Sunday, June 8, 2014

Former commander of Navy's Blue Angels fostered hostile, sexist command climate

This news was posted on the website of

Navy Captain Ignored Lewd Conduct in Blue Angels

Captain Greg McWherter, Blue Angels #1 and squadron commander is interviewed by local media shortly after arriving at Dobbins Air Reserve Base Oct. 14. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Brad Fallin)
The U.S. Navy has found the former commander of the Blue Angels guilty on charges such as conduct unbecoming an officer by condoning a climate of sexual harassment, and lewd behavior in the prestigious flight demonstration squadron, according to a U.S. Pacific Fleet investigation.
The investigation concluded that Capt. Gregory McWherter "witnessed, condoned, and encouraged behavior that, while juvenile and sophomoric in the beginning, ultimately and in the aggregate, became destructive, toxic, and hostile," a June 3 Navy press release stated.
McWherter was given non-judicial punishment in the form of a punitive letter of reprimand for failure to obey an order or regulation and conduct unbecoming of an officer "by fostering a hostile command climate, failing to stop obvious and repeated instances of sexual harassment, condoning widespread lewd practices within the squadron, and engaging in inappropriate and unprofessional discussions with his junior officers."
The punishment will likely lead to the end of McWherter's once promising career.
The decision of the June 2 Admirals Mast proceeding comes as all the services are struggling to shed an image that commanders tolerate sexual assault in the ranks.
The investigation found that McWherter allowed his officers and senior enlisted personnel to engage in inappropriate and sexually harassing behavior that resulted in an unprofessional command climate during his second tour as the Blue Angels commanding officer from May 2011 to November 2012, according to the release.

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