- U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Jayme Pastoric
- A senior Navy SEAL with the platoon being kicked out of Iraq for misconduct has been accused of sexually assaulting a female service member working with the team, The New York Times reports.
- The Washington Post initially reported that the platoon, SEAL Team 7’s Foxtrot platoon, was sent home for abusing alcohol, but now their are also reports that a female service member working with the platoon reported being sexually assaulted by a senior enlisted SEAL.
- US Special Operations command said Wednesday that a deployed SEAL platoon was returning early due to misconduct that led the commander to lose confidence in the team’s ability to carry out its mission.
- When the investigation began, the platoon did not cooperate, collectively invoking their right to remain silent. The US special operations commander in Iraq then made the decision to send the platoon home.
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A senior enlisted member of the Navy SEAL platoon being kicked out of Iraq over discipline problems was accused of raping a female service member, The New York Times reports.
US Special Operations Command revealed Wednesday evening that an unnamed SEAL platoon in Iraq was being sent home early due to misconduct that caused the commander to lose confidence in the team’s ability to conduct the mission.
The statement identified the team’s problems as “perceived deterioration of good order and discipline within the team during non-operational periods.”
SEAL Team 7’s Foxtrot platoon was caught abusing alcohol, The Washington Post first reported. According to Navy Times, the allegations under investigation stemmed largely from drinking at an Independence Day celebration.
But there appears to be more to it than a boozy Fourth of July party.
Not only were the SEALs in this platoon consuming alcohol in violation of relevant regulations, but a senior enlisted member of the platoon has been accused of raping a female service member working with the unit, The New York Times reported, citing a senior Navy official with knowledge of the issue.
The Post, citing a defense official, reported that an unidentified female service member reported being sexually assaulted by a senior enlisted SEAL in the platoon. A Navy official told The Post that he was aware the case involved alleged sexual misconduct but was not sure whether an assault was reported.
A civilian attorney representing one of the SEALs in Foxtrot platoon confirmed to The Times that there was an investigation into allegations of drinking and sexual misconduct but did not provide any additional details.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is reportedly investigating the assault, while other investigators look into this unit’s other problems.
When commanders began looking into the allegations surrounding Foxtrot platoon, the team decided not to cooperate, collectively invoking their right to remain silent. It was at that point that Maj. Gen. Eric Hill, who commands US special-operations troops in Iraq, made the decision to send these troops home.
“The Commander lost confidence in the team’s ability to accomplish the mission,” Wednesday’s US Special Operations Command statement said.
“There were allegations of wrongdoing, and the commander initiated an investigation, which is still ongoing,” command spokesman Ken McGraw told The New York Times. “After the investigation began, the commander lost confidence in the platoon’s ability to accomplish the mission and ordered the platoon’s redeployment.”
As of Thursday, the 19 Navy SEALs and four support troops that make up Foxtrot platoon were reportedly on their way back to Naval Base Coronado in San Diego.