The Marine colonel in charge of the school that trains Marines to operate amphibious vehicles was fired Tuesday “due to a loss of trust and confidence in his ability to command,” the Marine Corps announced Wednesday.
Brig. Gen. Farrell Sullivan, commander of the Corps’ Training Command, relieved Col. John Medeiros of command of the Assault Amphibian School “after receiving information obtained during the course of the ongoing investigation into an amphibious combat vehicle mishap that occurred during a training event at Camp Pendleton, Calif., on Oct. 13, 2022,” a Training and Education Command news release stated.
The relief of Medeiros, who assumed command of the school July 23, 2021, “was not related to misconduct or criminal negligence,” Capt. Phil Parker, Training Command spokesperson, told Marine Corps Times.
“Col. Medeiros will be reassigned elsewhere,” Parker added.
In the October incident, an ACV flipped because of what the Marine Corps called a “mechanical malfunction.” None of the three crew members in the vehicle were injured, according to Corps officials.
Following that mishap, the Marine Corps halted the vehicles from going out into surf zones, pending more testing and analysis.
The Corps previously paused ACV operations on the open ocean following a rollover in July 2022, but it lifted the pause in September, with interim guidance banning ACV use in high surf conditions.
In September 2021, the Marine Corps halted ACV waterborne operations for four months after identifying an issue with the vehicle’s towing mechanism.
The wheeled ACV is replacing the older, tracked amphibious assault vehicle, which the Marine Corps has used since 1971.
In 2020, eight Marines and a Navy corpsman died when a broken AAV sank off the coast of California. Several commanding officers were fired following that mishap.
The Corps announced in December 2021 that it was pulling the AAV from deployments and waterborne training, amid the transition to the ACV.
Because the investigation into the October 2022 ACV mishap is ongoing, the Marine Corps hasn’t released its findings publicly.
“The Marine Corps continues to prioritize providing a safe and standardized training environment for Marines to gain experience with the ACV during this critical service-wide transition from the AAV,” the TECOM release stated.
Medeiros was commissioned in 1996 through the Platoon Leaders Course and has served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is a graduate of the Expeditionary Warfare School, Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and the Naval War College.
His personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Gold Star and ‘V’ device, Army Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Legion of Merit and the Combat Action Ribbon.
Irene Loewenson is a staff reporter for Marine Corps Times. She joined Military Times as an editorial fellow in August 2022. She is a graduate of Williams College, where she was the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper.