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Navy: Harassment behind Beach Group Two firing

Jun. 1, 2012 - 01:02PM   |   Last Updated: Jun. 1, 2012 - 01:02PM  |  
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The chief of staff of Naval Beach Group Two was fired for "misconduct" after an investigation determined he was sexually harassing a woman in his command, Naval Surface Forces Atlantic said.

Rear. Adm. David Thomas, SURFLANT's commander, relieved Chief Staff Officer Cmdr. Christopher Polk on Thursday.

A SURFLANT spokesman said the command's inspector general received a complaint April 12. A Navy statement said an investigation later determined that "Polk had sexually harassed female members of his command," and he received non-judicial punishment. He was found to have violated three sections of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, including Article 92 for committing sexual harassment, Article 113 for conduct unbecoming an officer and Article 134 for using indecent language, the statement said.

Polk was temporarily reassigned to the staff of Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group Two. An officer from Beach Group Two has filled his role, but SURFLANT declined to identify the sailor.

The chief staff officer is effectively the equivalent to an executive officer in this command structure. The command is based at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story.

It's the second firing within the Naval Beach Group Two chain of command in the last year. On Aug. 5, Cmdr. Robert M. Brown was">relieved of command of Beachmaster Unit Two, a command that Naval Beach Group Two oversees. An investigation determined that Brown made sailors in his work at his family reunion and misused government resources. In one instance he allowed family members to drive government vehicles.

Polk is from Batesville, Miss., and received his commission in 1990 through Officer Candidate School. He served on the frigate Francis Hammond, the carrier Carl Vinson and several amphibious ships, including Essex. He has earned the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal four times.

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