Five US Navy officers are fired in the space of six days over a ‘loss of confidence’


The US Navy has dismissed five commanding officers in the span of less than one week, with the latest firing due to the officer’s ‘loss of confidence.’ 

Cmdr. Peter Lesaca, commanding officer of USS Preble guided-missile destroyer, was relieved from his duties ‘due to loss of confidence in his ability to command,’ according to a Navy statement released on Tuesday. 

‘Navy commanding officers are held to high standards of personal and professional conduct,’ the Navy said. ‘They are expected to uphold the highest standards of responsibility, reliability and leadership, and the Navy holds them accountable when they fall short of these standards.’

The Navy added that there is no impact to the command’s mission or schedule due to the string of firings. 

Cmdr. Peter Lesaca, commanding officer of USS Preble guided-missile destroyer, was relieved from his duties on June 14 ‘due to loss of confidence in his ability to command’

The Navy did not provide additional details as to why Lesaca was fired.

Capt. Larry Repass, deputy commodore, Destroyer Squadron 23, will assume the duties as commanding officer until the permanent and qualified relief arrives, the statement noted. 

The commander’s firing comes just three days after Capt. Jeffry Sandin, commanding officer of the Navy’s Recruit Training Command, was dismissed on June 11 ‘due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command.’

Capt. Kertreck Brooks, chief of staff of Naval Service Training Command, took over Sandin’s duties.

Capt. Jeffry Sandin, commanding officer of the Navy's Recruit Training Command, was dismissed on June 11 three days before Lesaca was fired

Capt. Jeffry Sandin, commanding officer of the Navy’s Recruit Training Command, was dismissed on June 11 three days before Lesaca was fired

And the day prior, on June 10, USS Bulkeley destroyer commanding officer Cmdr. Devine Johnson and Command Master Chief Earl Sanders were also both fired ‘due to a loss of confidence in their ability to effectively function as a command leadership team.’

Johnson served as the USS Bulkeley commanding officer since Aug. 20, 2021. 

Capt. William ‘Mac’ Harkin, currently Deputy Commodore, Destroyer Squadron Two will be temporarily assigned as commanding officer until a permanent relief is identified.

Sanders served as the Bulkeley command master chief since June 2021 and will be replaced by Master Chief Petty Officer Christy Reed.

 ‘There is no impact to the command’s mission or schedule due to this relief,’ the statement read.

On June 10, USS Bulkeley destroyer commanding officer Cmdr. Devine Johnson was  fired 'due to a loss of confidence in their ability to effectively function as a command leadership team'

On June 10, USS Bulkeley destroyer commanding officer Cmdr. Devine Johnson was  fired ‘due to a loss of confidence in their ability to effectively function as a command leadership team’

Command Master Chief Earl Sanders, who alongside Cmdr. Devine Johnson on the destroyer USS Bulkeley, was also fired from his position

Command Master Chief Earl Sanders, who alongside Cmdr. Devine Johnson on the destroyer USS Bulkeley, was also fired from his position 

The string of firings began with Cmdr. Matthew McCormick, head of Electronic Attack Squadron, who was relieved of his duties on June 8 ‘due to loss of confidence in his ability to command.’

McCormick, who had been commanding officer of VAQ-137 since September 2021, was temporarily reassigned to Electronic Attack Wing Pacific at Naval Station in  Whidbey Island, Wash.

Cmdr. Scott Maynes is currently serving as the acting commanding officer until a permanent replacement is assigned.

The string of firings began with Cmdr. Matthew McCormick, head of Electronic Attack Squadron, who was relieved of his duties on June 8

The string of firings began with Cmdr. Matthew McCormick, head of Electronic Attack Squadron, who was relieved of his duties on June 8

The Navy has not provided additional details as to why the officers were fired or why there were so many within a short span of time. 

Back in February, the US Navy issued a string of firings that relieved three commanding officers of their duties citing ‘a loss of confidence’ in the leaders’ abilities.

At the time, Navy spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Paul Newell said that while it’s unusual to relieve an entire triad at once, it’s not unheard of.

Back in February 2022, the US Navy issued a string of similar firings that relieved three commanding officers of their duties. Pictured: Captain Jeffrey Lengkeek, Commander Master Chief Matthew Turner and Commander Michael Jarosz

Back in February 2022, the US Navy issued a string of similar firings that relieved three commanding officers of their duties. Pictured: Captain Jeffrey Lengkeek, Commander Master Chief Matthew Turner and Commander Michael Jarosz

At the time, Navy spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Paul Newell said that while it's unusual to relieve an entire triad at once, it's not unheard of

At the time, Navy spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Paul Newell said that while it’s unusual to relieve an entire triad at once, it’s not unheard of 

‘It’s not unprecedented,’ he told DailyMail.com. ‘It’s happened before. Obviously, it’s not desirable but the Navy holds their leadership and triad members to the highest standards. That’s not changed.’ 

Commanding officer Captain Jeffrey Lengkeek – a Stanford-trained civil engineer who joined the Navy’s civil engineer corps in 1996 – was among the unit leaders let go February 3.

Also fired were executive officer Commander Michael Jarosz, and Commander Master Chief Matthew Turner.

The Navy began investigating the triad last December 15, but would not say what prompted the investigation, only that the men are not facing any criminal charges, he said.



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