Two-Star Navy Admiral Relieved after Wandering Hotel Drunk, Naked

Rear Adm. David Baucom (US Navy Photo)
Navy

A two-star Navy admiral was fired, punished and reprimanded after an April incident in which he was observed wandering around naked outside his hotel room in a drunken state.

Rear Adm. David Baucom, formerly the director of strategy, capabilities, policy and logistics at U.S. Transportation Command and a 34-year naval officer, was found to have been drunken and disorderly and to have shown conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman, according to a Naval Inspector General report released to Military.com. Navy Times and The Washington Post first reported on the investigation.

"Baucom demonstrated poor judgment in his excessive use of alcohol and his resulting personal conduct was not up to the standard expected of all U.S. Navy sailors," Navy spokesman Cmdr. William Marks said in a statement.

According to the investigation, Baucom had been attending a dinner event in advance of a transportation advisory board meeting for the National Defense Transportation Association. After consuming a gin and tonic and some wine with dinner, he went to a nearby bar, where he was served four scotch whiskeys within two hours.

Baucom declined multiple offers of assistance back to his room, according to a witness cited in the investigation. Around 1:20 a.m., he stood up from his barstool, turned away, then fell forward, striking his head on another barstool, security video reviewed by investigators shows. He then entered an adjoining lounge, where he stumbled into a couch and fell to the ground again.

A few minutes later, a bellman drove Baucom to his room in a nearby building. The bellman told investigators that he was "highly intoxicated" and had apparently urinated in his pants.

Baucom made it to his room around 1:30 a.m., but reemerged naked four hours later. He was seen by two female hotel guests who reported the incident to the front office.

Baucom testified to investigators that he had taken prescription medications before bed. He opened the door to his room by mistake, he said, while looking for the bathroom. When he realized he was locked out, he said, he began to look for a towel or something to cover up with. Ultimately, a colleague helped him get a new hotel key and guided him back to his room.

Following the incident, Baucom sent an email explaining he had neglected to pack his pajamas for the trip and had inadvertently left his room after waking from a deep sleep.

"Lesson learned: I'll pack my PJs next time," he wrote.

Later, Baucom testified to investigators that the prescription drugs he took may have intensified dizziness or drowsiness. The report didn't specify the name, type or quantity of medications he took.

Ultimately, however, the investigation found the drugs he took were not relevant to the question of whether Baucom had been drunk and disorderly.

In a June statement to investigators, Baucom said he was "shocked, concerned and worried" by behavior that had been out of character for him. He enrolled in the Air Force Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment program after the incident, he said. While a counselor determined he was not alcohol-dependent, Baucom said he had given up drinking hard alcohol.

In a statement Baucom sent to multiple media outlets, the flag officer said he took "full responsibility and accountability" for his actions, though he added that multiple doctors concluded his medications played a role in his behavior.

Baucom was moved to the staff of U.S. Fleet Forces on Nov. 4, officials said. He is now under orders to the Pentagon.

-- Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at hope.seck@monster.com. Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.

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