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Review of culture, ethics in US special forces ordered following scandals

The Hill logo The Hill 8/13/2019 Zack Budryk
a group of people swimming in a body of water: Review of culture, ethics in US special forces ordered following scandals © Getty Images Review of culture, ethics in US special forces ordered following scandals

Gen. Richard Clarke, the head of U.S. Special Operations Command, has ordered a comprehensive review of the ethics and culture of special operations forces following a series of scandals, according to ABC News.

"Recent incidents have called our culture and ethics into question and threaten the trust placed in us," Clarke wrote in a memo.

"As a result, I am initiating a comprehensive review of Special Operations Forces (SOF) culture and ethics. The review will gather insights and observations from across our force and will draw upon the unique perspectives of leaders from internal and external entities," he added.

The probe, Clarke said, will assess aspects of special operations culture ranging from recruiting, training and selection to ethics education and how ethical lapses are handled.

"Most importantly, recognize this review as an opportunity to strengthen our values and reinforce trust," he said, according to ABC.

Clarke's announcement follows a series of public relations black eyes involving special operations personnel, including two members of SEAL Team 6 and two special operations Marines who were charged with Army Green Beret Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar's 2017 death, as well as the trial of Navy Special Warfare Operator Chief Edward Gallagher, who was acquitted of murder charges earlier this year.

In late July, an entire SEAL team was ordered home following reports of drinking on the Fourth of July and later allegations of sexual assault.

"I don't know yet if we have a culture problem, I do know that we have a good order and discipline problem that must be addressed immediately," Rear Adm. Collin Green, the head of the U.S. Navy SEALs, wrote in a letter to top commanders earlier this month.

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