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Navy medicine CO fired for poor command climate

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — The commanding officer of the Navy’s northeastern U.S. health care services has been relieved after a survey found problems with the command climate, a Navy statement said Thursday.

Capt. Marcia “Kim” Lyons was removed from Naval Health Clinic New England on April 6 by Rear Adm. Elaine Wagner, who was Lyons’ predecessor at that command. She is at least the sixth Navy commanding officer to be relieved this year.

Wagner cited a “loss of confidence in the CO’s ability to command” according to the statement, a phrase often used following the dismissal of a naval commanding officer.

Lyons has been transferred to Navy Medicine East in Portsmouth, Va., according to a Navy news release. Relieved commanding officers are typically transferred to a headquarters position while waiting to appear before a board that determines the fate of their career and retirement.

Lyons previously served as executive officer at U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka from 2007 to 2009, before attending the Naval War College and taking command of the Naval Health Clinic New England from Wagner in 2010, according to a biography on the clinic’s website that has since been removed.

Wagner made her decision after she “identified command climate issues following results of an annual command climate survey,” the news release said.

The command’s top enlisted sailor, Master Chief Petty Officer Robert Whitten, “was also relieved of his duties for similar reasons,” Navy officials said.

Capt. Sheherazad Lena Hartzell, the clinic’s executive officer, has temporarily assumed command until Capt. Tina Davidson reports to the command later this month. Davidson is currently executive officer at Naval Health Clinic Annapolis, Md.

Master Chief Petty Officer Ronald Hudson assumed duties as the New England clinic’s command master chief April 9.

Naval Health Clinic New England provides health care to more than 70,000 beneficiaries and is headquartered in Newport, R.I.

slavine@pstripes.osd.mil

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