The commanding officer of the USS Lake Erie, Capt. Danielle DeFant, was fired on October 12 due to “a loss of confidence in her ability to command.”

DeFant — who is a ‘mustang,’ or naval officer who began her career as an enlisted sailor — was in command of the Lake Erie, a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser, after several years of shore duty. She commanded the USS Paul Hamilton from March 2016 to December 2017 and had been assigned to various shore duty positions since, including in the office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy’s Global Force Management before returning to the Lake Erie.

A Navy press release said Rear Adm. Christopher Alexander, commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) Nine relieved DeFant “due to a loss of confidence in her ability to command,” a boilerplate description the Navy commonly uses when a senior leader is fired.

Subscribe to Task & Purpose Today. Get the latest military news and culture in your inbox daily.

Capt. Brandon Burkett will assume the duties as commanding officer until a permanent relief arrives, the Navy said.

“Navy commanding officers are held to high standards of personal and professional conduct. They are expected to uphold the highest standards of responsibility, reliability and leadership, and the Navy holds them accountable when they fall short of those standards,” the Navy release said.

According to an online biography, DeFant completed enlisted tours onboard the USS Hunley and Shenandoah in the mid-1990s. She commissioned in May 1999 after graduating from Old Dominion University in Virginia.

The latest on Task & Purpose