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Commander of Pearl Harbor destroyer removed from duty

  • MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 1ST CLASS JEFF TROUTMAN / U.S. NAVY
                                Guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper (DDG 70) departed Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for its independent deployment to the Western Pacific and the Middle East in Sept. 2017. The commanding officer of the Pearl Harbor destroyer USS Hopper was relieved of her duties Tuesday “due to a loss of confidence in her leadership,” the Navy said.

    MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 1ST CLASS JEFF TROUTMAN / U.S. NAVY

    Guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper (DDG 70) departed Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for its independent deployment to the Western Pacific and the Middle East in Sept. 2017. The commanding officer of the Pearl Harbor destroyer USS Hopper was relieved of her duties Tuesday “due to a loss of confidence in her leadership,” the Navy said.

The commanding officer of the Pearl Harbor destroyer USS Hopper was relieved of her duties Tuesday “due to a loss of confidence in her leadership,” the Navy said.

Cmdr. Kathryn Dawley a year ago became the first female commander of the Hopper, which is named after Rear Adm. Grace Murray Hopper, a pioneer in the field of computer science, the service said.

An official said there was no misconduct on the part of Dawley. Rather, the decision to remove her from command of the 505-foot warship with a crew of more than 300 was due to her performance.

The Navy has always been public about its firing of commanders who do not meet the very high standards it sets and expects of its leaders.

Capt. Don Rauch, deputy commander of Destroyer Squadron 31, has temporarily assumed command of Hopper until a replacement for Dawley is found, the Navy said.

Grace Murray Hopper was born on Dec. 9, 1906, in New York City. She graduated from Vassar College in 1928, received a master’s degree in 1930 from Yale University, and a doctorate degree in 1934, according to the Naval History and Heritage Command.

In December of 1943, Hopper entered the U.S. Naval Reserve. She was commissioned a lieutenant junior grade and was ordered to the Bureau of Ordnance Computation Project at Harvard University, where she learned to program the first large-scale digital computer, the heritage command said.

Over the course of her career, Hopper published more than 50 papers and articles on software and programming languages, the Navy said. When she retired from the Navy in 1986 at the age of 79 she was the oldest officer on active U.S. Naval duty.

Dawley had been executive officer of the Hopper, the No. 2 job, before she assumed command in April of 2020.

“Hopper has been my dream since I commissioned,” the Iowa native said at the time in a Navy-produced news story. “As a role model, Rear Adm. Grace Hopper embodied the qualities of a naval officer that I strive to be: strong, confident and fearless.”

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