Navy SEAL drinking, drug scandals prompt broad review of ethics, culture

In early July, a military court decided Navy SEAL team leader Eddie Gallagher, a one-time member of SEAL Team 7, would be demoted in rank and have his pay reduced for posing for a photo with a dead ISIS prisoner while he was serving in Iraq. Another SEAL was sentenced in June for his role in the 2017 death of Army Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar, a Green Beret, in Bamako, Mali.

Some military officials question whether these incidents, such as Gallagher's case, are happening because of the pressures special operations forces have been under for the last nearly two decades, with constant deployments on the most dangerous missions.


However, CNN has spoken to several military officials who say they don't believe there has necessarily been an increase in incidents of bad behavior, but say they have to ensure none of the incidents are tolerated, even if they don't rise to the level of full criminal investigations.

Congress is also beginning to question how the US military is dealing with these incidents. The admiral picked to be the next Chief of Naval Operations was asked about this at his Senate confirmation hearing in July.

"It's especially important in combat that those values be maintained for all the reasons that we understand so well," Vice Adm. Michael Gilday told the Senate Armed Services Committee, adding that he was committed to "getting a better understanding of those issues, to holding people accountable if and where they need to be held accountable, to getting after the root causes and ensure that if there is a problem with the culture with the community, that that is addressed very, very quickly and very firmly."