Navy Fires No. 2 Nuclear Commander After Gambling Probe (Video)
The Navy has fired Vice Adm. Tim Giardina, the second most powerful man in charge of all U.S. nuclear war-fighting forces at the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM).
The firing is believed to be unprecedented. Retired Air Force Gen. Eugene Habiger, former commander of Strategic Command, told The Associated Press that to his knowledge, a deputy commander at STRATCOM has never been sacked:
"I know of no other case ever of a deputy commander who was relieved for cause."
As Home Post reported last month, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation was looking into allegations Giardina attempted to pass fake gambling chips at the Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
The state of Iowa decided not to press charges against Giardina. But the vice admiral still faces federal charges, according to the Associated Press.
Gen. Richard Myers explained to CBS News that senior military officers must be held to an extremely high standard:
"When people do background checks on you, they ask, do you have a sex habit? Do you have a gambling habit? Do you have a drinking habit? Do you have a drug habit? All of those could lead to a situation of blackmail."
The White House has nominated Air Force Lt. Gen. James Kowalski to take Giardina's place as deputy commander at Strategic Command.