Cmdr. Joseph Lautenslager of the USS Charlotte was relieved on April 27due to “a loss of confidence in his ability to serve as commanding officer.”
An investigation followed the death of a member of the Charlotte’s crew due to “an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound” while guarding the vessel at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, Honolulu Civil Beat reported.
Capt. Michael Majewski led the investigation and discovered “climate problems” with the leadership and command aboard the Charlotte, leading to Lautenslager’s dismissal.
Lautenslager took command of the submarine in March 2019.
This is the second officer relieved of command at Pearl Harbor in just one month: Cmdr. Kathryn Dawley was relieved of her duties aboard the destroyer USS Hopper, Stars and Stripes reported. The details of Dawley’s removal have not been made clear, but officials cited low morale as a significant factor.
Cmdr. Christopher Hedrick assumed command of the submarine until a permanent replacement can be determined.
The Pacific Fleet submarine force says commanding officers are held to a very high standard and the Navy holds them accountable when they fall short of those standards.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.