NAPLES, Italy – The Navy fired its 10th commanding officer of the calendar year Tuesday.
Vice Adm. Frank Pandolfe relieved Cmdr. Derick Armstrong, commanding officer of the guided missile destroyer USS The Sullivans, "as result of an unprofessional command climate that was contrary to good order and discipline," according to a Navy news release.
Armstrong took command of The Sullivans on Nov. 7, and has been administratively reassigned to the staff of Destroyer Squadron 14, the released stated.
Capt. John Esposito, now the deputy commander of Destroyer Squadron 60, temporarily has assumed command of The Sullivans until a permanent replacement is assigned.
The Sullivans is nearing the end of a regularly scheduled deployment in the 6th Fleet area of operations, and the removal of the commanding officer "will not affect the ship's ability to conduct the current mission or return to its homeport" of Mayport, Fla., as scheduled, Navy spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Marc Boyd said. He declined to provide details of what led Navy leaders to determine The Sullivans crew worked in an unprofessional command climate under Armstrong's command.
Navy officials already had removed Armstrong's biographical information and photograph from the ship's official website by the time the news was publically released.
Last year, 23 commanding officers were relieved of their duties for varying levels of inappropriate conduct.
Last week, the Navy relieved Cmdr. Dennis Klein of command of the submarine USS Columbia because of a loss in confidence in his ability to serve effectively, a Navy official said. His termination was not related to misconduct, however; it was for inadequate performance in administration and operations leaders observed over an extended period of time, the official said.