USS Cowpens Exec. Officer Relieved of Duty for Alcohol Incident

This marks the latest leadership issue aboard the Navy cruiser

The executive officer of USS Cowpens was relieved of his duties because of an alcohol-related incident, a U.S. Navy spokesperson confirmed.

Cmdr. Armando Ramirez was taken from his position Thursday by the commanding officer, Capt. Scott Sciretta, aboard the San Diego-based guided missile cruiser.

However, Navy spokesperson Lt. Rick Chernitzer did not reveal details about the incident for which he was relieved.

Ramirez has been temporarily assigned to Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Cmdr. Justin Harts will take over his duties as executive officer of the Cowpens.

This is the latest in a number of leadership shifts for the ship. In June, USS Cowpens' skipper Capt. Gregory W. Gombert and command Master Chief Petty Officer Gabriel J. Keeton were both removed from their positions.

A Navy investigation later found that the ailing Gombert retreated to his cabin for several weeks in the middle of deployement. Investigators say his medical problems should not have required him to stay apart from the crew from early January to March.

Keeton was accused of failing to notify anyone outside the ship of the troubles on board, even though he told crew members he would.

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