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HomeGeneralNavy Fires Submarine Captain After DUI Arrest

Navy Fires Submarine Captain After DUI Arrest

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USS Georgia
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On January 15, Monday, the Navy announced the dismissal of the captain of a guided missile submarine, the USS Georgia. They attributed the decision to let him go to “a loss of confidence in his ability to command.”

Navy Rear Adm. Thomas “T.R.” Buchanan relieved Navy Capt—Geoffry Patterson as the commanding officer of the USS Georgia’s Blue Crew on January 12.

“Capt. Geoffry Patterson was relieved from command, and an investigation is being conducted,” said Navy Lt. Spencer Marion, a spokesman for Submarine Group Ten. “As a matter of policy, the Navy does not comment on ongoing investigations and does not speculate on any administrative and/or disciplinary actions.”

The Navy did not provide a specific reason behind Patterson’s dismissal. However, the Camden County Sheriff’s Office website in Georgia shows a recent run-in with the law.

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Officers of the St. Marys Police Department arrested him on January 8 on a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence and other offenses. They released him the following day after posting bond.

Military.com was the first to report Patterson’s arrest on Tuesday. The former captain joined the Navy as an enlisted sailor, rising to command on the Georgia and the USS Maryland.

Guided missile submarines have two full crews that alternate manning the boats, each designated by a color. The Navy has four guided missile submarines, all of which were originally Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines before their conversion into non-nuclear capable boats. 

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The Georgia’s conversion happened in 2007. Each guided missile boat can accommodate up to 154 Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles and deliver special operations forces on covert missions.

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“Navy commanding officers are held to high standards of personal and professional conduct,” the news release says. “They are expected to uphold the highest standards of responsibility, reliability, and leadership, and the Navy holds them accountable when they fall short of those standards.”

As things stand, Navy officials have still not provided a specific reason for Patterson’s relief. The phrase “loss of confidence” is a euphemism. It is a common phrase in the military, used after a leader’s sudden dismissal, one they don’t have to explain.

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Media outlets can try to find out. But they need to submit a Freedom of Information Act request to find out more information about reliefs of command. And the process can take months, if not longer.

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Patterson hails from Chicago and assumed command of the USS Georgia’s Blue Crew in May 2022. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and naval science. 

He later earned a master’s in national security and strategic studies from the U.S. Naval War College. Navy Capt. Christopher Osborn now commands the USS Georgia. He is the commanding officer of the boat’s Gold Crew.

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