After virtually unprecedented public scrutiny of the elite force’s top ranks, the outgoing commander is in the middle of a campaign to save his name, if not his career, and the incoming leader’s path to the job looks clear.

Rear Adm. Tim Szymanski, named to assume command of the Naval Special Warfare headquarters in Coronado, Calif., this summer, was confirmed for promotion to a second star by the Senate late last month.

That’s despite questions raised by Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., a Marine Corps veteran who asked for an investigation of contracts that Szymanski played a role in earlier in his career.

Meanwhile, Rear Adm. Brian Losey, the SEAL commander slated for retirement this summer after political pressure sunk his promotion to a second star, has broken his silence about what his camp calls a deeply flawed process for investigating military wrongdoing. Losey told The San Diego Union-Tribune on Saturday,

I remain fully accountable for my actions in command. The highest priority of any line commander is in ensuring that our service members have the resources, guidance and empowerment to succeed.

Depending on the situation, this can require rapid adaptive change and hard work. I did what needed to be done to advance mission accomplishment in an urgent and challenging set of problems on the African continent. I learned lessons on how to do it better in the future.

The Pentagon’s inspector general had found that Losey retaliated against three people who worked for him in 2011 at the special operations component of U.S. Africa Command, headquartered in Germany.

The Navy disagreed that there was wrongdoing and pushed forward its nomination for Losey to get his second star. But after pressure this year from U.S. senators known informally as the “whistleblower caucus,” the Navy secretary withdrew the intended promotion.