Senior Navy officials are navigating uncharted waters as they progress through the ongoing investigation of now former Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (SG/IW) Steven Giordano, who officially tendered his resignation on June 21.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson already announced that Fleet Master Chief Russell Smith will temporarily assume the role of MCPON until an official successor is found.
Smith is currently the senior enlisted leader to the chief of naval personnel, a job he’s held since January 2017.
“Master Chief Smith is an established leader and I thank him for accepting these important temporary duties until I select a new MCPON,” said Richardson. “He will represent our sailors and families well.”
And as for Giordano, those same officials said that though he quit, he’s not off the hook yet.
“The investigation will continue but is not yet complete,” said Capt. Darryn James, spokesman for Richardson.
“The Navy is currently investigating claims that he created a hostile work environment — that investigation will continue, and until it is complete, it is not appropriate to speculate about outcomes.”
The lack of speculation includes any prediction as to when the investigation will wrap up or what happens after that.
“The Navy takes all allegations of wrongdoing seriously,” James said. “As in all investigations, the Navy will safeguard the rights of any complainant and protect the procedural rights of all parties.”
Navy officials said there’s commitment from Navy leadership to consider appropriate action, if necessary.
As for when Giordano will actually retire, a lot depends on the outcome of the investigation, officials said, and he’s still got paperwork to do.
“Master Chief Giordano requested to step down from his current duties,” James said. “His reasons were clearly stated in his letter. The chief of naval operations accepted his request, effective immediately. The Navy is awaiting receipt of Master Chief Giordano’s formal retirement request.”
Giordano is still on leave and will remain so, James said. For now, he’s administratively assigned to the office of the chief of naval personnel.