Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

I'll Give 5:1 Odds This Admiral Retires Soon

Rather than the O-5s and E-8s that normally make the news for getting relieved of their duties for some moral failing we're used to seeing, we've now got an O-9 making the news: Submariner VADM Timothy Giardina is being prohibited from doing any part of his duties as Deputy Commander of STRATCOM that require a security clearance, reportedly due to a problem with counterfeit chips being used at a western Iowa casino. Vice Admiral Giardina previously commanded USS Kentucky (SSBN 737)(Gold) and SUBRON 17, and was XO on USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN 709).

While this investigation seems to be focused on the felonious nature of the alleged charges, it got me to thinking about the various reasons people can get their security clearances denied or pulled. I've always figured that anything that left someone open to possible blackmail (adultery, puppy molesting) or more likely to sell secrets (really bad indebtedness, being philosophically predisposed to support an adversary's political system) was fair game, but I wondered what they'd do in the case where someone was clearly a moral cesspool but everyone knew about it. ("Yeah, he's a whoremonger on deployment, but everyone including his wife and girlfriends know about it, so he's good to go for that TS/SCI"...)

While I hope it's all a big misunderstanding and Admiral Giardina can clear his name, it's a cautionary tale for everyone in the military -- if you're ever accused of making a mistake, expect it to be splashed all over the front page.

Update 1030 10 Oct: VADM Giardina was relieved of his post yesterday.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree with your closing paragraph, it's not a message to everyone in the military. It's a very clear message to those in leadership positions that inappropriate behavior will not be swept under the rug quietly. The days of doing something dumb and getting the proverbial "soft landing" are long gone. It's a bit disappointing that he's news without an actual determination of facts, though. I've worked for him (briefly) before, I liked the guy. I'd like to see his name get cleared, but the pessimist in me says to not get your hopes up.

9/29/2013 7:27 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also worked with him and thought he was ok. However if the news is correct, the investigation has been going on since mid July. So I am guessing there is something to it.

BTW Joel, did you know he is from Caldwell??

9/30/2013 3:58 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Innocent until proven guilty.

9/30/2013 5:53 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

not in the navy... proof is not required.

hint of scandal and the axe falls.

even if you have done nothing illegal.

not saying it shouldn't be that way.

9/30/2013 9:43 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a message to everyone.

I didn't grow up with social media. I didn't have every dumb thing I did as a teenager photographed and posted on the internet for all eternity.

I think it's important that we recognize that the things we did as minors now can have severe career consequences, and teach our children to stay out of as many pictures as possible. They don't realize it because they're young, and we don't realize it because we didn't grow up in a world where there's no secrets.

Once something is on the internet, it's there for eternity, and the last thing you want is your daughter to run for public office or apply for a once-in-a-lifetime career oppportunity, and a simple google search yields pictures of her sorority days.

9/30/2013 9:45 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

a. It is a legal gambling place.
b. It is legal for a Naval Officer to gamble.
c. Gambling with counterfeit chips is only illegal if you know they are counterfeit.

Therefore, there must be a LOT more to this than what is in the media!

9/30/2013 11:52 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Teflon...should he retire at current pay grade?

Let's say that a senior LDO who still is on active duty has pretty much been able to slide from all responsibility and has progressed well in the community. He's a very good politician and can get almost anything done (as long as he can benefit from it). A stellar individual (just ask him!). He's been involved with several investigations and has been able to slide from each one unscathed. His latest one involves being arrested; something about stealing a watch while in the TSA screening area, losing his security clearance; paying off the individual (victim) to drop charges; gets slapped on the hand during mast and now he is trying to stay in the navy a little bit longer so he can retire at his current pay-grade...fair?

9/30/2013 3:05 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I served with him many years ago. He had railroad tracks when I first met him. While I'm not an investigator, and times as well as people do change, there was nothing I can recall about him that makes me think he would be capable of doing what is sort of alleged. Nor have I ever, in over 25 years of knowing of him, and knowing other squids who know him (during and post Navy, including folks I served with who stayed latched to the Trident Teat after hanging up their blue shirts or Khaki's) heard of anything that would make me think someone else thought he was the type of person who would do this sort of thing. Serious, I remember him being a "not taking shortcuts, but finding a better, honest way" kind of guy. I know that it's impossible for me to say that "I know for a fact he didn't do it", because....well, I can't say that about anyone, because we're all humans. However, If I had to count the top ten persons whom I've known in leadership positions in my 50 years of living, this guy would be among them. No, He's in the top 5 for me. While Rickover should count among those top 10 (although I never met him personally) he doesn't, because I believe he was dishonest with Congress (the old "ends justifies the means" argument). I never saw a hint of anything other than honesty, hard work, and lets get the job done out of Admiral Giardian. A man I proudly still think of as "ENG".

9/30/2013 3:13 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made patrols with Tim on the OHIO. A great guy. This is just strange.

9/30/2013 3:47 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Worked with Tim when we were both LTs in the same general offices in DC once upon a lifetime. Can personally vouch for all the comments above regarding his character, and yet can feel the pessimistic tug as well regarding the likely outcome here.

No matter what, I know Tim Giardina *only* as a good man with a very mature character and mindset. IF..and that'a big 'if' he somehow was culpable here, that just confirms for me that each and every one of us, as the human beings we are, can make a very dumb fucking mistake now and then.

God bless, Tim. Chin up. Chest out.

9/30/2013 4:37 PM

Anonymous 3383 said...

Blackmailable isn't the only reason. Someone who demonstrates they are willing to break felony laws might not be trustworthy with other laws and rules.

There is also a "too stupid" category.

Crime shouldn't be covered up, but if he is not guilty I hope he has a fair shot at avoiding trouble.

9/30/2013 7:10 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey all,
My post has nothing to do with the ADM, though I meet him and seemed like nice guy. I was looking for advice from you all about my future in the sub force. I am almost complete with my DH tour and am looking at the next chapter in my career. I have great marks and have done everything I need to be a CO in the future and am confident I could achieve that goal. I am torn with the idea of a lateral transfer to a more stable community, if one exists. I did a joint job during my post JO tour and enjoyed it. I am thinking about transferring to Intel or FTS but have no idea if the churn is worth it or if I should just suck it up and do a XO tour. It would be a reduction in pay and learning a whole new skill, which seems enjoyable. I just see no joy in any of my previous co/xo jobs and don't want to keep doing something I don't enjoy. Do you all have any advice? Did any of you do this or know someone who did? Would going to a new community as a LCDR who "quit" hurt me or does it not matter? I am still a few years away but keeping my options open. Thanks

9/30/2013 9:20 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew him about 10 years ago while he was at SWFPAC. I didn't like him or his wife. I was a member of the Bangor officers spouses association with her. I knew that they traveled to Mexico and bought diamonds which they sold to people who worked for and with him. I know that it is against military rules to use your position to influence others. I also am privy to other things about him that might have hurt his promotion to Admiral. Bad things get swept away if you are liked enough by the right people. When speaking with him back then, he was adamant about us only purchasing diamonds from him.He had a car salesman persuasiveness about him. He had a tendency to make a person feel like he was doing them a favor by making money off them. We never did buy his diamonds. I have no idea if he did this current thing or not..I did however feel that karma had perhaps caught up with him when I read about the investigation.

9/30/2013 9:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

ANON @ 9:20 PM:

When I got out, getting to be a CO was not much of an achievement. Basically the requirements were to
1) Stay In
2) Not have gotten fired from anything else.

EVERYBODY got selected either CO or COSS, and there were usually only a few COSS.

Have things changed where there is actual selection involved?

9/30/2013 10:10 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ anon 920,

You have to contact the detailer to find out your realistic options for lat xfers and go from there -- AFTER you have shore duty orders in hand, of course.

9/30/2013 10:46 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I also am privy to other things about him that might have hurt his promotion to Admiral. Bad things get swept away if you are liked enough by the right people"

What is this all about? Spill the beans!!

9/30/2013 11:01 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew Tim back at the boat school. He was into diamonds even then as an investment.

I wouldn't trust him with my wallet. Long story omitted.

9/30/2013 11:21 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon at 2120: If your record is as strong as you think, you have very little chance of a lateral transfer. The community just won't let you go. If you have nice words but not a #1 of many Squadron ranking, then maybe you could work something out but you still may not be able to leave. Usually, the Sub Force won't let you go until you have failed to screen - which is the same as saying "career is too old and stale to succeed anywhere else in the Navy, either."

You probably wouldn't encounter a perception of quitting on your first community because almost everyone in Intel (and I think 100% of FTS) actually failed in their first community - so the 'quitters' might even stand out among the 'failures.' There are a few folks there without such stigma due to medical reasons or direct OCS commissions, but they are rare. I wouldn't worry too much about how you get there because most folks follow a comparable path, but your viability may suck if you have to wait too long (until FOS) to transfer.

The core of your question is, would you enjoy a support career more than a URL career? If so, you probably don't belong directly in the fight, making decisions about how forces are employed - so lateral transfer out. If you'd rather be part of the decisions than part of the support, stay the course to command. I think you'll find the nature of the job changes significantly at the XO and CO levels - same environment, but you finally get to lead sailors for more than 6 hours at a time.

Your basic question should be, how attractive do you find that level of authority and responsibility?

10/01/2013 5:34 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How did this post turn into someone asking for advice on their career? Start your own blog!

I love it when the spouses come on here talking about how familiar they are with how the Navy works, and how Admirals get promoted/nominated for another star. If there was so much dirt on this guy, he would have never got nominated for a third star. Unless you are in the meetings with the President, Secretary of Defense, and other top DoD leaders, you no idea what goes into someone getting promoted/nominated for another star. Go make your husband a sandwich!

10/01/2013 9:05 AM

Anonymous Steel City said...

Anon at 2120: congratulations on your successful career to this point. A comment on the potential upcoming "tour". An XO position in a U.S. Naval combatant vessel is not a "tour". It is a personal and deep commitment to 100+ sailors who will depend and lookup to you for guidance, leadership, and commitment. If you are not 100% committed to support these sailors with every ounce of energy you have then please leave the Navy or choose another designator.

10/01/2013 10:49 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If there was so much dirt on this guy, he would have never got nominated for a third star. Unless you are in the meetings with the President, Secretary of Defense, and other top DoD leaders, you no idea what goes into someone getting promoted/nominated for another star."

Don't kid yourself, they aren't called "Perfumed Princes" for nothing.

10/01/2013 1:25 PM

Blogger Vigilis said...

The first report I read about Giardina was foreign-sourced and had him listed as an Air Force General.

The Navy has suffered the worst succession of bad publicity in the past couple of years than at anytime since Thresher and Scorpion.

If Giardina knew the chips were counterfeits, etc. be prepared for even more lapses by other Navy leaders. Considering the corruption and duplicity at top levels of government, including Congress, why would the moral decay not flow downward?

On the contrary, the current administration has been intent on "clearing the decks" to advance women to the upper echelons of the Navy, and there is only one way that can be accomplished without attendant scrutiny and criticism.

10/01/2013 2:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've known Tim since boat school, and served with him throughout his career. He's a stand-up guy, with a few quirks (but who among us doesn't have some). I heard about his diamond business, and asked him about it. After "let me know if I can do anything for you", he never said anything about it to me again. Other than use the government phones and government time to conduct his business (on occasion), he's been straight as an arrow as far as I know.

10/01/2013 4:20 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Innocent UNLESS proven guilty.

Saying until implies guilt is just a matter of time.

10/01/2013 5:32 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, in the chain of command for launching nukes, its guilty until proven innocent. Sucks to be in that job and have a vice!

10/01/2013 6:37 PM

Anonymous toko sepatu grosir said...

nice bro..
i like your blog

10/02/2013 6:59 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The stories keep coming......

10/02/2013 8:06 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Off-topic: The Hunt for Red October author Tom Clancy is dead at 66.

After all those years and books, if there's any doubt on Tom's sensibilities check out the tie-tack he's wearing in this book signing photo.

Rest In Peace, Tom. Nicely done life.

10/02/2013 8:46 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yesterday's O-6...
"If Giardina knew the chips were counterfeits, etc. be prepared for even more lapses by other Navy leaders. Considering the corruption and duplicity at top levels of government, including Congress, why would the moral decay not flow downward?" - Vigilis

Today's O-6...
"The investigation has focused on an alleged scheme to swap classified ship information for luxury travel and prostitutes, and has led to the arrests of a former commanding officer of the USS Mustin, an NCIS agent and the head of Singapore-based defense contractor Glenn Defense Marine Asia, or GDMA..."

10/02/2013 9:35 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, the "Head Boomer Fag" got busted..Or...Uhhmm "Investigated"...?

Personally don't know him, but all of us have a vice or three.... but trying to rip off a casino?

Those pretty lights aren't there because they're a charity!!

10/02/2013 6:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another one of te Navy's finest

Sailor killed a mother and daughter

10/02/2013 7:27 PM

Anonymous His story, her story, the truth said...

Here the Admiral's "I'm innocent" post of the USS Alaska Facebook page:

"Timothy Giardina Hi guys, I miss the old days and remember you all. ORSE was E overall with 5 E's. Recall the A was in material because we couldn't operant one of the pump pairs during ORSE due to a material issue.

BONE story above is correct. I called it "basic operations for nuclear excellence" when asked by the NPRB!

Regarding the story, don't believe everything you read or hear regarding my situation; lots more to come out once they finish the ongoing investigation. i think it will all work out fine, but can't comment yet. If not, BONE for me, but I know I did nothing illegal Don't hesitate to contact me if you need anything. TG

September 29 at 9:02pm via mobile · Like · 7"

10/02/2013 9:50 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon @ 920:

Recommend you check out Sailorbob. Its a SWO-centric forum but has a few sub guys and a ton of lat transfers. They're all very helpful and happy to share their information.

10/02/2013 10:15 PM

Anonymous 3383 said...

"Anonymous" sock puppet at 10/02/2013 0935:

Your "Today's O-6" Singapore ply-officer-with-prostitutes story is over a week old by now.

I bet this method is great for proclaiming oneself as a precognitive.

10/02/2013 10:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aren't ORSE results classified? Or are Facebook groups open storage areas now?

10/03/2013 6:35 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

3383 (anon surface nuke sock puppet)

Were you ever really in the navy? Can you tell navy ranks? What rank was the officer in the earlier news?

What did the earlier story list as his undergrad school? See anything amiss, yet?

10/03/2013 11:18 AM

Anonymous 3383 said...

Vigilis, I'm laughing at you for anonymously promoting yourself. Pissing you off is a bonus.

10/05/2013 2:29 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is more shady and shitty? Chiefs or Officers!?!?!? Kinda hard to decide!

10/05/2013 9:36 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the masquerading lady passing herself off as (pick as many as you like: '3383', enlisted, surface nuke, ET) ...

You falsely claim Vig is pissed. You do not know him at all, which is fine with him. If I were you, I would be wondering how much he knows about you, basket lady. Bubblehead once remarked in an early TSSP, "I hope I never piss you [Vigilis] off." You may want to find out why, "3383".

Has Vig been ever tried to harm or libel TSSP? Vig's "Submarine Questions of the Week": 22 Sept 2013, included answers (4.a,b) highly complimentary of Joel Kennedy and his TSSP blog.

The truth has been, Vigilis sometimes covers topics days, weeks and even months ahead of TSSP. In the interest of any TSSP readers seeking more details, as some have, Vig or I might add a llnk to pertinent websites (not just Molten Eagle). Sorry, it is still a free country, lady.


10/05/2013 3:34 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Rex really Vaginis?

The world wonders...

10/05/2013 4:21 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I doubt very seriously that the world gives a shit

10/06/2013 8:01 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Must be nice to collect an O9 salary since July and be unable to work due to the investigation. Would love to hear any contrary opinions from the STRATCOM submariners.....

Great time to watch the corn grow in Neb and visit a (different) casino!

10/07/2013 5:41 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon @ 5:41

What you ask is tantamount to treason --- Anything you see here from a "STRATCOM submariner" will be anonymous, like you, unauthentic, unreliable, and uninformed. Else, I GUARANTEE you and the poster will be rendition candidates, my little f(r)iend.

TP 1195

10/07/2013 6:42 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rex and Vig are not one and the same as had been suggested by the same anon a few years ago.
A crew inquiry revealed they are listed as shipmates (neither has made a secret of their boat) and neighbors.

But, as an anon said, who gives a $hit?

10/07/2013 7:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

TP 1195 -

No shit, the posts from any Submariners (or any other branch) at stratcom would be anonymous.

As long as they don't reveal classified information, it isn't treason dumbass! It may be bad in bad taste, but not treason.

And how could it be uninformed? His boss (a 4 star) is the one who reportedly suspended him from all work requiring a security clearance. You don't say "I can do without a deputy (or XO) for 3 months without reason, and replacement

10/08/2013 5:49 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon @2120 looking for career advice - if you laterally transfer now it will be extremely difficult to make O-5. You cannot make it without a successful XO tour. The only way to do that and laterally transfer would be to sacrifice your shore tour and do a DH tour in your new community, then follow that with an XO tour. Otherwise - you won't be competitive for O-5 in time to make it and you will be shown the door.

As for this situation, I gather he got a good deal and didn't ask enough questions. Whether he knew, or should have known, remains to be seen.

10/09/2013 8:28 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

10/09/2013 4:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fired officially, reduced to 2 star... hmmm. His halo seems a bit tarnished...

Sorry guys another 1120 many believed in turns out to be human too...

10/09/2013 6:32 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's official, this doucher will be working behind the next jewlery counter in a mall near you soon!

Just think of all the sailors he looked right in the face and told them they were F'd up...

10/10/2013 8:41 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I served with Tim Giardina in the early 90s on the LANTFLT NPEB. He was running his jewelry business out of the office. Type of guy that you wanted to wash your hand after you shook his. I saw some personal behavior that I found very distasteful - no, not adultery, just the way he treated people that were of no consequence to him. Like his soon to be ex wife, waiters and waitresses, and others.

I don't know if he is guilty, but I was not surprised to see him in trouble, and the reason. There was always something egotistical and off about him. Defend him if you want, but he isn't being relieved for cause for being a stand up guy.

Tim Giardina loved himself some Tim Giardina. Jesus even look at his post on the Alaska someone quoted above.....about how great his ORSE was as ENG. Been 25 years dude - keep patting yourself on the back. I heard that story about a hundred times in the year give or take we worked together.

My sympathy meter is pegged low.

10/12/2013 8:11 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


10/13/2013 12:57 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always knew the anchor pool was rigged.

10/13/2013 8:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the casino story is just a means of removal

10/13/2013 9:32 PM

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10/26/2013 8:19 AM

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10/26/2013 4:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

From everything I have heard from sailors who have served with him in the past... he is a complete douche and it is entirely plausible that he is guilty of this idiotic crime. Even if it is not the case, most who have served with him have confirmed that he aggressively attempted to sell items such as diamonds to his subordinates. Additionally, most say that he aggressively tried to push his evangelical religious beliefs on others. Altogether, in my mind, pretty convincing evidence that he slipped through the cracks of promotion and got advanced based on his personality vice any actual substance. I am not saying that the Navy gets it wrong in general when it comes to promotions, but it certainly has a system that facilitates douchebags like giardina to rise through the ranks. I pray to his god that he gets demoted to E-1 with no retirement...

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