Quantico Marine leader fired after investigation into 'personal misbehavior'

Col. John Atkinson, right, with Col. Todd Oneto. Photo: Cpl. Timothy Turner/U.S. Marine Corps

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

A Virginia-based Marine colonel was fired Thursday -- becoming at least the second Marine commanding officer to be sacked this week -- over an investigation into personal misconduct, Military.com has learned.

Col. John Atkinson, the former commanding officer of Headquarters and Service Battalion in Quantico, Virginia, was relieved "due to loss of trust and confidence in his ability to command," said Maj. Simba Chigwida, a spokesman for Marine Corps Installations Command.

The decision was made by Maj. Gen. Vincent Coglianese, head of Marine Corps Installations Command, Chigwida said. The circumstances surrounding the relief are currently under investigation, but a Marine official with knowledge of the case said it involved "personal misbehavior."

No additional details about the circumstances have been released as the investigation continues.

Atkinson is at least the second Marine commanding officer to be relieved by a general this week. On Monday, Lt. Col. James Compton was removed from his job as commander of Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242 in Japan. That squadron was involved in a deadly December midair collision off the coast Japan.

Atkinson has been temporarily assigned to a role at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Chigwida said. Lt. Col. Eugene Nagy, the battalion's executive officer, has been temporarily assigned as the acting commanding officer, he added.

Atkinson has led Headquarters and Service Battalion since June 2017. The assault amphibian officer deployed to Iraq twice and previously served in multiple roles with Headquarters Marine Corps, including as director of fires and maneuver integration with Combat Development and Integration at Quantico.

This article originally appeared on Military.com

More articles from Military.com:

SEE ALSO: Almost every US metric for the war in Afghanistan 'is now classified or nonexistent,' so obviously things are going swimmingly

WATCH NEXT: Fast Marines - Deployment Training

The Pentagon has identified the two soldiers were killed in combat in Afghanistan on Wednesday as members of U.S. Army Special Forces.

Master Sgt. Luis F. DeLeon-Figueroa, 31, and Master Sgt. Jose J. Gonzalez, 35, both died in Faryab Province from wounds sustained from small arms fire, the Pentagon said in a press release. The incident is under investigation.

Read More Show Less

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted on Thursday of possible Israeli involvement in attacks against Iranian-linked targets in Iraq.

A series of blasts in the past few weeks have hit weapon depots and bases belonging to paramilitary groups in Iraq, many of them backed by Israel's regional foe Iran. The groups blamed the United States and Israel for the blasts on Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
White House/Shealah Craighead

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that will make it easier for permanently disabled veterans to have their student loan debt forgiven.

Read More Show Less
Capt. Tranay Lashawn Tanner. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Editor's Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Physical fitness tests were briefly suspended earlier this week and outdoor cardio testing will be curtailed for the remainder of the summer at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, after an airman died Saturday. She had completed her PT test on Friday.

Read More Show Less
(DoD photo)

Navy Secretary Richard Spencer has expanded a review of the Judge Advocate General Corps to include the Marine Corps, a Navy spokesman said on Thursday.

"There is value in applying this review and its subsequent recommendations across the Department of the Navy," Cmdr. Jereal Dorsey told Task & Purpose. "The review's purpose is to confirm the uniformed legal community is structurally and organizationally sound and best supporting the good order and discipline our integrated naval force."

Read More Show Less