The Navy’s chief of operations Tuesday condemned two incidents of “hate and violence” aboard ships serving in the Pacific theater, one of which reportedly included a noose on or around a Black sailor’s bunk.
“Shipmates, I am certain the vast majority of men and women in the United States Navy serve with honor, character and integrity, but we cannot be under any illusions that extremist behaviors do not exist in our Navy,” Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday wrote in a message to the fleet.
“Just in the past few weeks, there have been two separate incidents where symbols of hate and violence were anonymously left in living areas aboard ships in our fleet.”
The incidents follow the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, after which some Democrats insisted National Guard troops deployed to the U.S. Capitol be screened for extremist behavior. Democrats have been insisting “white supremacy” is a major problem in the military since taking control of the House of Representatives in 2018.
The incidents referred to by Gilday involved a noose found on the guided-missile cruiser the USS Lake Champlain either on or above the Black sailor’s bunk, depending on the reporting agency which all cite unidentified sources, and graffiti in a lavatory aboard the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier, according to Reuters.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is investigating both reports.
Gilday’s message comes after retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, President Joe Biden’s defense secretary, Friday ordered units to stand down for a day individually to address “extremist or dissident ideologies.”
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