while deployed to a combat zone," Lawrence added. The three service members were IDed as Cdr. Edward Mason, Lt. Cdr. Luke Im, and the team's top enlisted leader, Command Master Chief Hugh Spangler. All three will remain in the Navy, and they haven't been hit with any other disciplinary action. Lawrence says an unidentified senior enlisted team member will also be redeployed, per NBC News. CNN notes that Navy officials can't recall another a scenario like this when SEAL leaders were removed from their positions. (Read more Navy SEALs stories.)

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