COMMAND MASTER CHIEF ON DDG-58 FIRED
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There's no question CMC (SW/AW/IDW/NAC) James Roberts was a tough boss, who - according to investigators - created a "toxic work environment" aboard the guided-missile destroyer Laboon.
Besides "belittling" and "demeaning" certain sailors on the Norfolk home-ported DDG-58, we are told the Texas native also "mouthed off" to the ship's executive officer. That was the final straw that got Roberts fired and will likely end his long Navy career The command master chief would be well-advised to get to work on putting in his retirement papers.
Sources say the 25-year Navy vet was "verbally abusive up-and-down the chain-of-command." It was the open disrespect shown a Naval officer by the top-ranking enlisted sailor aboard the tin-can that got Roberts in big trouble.
He was fired by CAPT Derek Granger, Commodore of Destroyer Squadron 22, who said "Based on findings from an investigation into allegations, Roberts fostered a toxic work environment and failed to follow Navy regulations." The four-striper also condemned the CMC for "over-stepping his authority."
We know there are some old Navy salts out there who read us and would give a master chief plenty of slack on how he treats his crew, but even they would blanch at some of the antics Roberts was accused of. Smart-mouthing the ship's XO in front of sailors sealed the master chief's fate.
Roberts had been on the Laboon since Sept. of 2014. No replacement has been named as of press time.
A graduate of the Senior Enlisted Academy, Roberts served aboard the amphibious command ship Blue Ridge and destroyer Arleigh Burke before transferring to the Laboon. He entered the Navy as a radioman in 1991.