Three Navy leaders fired after officer found drunk, naked in woods: report

Three Navy leaders fired after officer found drunk, naked in woods: report
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The U.S. Navy has fired an entire unit's command leadership after the unit's executive officer was found drunk and walking naked in the woods, The Navy Times reported Wednesday.

Lt. Cmdr. Jason Gabbard — of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 4, currently deployed to Okinawa, Japan — was fired Feb. 11.

Leadership relieved Gabbard after he was discovered in the woods on Camp Shields wearing only his boots, following a command gathering for chiefs and officers, service officials told Navy Times. 

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Commanding officer Cmdr. James Cho and Command Master Chief Jason Holden were also let go. A source told The Navy Times that they were fired because they attempted to cover up the incident. 

“Trust is the foundation for everything we do as military professionals, and we expect our service members to conduct themselves with the integrity and character to justify that trust,” Navy Expeditionary Combat Command spokeswoman Cate Cook told the Times. 

“When there are any indications that those values are not being followed, we conduct appropriate investigations and take action as necessary.”

The firing marks the second time in less than a year that the Navy has fired an entire unit's command leadership.

The last time the Navy fired a complete command leadership was after the June collision of the USS Fitzgerald destroyer with a Philippines-flagged container ship southwest of Japan, which killed seven sailors.

The top three leaders of the Fitzgerald — commanding officer Cmdr. Bryce Benson, executive officer Cmdr. Sean Babbitt and Command Master Chief Brice Baldwin — were all fired in August following the incident.