Navy Sub's Top Enlisted Fired Over Claims He Shared Prescription Pills

Then-Senior Chief Machinist's Mate Mark Szymanski explains the Ship's Control Team Trainer to sailors assigned to Aviation Survival Training Center, Miramar during a tour of Submarine Learning Center, Det. San Diego, April 25, 2013. (U.S. Navy photo/Joseph M. Buliavac)
Then-Senior Chief Machinist's Mate Mark Szymanski explains the Ship's Control Team Trainer to sailors assigned to Aviation Survival Training Center, Miramar during a tour of Submarine Learning Center, Det. San Diego, April 25, 2013. (U.S. Navy photo/Joseph M. Buliavac)

The top enlisted leader on a Hawaii-based submarine was fired this week after an investigation revealed reports he had given his own prescription medication to other sailors.

Master Chief Machinist's Mate (Auxiliary) Mark Szymanski, former chief of boat on the attack submarine Jefferson City, was removed from his position on Wednesday, according to Navy officials. The relief was carried out by Cmdr. Steven Dawley, the sub's commanding officer, after an investigation revealed personal misconduct, Cmdr. Cindy Fields, a spokeswoman for Submarine Force Pacific, told Military.com.

"Senior leaders are expected to uphold the highest standards of personal and professional conduct at all times," Fields said. "We take any allegation of misconduct seriously so when a report of alleged misconduct was made, an investigation was initiated."

Szymanski could not immediately be reached for comment. A Navy official with knowledge of the investigation that led to his relief told Military.com that it stemmed from claims the master chief shared medication prescribed to him with other sailors.

"Master chief had a valid prescription for medication, and there was a report made that [he] provided that prescription medication to two other chief petty officers," the official said. "They threw it away -- it was not taken by anyone, but it was a valid prescription for him."

Szymanski reported to the Jefferson City in April 2017, according to his personnel records. He previously served on the fast-attack submarine Olympia and was the learning standards officer at Submarine Learning Center in San Diego, where he was assigned from 2012 to 2015.

He's now assigned to Naval Submarine Support Command in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where the Jefferson City is based, Fields said. Senior Chief Sonar Technician (Submarines) Daryl Green is the sub's new chief of boat, she added. He checked in this week.

Szymanski's relief comes on the heels of misconduct from members of an East Coast-based sub circulated what a Navy leader described as a "rape list." At least two members of that crew were separated from the Navy as a result of the investigation, which found female crew members had been rated on their looks by men aboard, who described explicit acts they wished to carry out with the women.

Fields stressed that U.S. Submarine Forces holds all personnel to high standards, and said the majority of sub crew members meet those expectations daily.

"It's critical for people to uphold these standards [as warfighters], and the majority of individuals are working hard every day as leaders to maintain those high standards of both personal and operational readiness," she said.

-- Gina Harkins can be reached at gina.harkins@military.com. Follow her on Twitter @ginaaharkins.

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