- President Donald Trump has reportedly decided to restore the rank of Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher, who was convicted of taking a photo with a deceased teenage ISIS fighter in 2017.
- Gallagher would retire as a chief, reinstating approximately $200,000 of his retirement pay.
- Trump is also reportedly considering pardons for an officer serving a 19-year sentence for the deaths of 2 Afghans and for an Army Green Beret charged with killing an unarmed Afghan.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Embattled Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher is about to get a reprieve from President Donald Trump, who has decided to restore Gallagher’s rank and pay grade to chief petty officer, according to the Navy Times.
The decision, first reported by “Fox & Friends” contributor Pete Hegseth on Monday, would reinstate about $200,000 of retirement pay for Gallagher, who was convicted of taking a photo with a deceased teenage ISIS fighter in 2017. He was found not guilty of murdering the prisoner and also targeting civilians with a sniper rifle — both war crimes — at a high-profile court-martial.
Gallagher was ordered to report to duty to Naval Base Coronado on Friday, the Navy Times reports, amid rumors that Gallagher could be headed to a Trident Review Board, which could decide to strip him of his status as a Navy SEAL and the golden Trident insignia all SEALs wear. But Rear Adm. Collin Green, the Navy SEAL who leads Naval Special Warfare Command, took no administrative action last week, although Green could still strip Gallagher of his Trident pin.
“If Green pulls Gallagher’s Trident, he can fly to DC and see me in the Court of Federal Claims,” Gallagher’s attorney, Timothy Parlatore, told Insider.
In a scathing letter to Green, Parlatore accuses the NSWC leader of “conspiring to retaliate” against Gallagher, and condemns Green for declining to apply the same punishment to other members of the SEAL platoon also featured in photos with the deceased teenage ISIS fighter.
“Abandon your fixation on harming Eddie Gallagher and his family,” Parlatore wrote.
“Eddie Gallagher is ready to move on with the next phase of his life,” Parlatore said, and “go quietly into his retirement.”
Should Gallagher’s rank be restored, he still stands to make about $200,000 less over the course of his retirement than he would had he retired as an E-8, a promotion he lost out on because of his alleged crimes and court martial, accrding to Parlatore’s letter. Over his lifetime, Gallagher’s retirement as a chief petty officer is worth an estimated $1.7 million via his military pension, Navy Times reported.
Insider reached out to the White House and to the Navy regarding Gallagher’s case, but did not receive a response by press time.
Gallagher’s case is not the only high-profile military one the president is set on intervening in, according to Hegseth, a weekend “Fox & Friends” co-host and Army veteran who reportedly advised Trump to pardon Gallagher and others troops accused or convicted of war crimes. Trump also plans to release former 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, currently serving a 19-year sentence at Ft. Leavenworth for ordering his platoon to fire at three Afghan men on a motorcycle in 2012. Two of the men died, according to reporting at the time.
Trump also plans to intervene in the case of Maj. Matthew Golsteyn, who reportedly told CIA interviewers he fatally shot an unarmed Afghan man he believed to be a Taliban bomb maker in 2010; Golsteyn has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge. Should Trump take action in Goldsteyn’s case — his court-martial is scheduled for Dec. 2 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina — he could dismiss the case altogether, Task & Purpose reports.