Saturday, January 28, 2012

Littoral combat ship program manager fired due to allegations of inappropriate behavior

The program manager for the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship program was fired Thursday due to allegations of inappropriate behavior, according to Naval Sea Systems Command.

Captain Jeffrey Riedel was reassigned by LCS Program Executive Officer Rear Admiral James Murdoch, pending an investigation into the allegations.  Captain Riedel is presumed innocent of the allegations.  There has been no timeline published as to how long the investigation is expected to take.

“He will not be reporting back to this command,” NAVSEA spokesman Chris Johnson said Friday.
While not a Commanding Officer, Captain Jeffrey Riedel becomes the first senior Navy official fired in 2012; there were 22 commanding officers fired in 2011.

Captain Riedel's biography follows:

Captain Riedel is a native of Plymouth, MA. He attended Maine Maritime Academy, graduating in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering and a U.S.C.G. 3rd Assistant Engineer license. He graduated from the Naval Engineering Program at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in 1993, earning a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, and the advanced degree of Mechanical Engineer. He was a member of the first group of students to complete the Total Ship System Engineering (TSSE) Curriculum. In 1996, he returned to NPS to participate in the Navy Doctoral Studies Program. He obtained his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering with a specialty in Autonomous Underwater Vehicle control in 1999.

Captain Riedel served at sea in USS WAINWRIGHT (CG 28) as Auxiliaries Officer, Main Machinery Officer and Damage Control Assistant where he qualified as a Surface Warfare Officer and Engineering Officer of the Watch. As an Engineering Duty Option he transferred to the ED Community upon detachment from WAINWRIGHT.

As an Engineering Duty Officer, Captain Riedel served as a student at the Naval Postgraduate School, as Assistant Production Officer at SUPSHIP Bath, as DDG 51 Class Chief Engineer in PEO TSC, as DDG 51 Class Post Delivery Manager, as the LPD 17 Class Production/Test/Technical Director and as the Amphibious Warfare Programs Manager in PEO SHIPS. He presently serves as Major Program Manager, Littoral Combat Ship (PMS 501).
Captain Riedel is a member of the Acquisition Professional Community and is certified in Program Management, Production, Quality and Manufacturing, and Systems Planning, Research, Development, and Engineering He has been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon and various service ribbons.

17 comments:

NPS said...

Please add that he was awarded his PhD in stupid in January 2012.

AEF said...

With regard to NPS's comment, regardless of the details, I can't think of when such a comment would be appropriate. CAPT R was a lion in his community. That caused some to be uncomfortable. Regardless of what happened recently, he was dedicated and gave the Navy more over the last 25 years than the tax payers gave him in the form of a paycheck.

Anonymous said...

So what was the "inappropriate behavior"?

Anonymous said...

@ AEF

25 years of dedicated service down the drain for "inappropriate behavior". The Navy doesn't fire people willy nilly. The Captain messed up big time.

Anonymous said...

@AEF - well said! An awesome officer. I pray everything is worked out favorably for him.

Anonymous said...

The Navy LOSES LARGE by removing him for the petty reasons cited. Few have his expertise, intellect and ability to get this VERY difficult job done properly. Firing him is pure foolishness and DANGEROUS to the LCS program. The Navy may cost itself millions with this petty decision.

Bob M. said...

I've heard from a reliable source that he was fired because of inappropriate contact with one of his subcontractors. If accurate, I would submit that this is a very serious matter.

Anonymous said...

Based on the reasons I've heard, there is no doubt he should have been removed. Few of us working the program are surprised by the reason; the subcontractor involved maybe, but not the allegations.

Anonymous said...

I concur with Anonymous 1/30/2012 @ 12:22PM - The LCS Program is vital to the US Navy so why would the Program Manager continue doing what he has always done and risk the integrity of his office and the reputation of the subcontractor? Above reproach? I don't think so in this case.

James Hammersla said...

Naval Officers exercise a special trust and confidence by their position and the authority they carry within the Naval service and the ability to make both legal and just decisions is needed. A Commanding Officer or Officer in authority (ie: Program Manager) in particular has a legal obligation (Section 3583, Title 10 USC) “to guard against and suppress all dissolute and immoral practices”.

The perception of poor judgment, lack of ethical conduct, or disregard for fair and equitable treatment of those in the our charge can lead to relief; and a larger consequence of the failure in legal and moral decision making is the erosion in that special trust and confidence that gives us the legal AND moral authority to lead.

Anonymous said...

The Navy has embarked on a questionable shipbuilding program, the Littoral Combat Ship, which is fitted with mission modules that have yet to be successfully developed. With current and future budget cuts, the Navy cannot afford to waste taxpayer dollars on a ship that essentially has no real war-fighting capability. The Littoral Combat Ship program should be canceled as soon as contractually feasible. The funds saved should be invested in modifying the current three Zumwalt-class destroyers to provide the necessary "gap filler" ballistic missile defense capability. There are less expensive, proven designs that could meet the Navy's need for low-end, multirole ships.

Retired Adm. James A. Lyons was commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and senior U.S.military representative to the United Nations

Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised. I've know Jeff for 20+ years. He's a very intelligent individual, however he was seldom known to help a shipmate at (perceived) risk to his own success. Not necessarily a "back-stabber," but there's a fine line. Some would view this as being competative in a competative business, but there are limits. If you only look out for Number 1, you better make sure you cover your six, or no one else will. That attitude apparently caught up with him. As with all officers that screw up, too bad for those whom never got the opportunities he was afforded.

Anonymous said...

While he didn't have command, as a Major Program Manager, he would have been wearing the same pin worn by Commanding Officers Ashore. I'd say that puts him in the same category as another CO being fired.

Anonymous said...

I support the program too and am also not surprised. I worked with Jeff when he was still 05 level and he's always had a questionable personal reputation, but he's not the only one. I've been with NAVSEA for over 14 years and am still witnessing a retired 06 (now a senior executive with another subcontractor supporting LCS) contiune innaprorpriate relations with a woman in a senior position in the program. I have always been curious why he's slipped through the cracks but hear he has high cover from an SES level or even higher. Many NAVSEA programs are like this and have been as long as I've been here.

Anonymous said...

This is a fascinating discussion for those of us who only observe the program from the outside. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I have worked for and with Jeff for over ten years. Absolutely one of the most intelligent and stand up Officers I've ever met. This decision will cost the Navy a great deal of time and money. I'll agree that he doesn't tolerate fools and incompetence very well.

mithra said...


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