Navy fires its top enlisted recruiter amid investigation
By COREY DICKSTEIN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: May 18, 2020
WASHINGTON — Navy officials fired the service’s top enlisted recruiter questioning his judgment after the completion of an investigation that included whether a crime was committed, officials said Monday.
Master Chief Petty Officer Franklin Tiongco was removed last week from his position as the Navy’s national chief recruiter over a “loss of confidence in his judgment,” Cmdr. Lara Bollinger, a spokeswoman for Naval Recruiting Command, said Monday in a statement.
“This relief and reassignment is a measure to safeguard [Navy Recruiting Command’s] mission accomplishment and to protect the integrity of the legal process,” Bollinger said. Navy leadership was reviewing the matter and had made “no official determination of guilt or innocence.”
She and other Navy officials declined to provide any additional details about the case, which included a Naval Criminal Investigative Service probe. They would not say what led the Navy to lose confidence in Tiongco or whether he was expected to be charged with a crime.
The national chief recruiter serves as the top enlisted recruiting adviser to the Navy Recruiting Command chief and provides guidance to the Navy’s 4,550 recruiters across the nation, according to the Navy. Tiongco had served in that role since 2017.
Tiongco enlisted in the Navy in June 1991 and served a tour aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy before he was released from active duty in 1994, according to a biography provided by the Navy. He was recalled to active duty in late 1995 as a Naval reserve canvasser recruiter. Since that time, he has served in a variety of recruiting positions across the United States, including stops in Pennsylvania, Washington state, South Carolina and Mississippi.
Before becoming the Navy’s top enlisted recruiter, Tiongco served as the senior enlisted recruiter for Navy Recruiting District San Diego, one of the service’s 26 recruiting districts. He also served previously as the assistant chief recruiter for Navy Recruiting Command Region West, according his biography.
It was not immediately clear Monday where Tiongco had been reassigned.