Investigation Reveals Why Former Commanding Officer Was Fired

( – US service members are held to high standards, so when there’s a complaint, the military investigates. Sometimes, officials are removed from their roles for committing serious offenses. Back in February, the US Navy announced it had relieved Commander Cameron Dennis, citing a “loss of confidence in his ability to perform his duties.” He had only been at the USS Howard’s helm for a few months. Now, more information has come out about his dismissal.

According to documents obtained by Navy Times through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, Dennis had been relieved of his post for making “derogatory stereotypes of African Americans.”

The investigation into Dennis revealed that while holding a training and certification event in mid-December, a few of the top-ranking officials on the ship met in the former commander’s cabin. There, he mentioned a specific sailor and said he had counseled her because she had “BWA,” which stands for black woman attitude, a statement Dennis himself clarified. The documents involved with the investigation redact the soldier’s name, so it’s not clear who the commander was referring to.

That was just one incident. Another occurred when Dennis and his partner held a party at their home and invited the department heads and their families. While discussing the children, the commander reportedly said that he expected one person’s sons to “walk around with a blunt in their mouths, guns on their waist, and a 40 in their hands.” That stereotypical comment led the officer to respond that they had never applied for any governmental benefits and the person wasn’t “as ghetto” as Dennis portrayed.

Dennis, for his part, tried to play the incidents off with the officers who worked on the ship. He told them to feel free to call him out should he cross a line and referred to himself as “sarcastic.”

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