Cmdr. Ray Hartman, left, was relieved as the skipper of the amphib Fort McHenry. Capt. Ted Williams was relieved as commander of the Mount Whitney. ()
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Two commanding officers have been fired for misconduct in unrelated incidents, the Navy announced Monday.
Capt. Ted Williams, CO of the amphibious command ship Mount Whitney, and Cmdr. Ray Hartman, CO of the amphibious dock-landing ship Fort McHenry, were both fired by 6th Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Frank Pandolfe.
Williams was temporarily reassigned to 6th Fleet staff and Capt. Craig Clapperton took command of the Gaeta, Italy-based ship.
Hartman was sent to Destroyer Squadron 60 staff and Cmdr. Eric Kellum assumed command of the Little Creek, Va.-based LSD.
In both instances, 6th Fleet cited "allegations of misconduct" as the reason for the firings, but did not elaborate on the nature of the accusations.
Williams and Hartman make the 23rd and 24th COs fired this year, breaking last year's total of 22.
Both COs were weeks away from scheduled change of commands. Williams was set to be relieved on Dec. 6, while Hartman was scheduled for Dec. 12. Officially, the Navy said they were both relieved via "accelerated change of command."
The CO firings come on the heels of retired Army Gen. David Petraeus' resignation from the CIA after an admitted extramarital affair. Petreaeus' admission as put a spotlight on alleged misconduct among the military brass.
For Williams, the firing is a blemish on a highlight-filled career. A 1987 Naval Academy graduate, he qualified to fly the EA-6B Prowler. He was later awarded the CDR Louis "Seadog" Fodor Memorial Award for outstanding junior officer leadership in the Prowler community. He took command of Electronic Attack Squadron 131, "the Lancers" in May 2005 and was awarded the Battle "E" and the Admiral Arthur W. Radford Award. He later became executive officer of the carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower during two combat deployments. Capt. Robert Gamberg followed Williams as Ike's XO, but was later fired for an improper relationship. Williams briefly returned to the carrier before receiving command of the Mount Whitney in September 2011.
Hartman, meanwhile, has already dealt with misconduct on the McHenry. In December 2011 he fired Command Master Chief (SW) Donald Darcy over allegations of misconduct.