Tuesday, April 26, 2011

9th Senior Navy Officer Fired - Commodore DESRON ONE

Captain Donald Hornbeck, commodore of San Diego-based Destroyer Squadron 1, was fired by Rear Admiral Sam Perez, USS CARL VINSON Carrier Strike Group commander.  He served in command for five months.  Captain Hornbeck was fired on Saturday while USS CARL VINSON is operating in the Arabian Sea. He is under investigation for having an "inappropriate relationship."

His biography is below:

Captain Don Hornbeck was born in Indianapolis, Indiana and graduated from Ball State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree (Physics) in 1982. Following graduation, he worked in the private sector as a geophysicist from 1982-1984. He entered Officer Candidate School at Newport, Rhode Island through the Engineering Duty Option Program and was commissioned an Ensign in 1984. Following his initial sea tour, he elected to remain an Unrestricted Line Officer.

Captain Hornbeck has served at sea aboard ten ships, including: USS GATO (SSN 615) as Sonar Officer, Torpedo/Fire Control Officer, and as First Lieutenant; USS SPRUANCE (DD 963) as Strike Warfare Officer and Operations Officer; USS FORRESTAL (CV 59) as Propulsion Maintenance Officer and Propulsion Group Officer with the Aircraft Carrier Readiness Improvement Program (CV-RIP); USS CURTIS WILBUR (DDG 54) as Commissioning Weapons Control Officer, Combat Systems Officer, and Senior Watch Officer; MINE COUNTERMEASURES SQUADRON TWO, embarked aboard USS INCHON (MCS 12) as Humanitarian Assistance Coordinator during Albanian refugee assistance operations from April to June 1999; USS SENTRY (MCM 3) as Commanding Officer from August 1999 to March 2001; and USS BENFOLD (DDG 65) as Commanding Officer from August 2003 to June 2005. During his tour, BENFOLD deployed to South America in support of the escort of USS RONALD REAGAN (CVN 76) to San Diego, deployed to the Western Pacific, where they supported Operation UNIFIED ASSISTANCE tsunami relief efforts with the ABRAHAM LINCOLN Carrier Strike Group, received the USS ARIZONA Memorial Trophy Award for 2003-2004, the Battle Efficiency Awards for 2003, 2004, and 2005, and won the 2005 Pacific Fleet ASW Bloodhound Award. He was assigned as the Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations at CTF 70, embarked aboard USS KITTY HAWK (CV 63) from August 2005 to January 2007. From February 2007 to January 2009, Captain Hornbeck served as Deputy Chief of Staff / Fleet Operations Officer at U.S. SEVENTH Fleet, embarked aboard USS BLUE RIDGE (LCC 19). He reported as Deputy Commodore for Destroyer Squadron ONE, embarked aboard USS CARL VINSON (CVN 70), in January 2010.

Ashore, Captain Hornbeck served as a Theater Ballistic Missile Defense (TBMD) Program Integrator at the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO). In addition to his duties at BMDO, he attended Georgetown University, graduating with a Master of Arts Degree (National Security Studies). He then attended USMC Command and Staff College and was awarded his second Master’s Degree (Military Science). Following USMC Command and Staff College, he graduated from the Armed Forces Staff College and was subsequently designated a Joint Specialty Officer (JSO). From 2001 to 2003, Captain Hornbeck served as a Policy Planner on the Joint Staff (J5). While assigned to the Joint Staff, he was the lead Action Officer for what the Secretary of Defense called “the most significant changes to the Unified Command Plan since its inception in 1946.” Captain Hornbeck completed the National Security Management Program at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University in 2007. He served at OPNAV N52 as Branch Head for Global Engagement Planning from January to October 2009 before Major Command.

Captain Hornbeck’s personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (three awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (two awards), Joint Service Achievement Medal, and the Navy Achievement Medal (two awards). He assumed Command of DESRON ONE on 23 November 2010.  He was fired five months later on 23 April 2011.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

A very well educated boob.

San Dog Sailor said...

I've seen the lady and she is definitely worth it. And now, he'll pay the price.

Anonymous said...

Unlike the PONCE CO who "failed to properly handle a loaded weapon during a security alert which endangered some of her crew", this guy had no problem handling his weapon. Little head wins again. DUMB.

LCDRLDO

Anonymous said...

What about the presumption of innocence until proven guilty? Whatever happened to that?

CWO4 Brian Ashpole, USN-Retired said...

To the 9:50 AM Anonymous comment:
It has nothing to do with innocence or guilt in a court of law. This is not a justice issue - it's a trust and confidence issue. Every commissioned officer serves at the pleasure of the President. Each one of us receives our commision with the following words: "the President of the United States, reposing SPECIAL TRUST AND CONFIDENCE in .... , does hereby commission ...., as a .... (or words to that effect). Failure on the Officer's part means that they must go. We are entrusted with leading the nation's best and brightest, therefore, the standard for leading these men and women must be very high.

Anonymous said...

ANCHOR UP OFFICERS!!!

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 12:37

"Anchor up' is an admonition for the Chiefs's domain.

Might tell this guy to "Eagle Up" or "officer up".

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 1:27 PM

Yeah but it seems that they really need to "Anchor Up" more than the Chiefs' Mess!

That "Anchor Up" phase truly is an [abomination] as far as I am concerned when it is used to address a Chief Petty Officer...

s said...

"Innocent until proven guilty" is a trial presumption. Like the CSG commander who relieved him, we are not bound by this tenet in our everyday lives.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 1:46 Take your displeasure with the term to the MCPON.

CAPT, USN/1110 Ret said...

Wow, I was impressed with all his big awards: a Defense Superior Service medal, 3 LOM's, and 2 MSM's, etc. - You would think with all that they would have cut him some more slack. Seriously it is a shame that after achieving so much and being recognized for it, an error in judgement would be his down fall. I feel sorry for him and his family, but when you are in that position much is expected of you.

STGCS (RET) said...

You lose the trust of your superiors when you decide that having a relationship with a crew member...regardless of circumstances, regardless of rank, regardless period. The Sailor's assigned to that Captain are Sailor's not possible dates or hookups. Get your acts togethers!

Retired SCPO USN

Anonymous said...

Re: CAPT/1110/RET...
Impressed with his awards? Cut him some slack? In that position, much is expected of you? Wow!?!? Based on your idiotic comments, I can only presume two things: 1) you never had Command (thank goodness), and 2) you never got caught. Bottom line here in case you haven't figured it out (which you obviously have not)...YOU DON'T HUMP THE HELP!

pbchris said...

Served with him as my CO for his tour on the Sentry. Superb Captain and Leader. Its a shame to see him go out like this. He was always the soft spoken but carries a big stick type. The crew loved him and would do anything for him, which is evident by his numerous Battle "E" awards. Wish him the best of luck but as stated you cant sleep with the help (regardless of what they look like).

Anonymous said...

I agree that he made a supreme error in judgement, the Navy's standards are solid pertaining to fraternization and adultery but I really can't get past all this don't sleep with the help terminology....I am so tired of enlisted people getting treated like they are underage or too dumb to make decisions about their own lives. Look at the calendar things have changed, it may not be for the better for the Military but it is nonetheless a fact.

Anonymous said...

Served in his wardroom on BENFOLD, great CO. Really surprised and sad to hear this.

Anonymous said...

Do your research. The relationship was with a civilian.... not "the help." A civilian who was still off-limits per Navy rules. This is a fact.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 11:09 AM

Still researching....I still think she was 'help'.

Anonymous said...

@ May 24, 2011 5:34 PM
BENFOLD guy:

BENFOLD COs have been hit and miss. Mark Ferguson/Mike Abrashoff. Your guy seems to be another 'miss'.

PBChris said...

There was no research to be done. Being a civilian (if she was) has nothing to do with it. As members of the military, Officer and Enlisted alike are held to a higher standard. What he would be tried for by the military is still illegal in the US legal system! They just dont because it is so common now days. Marriage is no longer what it used to be, and that is a shame. Sleeping with the help still applies regardless of whether she was military or civilian. If she was civilian she still would have had to have worked under him, and fraternization is still not allowed.

As i said above I worked for this man, and he was a superior officer. One of the best i had the pleasure to serve under as an enlisted man. I did things for him not because i was ordered but because i was asked, and i felt he deserved my respect. He helped me in many ways including glowing recomendations for special programs, assistance with projects, and having an open door policy that actually was open door. Im truly sorry to hear about this and wish him all the best.

IT1 (SW) Christopher M. Manning

Anonymous said...

Too bad. I served with Don in the C.W.'s wardroom, and he's good people. Well poised, quiet, and always was a pleasure to talk to. We all make mistakes; sometimes we pay more than other times. Good luck, Don.

Anonymous said...

In cases such as this, the Navy always uses vague terms to keep issues quiet. This leads people to jump to conclusions that are not always true. A few years back this may have been a good arse chewing, but today's climate is different. This was a good man who made poor choices in his personal life, and lost his reputation for it.

Anonymous said...

He made a bad choice in his personal life. Period. She was not "the help." She is a civilian housewife and teaches CCD at North Island. Her husband was a CO who was taken to mast for fraternizing with a Junior Officer and was forced to retire - and was not in his Chain of Command.

Anonymous said...

Being a Navy wife for nearly 20 years and having had my 05 husband cheat on me while deployed w/ a CPO's wife he met overseas...these stories just break my heart. I swear the more responsibility, the more stupidity. Common sense does NOT prevail and a little taste of power and these guys think they're all that. We made it thru but now it seems we will be heading for separation, the youngest being almost 2 and currently overseas....it is rough stuff. Not sure my husband will ever learn, he was caught using his work phone to speak to another woman. Once a cheater, I guess as they say....but it is breaking my heart. Keep it professional people, work it out, communicate, think as highly of your family as you do you crew and sailors and co-workers. This is just getting to be all too common and speaking from experience, it is pure and utter torture and devastation. I've a lot invested in the Navy too and it will be and is hard to let go of it all.

Anonymous said...

I am really astonished and shocked to hear this about Capt Hornbeck. As IT1 Cristopher Manning I worked for him on MCM3 USS SENTRY as well. He has been my 2nd of three CO´s on that fine ship. Only as a Seniorchief of a member of the PEP (Personel Exchnage Program USN- German Navy), but I have to say, based on my own experiences with Mr. Hornbeck, that the USN lost a fine officer and excellent leader. I will prob. never understand the reaction of RAD Sam Perez. Can he really afford to loose such a great officer? Some may think, this is non of my buisenes because I am German...but I know Mr Hornbeck. I worked for him as a normal crewmember, had BBQ´s and get-togethers with him, spent some time underway with him, had great discussions and fine smalltalks, and s.o.
I know Capt. Hornbeck as a CO and as a civil person, and I´m very gratefull that I met him. He is always been a person you look up to... quiet, consequent, well educated and behaved. I wish him and his family only the best.
Jens Hennig, Com. Masterchief German Navy (SW)

Anonymous said...

Capt Hornbeck was my CO on BENFOLD. I always wondered why he stayed in his stateroom all the time. Now I know. I wonder how many of the female sailors he was messing around with?