Marine admin school's commanding officer relieved of duty

Lt. Col. Paul Fillmore

By MICHAEL TODD | The Daily News, Jacksonville, N.C. | Published: August 6, 2015

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (Tribune News Service) — A loss of trust and confidence spurred a colonel to relieve a school’s commanding officer recently at Camp Johnson, a Marine Corps spokesman told The Daily News.

Lt. Col. Paul Fillmore was relieved July 31 from his command of Personnel Administration School, the spokesman said. The spokesman is the Public Affairs officer for Training and Education Command (TECOM) at Camp Lejeune.

Col. David E. Jones, commanding officer of Marine Corps Combat Service Support Schools, relieved Fillmore, the spokesman said.

“Col. Jones cited a loss of trust and confidence in Lt. Col. Fillmore’s ability to command as the basis for the relief. The Marine Corps holds all Marines, especially commanders, to a high set of standards,” he added.

Fillmore became commander of Personnel Administration School on April 17, 2014, according to information from lejeune.marines.mil.

Almost two months before Fillmore assumed command of the school, he married Toshia Cameron Sundermier on Feb. 27, 2014, according to information from Onslow County Register of Deeds. At that time, Sundermier was a sergeant major — an enlisted rank — in the Marine Corps, according to information from Manpower and Reserve Affairs in Quantico, Virginia.

“Unduly familiar personal relationships between seniors and subordinates are contrary to Naval custom as they undermine the respect for authority that is essential to the Naval Service’s ability to accomplish its mission,” according to the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps Commander’s Quick Reference Handbook for Legal Issues. “Fraternization is prohibited and punishable under the (Uniform Code of Military Justice.)”

As to Fillmore’s removal from the command post, the TECOM spokesman said, “An investigation is ongoing.”

“No other details are known at this time,” he added.

The spokesman also said the current Personnel Administration School executive officer is serving as commanding officer of the school until the replacement can take command.

1st. Sgt. Tina Dexter is the only Marine listed among the “Personnel Administration School leaders” at MCCSSS.marines.mil, the school’s website.

Personnel Administration School provides training for officers and enlisted Marines “across the spectrum of warfighting and support operations as related to the administration field; and to sustain the transformation of Marines in order to prepare them for service in the operating forces and supporting establishments,” according to a reference guide introduction from Fillmore’s predecessor, Lt. Col. Charles Winchester.

Before Fillmore became commanding officer of the school, he served as deputy of manpower for 2nd Marine Division, according to marines.mil.

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