24 Aug 2019

“No More Beards, Cocaine, or Pirate Dress”


Navy Times:

Stung by a string of scandals starring SEALs behaving badly, Naval Special Warfare commander Rear Adm. Collin Green on Tuesday issued a four-page “back to basics” directive designed to shore up shoddy conduct, restore moral accountability and create better leaders.

Released to senior leaders and then obtained by Navy Times, Green’s guidance returns the SEAL and boat teams to standards expected of service members across the fleet, with a mandate for leaders to conduct “routine inspections of your units and strictly enforce all Navy grooming and uniform standards, including adherence to all Navy traditions, customs and ceremonies.”

Within popular culture, SEALs often are depicted as bearded commandos with a shaggy pirate bravado but Green’s memo echoes former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson’s May advice to the sea service’s leaders, telling them that they will be judged by the character and performance of their teams.

Green’s guidance clearly puts character first and adopts steps that will anchor SEALs not only to their own storied history but to the larger institution of the Navy.

Commanders will inspect their officers and sailors during uniform shifts, establish “weekly battle rhythm events” to include quarters, unit physical training and zone inspections, with Green personally holding leaders “accountable for all substandard issues related to your personnel on and off duty.”

“We are U.S. Naval Officers and Sailors first and foremost and we will realign ourselves to these standards immediately,” the WARCOM boss wrote.

That was merely one reform in a series of ordered changes Green identified in his “Call to Action” memo, an extraordinary document that Green conceded was triggered by a force that “has drifted from our Navy core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment” and an ethos “due to a lack of action at all levels of Leadership.”

Without quantifying their numbers, Green told his subordinates that “a portion of this Force is ethically misaligned” with traditional SEAL culture because of those “who fail to correct this behavior” and instead “prioritize this misalignment over the loyalty to Navy and Nation.”

“This drift ends now,” Green said.


3 Feedbacks on "“No More Beards, Cocaine, or Pirate Dress”"


Oh good, does this mean he will address the weak enforcement of standards for women in the Navy and Marines too?

Fusil Darne

The Navy does excellent training, but, there is only so much time and money for training. Too much time on gender sensitivity training, and not enough on seamanship, will result in naval vessels running into each other, and Seals that look like hippies.


As I recall, beards started when SEALS went to operate in cultures where all “men” had beards. Clean shaven is for boot licking and paper shuffling. Unless a gas mask or aircraft mask seal to the face is needed, clean shaven is usless. In the “real world” that clean, shiney face makes a nice target. At minimum, it shows that “you ain’t from around here”.

Training and discipline? Don’t need that in the big office or the shiney shoe Navy.


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