The CO of USS Chicago (SSN 721), CDR Jeff Cima
, was fired yesterday
for Conduct Unbecoming following some sort of drunkedness episode at a recent ROTC visit. Excerpts:
Cima was relieved of command yesterday following what's known as a captain's mast, an administrative review that does not entail a court-martial, officials said. The drunkenness occurred at a Navy ROTC visit on March 10, Benham said. He said he couldn't identify what ROTC program was involved for privacy reasons.
Benham said Cima was relieved of command for misconduct and loss of confidence in his ability to command. The charges that the Navy said Cima was found guilty of are a career-ender in the Navy.
SUBPAC quickly replaced the link to CDR Cima's webpage from the Chicago with a link to the new temporary CO
, but left Cima's main page (linked above and here
) on the site, so you can see his biography until they read this and take it down.
I'm off two minds on this. Obviously I don't know for sure what he did, but it always used to be that ROTC visits were a time where the CO could blow off a little steam away from always having to be "proper" in front of the crew. On the other hand, there's something to be said for a guy who has the self-discipline to go three years without having to blow off steam.
I had one XO who said that one of his main duties was keeping the CO from doing something stupid while on the beach during liberty. What do you think? Is a CO allowed to get rip-roaring drunk every once in a while, especially when he's not in the same town as the boat? Or is any public display of alcohol-fueled stupidity verboten for the CO?
also has the story posted
, with a list of other Navy COs who have been fired so far this year. Also, thanks to everyone who E-mailed me that this was going to come out; as I've said before, I don't like posting stuff like this until at least something comes out in the media.)
Update 1912 18 Mar: Navy Times has an update
with some details from the incident. Excerpts:
An attack submarine commander fired Monday for “drunkenness” was attending an annual event for NROTC midshipmen at Cornell University in New York when the incident occurred, Navy Times has learned...
... Around 7 p.m. March 10, Cima and an unidentified lieutenant junior grade who accompanied him joined a dozen mids for dinner at a local pizza place, Olsen said. This was typical of the host unit, he added, as it offers a “less formal” environment where the midshipmen can talk about the Navy or the subject that was earlier briefed.
Olsen said alcohol was consumed at the event, and sometime after 11 p.m., the midshipmen were ready go back because “they have a busy week before spring and have tests coming up.” But by that time, Cima and the junior officer were drunk and the mids didn’t know what to do, he said. They called a lieutenant from the NROTC unit, who took the pair back to their hotel.
The lieutenant reported the event to Olsen the next day, who turned the matter over to Submarine Squadron 3.
If that's really all there was to it, it makes the justification for the firing all the more curious. If the midshipmen got that flustered from a situation like this, I hope they'll get a little more worldly before they hit the fleet. It makes me wonder if Ithaca, NY, doesn't have taxis...
Update 1654 20 March: Once again, comments have exceeded the limit of what it's easy to read (you have to click the button to add a comment to see everything after yesterday afternoon), so I'm closing comments.