A Navy SEAL who was acquitted of killing a wounded Islamic State captive but convicted of posing with the corpse told a military jury considering his punishment Wednesday that he has made “tactical, ethical, moral” mistakes but learned from them.
Special Operator Edward Gallagher, who did not testify during his two-week court-martial, addressed the jurors a day after they acquitted him of murder, attempted murder and other counts stemming from an incident during a 2017 deployment to Iraq.
“I put a black eye on the two communities that I love — the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Navy — specifically the SEAL community,” he said.
He said he tried to lead by example but didn’t always succeed.
“I’ve made mistakes throughout my 20-year career — tactical, ethical, moral — I’m not perfect but I’ve always bounced back from my mistakes. I’m ready to bounce back from this,” he said.
The jury was considering whether Gallagher should face jail time or lesser punishment.