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DEI FAIL: Navy Fires Female Commanding Officer of USS Somerset, Citing ‘Loss of Confidence’ in Leadership

The U.S. Navy terminated the command of Captain Michel Brandt, the female commander of the amphibious transport dock USS Somerset, less than a year into her tenure, the Navy Times reported.

The official statement released on Thursday cited a “loss of confidence in her ability to lead” but did not provide specific reasons for Capt. Michel Brandt’s dismissal.

“Rear Adm. Christopher Stone, Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 7 (ESG 7), relieved Capt. Michel Brandt as commanding officer of the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Somerset (LPD 25), June 6, 2024, due to loss of confidence in her ability to lead the crew,” the statement reads.

Capt. Tate Robinson has been appointed as the interim commanding officer.

“Capt. Tate Robinson will replace Capt. Brandt as commanding officer until a permanent relief arrives. Capt. Brandt will be administratively assigned to Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.”

“Navy commanding officers are held to high standards of personal and professional conduct. They are expected to uphold the highest standards of responsibility, reliability and leadership, and the Navy holds them accountable when they fall short of those standards,” the statement added.

The Navy has been vocal about its commitment to these initiatives, even releasing a comprehensive DEI program in 2021.

Last year, the Air Force and the Army and Navy missed their recruiting targets. This underperformance, according to Congressman Matt Gaetz, is symptomatic of deeper issues relating to prioritizing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI).

Earlier this year, the US Navy lowered its enlistment standards, this time removing the high school diploma or GED requirement.

This is the second time in recent memory that the Navy has lowered requirements as it continues to fail to meet recruitment goals.

Military.com reports:

The decision follows a move in December 2022 to bring in a larger number of recruits who score very low on the Armed Services Qualification Test. Both are fairly rare steps that the other military services largely avoid or limit, even though they are all finding it increasingly difficult to attract the dwindling number of young people who can meet the military’s physical, mental and moral standards.

Under the new plan, Navy recruits without an education credential will be able to join as long as they score 50 or above on the qualification test, which is out of 99. The last time the service took individuals without education credentials was in 2000.

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