Rear Admiral Timothy Giardina’s involvement in casino gambling case was the reason for his firing as a second commander of US nuclear forces.
He was fired last year and this week was noticed that he had to pay $4,000, but the good news is that will be allowed to continue working as a Navy staff officer.
US admiral is fired due to gambling scheme involvement
• He is allowed to perform a staff officer’s job
• This is not the first recent case of dismissing senior officer with nuclear weapons responsibilities
• He might not be allowed to retire at his current rank, which is already lowered because of the gambling case
Admiral Giardina made it first into the gambling news when it was announced by the Navy that superior officer concluded that his part in the fake casino chips violates the Uniform Code of Military Justice on two stances.
The first was regarding Giardina’s lie to the investigator and the second one concerned his failure to surrender and his use of counterfeit poker chips that followed, which he insisted that he found at the casino premises.
It is indicative that Giardina opted for the “non-judicial punishment” performed by Admiral Bill Gortney, instead of choosing his legal right to court martial.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service was in charge of the case, but it was unable to prove how he acquired the chips in question.
Not the only case of high rank firing
Giardina admitted that he used three $500 chips, which later were discovered by casino officials as fake, violating US gambling laws.
When the incident happened at the Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa, he was taking the position of deputy commander of US Strategic Command in Omaha, in charge of the full arsenal of US nuclear weapons.
It is worth noting that he is not the first, but the second senior officer with nuclear weapons responsibilities who was fired recently.
The other official in question was Air Force Major General Michael Carey, who was commander of the land-based nuclear missile corps, fired at the end of last year because of an alcohol-related situation in Russia in 2013.
These two dismissals definitely raised questions regarding the quality of the US military nuclear management and its future.
The current situation
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, expressed serious concern about the situation with the leadership last year, and in the beginning of 2014 he arranged thorough review of the nuclear forces.
Captain Dawn Cutler, Navy spokeswoman, commented that the Navy is pleased because of the fact that Giardina suffered the consequence of his actions.
She added after the announcement of the decision on the case: “The Navy remains committed to holding all personnel, regardless of rank, to the highest standards.”
Giardina’s case started in June 2013 and he was suspended from his position in September. Later on in October he was relieved of duty, which made an extreme case as this is not a regular practice in the US nuclear weapons command.
Furthermore, he was allowed to perform a staff officer’s job in Washington with a two-star rank, which is way less than his previous three-star position.
His retirement request follows and currently the Navy announced that it will conduct a formal procedure of reviewing his career record, and decide whether he can retire at his current rank or only as a one-star admiral.