Five Navy Officers Walk the Plank in One Week


There has been a huge shakeup in the Navy, as the department announced “a string of five firings in the span of less than a week.” Most recently, the commanding officer of guided missile destroyer USS Preble was dragged off the bridge on Tuesday.

Navy loses confidence

On Tuesday, June 14, Commander Peter Lesaca was relived “due to loss of confidence in his ability to command,” the Navy statement informs. They aren’t saying a word about why they did it. All they say officially is that “Commanding officers are held to high standards of personal and professional conduct.

They’re also “expected to uphold the highest standards of responsibility, reliability and leadership.” The military holds officers accountablewhen they fall short of those standards.

Officials note that “Captain Larry Repass, deputy commodore of Destroyer Squadron 23, will assume the duties as commanding officer until the permanent and qualified relief arrives.” A few others fell short recently, too. On June 11, the Navy also fired Captain Jeffry Sandin, who served as commanding officer of the Recruit Training Command, “due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command.

They didn’t say much about his matter either, only that “he had been reassigned to Naval Service Training Command headquarters.” His phone is being answered by Captain Kertreck Brooks, chief of staff at the training center, who’s taking over Sandin’s duties.

The day before, June 10, the Navy informed both the commanding officer and the Command Master Chief of the destroyer USS Bulkeley.

Commander Devine Johnson and Chief Earl Sanders were both relieved “due to a loss of confidence in their ability to effectively function as a command leadership team.

Won’t affect readiness

Johnson had only been in charge of the vessel since July 2020. Sanders, the Navy adds, “served as the command master chief since June 2021.

For now, Captain William “Mac” Harkin will be bumped up from his job as Deputy Commodore of Squadron Two, “temporarily assigned as commanding officer until a permanent relief is identified.

Master Chief Petty Officer Christy Reed will be filling in for Sanders. Both of the disgraced training officers will be “reassigned to the staff of the commander of Naval Surface Force Atlantic.

The Navy insists that these personnel changes won’t affect combat readiness in any way. “There is no impact to the command’s mission or schedule due to this relief.

The Navy Air Wing also had a shakeup last week. The commanding officer of Electronic Attack Squadron 137, Commander Matthew McCormick, “was relieved on June 8, due to loss of confidence in his ability to command.” He was running the squadron September 2021.

For now, he’ll be hanging out at the Electronic Attack Wing Pacific at Naval Station Whidbey Island, Washington. Commander Scott Maynes got a temporary promotion from his executive officer slot to serve as commanding officer until a permanent replacement is identified.

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