In response to a recent press inquiry, I provided the following on-the-record statement about RDML Losey and his case:
“RDML Losey has had a long and distinguished military career marked by his dedication to his units and their missions. As a commander, RDML Losey has always taken seriously his duties and responsibilities to do just that – command. In that vein, the actions at issue that RDML Losey took as a commander were based on his duty as a commander to hold members of that command accountable for their performance and conduct.
I will not go into specifics regarding the situation and I cannot speak to what actions the Navy has taken in response to this case, or their reasoning. However, in response to the slanted political narrative in this case, I will say the following…
I took strong issue in this case with the manner in which the IG investigations were conducted, to include my belief that there was a predetermined outcome that information was being gathered and/or interpreted to support. I also took issue with the motives and credibility issues of those witnesses I believed to be involved in making these claims. I maintain my belief that their baseless claims were made to shield themselves from accountability for their performance and conduct issues, and to attack a commander who was holding them accountable.
Politicians sometimes make highly charged agenda-driven statements that are based on incomplete or inaccurate information, or slanted interpretations that fit a certain narrative. For example, we see such slanted and inaccurate political statements about sexual assault allegations in the military justice system, and the impact of these political statements is literally destroying the military system as a system of justice and fairness.
Similarly, in RDML Losey’s case, there is a slanted and inaccurate political narrative that seems to ignore the facts and common sense interpretations. This includes ignoring the credibility and motive issues of those making claims against RDML Losey, and ignoring RDML Losey’s duty to command the previous unit at issue.”
Admiral McRaven’s defense and support of RDML Losey has been unwavering and powerful. His comments appear, for example, in the following articles:
In discussing political attacks on the military, Admiral McRaven first described RDML Losey, in part, as follows:
“…I have known Losey for more than 30 years. He is without a doubt one of the finest officers with whom I have ever served. Over the past 15 years no officer I know in the SEAL Teams has given more to this country than Brian. None. As a young officer he was constantly deployed away from his family. After 9/11, he was sent to Afghanistan in the early days to help fight the Taliban. From there, Losey participated in the final march to Baghdad and then stayed in country as a SEAL Task Unit Commander. Afterward he served as the deputy and then the commanding officer of SEAL Team Six during more tough fighting in Afghanistan.
Later he was posted to the White House in the Office of Combating Terrorism. He made rear admiral in 2009 while at the White House. He was subsequently sent back overseas to Djibouti, Africa, to do a 15-month month isolated tour as the commander of all U.S. forces in the Horn of Africa. As a result of that successful tour, he was given command of Special Operations Command, Africa (SOCAFRICA)…”
Later, Admiral McRaven makes the following crucial observation:
“…Although we in the military understand the absolute necessity to serve and respect our civilian leaders — and every good leader understands and appreciates the value of anonymous complaints to ferret out bad leadership — we also need civilians to understand that a strong military, particularly an all-volunteer one, needs the support of our civilian leaders, not the constant refrain of disrespect that seems so common in today’s political narrative.
Last month, after the decision to rescind Rear Adm. Brian Losey’s promotion recommendation became public, Losey addressed his junior officers. Instead of being angry and bitter over the outcome, Losey had nothing but praise for the Navy and the nation for which he has served so long. He encouraged the young officers not to get discouraged about the ruling against him, but to recognize that this is the greatest military in the world and we are fortunate to be part of it.
I would echo Losey’s sentiments. But to keep this the greatest military in the world, to preserve the strong civilian-military relations we have so long enjoyed, we must recognize that respect works both ways. Every time an individual lawmaker’s political agenda undermines the integrity of the men and women in the military, we weaken the fabric of the uniform…”
Now, an article has been published by Kim Dozier with The Daily Beast, that sheds more public light on the case, and provides more balanced details:
The Daily Beast details include describing some of the complainants’ credibility and performance issues. These were issues RDML Losey was attempting to address in SOFAFRICA, but which the IG incorrectly deemed reprisal – in what largely seemed like an attempt by the DoD IG to hang another high ranking trophy head on their wall. When Vice Chief of the Navy, Admiral Michelle Howard, reviewed the case, she apparently found that RDML Losey had taken appropriate action against the complainants. Her opinion is one of many that is ignored in the agenda-driven vitriol of politicians.
Finally, in rebuttal to the slanted political narrative that existed to date, Montana Congressman and retired 23-year U.S. Navy SEAL Commander Ryan Zinke defended RDML Losey on the floor of the House today:
Video of Rep. Zinke’s speech: https://youtu.be/nFP_UJ3oB7o
TRANSCRIPT OF REP. ZINKE’S SPEECH
I rise today in support of Admiral Brian Losey, the current Commander of Special Warfare Command, our nation's top U.S. SEAL. He's entrusted with the honor of commanding all SEALs, all special boat units, and all support staff across this great country and across many theaters.
I’ve had the privilege of serving with Brian Losey at SEAL Team Six, Red Team. I can tell you, Brian is an outstanding officer, but it's the obligation of every officer to take action when he sees wrong; and Brian Losey did just that. He saw a problem and took action. He took decisive action because he knew the actions of others around him were wrong. Once again an entrusted, entrenched bureaucracy was allowed to hide behind threats, hide behind whistleblower, hide behind rules that were intended to protect command and not to erode it.
And yet those accusations discredited a great officer and the head of the United States Navy SEALs. I understand these [whistleblower] protections are important and they are necessary. But we cannot allow such protections to go against accountability and against the sanctity of command. In this case, the Navy reviewed the investigation on Admiral Brian Losey. They found him to be innocent and wrongly accused. I’ve seen the evidence and went through line by line. I fully support the Navy's conclusion and believe they were properly reviewed in this case. The DoD had different conclusions, and I believe those DoD conclusions from the IG are flawed and are cherry-picked.
Admiral Losey is highly regarded by his subordinates of all Special Navy Warfare community, and all SEALs who have served with him and under his command. This includes the Navy SEAL standing before you. I’ve known this man and his family for 30 years. Let me just give you a snapshot of Admiral Losey’s leadership, under his command of Navy Special Warfare.
The SEALs and those under his command have:
· Executed 654 total missions, have killed 461 high-value targets. every one of those targets, if given a chance, would do grievous harm to our nation.
· Have captured 60
· Wounded 32
· Rescued an American hostage
· Deployed an average of 250 days of a year
In 2015 alone in Iraq, Navy Special Warfare and its components were responsible for killing or capturing over 3,000 enemy combatants.
Admiral Losey personally deployed to Operation Inherent Resolve, Operation Enduring Freedom, and the 30 countries -- and deployed to 30 countries. Forces under his command are deployed to 70 countries across this great globe. They advance security capability, train over 6,000 of our allies.
Mr. Speaker, America, our men, women, and children, both at home and abroad, are able to sleep at night due to the leadership of Admiral Losey and those forces he commands. Admiral Brian Losey, I thank you for your dedication to command. I thank you for all you have done for the community, for the United States Navy, and for our grateful nation.”
I wholeheartedly second the statements of Rep. Zinke and Admiral McRaven. Thank you, RDML Brian Losey, for your exceptional service to, and sacrifice for, our country over several decades. Thank you Admiral McRaven and Rep. Zinke for your exceptional military and public service and for your public support of RDML Losey.
The shame of it all is not simply that an extraordinary Navy officer’s promotion has been lost and his reputation has been unjustly attacked, but that politicians have once again damaged the military with statements and actions that were, at best, ill-informed/considered and, at worst, intentionally slanted and agenda-driven.
Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, P.C.