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3-star admiral fired as No. 2 nuclear commander

Adm. Tim Giardina is a former chief of staff for the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor

By Robert Burns

AP National Security Writer

LAST UPDATED: 02:34 p.m. HST, Oct 09, 2013

WASHINGTON » The deputy commander of U.S. nuclear forces, Vice Adm. Tim Giardina, was notified today that he has been relieved of duty amid a military investigation of allegations that he used counterfeit chips at an Iowa casino, the Navy said.

The move is exceedingly rare and perhaps unprecedented in the history of U.S. Strategic Command, which is responsible for all U.S. nuclear warfighting forces, including nuclear-armed submarines, bombers and land-based missiles.

Giardina is a former deputy commander and chief of staff for the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor.

The Navy's top spokesman, Rear Adm. John Kirby, said Giardina, who had held the job since December 2011, is being reassigned to the Navy staff pending the outcome of the probe by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which originated as a local law enforcement investigation in Iowa in June.

As a consequence of being removed from his post at Strategic Command, Giardina falls in rank to two-star admiral. He had been suspended by Gen. Robert Kehler, the top commander at Strategic Command, on Sept. 3, although that move was not disclosed publicly until Sept. 28.

After his suspension Giardina remained at Strategic Command but was not allowed to perform duties that required use of his security clearance.

The decision to take the next step — to relieve him of duty — was made on Oct. 3, one official said. That required approval by President Barack Obama, two defense officials said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the internal decision-making.

Kehler had recommended to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that Giardina be relieved of duty and returned to the Navy, according to Pentagon spokesman Carl Woog.

A former commander of Strategic Command, retired Air Force Gen. Eugene Habiger, said he believes this is the first time in the history of the command that a deputy commander has been relieved of duty. Strategic Command was created in 1992 at the end of the Cold War. The aim was to unify the command of nuclear forces previously run separately by the Air Force and the Navy.

"I know of no other case ever of a deputy commander who was relieved for cause," Habiger said in a telephone interview. He headed the command from 1996-98.

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Slow wrote:
Is this a prank? Fired for counterfeit chips?
on October 9,2013 | 02:10PM
livinginhawaii wrote:
Nope - fortunately those with their finder on the button are held to an extremely high set of standards. Chronic gambling is not tolerated due to the possible influence of the creditor. Sadly there is only one individual not held to this standard and this individual is elected into his office by the public which is often very ignorant of the button responsibility...
on October 9,2013 | 02:20PM
grantos wrote:
what part of the story referenced chronic gambling?
on October 9,2013 | 02:34PM
false wrote:
uh ......... how about the fake chips?
on October 9,2013 | 03:56PM
Eradication wrote:
BTW, gambling of any kind is a violation of the UCMJ if I am not mistaken. With the level of security clearance this VADM carries he has to be SQUEEKY CLEAN. Used to be O.k. but in today's PC world it has changed. I used to work for a "Skipper" whose nickname was "Diamond Jim" (won't use his full name even though he is probably no longer with us). Gambled on everything and carried a TS Cosmic clearance. This was later called "compartmental". Anyways, would have trusted him with my life. And I did.
on October 9,2013 | 05:20PM
grantos wrote:
you are inferring
on October 10,2013 | 01:19AM
Anonymous wrote:
livinginhawaii - What is with this shibai? "Sadly there is only one individual not held to this standard and this individual is elected into his office by the public which is often very ignorant of the button responsibility." President doesn't gamble so no issue there. You fail to remember he is the first president to go to Dover, Delaware and witness the return of our fallen military. What else do you not know? Your post was boring.
on October 9,2013 | 11:10PM
fairgame947 wrote:
Why do so many speak anonymously since they are not authorized to speak? Why don't they keep their darn mouths shut? Why do we think when they do speak they are telling the truth? They ought to think that if they were the ones being accused of some crime would they appreciate some blabbermouth speaking out turn?
on October 9,2013 | 02:16PM
allie wrote:
on October 9,2013 | 02:33PM
grantos wrote:
what specifically are you scared of? or do you not know what to say to contribute to the discussion on this article but felt obligated to say something?
on October 9,2013 | 02:35PM
false wrote:
I think allie is a paid blogger.
on October 9,2013 | 03:57PM
engineersoldier wrote:
He should be charged with conduct unbecoming of officer and bringing discredit on the service.
on October 9,2013 | 04:53PM
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