Captain of San Diego-based warship relieved of duty

Another senior military officer ‘redirected’.


The captain of one of the Navy’s premier warships has been relieved of command after an investigation found that he routinely used foul and abusive language toward crew members and engaged in inappropriate touching and questioning of women.

Capt. Wayne Brown was relieved as commander of the San Diego-based amphibious assault ship Boxer after an investigation concluded that he had “lost the respect, trust and confidence of his subordinates” because of his temper and his behavior toward female crew members, according to the investigative report. His behavior included touching and asking crew members whether they were using birth control with their husbands or boyfriends.

Brown created a “hostile, offensive and intimidating work environment,” according to the investigation that was undertaken after complaints from enlisted personnel and junior officers.

The recommendation to relieve him of command was endorsed by Rear Adm. Frank Ponds in late September.

A heavily-redacted copy of the investigative report was provided last week to The Times through a request under the Freedom of Information Act. News of Brown’s ouster, and the conclusions of the investigation, were first reported in the U-T San Diego.

Brown joined the Navy as an enlisted sailor in 1986 and became an officer in 1989. After being relieved, Brown was reassigned to a desk job in San Diego.

The report quotes one sailor – whose name and rank are redacted – saying that, “Capt. Brown’s leadership style is caustic and intimidating and is something he would consider ‘old school’ or from the ’80s.”

The Boxer is designed to take combat Marines and heavy equipment to war zones. It deployed in support of the U.S. war in Iraq in 2003, 2004 and 2007. It also deployed to a humanitarian mission off Central and South America. Earlier this year it completed an eight-month deployment in the Western Pacific.

Brown was executive officer on the Boxer before becoming the commanding officer in June. He is the 12th commanding officer of a Navy ship to be relieved this year, according to the Navy Times.

Full article: Captain of San Diego-based warship relieved of duty (LA Times)

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