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Submarine CO fired for alleged misconduct

Aug. 12, 2012 - 05:04PM   |   Last Updated: Aug. 12, 2012 - 05:04PM  |  
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The commanding officer of a Groton, Conn.-based attack submarine was fired Friday for "allegations of personal misconduct," Submarine Group 2 said in a Sunday news release.

Cmdr. Michael Ward, CO of Los Angeles-class submarine Pittsburgh, was fired by Capt. Vernon Parks, commander of Submarine Development Squadron 12, SUBGRU 2 spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg said.

Cragg, citing an ongoing investigation, declined to comment on the nature of the alleged misconduct.

It was a short end to Ward's stint in command. He had only taken charge of the crew a week before. He was temporarily relieved by Cmdr. Michael Savageaux, the officer Ward relieved on Aug. 3.

Ward is the Navy's 13th commanding officer fired this year and the fifth the Navy said was fired for misbehavior. The Navy said that Ward had fallen short of the mark and that the penalty was swift.

"Our Navy has a very clear and unambiguous standard regarding the character of our commanding officers, spelled out in the Charge of Command," Parks said, referring to a memo issued last year reiterating the responsibilities of command. "I reviewed this charge with Cmdr. Ward before he assumed command. He understood the Navy's high standards for command leadership and he failed to uphold them."

A 23-year-old woman told Connecticut newspaper The Day that she had an affair with Ward, who is a married. The woman, a Virginian who asked for anonymity from the newspaper, said Ward had gotten her pregnant and then attempted to break off the relationship by sending her an email, supposedly from one of his "special ops" buddies, that reported Ward had been killed.

The woman showed up at Ward's house in Virginia to relay her condolences. But the new owner said Ward was alive and well: He had moved to Connecticut to command the Pittsburgh.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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