The executive officer and the command master chief of the USS Jason Dunhamhave been removed after a Navy investigation found the pair failed to examine or report a hazing incident of 13 female sailors forced to carry plastic bags of their own feces along a pier, Navy Times reports.
On Oct. 15 with the ship’s sewage system under maintenance and some toilets tagged with “do not use” warnings, an unidentified chief petty officer discovered human waste in two toilets which were out of order, according to Navy Times. The chief then ordered 19 enlisted female sailors to remove the waste from the toilets without proper protective equipment and led 13 of them down the pier to dispose of it in portable toilets, a statement from the Navy said.
“After cleaning the toilets they took the waste — which was solid waste, basically — and made them march in formation down the pier to dispose of it in a portable toilet at the end of the pier,” spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Reann Mommsen told Navy Times. “The real hazing is them being marched down the pier in formation.”
The waste could have been disposed in other functioning toilets on the ship, Mommsen told The Virginian-Pilot.
A number of sailors witnessed the incident, but the Dunham’s senior enlisted leader, Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Stephen Vandergrifft and Executive Officer Cmdr. Kenneth Rice were fired for failure to report or investigate.
The commanding officer of the ship, Cmdr. Michael Meredith, was not punished because he was unaware of the incident, but took appropriate action once informed on Oct. 21, according to the statement.
The Dunham is based in Norfolk, Va.
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