The Navy Has Fired the Leadership Team at Its Lawyer School

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Sign outside the Naval Justice School in Newport, R.I.
Sign outside the Naval Justice School, located in Newport, R.I. (U.S. Navy photo)

The commander and executive officer of the Navy's school for lawyers and legal professionals have been relieved of their command, the service announced in a statement Tuesday.

Rear Adm. David G. Wilson relieved Capt. Amy Larson as the commanding officer and Lt. Col. Bret Swaim as the executive officer of the Naval Justice School, or NJS, located in Newport, Rhode Island, on May 31 "due to a loss of confidence in their ability to command," a statement from the service said.

The Naval Justice School trains the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard judge advocates, as well as enlisted and civilian legal professionals, according to its website.

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When asked by Military.com, a Navy spokeswoman said in an email that both Larson and Swaim were relieved following a recent command climate assessment convened by the school's parent command. "Neither officer was involved in misconduct," the spokeswoman added.

Larson has served as the school's commander, as well as the Judge Advocate General's special assistant for training, since September 2021. Meanwhile, Swaim "has served in various roles" at the school since the summer of 2020, the Navy said.

The Navy insists that the officers' firings "will not impact the NJS mission or execution of its training schedule."

This is at least the third firing of a commander by the Navy in recent months. On May 10, the service relieved the commander of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28, Cmdr. Brett Johnson, in Norfolk, Virginia, and Cmdr. Jared Severson, the commander of the Submarine Training Facility in San Diego, on April 28.

Larson has been temporarily reassigned to the headquarters of Naval Legal Service Command, the office that oversees the school as well as regional legal offices and the Navy's Victims' Legal Counsel programs, according to the statement. Swaim's new assignment has not yet been named.

Larson was temporarily replaced by the deputy commander of NLSC -- Capt. Mark Klein -- while Cmdr. Abigail Myers, the school's operations officer, has temporarily taken over as the executive officer.

-- Konstantin Toropin can be reached at konstantin.toropin@military.com. Follow him on Twitter @ktoropin.

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