Since their inception in World War II, the Seabees — the Navy's hard-charging construction force — have summed up their ethos in a simple two-word motto: "Can do."
It turns out, though, that there are still some things that Seabees really, really can't do. Like patching things up after a battalion's drunken officers-and-chiefs party that ends with the XO stumbling drunkenly through the woods of Okinawa wearing nothing but his combat boots.
The entire command triad of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 4, currently deployed to Okinawa, Japan, was fired Feb. 11 after the unit’s executive officer was found intoxicated and walking naked in the woods on Camp Shields.
Lt. Cmdr. Jason M. Gabbard, the unit’s XO, was relieved after being discovered in the woods wearing only his boots following a command gathering for chiefs and officers, Navy officials said.
The commanding officer, Cmdr. James J. Cho, and Command Master Chief (SCW/EXW) Jason K. Holden, were also relieved for their handling of the incident, which they attempted to cover up, a source told Navy Times.
Then-Lt. Jason Gabbard, clothed here, on a deployment to Afghanistan in 2013.U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. Jeff Neff
T&P; has reached out to Navy officials at the Pentagon for more info on the lieutenant commander's moonlight ride; we'll update this story as that info comes available.
But the coverup, rather than the nude recon itself, is the real issue here: In a statement to T&P;, Cmdr. Cate Cook, a spokeswoman for Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, said the decision to terminate NMCB-4's command staff with extreme prejudice came down to simple trust.
"Our senior leaders are entrusted to uphold the highest standards of personal and professional conduct at all times. Meeting these high standards of conduct is as critical as meeting our high standards of material, personnel and operational readiness," Cook said, adding: “When there are any indications that those values are not being followed, we conduct appropriate investigations and take action as necessary.”
NMCB-4's meltdown is the first time since the crash of the USS Fitzgerald that a CO, XO, and CMC all got fired at the same time; as Navy Times' Faram points out, it's a rare and difficult achievement. But like the Seabees say: "The difficult we accomplish at once; the impossible takes a bit longer."
(From left to right) Chris Osman, Chris McKinley, Kent Kroeker, and Talon Burton
At least four American veterans were among a group of eight men arrested by police in Haiti earlier this week for driving without license plates and possessing an arsenal of weaponry and tactical gear.
Police in Port-au-Prince arrested five Americans, two Serbians, and one Haitian man at a police checkpoint on Sunday, according to The Miami-Herald. The men told police they were on a "government mission" but did not specify for which government, according to The Herald.
They also told police that "their boss was going to call their boss," implying that someone high in Haiti's government would vouch for them and secure their release, Herald reporter Jacqueline Charles told NPR.
What they were actually doing or who they were potentially working for remains unclear. A State Department spokesperson told Task & Purpose they were aware that Haitian police arrested a "group of individuals, including some U.S. citizens," but declined to answer whether the men were employed by or operating under contract with the U.S. government.
A photo shared by Hoda Muthana on her now-closed @ZumarulJannaTwitter account. (Twitter/ZumarulJannah)
The State Department announced Wednesday that notorious ISIS bride Hoda Muthana, a U.S.-born woman who left Alabama to join ISIS but began begging to return to the U.S. after recently deserting the terror group, is not a U.S. citizen and will not be allowed to return home.
A top Senate Republican and fierce ally of President Donald Trump reportedly exploded at Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan recently about the U.S. military's plans to withdraw all troops from Syria by the end of April.
"That's the dumbest f******g idea I've ever heard," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) reportedly replied when Shanahan confirmed the Trump administration still plans to complete the Syria withdrawal by April 30.
Later, Graham told Shanahan, "I am now your adversary, not your friend."