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Germantown CO sacked for 'poor command climate'

Mar. 7, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
Leach
Leach ()
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The Navy fired the commanding officer of the Sasebo, Japan-based dock landing ship Germantown on Friday “due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command,” 7th Fleet said.

Cmdr. Jason Leach was relieved by Rear Adm. Hugh Wetherald, the head of 7th Fleet’s amphibious force, the release said.

“The relief was not related to a single incident but was the result of a poor command climate on board the ship and the commanding officer’s failure to use the good judgment expected of leaders in the Navy and uphold standards,” the 7th Fleet release said. “There are no plans for disciplinary action against Cmdr. Leach.”

Leach assumed command of Germantown last summer but his command was rocked by scandal earlier this year when the command master chief was relieved while the Navy investigated a sexual assault allegation.

Leach, a graduate of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, joined the Navy in 1995. According to his bio, he has served most of his career on board amphibious ships. He has served department head tours on board the dock landing ship Pearl Harbor as the engineering officer and the amphibious assault ship Boxer as the navigator. Leach had served on board the Germantown as the executive officer before taking command in June.

Early in his career he served a division officer on board the Spruance-class destroyer Merrill and the amphibious assault ship Belleau Wood.

His awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal with two gold stars and the Navy Achievement Medal with two gold stars. Leach has been reassigned to Expeditionary Strike Group 7 in Sasebo. Leach did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment Friday.

Capt. Marvin Thompson, the deputy commodore of Amphibious Squadron 11 who previously commanded dock landing ship Harpers Ferry, was named the acting skipper until a permanent relief was found.

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