Navy’s Top Enlisted Sailor on Leave in Midst of Misconduct Probe

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Steven S. Giordano speaks with Sailors from Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Jan. 10, 2018. (U.S. Marine Corps/Sgt. Alex Kouns)
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Steven S. Giordano speaks with Sailors from Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Jan. 10, 2018. (U.S. Marine Corps/Sgt. Alex Kouns)

WASHINGTON -- The Navy's senior enlisted sailor has taken leave as the service's inspector general probes allegations that he fostered a hostile work environment in his Pentagon office, Navy officials said Thursday.

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Steven Giordano remains in his role as the service's top enlisted leader. However, he could remain on leave throughout the remainder of the investigation into alleged misconduct, a Navy official said on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the ongoing case.

Giordano requested the leave, which was granted, Cmdr. William Speaks, a Navy spokesman said Thursday. Speaks and other officials declined to discuss when Giordano requested the leave or if it was directly tied to the IG probe.

The investigation was initiated last month following a formal complaint by a sailor working for Giordano, alleging he created a toxic work environment and belittled people who worked for him, often demanding they perform menial tasks, officials said.

Giordano, who enlisted in 1989, is the 14th master chief petty officer of the Navy, according to his official biography. He is a native of Baltimore, Md. In addition to multiple deployments aboard surface ships and submarines in the Pacific and European areas of responsibility, Giordano has served in Guam and Bahrain. He was the force master chief for Navy Information Dominance Forces and fleet master chief for U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa.

As the Navy's senior enlisted leader, Giordano serves as a chief adviser to Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, and develops policy and advocates for the sea service's enlisted force.

Master chief petty officers of the Navy typically serve two-year assignments, which can be extended to four years. Navy officials declined to speculate on Giordano's future with the service before the IG investigation is completed.

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