ANOTHER SUB SKIPPER GETS THE BOOT
CMDR CHARLES MAHER RELIEVED IN WAKE
OF NAVY PROBE INTO SOME CREW "CHEATING"
ON TRAINING EXAMS - NOTRE DAME GRADUATE
REASSIGNED TO DESK DUTIES AT GROTON
© 2010 MilitaryCorruption.com
Yet another submarine skipper has been relieved of command (see "related stories box" below).
This time, it's CMDR Charles Maher, captain of the USS Memphis. The cashiered naval officer was XO of the USS Tucson (SSN-770) prior to assuming command of the Memphis in January of this year.
Maher was fired in the wake of an investigation into misconduct by at least ten members of the sub's crew. They are suspected of cheating on training exams. The skipper wasn't directly involved in any of this, sources tell us, but as commander of the boat, his head was on the chopping block.
NAVY "HARSH" IN STATEMENT ANNOUNCING
FIRING OF NON-ACADEMY SUB COMMANDER
"He's a Notre Dame graduate," said a master chief at Groton. "I wonder if they would have been so quick to relieve him if he had an Academy ring on his pinky?"
It does seem more non-Academy grads have their careers ended than ring-knockers from Annapolis, but we haven't seen absolute proof there is a bias in this direction.
The Navy was harsh in it's "official" statement on the case. Besides the usual boilerplate about Maher being sacked because his boss - Capt. William Merz, commander of Submarine Development Squadron 2 - had "lost confidence" in Maher's ability to lead, the news release went on to accuse the skipper of "fostering an environment which failed to uphold the high standards of integrity of the submarine force."
It's that particular zinger that makes one wonder if someone high up had it out for Maher. If crew members were cheating on his watch, the system dictates he takes the fall. But there have been similar cases in the past when USNA graduate commanding officers received lesser punishment. Deliberate policy, or just a coincidence? You be the judge.
At any rate, it's too late to save Maher. He's been reassigned to desk duty in Groton until he can be processed out. His career is over. Capt. Carl Lahti, deputy commander of Squadron 2, is now in command of the Memphis.