September 16th, 2010
09:55 AM ET

14 Navy commanders fired this year

The 14th Navy commanding officer to be fired this year was relieved of his post this week.

The U.S. Navy has fired 14 commanders so far this year for offenses including soliciting prostitution, having inappropriate relationships with other officers, and dereliction of duties that led to ship collisions, spokesman Lt. Justin Cole said.

Though 14 may seem a high number of commanders to be fired within a nine-month period, Cole said the Navy dismisses an average of 15 commanders each year. There are 1,500 commanding officers in the service, said Cole.

"All of the cases are different. Some years, we see more reasons involving ship collisions or some years that trend toward bad behavior," he said. "There's no way to say it's because of one thing or another, or that there's something unusual going on this year.

"It's just unfortunate when we have people who aren't meeting the high standards the Navy sets," he added.

The latest to be dismissed is Capt. David Solms, who was fired Tuesday night for "inappropriate personal behavior," Cole said.

Solms was in charge of the Trident Training Facility, in Bangor, Washington. William Kenny, a Trident spokesman, said he would not elaborate on details of the case, but added that Solms has been temporarily assigned to another post in the Northwest region.

CNN's efforts to reach Solms were unsuccessful.

Cole also declined to elaborate on the details of Solms' case, but said it had gone through an investigative process. "An action to dismiss a commanding officer comes after much examination, months sometimes of closely looking at evidence and circumstances," he said.

Cole confirmed for CNN the circumstances of the 13 other firings this year, reported by the Navy Times this week.

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soundoff (161 Responses)
  1. apollo

    I think that female who was 'drag-racing' her Destroyer got re-assigned.

    September 16, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • dbarak

      I believe you're right, which is a shame because doing things like that can be a morale booster, as long as the ship isn't put in danger.

      September 17, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jeff

    Not surprising, the Navy justifies firing 14 commanders with "We fire 15 commanders every year." When someone finally holds Navy Personnel Command (NPC) responsible for putting unqualified people in these posts, then you'll see this number come down. Admirals frequently quote a loss of confidence for removing these commanders. No one ever asks NPC how their procedures failed to screen these individuals. No one goes back and investigates what officers gave these "unfit" individuals glowing performance evaluations that led to their selection for command. So, the Navy never gets to the root of their Command problems and so we see 15 commanders fired every year, justified by the firing of 15 commanders the year before, justified by........... No New Lessons Learned.

    September 16, 2010 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • dbarak

      15 out of 1,500 is only one percent. That's not a bad rate at all – it's a lot worse in the civilian world, even with CEOs, etc. it sounds to me like the Navy's vetting process is pretty darned good.

      September 17, 2010 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Havoc

      You're obviously not familiar with the selection board process. The idea is to select from the most qualified individuals brought before the board. You can't expect board members to make up for what may be over inflated evaluations or unwarranted recommendations for command. Board members base their decisions on the available
      information. Bottom line- leaders need to evaluate subordinates honestly and stop playing favorites. I'd be willing to bet there are plenty of good folks who don't stand a chance at command because their bosses decided to write crappy paper on them in order to take care of the guy/girl that they felt obligated. I say officer fitreps should be made simpler and include three sections co-immediate supervisor-subordinate review.

      June 8, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. GD

    "Assigned to another post in the Northwest region"...........that's code for the Aleutian Islands.

    September 16, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mehdi General Dr Bad

    dont forget the female Admiral ,,,,and where i sMY M.I.A Army NUrse DEborah CHristine D"angelo From New Jersey?

    September 16, 2010 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mehdi General Dr Bad

    them 10,000 jarheads still jacking off out on that boat in the middle of the persian gulf?

    September 16, 2010 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Traveler7

    Jamann: Since I made a comment Iam believed to not be an Officer? How wise does that sound. Hopefully, we can change the minds of people like you and we can get rid of the bad apples just like USN just did whether they are Enlisted or Officer.

    BTW I am proud to be an Officer for the United States of America.

    September 17, 2010 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
  7. FireLisaJackson

    Why not fire the EPA director Lisa Jackson also?....Take a look at her testimony on C-Span about the BP spill and dispersants in the Gulf.....We are so glad we have Lisa protecting our environment(Sarcasm)..Lisa, how come you did not get into the water on your Gulf vacation?Did you eat seafood from the Gulf? Is she the best we can do? She could not answer the majority of the questions from Congress....Private sector would have fired her for POOR job performance...

    September 17, 2010 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
  8. Noel

    these guy are not getting fired, they are getting reassigned...They are still getting paid lots of money....

    September 17, 2010 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  9. richunix

    Martin,

    Your coment is "right on target". The only thing I can add, as enlisted salior, it hurts to see any Commandinng Officer relieved, we are taught to hold our highest loyalty for the Commanding Officer.

    September 17, 2010 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  10. Vince Stead

    I thought your article was pretty good. My name is Vince Stead, and I wrote a book called "NAVY FUN"

    about the navy. You can get it as a book at regular price at Barnes & Noble and Amazon, and you can also get it as a digital download for only $2.99 their also. Here is a link to it:

    http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Navy-Fun-When-Ronald-Reagan-Was-In-Charge-And-Being-in-the-Navy-Was-a-Blast/Vince-Stead/e/2940011819124/?itm=3&USRI=vince+stead

    January 12, 2011 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
  11. Kfbb9

    All of them you jacka$$

    September 16, 2010 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  12. Laird

    Really, Cibs? On what basis are you hinting at racism here? Or are you just jerking your knee? You are, aren't you – you can confess, it's OK – No one will fire you here.

    As a former squid, i'll tell you this much: The Nav is a meritocracy – you don't get to command unless you've got a lot 'on the ball.' If you manage to then turn around and screw that up, you deserve your sacking, no matter what color you are.

    September 16, 2010 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  13. Liza Null

    Sounds to me like they've got more on the balls than they can handle.

    September 16, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  14. Kfbb9

    Actually some were female so be careful

    September 16, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  15. Laird

    Funny, Liza. :-p

    Only a few get sacked for that kind of thing. I've seen 'em sacked for a lot of reasons. Putting your vessel up on the rocks or on the beach is a common one. "Loss of confidence in the officer's ability to lead" is another popular fail. DUI is yet another good excuse for a 'Loss of CO casualty." Really, you have to be 'more pure than Ceasar's wife' if you want to get, and keep, a command.

    September 16, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
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