The commanding officer of the Marine Corps Engineer School was fired June 6 after officials determined that the command climate wasn’t just toxic, it was dangerous.

Col. Daniel P. O’Hora was fired by Training Command leader Brig. Gen. Jason Bohm for a “loss of trust and confidence in his ability to serve in command.” An investigation found O’Hora acted extremely unprofessionally toward his subordinates, but he did not commit hazing.

“I have never seen or heard of a Marine Corps command so broken and climate so hostile, the mental health of the members is at a dangerous level and if unchanged could result in heightened incidents to loss of life,” an undated memo from the Equal Opportunity Office to the commander of Training Command included in the investigation says. “Immediate intervention is needed to heal the command and return it to its once glory.”

A redacted copy of the command investigation into issues that the Equal Opportunity Office found at the school from May 31 to June 2 was obtained by Marine Corps Times through a Freedom of Information Act request.

“Through personal interviews with the Investigating Officer, just about everyone interviewed thought the CO, MCES [Marine Corps Engineer School] belittled, demeaned or showed displeasure to some members of his staff either through comments, or minor physical actions, such as throwing a pen or papers on to a desk or table,” the investigation found.

“While the CO, MCES created a toxic command climate through extremely unprofessional behavior and utilizing excessive meetings and reporting requirements ultimately causing working stagnation, he did not haze, harass, or threaten his staff verbally or through shows of force, and no further investigation should be pursued.”

O’Hora declined to comment on Monday about the investigation’s findings. His official rebuttal was not included in the FOIA response.

Witnesses told the investigator that O’Hora had a volatile temper and was likely to lash out at subordinates for no reason.

“He was like an abusive spouse,” one person told the investigator. “Seemed like he didn’t realize there were other tasks besides feeding him info.”

At least two people interviewed for the command investigation said the engineer school was the worst command they had ever served in. Another one told the investigating officer, “Every day I came to work was the day I was going to be fired.”

The Equal Opportunity Office found that O’Hora had destroyed unit cohesion and micromanaged all activities, such as signing their access rosters, because he placed no trust in his subordinates.

Above all, O’Hora was determined to find out who in his command had said negative things about him in a November 2016 command climate survey, to which one anonymous person responded: “My commanding officer has done an outstanding job of accomplishing the exact opposite of establishing an environment that promotes mutual trust and respect in an extremely impressive short period of time,” the investigation found.

Witnesses said that O’Hora held a town hall with his Marines where he claimed he could not be the source of all the problems cited in the command climate survey.

During the town hall, O’Hora asked why he wasn’t reaching Marines, the investigation found. One person stood and said the colonel was “too analytical.” O’Hora responded by saying that anyone who could not follow the unit’s campaign plan would be weeded out, and then he turned to the Marine who spoke up and said, “Is that too analytical for you?”

In an official complaint, one of O’Hora’s subordinates said that the colonel had “paralyzed the Command with analysis and research projects” that bear no fruit, according to the investigation.

Rather than providing constructive feedback, O’Hora would try to find problems in the analysis that required more research, said the director of instruction, whose name was redacted. O’Hora also excessively ordered documents to be revised, so they eventually were signed several months late.

O’Hora’s mood was so unpredictable that everyone in the command felt like they were walking on eggshells when around him, the subordinate said.

“His mood and attitude fluctuate so often and without any apparent cause,” the subordinate wrote. “When his mood or behavior can be linked to a cause, his response is irrationally severe.”

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