The former captain of the destroyer USS Fitzgerald who was in command during a 2017 collision that killed seven sailors will appear before a board of inquiry that could determine if he will be reduced in rank and what kind of discharge he will receive, a Navy official said.

Cmdr. Bryce Benson was asleep in his stateroom when the Fitzgerald was struck by a merchant ship in the early hours of June 17, 2017. The Navy initially charged Benson with negligent homicide, but that charge was dismissed in June 2018 and all other charges against Benson were dropped in April, in part because top Navy leaders had repeatedly blamed him for the tragedy, running afoul of unlawful command influence.

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The Navy is once again publicly blaming the former captain of the Navy destroyer USS Fitzgerald for the June 2017 collision with a merchant ship that killed seven sailors, according to attorneys for Cmdr. Bryce Benson.

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Navy photo.

The former captain of the destroyer USS Fitzgerald has been referred to a general court-martial in connection with a deadly 2017 collision that killed seven sailors, but he will not face a charge of negligent homicide.

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Attorneys for the former captain of the Navy destroyer USS Fitzgerald, charged with negligent homicide in the deaths of seven U.S. sailors during last July’s collision with a commercial vessel off the coast of Japan, have lashed out at the Navy for allegedly “litigating this case through the media.”

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U.S. Navy photo

The commander and executive officer of a U.S. Navy destroyer were relieved from command as punishment for a collision with a container ship off Japan that killed seven sailors in June, one of the worst naval accidents in years, the Navy said Thursday.

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U.S. Navy photo

Navy officials announced Tuesday that the USS Fitzgerald commanding officer is being temporary relieved of his command for medical reasons.

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