SUICIDE, ALCOHOL ABUSE, LACK OF DISCIPLINE
© 2014 MilitaryCorruption.com
"This unit is out of control," a member of Coastal Riverine Squadron 2 told investigators from the NCIS.
That is putting it mildly. The Portsmouth, Va.-based Navy outfit is in absolute turmoil.
In the past year, there have been three suicides, numerous charges brought against a chief master-at-arms, and such disorder in the command, that morale is almost nonexistent.
THE PAIN BEGAN IN ROTA, SPAIN
The troubles started last year in Rota, Spain when drunken sailors on liberty in Sigonella claim Chief Master-at-Arms Thomas Lillis violated their rights by allegedly denying them food, water and bathroom breaks for up to 11 hours while the men were on deployment.
Lillis is also accused of allegedly "impeding the (whistleblower-instigated) investigation, shredding the sailors' statements and rights advisement forms and denying them access to a lawyer," Navy TIMES reported.
If he wasn't already in enough trouble, Chief Lillis has been implicated in separate incidents where he is accused of being drunk on duty and pointing a rifle at an unarmed civilian while assigned to the high speed vessel Swift.
SHOT HIMSELF IN THE HEAD
The late MA1 (SW/AW) Douglas Spiewak is said to have enthusiastically assisted Lillis in his so-called "abuse" of the sailors, and landed in the frying pan right alongside the chief master-at-arms.
On Dec. 2, 2013, the father of three was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The Navy dropped charges against him, and since the PO1 was not convicted of misconduct, his family received full survivor benefits.
Spiewak was the unit's third suicide in a year.
Besides the NIS investigation, the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command conducted a "Command Climate Investigation." MilitaryCorruption.com hasn't been able to get its hands on the results of that yet.
As for Lillis, the 38 year-old chief, who is also charged with verbally abusing a subordinate sailor in another incident, is slated to be court-martialed later this month.