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Beachmaster CO fired over ethics allegations

Aug. 5, 2011 - 10:19AM   |   Last Updated: Aug. 5, 2011 - 10:19AM  |  
Cmdr. Robert M. Brown has been relieved as commander of Beachmaster Unit 2, based at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Va.
Cmdr. Robert M. Brown has been relieved as commander of Beachmaster Unit 2, based at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Va. (Navy)
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The Navy fired its 16th commanding officer of 2011 Friday over allegations of ethics violations uncovered during an ongoing investigation into misuse of government resources.

A total of 17 COs were fired in all of 2010.

Rear Adm. Dave Thomas, commander of Naval Surface Force Atlantic, relieved Cmdr. Robert M. Brown as commander of Beachmaster Unit 2, based at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Va., during an investigation into allegations of various ethics violations to include misuse of government resources and the improper disposal of government equipment.

SURFLANT spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Bill Urban declined to characterize the misuse and impropriety or describe the length of time the alleged improper activity had been taking place, saying it would inappropriate to do so before the investigation is complete. But he said Thomas had heard enough to go ahead and fire Brown, and indicated further discipline could be warranted.

"The allegations of misuse of government resources and the improper disposal of government equipment were severe enough to warrant immediate relief due to loss of confidence in Brown's ability to command prior to completion of the investigation," Urban said. "The investigation will continue. Upon completion of the report, a careful review will be conducted to determine if any additional accountability actions are warranted."

Urban declined to say whether others may have been involved in Brown's alleged activities. "The investigation is ongoing," he said. "And these details will be examined as it progresses."

Brown enlisted in 1985 and was commissioned through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps in May 1992, according to Navy Personnel Command. He's been reassigned to administrative duties at Navy Beach Group 2, Urban said.

Thomas named Capt. Michael Ott, prospective commanding officer of Assault Craft Unit 4, to command Beachmaster Unit 2 until the investigation is complete. Urban said Ott will remain on track to command ACU 4.

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