There are few things as distinctly American as our gratitude for our men and women in uniform, and our vehement aversion to injustice. Perhaps that’s why Major Fred Galvin’s (USMC, ret.) story—one of special operations Marines betrayed by their own command and forced to endure character assassinations, unlawful interrogations, and ultimately, besmirched reputations that have encumbered them for a decade—evokes a visceral reaction in all those who hear it. In the long-running Global War on Terror, the story of the MARSOC 7 embodies an appalling confluence of the military’s worst flaws and proves the devastating impact they’ve had on good people.
Galvin has made it his personal crusade in the years since his military retirement to fight for the total exoneration of his men, an exoneration that should have come at the conclusion of the Marine Corps’s court of inquiry in 2008, but was instead substituted with a vague recognition by the convening authority that the men of Fox Company had “acted appropriately.” The statement was given to only one news outlet, and was strategically published on “news-dump Friday” before Memorial Day Weekend, where it was sure to be overlooked. Though the Marine Corps may consider this case closed, its shadow has continued to haunt the men of Fox Company to this day.
Fortunately, the singular focus and determination that helped Galvin become an elite Marine have also driven him forward in his ongoing fight to clear his name and the names of the men under his command. Today—nearly 10 years to the day after the Taliban ambush that sparked this controversy—his pursuit has brought him to the nation’s capital. And now, he has some powerful allies.
On February 16, on Capitol Hill, Galvin spoke at a press conference encouraging Congress to pass House Resolution 21, which calls upon the commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps to issue a public document certifying that members of Fox Company were not at fault for the fallout following the firefight between them and the Taliban in Bati Kot, Afghanistan in 2007. The resolution has been with the House Armed Services Committee since early January. Galvin was joined by Representatives Walter B. Jones (NC-3) and Ruben Gallego (AZ-7), as well as Lt. Col. Steve Morgan (USMC, ret.), a junior member of the 2008 military court of inquiry.