SECNAV Issues Letters of Censure

13 June 2022
WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Carlos Del Toro issued Secretarial Letters of Censure (SLOC) to three U.S. Marine Corps officers and two U.S. Navy officers who were in leadership roles during the Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) tragedy on July 30, 2020, which resulted in the death of eight Marines and one Sailor.

“When leaders’ actions or inactions result in the loss of life or capital resources, the senior leadership of the Department of the Navy has a responsibility to determine the root cause and hold those accountable,” Del Toro said in a message sent to the Department of the Navy on June 2. “Following a thorough review of the command investigations into the AAV sinking, these officers received SLOCs due to their inadequate leadership and execution of their oversight duties.”

Letters of Censure were issued to:

  • Retired Lt. Gen. Joseph Osterman, United States Marine Corps – Commanding General, I Marine Expeditionary Force (CG, I MEF).
  • Col. Christopher Bronzi, United States Marine Corps – Commanding Officer of 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
  • Capt. Stewart Bateshansky, United States Navy – Commander, Amphibious Task Force (CATF).
  • Capt. John Kurtz, United States Navy – Commanding Officer of USS Somerset (LPD 25).
  • Lt. Col. Keith Brenize, United States Marine Corps – Commanding Officer of 3d Assault Amphibian Battalion.

See the SLOCs in the Navy FOIA reading room at the link below.


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