The commanders of a Navy battalion deployed to Japan was fired Sunday after the executive officer was found drunk and walking naked and only wearing boots in the woods, according to news reports Wednesday.
"Trust is the foundation for everything we do as military professionals, and we expect our service members to conduct themselves with the integrity and character to justify that trust," Cmdr. Cate Cook, spokeswoman for Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, told The Navy Times.
"When there are any indications that those values are not being followed, we conduct appropriate investigations and take action as necessary."
Lt. Cmdr. Jason Gabbard, the executive officer of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 4, was dismissed after he was found wandering in the woods after a gathering for chiefs and officers, according to Navy officials.
In addition, the battalion's commanding officer, Cmdr. James Cho, and Command Master Chief Jason Holden were also fired for allegedly trying to cover up the incident, a source told The Times.
The battalion has been in Okinawa since Oct. 14, when it assumed duties as the Western Pacific Naval Construction Force.
Cho, Gabbard and Holden have been temporarily assigned to Naval Construction Group One in California, Cook told the Times.
Capt. Nick Yamodis assumed temporary duties as the battalion's commanding officer until a permanent replacement is put in place, she said.
According to the report, dismissing the full leadership command of a Navy battalion is rare.
It last occurred in August, when the leadership of the USS Fitzgerald was fired after the June collision with a Philippine container ship that killed seven sailors, according to news reports.
In 2014, the command of the destroyer James E. Williams was fired because of a poor command climate report and investigation.
This battalion, known as NMCB-4, is a land-based operation that specializes in construction projects under austere and dangerous conditions, the Times reports.
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