The Navy officer in charge of overseeing the training, mentorship, and supervision of more than 11,000 apprentice-levels sailors at Training Support Center (TSC) Great Lakes in Illinois has been relieved of command.
Officials told Navy Times that Capt. Mark Meskimen was fired as commanding officer of TSC on Oct. 26 “due to loss of confidence in his ability to command.”
Meskimen, 54, had served as the commanding officer of TSC since November 2016.
Rear Adm. Kyle Cozad, the commander of Naval Education and Training Command, replaced Meskimen with Capt. Edward Heflin, the NETC deputy for training operations. Heflin will serve as acting commanding officer of TSC until a full-time replacement “is identified and assigned,” according to Navy Times.
“An officer in command has a unique position of trust and responsibility, and a key role in shaping morale, good order and discipline within the command,” NETC spokesman Cmdr. James Stockman said in an email to Navy Times.
As Navy Times notes, Meskimen lost his job amid an ongoing Naval Criminal Investigative Service probe into the recent death of Fire Controlman Seaman Recruit Joshua F. Edge, who was found dead in his barracks at TSC on Oct. 8.
Stockman told Navy Times that due “to privacy of those involved we cannot comment on the details of the investigation,” and would not say whether death had anything to do with Cozad’s decision to sack Meskimen.
Meskimen has been temporarily assigned to Naval Service Training Command at Great Lakes, according to Stockman.
A Navy press release from November 2016 states that Meskimen, an Iowa native, served as an enlisted seaman for 11 years before commissioning in 1993 as a limited duty officer. Prior to taking command of TSC, he served as the Waterfront Operations Deputy, CVN 70 and CVN 71, Project Lead at space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR).
“Given the rich history and importance of this command, I will do my utmost to serve you,” Meskimen said on Nov. 10, 2016 upon assuming command of TSC. “Each of these students presents new challenges, each of them learn in different ways, and it takes your dedication and perseverance to ensure that they are prepared and ready to perform in the fleet.”
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