US Navy Rear Admiral David Baucom sacked for being drink and naked in a hotel
A LEADING US Navy admiral has been sacked after he was found wandering drunk and naked at a hotel where he was attending a conference.
Rear Admiral David Baucom, the 56-year-old director of Strategy, Policy, Capabilities, and Logistics at US Transportation Command, was removed from his post after an investigation, the Navy Times reported.
Baucom. who managed global air, land and sea transportation, is the most senior officer removed from the US Navy this year.
The incident happened on April 7 when Baucom attended the National Defence Transportation Association’s Transportation Advisory Board in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
Baucom attended a dinner with about 70 conference attendees and drank all or part of at least eight drinks — a gin and tonic, two glasses of wine and five glasses of scotch whiskey — according to an investigation released by the US Navy.
At least one of his fellow attendees offered to take Baucom back to his room, but he made it clear he was not going back.
Security camera footage showed Baucom stumbling, at one point hitting his head on a bar stool. At 1.30am, a hotel employee drove Baucom to his room.
Back in his room Baucom stripped off, showered and took prescription medication, which can cause drowsiness and dizziness when mixed with alcohol. He went to bed.
at 5:45am, Baucom was observed walking around the hotel naked, apparently disorientated and seeking a towel to cover his modesty. He told investigators he woke and thought he went to the bathroom but in front left his room, locking the door behind him.
Baucom was eventually taken by to his room by a colleague.
When he returned to Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, where TRANSCOM’s headquarters is based, he checked himself into the drug and alcohol treatment program.
The investigation into his actions found they could not be excused by mixing medications with alcohol and that his behaviour was more a result of being drunk.
“We determined that RADM Baucom’s level of intoxication and his public nudity are of such a nature that they dishonored (sic) or disgraced him personally and seriously compromised his standing as an officer,” the report read.
After the investigation’s findings, TRANSCOM removed Baucom from his joint billet and he was transferred to Fleet Forces Command in October. Admiral Phil Davidson, the FFC boss, found Baucom guilty of conduct unbecoming an officer and disorderly conduct at a November 20 admiral’s mast.
Baucom had pleaded that his 34-year career not be judged on a single incident.
“After extensive medical testing and diagnoses, four doctors have stated in writing that I most probably experienced an atrial fibrillation event the evening of April 8th which caused light-headedness, disorientation, dizziness and confusion,” Baucom said in a statement provided to Navy Times.
“These symptoms may last up to 24 hours. I am now being treated for those symptoms and other medical conditions.
“I have served the Navy for more than 34 years and am proud of our institution. I deeply regret my actions caused discredit to the Navy I love.”
The US Navy opted to allow Baucom the opportunity to appeal his nonjudicial punishment before disclosing his removal and reprimand, a US Navy spokeswoman said.