The Navy fired the commanding officer of Destroyer Squadron 2 on Saturday, according to a brief statement from the sea service.

Capt. William Harkin became commodore of the unit nearly a year ago, on Feb. 17, 2023, according to the Navy.

Before that, he served as the squadron’s deputy commodore.

As with all announced commanding officer reliefs, the Navy statement announcing Harkin’s sacking contained no information regarding why he was fired.

Naval Surface Force Atlantic spokesman Lt. Cmdr. David Carter also declined further comment Saturday.

The East Coast-based destroyer squadron returned from deployment last month with the rest of the Gerald R. Ford carrier strike group.

Harkin has been temporarily reassigned to a SURFLANT staff position, and the Navy said “there is no impact to the command’s mission due to the relief.”

Capt. James Von St. Paul has assumed the duties as squadron commodore.

“Navy leaders are held to high standards of personal and professional conduct, both on and off duty,” the sea service said in its statement. “They are expected to uphold the highest standards of responsibility, reliability, and leadership, and the Navy holds them accountable.”

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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