Navy one-star admiral fired amid pending investigation into off-duty incident

news
Rear Adm. Erik Ross, Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV), speaks to Sailors and inspectors during a brief aboard USS Cole in December 2017. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Jen Blake)

Navy Rear Adm. Erik Ross was fired as commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 2 on Friday as 2nd Fleet plans to launch an investigation into "an alleged off-duty incident calling into question his judgment," a fleet spokeswoman said.

"Beyond that it would be inappropriate to discuss any details until completion of the investigation," said Lt. Cmdr. Ashley Hockycko. "Due to the ongoing nature of investigations, it would be inappropriate to speculate on any charges at this time."


A 1988 graduate of Cornell University, Ross is a surface warfare officer who commanded the dock landing ship USS Whidbey Island from February 2006 to August 2007, and the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan from August 2011 to February 2013, according to his Navy biography.

His first assignment as a flag officer was serving as president of the Board of Inspection and Survey from June 2017 to May 2019. Ships are required to pass INSURV inspections to make sure they meet Navy standards.

Ross has been temporarily reassigned to 2nd Fleet pending the completion of the investigation, a fleet news release says. Capt. Darren Nelson has temporarily assumed command of Expeditionary Strike Group 2 until a permanent replacement can be found.

Friday's announcement could signal that the Navy is once again announcing when senior leaders are relieved of command, which had been a longstanding tradition until former Chief of Naval Operations John Richardson's tenure. Richardson retired in August and was replaced by current Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday told North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to "act quickly" to reach a deal with the United States, in a tweet weighing in on North Korea's criticism of his political rival former Vice President Joe Biden.

Trump, who has met Kim three times since 2018 over ending the North's missile and nuclear programs, addressed Kim directly, referring to the one-party state's ruler as "Mr. Chairman".

In his tweet, Trump told Kim, "You should act quickly, get the deal done," and hinted at a further meeting, signing off "See you soon!"

Read More Show Less

It is impossible to tune out news about the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump now that the hearings have become public. And this means that cable news networks and Congress are happier than pigs in manure: this story will dominate the news for the foreseeable future unless Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt get back together.

But the wall-to-wall coverage of impeachment mania has also created a news desert. To those of you who would rather emigrate to North Korea than watch one more lawmaker grandstand for the cameras, I humbly offer you an oasis of news that has absolutely nothing to do with Washington intrigue.

Read More Show Less

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will return three captured naval ships to Ukraine on Monday and is moving them to a handover location agreed with Kiev, Crimea's border guard service was cited as saying by Russian news agencies on Sunday.

A Reuters reporter in Crimea, which Russian annexed from Ukraine in 2014, earlier on Sunday saw coastguard boats pulling the three vessels through the Kerch Strait toward the Black Sea where they could potentially be handed over to Ukraine.

Read More Show Less

There's a joke that Joey Jones likes to use when he feels the need to ease the tension in a room or in his own head.

To calm himself down, he uses it to remind himself of the obstacles he's had to overcome. When he faces challenges today — big or small — it brings him back to a time when the stakes were higher.

Jones will feel out a room before using the line. For nearly a decade, Jones, 33, has told his story to thousands of people, given motivational speeches to NFL teams and acted alongside a three-time Academy Award-winning actor.

On Tuesday afternoon, he stood at the front of a classroom at his alma mater, Southeast Whitfield High School in Georgia. The room was crowded with about 30 honor students.

It took about 20 minutes, but Jones started to get more comfortable as the room warmed up to him. A student asked about how he deals with post-traumatic stress disorder.

"I believe in post-traumatic growth," Jones said. "That means you go through tough and difficult situations and on the back end through recovery, you learn strength."

Read More Show Less

It didn't take long for a central theme to emerge at the funeral of U.S. Marine Pfc. Joseph Livermore, an event attended by hundreds of area residents Friday at Union Cemetery in Bakersfield.

It's a theme that stems from a widespread local belief that the men and women who have served in the nation's armed forces are held in particularly high esteem here in the southern valley.

"In Bakersfield and Kern County, we celebrate our veterans like no place else on Earth," Bakersfield Chief of Police Lyle Martin told the gathering of mourners.

Read More Show Less