The Board for Correction of Naval Records (BCNR) reached a monumental decision on January 2, 2019 regarding the case of Major Fred Galvin (USMC retired). Galvin, along with other MARSOC Marines, was falsely accused of indiscriminately killing women, children, and elderly on March 4, 2007 in the village of Boti Kot, Afghanistan. NEWSREP has covered the incident extensively since 2016, and the BCNR decision is arguably the largest victory to date for Galvin and his men.
Twelve years ago last week, on January 4, 2007, the first Marine Special Operations Task Force received a farewell speech from the commanding general of MARSOC, Maj. Gen. Hejlik, in which he told all of the Marines and their families at the 2nd MSOB compound in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, “Not all of you will be coming back.” At the time, Major Galvin was commanding the first unit of special operations Marines (MSOC-F) to be deployed to combat since World War II.
On March 10, 2007, before investigations were completed, then-Maj. Gen. Frank Kearney (U.S. Army) ordered Fox Company to leave Afghanistan. The Marines involved in the alleged war crime—the MARSOC 7 as they’ve been called—have since been cleared of any wrongdoing through a rare court of inquiry (COI). However, the reputations of Major Galvin and his Marines have been irreparably tarnished, and they are still tormented by the accusations cast on them well over a decade ago.
The independent BCNR panel concluded that the Marine Corps is to clear references to the ambush from Major Galvin’s official record and to reconsider him for promotion to lieutenant colonel, with potential reinstatement to the Marine Corps. Galvin has sold the business that he built from scratch and is prepared to reenter military service should he be allowed to. The BCNR, which acts on behalf of the Secretary of the Navy, effectively exonerated Major Galvin and his Marines of wrongdoing on March 4, 2007. The U.S. Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps have opted not to thoroughly correct this issue and have avoided taking appropriate action in the years that passed since the ambush. To this day, an apology has never been made by any of the political or military leaders who rushed to judgment in accusing these men.