The captain of the USS Ohio, a Navy guided missile submarine, was fired Monday, Navy officials announced. Navy Capt. Kurt D. Balagna was relieved as commanding officer of the Ohio’s Gold Crew “due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command,” a Navy news release says.

As is customary, the news release did not include a specific reason why Balagna was relieved by Rear Adm. Nichols Tilbrook, commander of Submarine Group 9. The phrase “loss of confidence” is a euphemism used by the military services to avoid explaining why leaders have been relieved.  Media outlets can submit Freedom of Information Act requests to attempt to find out the reasons why commanding officers were relieved, but the process can take months, if not longer.

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“Navy commanding officers are held to high standards of personal and professional conduct,” Wednesday’s news release says. “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.”

Originally from Farmington, Illinois, Balagna enlisted in the Navy in 1992 and he was commissioned through the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program at the University of Illinois, from which he received a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering, according to his official biography.

Balagna later earned a Master of National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island; a Master of Engineering Management from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia; he completed The Netherlands Submarine Command Course; and he served as director of the Submarine Officer Advanced Course and Basic Course at Naval Submarine School.

Prior to assuming command of the Ohio’s Gold Crew, Balagna served as the executive officer for the attack submarine USS Virginia and the commanding officer of the attack submarine USS Annapolis.

A spokesperson for Submarine Group 9 was not immediately available for comment on Wednesday morning.

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