Two months after assuming command of the Navy’s Expeditionary Strike Group 2, Rear Adm. Erik M. Ross was fired Friday in connection to an “alleged off-duty incident,”
U.S. 2nd Fleet is preparing a probe into the allegations, which called into question the flag officer’s judgment, according to 2nd Fleet spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Ashley Hockycko.
Hockycko declined to elaborate further, citing the ongoing investigation.
Ross took command of the group on July 24. He didn’t return calls seeking comment Friday afternoon.
He’s been reassigned temporarily to 2nd Fleet staff pending the probe’s completion and the strike group’s chief of staff — Capt. Darren Nelson — has assumed command of the group until a permanent replacement is named, according to a Navy statement.
Until Friday, Ross commanded a strike group that oversaw 23 lower commands and amphibious ships, including more than 11,000 sailors and Marines responsible for conducting amphibious and expeditionary missions from the East Coast to the Mediterranean Sea.
A career surface warfare officer, Ross arrived at Expeditionary Strike Group 2 after a stint as the president of the Board of Inspection and Survey, according to his command biography.
Before that he commanded the amphibious assault ship Bataan from August 2011 to February 2013.
He also served on the staff of U.S. Pacific Command and directed the Surface Warfare Officers School’s Fleet and International Training Department.
Ross pinned on his first star in 2017.
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.