Military.com

Navy Master Chief Fired Over 'Toxic Work Environment'

Command Master Chief James A. Roberts, the senior enlisted leader of the Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Laboon has been relieved according to a June 27, 2016, announcement from the Navy. (Photo via Roberts' official Facebook page)
Command Master Chief James A. Roberts, the senior enlisted leader of the Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Laboon has been relieved according to a June 27, 2016, announcement from the Navy. (Photo via Roberts' official Facebook page)

The senior enlisted leader of the Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Laboon has been removed after an investigation reportedly found multiple problems with his leadership.

Command Master Chief James A. Roberts was relieved on Monday by Capt. Derek Granger, the commander of Destroyer Squadron 22 out of Norfolk, Virginia.

The firing was the result of findings from an investigation into allegations that Roberts "fostered a toxic work environment and failed to follow Navy regulations and command instructions," according to an announcement from Naval Surface Force Atlantic.

He has been temporarily moved to an unspecified position within the force, according to the announcement.

Reached for comment by Military.com, Roberts declined to discuss his relief directly.

"I have no comment at this time," he said. "However, I have served faithfully for 25 years and the Military is changing rapidly. I can say that I am a Chief Petty Officer and maintain standards."

Roberts had served as command master chief for the Laboon since Sept. 26, 2014, Navy officials said. According to an official biography, he enlisted in the Navy in 1991, training as a radioman. He previously served aboard the destroyer USS Arleigh Burke and as staff senior enlisted adviser for Navy Cyber Forces out of Little Creek-Fort Story, Virginia.

As command master chief of the Laboon, Roberts maintained an official Facebook page on which he posted photos of the crew and documented a 2015 deployment to the Mediterranean Sea and other regions in Europe. His most recent post, on April 27, showed sailors training before enjoying a "steel beach picnic" on the deck of the Laboon.

"It is amazing what our Sailors onboard Laboon can accomplish each and everyday in support of our great nation!" he wrote earlier that month.

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

Show Full Article