Former Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher's powerful insights and future purpose
In 2018, Navy SEAL chief Eddie Gallagher was arrested for alleged war crimes, brutally tried in the court of public opinion, and ultimately vindicated. Unwittingly, Chief Gallagher found himself one of the first victims of an increasingly woke military. I had the pleasure of speaking with Gallagher to learn what he thinks is going on. I also learned about the Pipe Hitter Foundation, a constitutionally important organization Gallagher created to protect people in the service and first responders who find themselves railroaded.
Before the interview, I read excerpts for his book, The Man in the Arena: From Fighting ISIS to Fighting for My Freedom. The chapter entitled "Mean Girls" gripped me. Gallagher describes how a small crew of junior members in his platoon, dissatisfied with the demands he made on them, and angry that he had called them out on their poor performance, decided to destroy him. This dovetailed with my belief that leftism has used classic toxic femininity — emotionalism, viciousness, backstabbing, and passive-aggressiveness — to remake society.
Chief Gallagher defies lay expectations about SEALs because he doesn't vibrate with energy or project a deafening personal amplitude. He's low-key and unassuming. His record says he's a man of action; his demeanor says he's a thoughtful man.
I opened by asking Gallagher whether these "mean girls" represented the newer generation of young people entering the service. No, Gallagher said. First, though, he agreed that "there has been a movement in this country ... where it was 'everyone needs to be in touch with their emotions; everybody needs to accept people for the way they're feeling,' and this and that."
Recognizing emotions has a place. However, that place is not in the military, "especially in the SEAL teams when doing a job like we did overseas. When facing an enemy like ISIS, being emotional is not going to help you out one bit."
And yes, he agreed, "these mean girls that were in my platoon, these guys were very emotional. They weren't scared to hide their feelings. They were definitely like, 'We don't want to be here. This is not what I signed up for.'"
Aside from the "mean girls" who went after him, though, Gallagher thinks highly of today's military enlisted, even as he recognizes that old hands, the ones who enlisted after 9/11, have a different view of things. To the new kids, "9/11 is a piece of history" and doesn't resonate the same way. Still, "guys that are joining now still have the same will to fight as when I joined and the men before me joined."
For Gallagher, the fault lies with "toxic leadership" that's "coming down from the admirals [and] the generals." These are people who "picked up rank during the Obama administration" and "when Trump took office, they all fought back against him. And now that Biden's in, that agenda is continuing."
These agenda-driven leaders benefit from how the military works. For Gallagher, "what makes the military great is that we follow orders and we get the job done." The "negligent leaders" now in charge are "pushing down the wokeness, Critical Race Theory, all of this junk," and "the people below them are going to follow orders," even if they're "super-frustrated and confused with what's going on in our military right now."
New graduates from the military academies exacerbate the problem. Each academy, Gallagher said, is "just another college, and they're pushing the same agenda in those military colleges that they are in regular colleges." Also, sadly, those officers who speak out know they're ending their careers.
Gallagher believes that the military can come back from this. Wisely, he understands that a military coming off the longest war in American history needs to recalibrate, including bringing in fresh blood.
In typical SEAL fashion, Gallagher is proactive about what happened to him. He formed the Pipe Hitter Foundation, which supports service members and first responders who are unjustly accused. When I asked how the foundation knows the people it's helping are unjustly accused, Gallagher explained that the board, made up of lawyers, police, SEALs, and others familiar with the system, review the applications very carefully.
At the end of the day, Gallagher made the most important point:
You don't know whether the person is innocent or guilty but people deserve due process. I will have no problem standing behind someone and making sure that their family is taken care of during this stressful time they're going through while the individual's getting charged. I have no problems supporting that individual and if he's found guilty, then okay. But at least we know we did what we could to help out. That's all we care about.
Just as Chief Gallagher defended America on the battlefield, he's continuing to defend America by assuring that the government abides by its constitutional obligations. For now, at least, in America, you're still innocent until proven guilty — and no one should have to stand alone and unarmed against the awesome power of his own government. Chief Eddie Gallagher, having found himself in just that position, wants to ensure that it never happens to anyone else.
Image: Navy SEAL chief Eddie Gallagher. (Image provided by Eddie Gallagher to American Thinker.)