The Navy on Monday relieved the executive officer of the fast attack submarine Jimmy Carter, due to what officials called “a loss of confidence in his personal judgment.”
“The Navy is investigating questions that have arisen with respect to Lt. Cmdr. (Jonathan) Cebik’s personal conduct," said Cmdr. Cindy Fields, the spokeswoman for Commander Submarine Forces Pacific, in a Tuesday email to Navy Times.
“The U.S. Navy holds its leaders, including executive officers, to very high standards and they are held accountable when those standards are not met,” she added. “Executive officers are entrusted with significant responsibilities to their sailors and their ships, and are expected to maintain the Navy’s high standards for leadership. They must demonstrate character and competence in their conduct at all times."
Citing the ongoing investigation, Fields declined to elaborate on what triggered Cebik’s relief.
After removing Cebik, Capt. Lincoln Reifsteck, the commander of Submarine Development Squadron 5 at Washington state’s Naval Base Kitsap - Bangor, administratively assigned him to his command, Fields added.
Reifsteck oversees the maintenance and operation of assigned submarines, submersibles and Ocean Engineering systems while developing the next generation of underwater weapons.
Fields said that Lt. Cmdr. Robert Osborne will assume duties as the XO of the Jimmy Carter, the third, last and most advanced of the stealthy Seawolf class of submarines.
Attempts by Navy Times to reach Cebik, 35, by telephone, email and social media accounts were unsuccessful.
According to his official Facebook page, U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney presided over a Sept. 7, 2016, ceremony that promoted Cebik to lieutenant commander, shortly before the officer left for a stint at the Pentagon’s Undersea Warfare division.
Calling Cebik “an incredible asset,” Courtney praised the Connecticut native who graduated from the University of Connecticut for his work as a Navy Legislative Fellow in the lawmaker’s Washington, D.C., office.
At the time, Courtney, a Democrat, was the ranking member of the powerful House Armed Services Committee’s Seapower subcommittee.
Cebik’s military records reveal that he reported to the Jimmy Carter on April 30, 2018, shortly after studying at the Naval Leadership and Ethics Center in Newport, Rhode Island, and the Naval Submarine Training Center Pacific at Pearl Harbor.
He previously served on board the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine Nevada and the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine Pasadena.
His decorations include the SSBN Deterrent Patrol Insignia, three Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.
Cebik’s relief was the third triad removal announced on Tuesday by the Pentagon.
Superiors fired Capt. Tadd Gorman as the commanding officer of the guided-missile cruiser Antietam, while the XO of the guided-missile destroyer McCampbell — Lt. Cmdr. Randall Clemons — also was relieved and reassigned to other duties.
Prine came to Navy Times after stints at the San Diego Union-Tribune and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He served in the Marine Corps and the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. His awards include the Joseph Galloway Award for Distinguished Reporting on the military, a first prize from Investigative Reporters & Editors and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
Geoff is a senior staff reporter for Military Times, focusing on the Navy. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was most recently a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.