A preliminary Naval Criminal Investigative Service inquiry later found that Stearney had killed himself, Navy Times reporter Geoff Ziezulewicz first reported on Monday.
Investigators found enough evidence to conclude Stearney intended to commit suicide, according to a redacted copy of the investigation, which was provided to Task & Purpose.
"The timeline of events and witness statements support this conclusion," the investigation says.
Vice Adm. James Malloy arrived in Bahrain shortly after Stearney's death and the Senate confirmed him as the new 5th Fleet commander on Dec. 6.
Malloy issued a statement on Tuesday calling Stearney a "superb officer" whom he and many others revered and respected.
"His leadership as the 5th Fleet Commander, and the initiatives that he put in motion enhanced our readiness, expanded partnerships across the region, and set a course for this command that remains our way ahead – we continue to reap the benefits of that leadership and vision," Malloy said. "Along with the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and Combined Maritime Forces team, I mourn the loss of an incredible Navy leader, and I miss the camaraderie and wise counsel of my friend."
Richardson has ordered the Navy to create a program to address flag officers' physical and psychological health needs, said Navy spokesman Lt. Sam Boyle.
The program, which is still being developed, would utilize medical services provided by Tricare, Boyle told Task & Purpose.
"Senior leaders can receive physical and psychological health care while balancing the demands of their compressed schedules and unique operational requirements," he said.
UPDATE: This story was updated on June 12 with information from the preliminary inquiry.
If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) to reach a trained counselor. Use that same number and press "1" to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.
U.S. Cyber Command is reportedly going on offense against Russia's power grid by placing "potentially crippling malware" in its systems, The New York Times reported Saturday.
The cyber incursions, authorized to Cyber Command under new authorities that do not require presidential approval, have gotten more "aggressive" and seem to be a warning that the U.S. can respond to Moscow's past cyberattacks, such as the 2016 incursion into the Democratic National Committee and its attack on Ukraine's power grid.
DUBAI/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Friday blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tankers at the entrance to the Gulf and said it was seeking international consensus about the threat to shipping, despite Tehran denying involvement in the explosions at sea.
The Navy has named a female president of the U.S. Naval War College for the first time in its history just days after ousting her predecessor amid allegations of excess spending and inappropriate behavior.