Adm. Michael Gilday, the chief of naval operations who is heading the Navy following Spencer’s exit, told all personnel in a memo obtained by CNN on Monday that he expects “Commanders at every level to epitomize integrity and exemplify our core values at all times.” All sailors, he said, must “display the character and honor that has always defined our Navy.”
Gilday did not mention the controversy in his memo, but his message — laid out in a numbered list — was clear: He will hold all naval personnel to a high ethical standard.
“The responsibility for ethical and professional behavior must be taken seriously — and we must own it at every level. We must be protectors and exemplify our values,” Gilday said in the memo.
He continued in a following point: “I’m counting on each of you to set a strong personal example of responsible behavior, both on and off duty.”
Esper said he has asked the Pentagon’s general counsel to “review how the department educates and trains our service members about wartime ethics and the laws of armed conflict, and how we monitor, investigate, report and adjudicate our adherence to them.”