Navy Fires 2nd Japan-Based Leader in a Day as Destroyer XO Is Canned

Lt. Cmdr. Randall Clemons. Navy photo
Lt. Cmdr. Randall Clemons. Navy photo

The Navy has relieved another Japan-based leader -- the second to be removed from his position Tuesday -- after a loss of confidence in his ability to carry out his job.

Lt. Cmdr. Randall Clemons was removed as executive officer of the guided-missile destroyer McCampbell. The decision to do so was made by Capt. Jonathan Duffy, head of Destroyer Squadron 15.

Navy officials did not immediately respond to questions about the relief. An initial statement says only that Duffy relieved Clemons "due to a loss of confidence in his ability to fulfill his responsibilities as executive officer."

It's not immediately clear who replaced Clemons as the McCampbell's XO or whether the lieutenant commander has been reassigned.

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Clemons was the second leader with U.S. 7th Fleet's Task Force 70 to be relieved Tuesday. The reliefs are not related, said Lt. Samuel Boyle, a Navy spokesman at the Pentagon.

Capt. Tadd Gorman was removed from his position as commanding officer of the guided-missile cruiser Antietam by Rear Adm. Karl Thomas, Task Force 70's commander. Thomas lost confidence in Gorman's "personal judgment and ability to command" following a command investigation. The reason behind the investigation was not immediately disclosed.

Both the destroyer McCampbell and the cruiser Antietam were operating in the Philippine Sea earlier this week.

Clemons has served as the McCampbell's executive officer since February. He previously served as the XO on the guided-missile destroyer Fitzgerald following its 2017 collision and as an integrated air-missile defense officer for 7th Fleet's command-and-control ship Blue Ridge.

-- Gina Harkins can be reached at gina.harkins@military.com. Follow her on Twitter @ginaaharkins.

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