The commanding officer of an Ohio-based Navy recruiting unit was relieved of command Wednesday for reasons that remain unclear.

Cmdr. John Mullen was fired as head of Navy Talent Acquisition Group Ohio River Valley due to what a Navy press release called a “loss of confidence in his ability to command.”

That firing occurred following a command investigation, and Mullen is not facing additional civil or criminal charges, according to officials.

Mullen could not be reached for comment Thursday.

He has been reassigned to the Navy Reserve Center elsewhere in Columbus, Ohio, and the unit’s executive officer, Cmdr. Eric Moss, has assumed duties of the CO.

“Navy commanding officers are held to high standards of personal and professional conduct,” a release announcing Mullen’s firing states. “They are expected to uphold the highest standards of responsibility, reliability and leadership, and the Navy holds them accountable when they fall short of those standards.”

A U.S. Naval Academy graduate and naval flight officer, Mullen reported to the recruiting command in July 2020 and served as its executive officer prior to taking command, according to his online biography and Navy records.

Geoff is the editor of Navy Times, but he still loves writing stories. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at

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