Nearly half of the Marine commanders who have been fired this year were relieved in part due to their attitude toward women, said Assistant Commandant Gen. Glenn Walters.
“We have relieved commanders this year,” Walters said on Tuesday. “Two out of those five that have been relieved I can directly attribute to an awareness of this issue and the fact that they didn’t have the correct command climate, and what they did. To me, that’s progress.”
Walters spoke to reporters about the Marine Corps’ efforts to curb the misogyny and disrespect toward women within the ranks, which gave rise to the Marines United Facebook group scandal.
He made clear that the two commanders fired were not part of Marines United. Instead, they were relieved because of command climate issues.
“Their behavior toward women was a component of that decision, and that is as far as I would like to go,” Walters said.
Citing legal concerns, Walters refused to identify the commanders.
The Marine Corps has relieved five commanders in 2017, all of whom were based in North Carolina:
- Col. Daniel O’Hora was fired on June 6 as commander of Marine Corps Engineer School at Camp Lejeune.
- Lt. Col. Jennifer Grieves was relieved of duty on June 7 as commander of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 464 at Marine Corps Air Station New River.
- Lt. Col. Jeffrey Brown was fired on June 14 as commander of 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines at Camp Lejeune.
- Lt. Col. Taylor White was fired on July 20 as commander of Marine Wing Support Squadron 274 at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point.
- Lt. Col. Shawn Grzybowski was fired on Aug. 3 as commander of Combat Logistics Battalion 8 at Camp Lejeune.
Walters did not specify why the two commanders he mentioned were fired. “They didn’t do what we want commanders to do and exhibited the wrong behavior as a commander,” he said.
“The only reason I wanted to share that with you is because I hear a lot out in the press that we don’t hold people accountable ― yes we do,” Walters added. “To the level of accountability that we can establish, we do.”