Rear Adm. Rick Wilson’s recent firing continues a growing trend of admirals targeted and removed for inappropriate behavior.
Here are five admirals turfed during the Obama administration:
- Viewing pornography at work
Wilson, a one-star commanding officer of the carrier strike group belonging to the Pacific Fleet, is the most recent high-ranking military official added to the list of admirals fired for inappropriate behavior. Vice Adm. Nora Tyson made the decision to fire Wilson Jan. 8 for viewing pornography on a government computer. Officials became aware of the material after conducting a routine inspection.
This is a clear violation of Navy regulations. An ongoing investigation determined that his viewing of pornographic material was not just an accident. For now, Capt. Chris Barnes will temporarily take his place.
- Drunk and stumbling around a hotel completely naked
Back in October 2015, then-Rear Adm. David Baucom, who at the time served as director of Strategy, Policy, Capabilities, and Logistics at U.S. Transportation Command, was fired for being so unbelievably drunk at a conference in April that a hotel employee had to help him walk back to his room. But the night’s shenanigans didn’t end there. Baucom left his hotel room and started wandering the halls completely naked looking for a towel to cover up. Security footage showed him thwacking his head against a barstool. He downed at least eight drinks that night and blamed his activities on accidentally mixing drinks with prescription drugs.
“We determined that RADM Baucom’s level of intoxication and his public nudity are of such a nature that they dishonored or disgraced him personally and seriously compromised his standing as an office,” investigators noted in the report.
- Using counterfeit chips to gamble at a casino
President Barack Obama fired Vice Adm. Timothy Giardina in October 2013, citing a “loss of confidence,” which occurred following a criminal investigation to determine whether Giardina had used counterfeit chips at a casino. The criminal investigation began after authorities in Iowa contacted the Navy. Apparently, Giardina had used “a significant monetary amount” of fake gambling chips in a poker game at the Horseshoe Council Bluffs Casino in Iowa. This is a Class D felony in the state. He confessed to The Associated Press that he did in fact use the fake chips. Records indicate that investigators found Giardina’s DNA on one of the fake chips.
- Swearing at lieutenants and saying black admirals were promoted because of race
Rear Adm. Charles M. Gaouette, formerly head of Carrier Strike Group Three, was fired in 2012 for spouting profanity in public and making racially offensive comments. Gaouette reportedly told Capt. Ronald Resis he believed the presence of black officers was lowering the quality of the Navy. He was also viewed as overly abrasive and regularly swore at subordinates.
No criminal charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice were involved, following the Naval inspector general’s five-month-long investigation.
- Allowing videos to be made of sexually inappropriate behavior
Rear Adm. Ron Horton was fired in 2011 after serving as commander of Logistics Group Western Pacific. An investigation determined the admiral, based in Singapore, could have stopped the “XO Movie Night” which played on board the Enterprise, a carrier he commanded at the time. It consisted of various videos showing sexually inappropriate content, namely simulated masturbation and topless women, as well as sailors swearing profusely.
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