USS Somerset Commander Fired Over 'Loss Of Confidence'

news
U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob I. Allison

The Navy has fired the commander of the amphibious warship Somerset following an investigation into concerns about his command climate.


"The commanding officer of USS Somerset was relieved of his duties April 12, due to loss of confidence in his ability to effectively lead and carry out assigned duties,” wrote Coronado-based Naval Surface Forces spokesman Lt. Andrew R. Degarmo in an email to The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Rear Adm. Cedric Pringle, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 3, removed Capt. William Sherrod following a probe into command climate concerns that were not tied to any one event, Degarmo said.

Formerly the Somerset’s executive officer, Sherrod, 45, “fleeted up” to take command of the San Antonio-class warship on Nov. 2.

Sherrod has been temporarily reassigned to the command staff of North Island-based Naval Air Forces. He did not return telephone calls from the Union-Tribune seeking comment.

Capt. Brian Quin, Expeditionary Strike Group 3’s chief of staff, has assumed temporary duties of the Somerset until a skipper can be found.

The Somerset entered General Dynamic's NASSCO shipyard in San Diego on Oct. 6 for an extended maintenance session.

Last May, the Navy removed both the captain and executive officer of the Somerset’s sister ship, the San Diego-based Anchorage, after commanders said they lost confidence in their ability to lead.

The relief of Capt. Jeff Craig and his second-in-command Lt. Cmdr. Joshua Johnson stemmed from an inspection last spring that found “improper procedural compliance” throughout the warship, according to Naval Surface Forces.

Dismissals for “command climate” problems, like that allegedly caused by Sherrod, are different.

Command climate is the culture of a ship’s crew, the way that they operate ashore and at sea. The Navy charges the commander with sole responsibility for ensuring that it never becomes toxic.

A Florida native who graduated from Jacksonville University in 1994, Sherrod was commissioned through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps program and selected for the Surface Warfare field.

He served aboard the destroyer Gonzalez as a young lieutenant before becoming the operations officer and navigator aboard the coastal patrol ship Shamal in 1998.

In 1999, Sherrod transferred to Naval Aviation and earned his flight wings a year later. A Sikorsky SH-60B Seahawk naval helicopter pilot, he was assigned to the “Grandmasters” of Anti-Submarine Squadron Light 46, based in Mayport, Florida.

Before becoming executive officer of the Somerset in mid-2016, he served at sea aboard the frigate Dewert, destroyer Winston S. Churchill, carrier Carl Vinson and the cruisers Hue City and Vella Gulf

He became chief of operations in Iraq for Joint Task Force Balad in late 2009.

He took command of the North Island-based Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light 49 three years later.

Under his leadership, the “Scorpions” received the “Golden Wrench” award for expeditionary units in Helicopter Strike Wing Pacific.

The award honors units with maintenance excellence. His squadron also earned a Chief of Naval Operations Aviation Safety Award and a Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation.

Sherrod’s awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medals and several Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medals.

———

©2018 The San Diego Union-Tribune. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Casperassets.rbl.ms

Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.

Take $75 off a Casper Mattress and $150 off a Wave Mattress with code TASKANDPURPOSE

And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.

Read More Show Less
Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested on Jan. 29, 2018. (Photo courtesy of Wilmington Police Department, North Carolina.)

A special operations Marine is due in court on March 7 after being arrested last year for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, Task & Purpose has learned.

Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested and charged with assault inflicting serious injury on July 29, 2018, according to Jennifer Dandron, a spokeswoman for police in Wilmington, North Carolina. Evans is currently assigned as a Critical Skills Operator with the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, according to the Marine Corps Personnel Locator.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Army 1st Lt. Elyse Ping Medvigy conducts a call-for-fire during an artillery shoot south of Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Aug. 22, 2014. Medvigy, a fire support officer assigned to the 4th Infantry Division's Company D, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, is the first female company fire support officer to serve in an infantry brigade combat team supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Houston (Photo by U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Houston)

Following Trump's inauguration, some supporters of ground combat integration assumed he would quickly move to reinstate a ban on women in jobs like the infantry. When this did not happen, advocates breathed a collective sigh of relief, and hundreds of qualified women charted a course in history by entering the newly opened occupational fields.

So earlier this week when the Wall Street Journal published an editorial against women in ground combat by conservative political commentator Heather Mac Donald, the inclination of many ground combat integration supporters was to dismiss it outright. But given Trump's proclivity to make knee jerk policy decisions in response to falling approval ratings and the court's tradition of deference to the military when it comes to policies affecting good order and discipline, it would be unwise to assume the 2016 lifting of the ban on women in ground combat is a done deal.

Read More Show Less

R. Lee Ermey was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday.

Best known for his iconic role as the Marine Corps drill instructor Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in the war drama Full Metal Jacket, Ermey died April 15, 2018 at age 74 due to complications from pneumonia, Task & Purpose previously reported.

Read More Show Less
A B-2 Spirit bomber deployed from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, and F-22 Raptors from the Hawaii Air National Guard's 154th Wing fly near Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, during a interoperability training mission Jan. 15, 2019. (U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Russ Scalf)

The U.S. Air Force has two of its most elite aircraft — the B-2 Spirit bomber and the F-22 Raptor — training together in the Pacific, reassuring America's allies and sending a warning to strategic competitors and adversaries about the sheer power the U.S. brings to the table.

These stunning photos show the powerful aircraft tearing across the Pacific, where the U.S. has increasingly found itself facing challenges from a rising China.

Read More Show Less