Home News Seabee unit XO found wandering naked in woods, command team fired

Seabee unit XO found wandering naked in woods, command team fired

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The entire command leadership of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 4 (Cmdr. James J. Cho, left, Lt. Cmdr. Jason M. Gabbard, center, Command Master Chief Jason K. Holden) was relieved Feb. 11. (Navy)

A curious case of a nude executive officer wandering aimlessly through the woods in Okinawa has led to the entire command triad of a Seabee unit being relieved.

Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 4 XO Lieutenant Commander Jason M. Gabbard was found roaming the woods wearing only his boots following a command gathering at Camp Shields.

In the aftermath of the incident, Commander James J. Cho and Command Master Chief (SCW/EXW) Jason K. Holden were relieved in addition to Gabbard, as the duo attempted to cover up the incident.

According to the Navy Times, the firing of a command triad is very rare, though a few examples have occured in recent years- including the 2014 firing of a the USS James E. Williams, due to poor command climate and a subsequent investigation.

As far as the Seabees are concerned, Captain Nick Yamodis will assume temporary command until a new commander can be chosen for NMCB-4.

“Trust is the foundation for everything we do as military professionals, and we expect our service members to conduct themselves with the integrity and character to justify that trust,” said Navy Expeditionary Combat Command spokeswoman Commander Cate Cook. “When there are any indications that those values are not being followed, we conduct appropriate investigations and take action as necessary.”

Gabbard joined the Navy in 1998 and was an enlisted man before going to the US Naval Academy in 1999. He was appointed the XO of NMCB-4 in 2017- until he was found wandering naked through the woods, that is.

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