Marine Commander of Texas-Based Reserve Squadron Fired

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U.S. Marines inspect the wing of a KC-130J before departing from Lakefront Airport in New Orleans.
U.S. Marines with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 234, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Forces Reserve, inspect the wing of a KC-130J before departing from Lakefront Airport in New Orleans, on Sep. 13, 2017. (U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Kimberly Aguirre/Released)

A Marine Reserve officer was removed from his job last month in what his command called "the best interest of the unit."

Lt. Col. Kyle Ditto was relieved of his duties as commanding officer of Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 234 "due to a loss of trust and confidence in his ability to lead his squadron," said Maj. Roger Hollenbeck, a spokesman for Marine Forces Reserve. The refueling squadron is a Reserve unit based in Texas.

Brig. Gen. Timothy Adams, commanding general of 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, made the call to relieve Ditto of command.

The aircraft wing is dedicated to supporting the Marine Corps' high standards, Hollenbeck said, "especially for those with the increased responsibility of command."

"Relieving a leader is never an easy decision, however the commander decided this action was in the best interest of the unit and the Marine Corps," he added.

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Lt. Col. Bryan Littleton, the unit's former executive officer, is now leading the refueling squadron, Hollenbeck said. Littleton has served with VMGR-234 since January 2019.

No additional details about Ditto's relief, which was first reported by Marine Corps Times on Monday, were immediately available. Ditto did not respond to a request for comment through his command about his time leading the squadron or his relief. He has been reassigned to Marine Aircraft Group 41’s headquarters element, Hollenbeck said. 

The KC-130 aircraft commander has been in the Marine Corps since 1998. He has served in Iraq, Korea and at sea, according to his career records.

Ditto's personal awards include a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, three Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medals and a Humanitarian Service Medal.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with details of Ditto's new assignment.

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

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