Wylie, drunken rapist
It's been rough seas for Navy commanders who don't meet service standards or have just outright broken the law this year. Twenty CO's have been relieved of duty around the globe since January including three from the Puget Sound region, and one of them last week was sentenced to serve 3 1/2 years in the brig for rape.
Wylie, drunken rapist
Cmdr. Jay Wylie, former skipper of the Everett-based destroyer USS Momsen, pleaded guilty last week to charges of rape and sexual assault of an enlisted woman and a female officer, according to the Navy Times. He was facing a 10-year term but took a plea deal for a 42-month sentence and service dismissal.
Another local skipper, Cmdr. Joseph Nosse of the Bangor-based Trident ballistic-missile sub USS Kentucky, was relieved of duty two weeks ago due to a "loss of confidence" in his ability to command, the Navy said in a news release.
As well, Bangor Cmdr. Michael Varney of the nuclear attack submarine USS Connecticut was relieved of his position in June for mishandling classified information. Navy investigators discovered that Varney also hid evidence of the mishandling and lied to investigators. Thirty-nine classified files (35 of them marked secret) were found on a computer hard drive at his Gig Harbor home.
The series of firings have been the most in the Navy since 2006, when 26 skippers lost commands, according to military.com. Last year, 17 were sent packing. Eight of the officers fired this year have been the skippers of ships or submarines.
Wylie, 40, a 19-year veteran who was relieved of his command in April, was charged with fondling - sexually assaulting - one of the women at a bar in the Seychelles islands, and engaging in "unduly familiar conduct" with the other female sailor in his cabin. That rape incident involved heavy drinking and took place in April at the Indian Island Naval Magazine near Port Townsend.
The ex-commander was sent immediately to the brig at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station in California. "He wanted to make clear that he's taking full responsibility and accountability for his misconduct," said his lawyer Jeremiah Sullivan.
Nosse, who has been reassigned to a temporary position at Bangor, had assumed full command of the Kentucky just last year. The nuclear sub is being readied to enter a shipyard next year for refueling.