Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

21: For real this time

The 21st Navy skipper of the year was fired, for "poor personnel management." (As I noted the other day, that guy down in Norfolk actually had been counted by Navy Times as fired back in the spring, so he wasn’t no. 21.) This time it was the CO of the minesweeper Fearless. Also, the skipper ...

nicoleabalde/Flickr
nicoleabalde/Flickr
nicoleabalde/Flickr

The 21st Navy skipper of the year was fired, for "poor personnel management." (As I noted the other day, that guy down in Norfolk actually had been counted by Navy Times as fired back in the spring, so he wasn't no. 21.) This time it was the CO of the minesweeper Fearless.

Also, the skipper of the USS Momsen, who had been charged with rape, etc., pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years behind bars, with the understanding as part of the plea that he would serve 42 months.

Retired Navy Capt. John Byron comments:

The 21st Navy skipper of the year was fired, for "poor personnel management." (As I noted the other day, that guy down in Norfolk actually had been counted by Navy Times as fired back in the spring, so he wasn’t no. 21.) This time it was the CO of the minesweeper Fearless.

Also, the skipper of the USS Momsen, who had been charged with rape, etc., pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years behind bars, with the understanding as part of the plea that he would serve 42 months.

Retired Navy Capt. John Byron comments:

In the scheme of things, this is a pretty tough sentence. 42 months incarceration, probation for the rest of the ten years, maybe registered sex offender, loss of some benefits and retirement, professional disgrace, doubtless fallout in his family life. There are many other ways this could have been handled, from start to finish. That it was seen as an egregious felony is credit to the Navy system and this person’s chain of command.

The plea deal kept the two women off the witness stand. Would guess that was a major consideration for the prosecution.

The message this sends to the fleet is inescapable: we meant what we said.

I’m proud of my Navy.

(2 HTs to RD)

 

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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