MARRIED NAVY COMMANDER FAKES DEATH
TO FOOL 23 YEAR-OLD PREGNANT "GAL PAL"
SUB SKIPPER MICHAEL WARD THE C. O.
OF USS PITTSBURGH EXACTLY ONE WEEK
BEFORE BEING RELIEVED OF COMMAND
"LOVER-BOY" OFFICER HAD BUDDY SEND
WOMAN HE MET ON INTERNET MESSAGE
HE'D BEEN "KILLED" DURING SPECIAL OPS
"It's always been my dream to command a submarine," Commander Michael Ward said when he became skipper of the fast-attack USS Pittsburgh earlier this month.
Now it's safe to say he's having one long "nightmare."
Not only has the officer been relieved of command in record time, he has an angry wife on his hands after word reached NCIS that Ward got a 23 year-old "gal pal" pregnant. Investigators say he met the woman on an Internet dating site, then "faked" his death to try and fool her into leaving him alone once he got her knocked up.
"WE TRIED EVERYTHING WE COULD TO SAVE HIM"
The unidentified female, a resident of Chesapeake, Va., told NCIS she received an e-mail from someone named "Bob," telling her Ward had been killed during "special operations."
The fraudulent message read in part: "I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but he (Ward) is gone. We tried everything we could to save him. I cannot say more. I'm sorry it has to be this way. He loved you very much."
If Ward thought he could get away with a bizarre stunt like that - MilitaryCorruption.com has learned he'd told his young lover he was "separated" from his wife and getting a divorce in order to get her in bed - it blew up in his face.
The grief-stricken woman soon discovered it was a lie, and called in the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
WARD'S 25-YEAR NAVAL CAREER NOW OVER
Captain Vernon Parks, commander of Submarine Development Squadron 12, pulled the trigger right away.
A Navy spokesperson said the captain fired Ward because he "lacked confidence" in the sub skipper's ability to command, based upon allegations of personal misconduct. "He has failed to uphold the Navy's high standards of behavior," Parks said.
Ward is the 13th commanding officer to be cashiered by the Navy so far this year.
The philandering skipper entered the service in 1987. It's a safe bet he is on his way out now. It's possible he may retire "in the last grade satisfactorily served in," which would mean the "three-striper" likely will go out the door as a lieutenant commander.
His seven-day tenure as C. O. of the Groton-based Pittsburgh may be some kind of new record. If any sailors out there know of a commander relieved in shorter time than that, please let us know. Thank you.