Admiral relieves Cowpens captain
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Abusive treatment of crewmembers has cost the captain of the Yokosuka-based guided-missile cruiser USS Cowpens her command weeks before she was to transfer to a new assignment, according to Navy officials Thursday.
Capt. Holly Graf was relieved of command by Rear Adm. Kevin Donegan, Carrier Strike Group Five Commander, following a nonjudicial punishment Wednesday.
Graf was found guilty of cruelty and maltreatment, and conduct unbecoming an officer, according to 7th Fleet spokesman Cmdr. Jeff Davis — violations of articles 93 and 133 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Davis said Donegan based his action primarily on a Dec. 10 Inspector General report of an investigation against Graf regarding her treatment of subordinates under her command.
He said the charges specifically involved her demeanor and temperament.
He declined to be more specific, and several Cowpens sailors approached by Stars and Stripes didn’t want to comment.
Graf was in the process of turning over the ship, which she has commanded since March 2008, to Capt. Robert Marin.
A change of command had been scheduled for later this month.
Following the nonjudicial punishment, Donegan ordered that the change of command be executed immediately for the best interests of the ship and crew, Davis said.
Graf, a 1985 graduate of the Naval Academy, will transfer to her next assignment as part of Navy operations staff at the Pentagon, Davis said.