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Thursday, October 1, 2020

Trump vows to overturn 'ridiculous' gender-neutral Navy SEAL ethos

President Donald Trump vowed Thursday to reverse a move by the elite Navy SEALs to make its ethos gender neutral — marking the latest incursion by the commander in chief into the service's operations.

American Military News first reported on Monday that the Navy SEALs and the Navy Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen had changed their ethos and creed statements to remove words such as "man" and "brotherhood."

A Navy spokesperson told the outlet that the ethos and creed were written before all combat posts were opened to women.

"I will be overturning this ridiculous order immediately!" Trump tweeted Thursday evening.

A Navy spokesperson on Thursday night referred questions to the White House. Chief Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman did not immediately return a request for comment.

A White House spokesperson declined to comment.

Ash Carter, who was defense secretary under former President Barack Obama, in 2015 opened all combat specialties to women. However, no women have yet qualified to become a Navy SEAL.

If Trump follows through, it would mark the president's latest foray into the operations of the Navy.

Trump has long called for the Navy to replace the electromagnetic launch systems for its new — and costly — aircraft carriers and return to steam-powered catapults for launching fighters from carriers.

Last year, Trump restored the rank of Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher, who was acquitted in July 2019 of charges related to killing a prisoner in Iraq but was convicted of posing for a photo with the ISIS militant’s corpse. Trump gave the order despite concerns that doing so would hurt the military justice system and undermine good order in the ranks.

Then-Navy Secretary Richard Spencer resigned in November over his handling of the issue.

Trump's new order also comes amid heightened tensions between the White House and the Pentagon following reports based on anonymous sources that the president referred to wounded and fallen troops as "losers" and "suckers."

Lara Seligman contributed to this report.

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