SECNAV Issues Letters of Censure to Fitzgerald Officers


Story Number: NNS190410-11Release Date: 4/10/2019 10:47:00 PM
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From the Office of the Navy Chief of Information

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NNS) -- At the recommendation of Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer has issued a Secretarial Letter of Censure to USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) former commanding officer Cmdr. Bryce Benson and former crew member Lt. Natalie Combs.

This decision is in the best interest of the Navy, the families of the Fitzgerald Sailors, and the procedural rights of the accused officers.  Both officers were previously dismissed from their jobs and received non-judicial punishment.

The comprehensive program to improve Navy readiness and training, to do everything possible to ensure that accidents like this will not recur, remains on track.   The Navy continues to strive to achieve and maintain a climate of operational excellence.

Richardson also withdrew and dismissed charges in the general courts-martial against the two officers.

The Navy will always keep the lost Sailors and their families in its thoughts and prayers.

To read each officer's Letter of Censure, click on name of each servicemember. 

(Editor's Note: This release has been edited and updated with links.)

 
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Official seal of the Department of the Navy.

Official seal of the Department of the Navy.

Note: 18 United States Code, Part 1, Chapter 47, Section 1017, prohibits the use of this Department of the Navy seal by anyone other than bona fide commands and activities of the Department of the Navy and the Department of Defense where appropriate.

Secretary of the Navy Instruction 5030.4A of 17 March 1986 restricts the use of this Department of the Navy seal to official use only and to the exclusive use of the Department of the Navy and the Department of Defense.

January 6, 2003
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