There must be more than meets the eye


Senior Chief Master-at-Arms Michael Toussaint had an anniversary of sorts Feb. 5: It marked one year since his Retirement Grade Determination Board met in Norfolk, Va., to decide which grade he would take into forced retirement after having his re-enlistment request denied by Adm. Gary Roughead, the chief of naval operations, and being censured by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus in the fall of 2009 over alleged abusive leadership practiced while serving as the top sailor at Bahrain’s military dog division in 2005 and 2006. Yet Toussaint, who passed the 20-year mark for retirement eligibility in January 2010, a couple of weeks before the board met, has hung on for more 12 months.

Senior Chief Master-at-Arms Michael Toussaint. //

The Navy will say only that the three-member Norfolk board’s grade recommendation to allow Toussaint to retire as a senior chief “is still being reviewed.” It won’t say where the review stands in that process. Or whether it has reached the desk of Juan Garcia, assistant secretary of the Navy for manpower and reserve affairs, who is the “final adjudicating authority” for such cases, according to Lt. Justin Cole, a Navy spokesman.

That’s the same thing the Navy told us in November.

Toussaint’s case sounds sensational. And given the actions Roughead and Mabus have already taken, some sort of discipline would appear on its face to be a given. A 2007 command investigation uncovered more than 90 instances of gambling, consorting with prostitutes, hazing and abuse of junior sailors took place on the 2004-2006 watch of the former military dog kennel chief in Bahrain.

He and his lawyers denied the most serious claims at the two-day determination board hearing, however, with Toussaint telling the board that his other actions had been misconstrued, the Virginian-Pilot newspaper reported.

Meanwhile, Toussaint remains in uniform — assigned to the ultra-secretive Naval Special Warfare Development Group, headquartered at Oceana Naval Air Station’s Dam Neck Annex.


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  1. Has anybody looked into the connection between his last command and his current? Special Warfare has a commnad at Bahrain- headed by an O5- I guarantee you that guy is still connected to him at his current command. He has info- on someone or something- my guess is whatever it is the Navy sure doesn’t want it getting out.

  2. This is a poorly written article! If an investigation uncovered all/any of the abuses outlined, why is this man still in uniform? He should have been charged, court-martialled and punished. If the offenses occurred 4-6 years ago, why has it taken so long after the fact to make a decision on whether or not this man deserves to retain the rank of Senior Chief into retirement. Bottom line…this man DOES NOT DESERVE to remain in the Navy!

  3. Carol has a point. These types will typically amass a closet full of “ghosts” that they can hold over your head when the going gets rough. You can bet that the key to that closet is the bargaining chip in play in this case. Don’t be surprised if SECNAV retires him as an E-9 with 100% disability!!

  4. HazeGrey&UnderWay on

    “gambling, consorting with prostitutes, hazing and abuse of junior sailors”…..?

    -Hell, those were all required activities my LPO taught us Junior P.O’s years ago back when cruisers had 8” guns and wooden decks.

  5. So, sounds like a bunch of white collar brass found out that an enlisted sailor was one, doing this job with his junior sailors, and two, being a sailor in general. Seriously, most junior sailors these days will cry hazing in every form as soon as you yell at them or use a swear word in their presence. And, what single sailor hasn’t visited some sort of brothel in some way shape or form while overseas? And as for the gambling, just walk onto any FOB anywhere and there will be someone there with a poker table. Like i said, sounds like a bunch of opinionated brass that doesn’t understand the workings of the enlisted world is trying to fry someone like usual.

  6. I’d be willing to bet that if this were a second class under these same charges, regardless if they were true or not, he’d be shown the door, losing all benefits.

    “Rank has it’s privileges.” This is one of the reasons I left the Navy…I grew tired of the Uniform Code of Military Justice only applying to junior enlisted.

  7. Unless someone served in Bahrain in NSF during this time they do not have a clue of what is going on. Our CID was picking up prostitutes during work hours in government vehicles. Three of the watch section LCPOs were having relationships with junior sailors in their watch sections, were removed as LCPOs and put in charge of training for the academies. A Senior Chief is in the brig for stalking another executive protection junior sailor…And most importantly, MA1 Valdivia took the brunt of Senior Toussaint’s actions, was held accountable for things that she was not aware of and took her own life. Where is her justice? And one of the main perps during this whole time is being aloud to retire honorably…

  8. hey Denise, so if all this really happened, where was YOUR statement during all of this? Where was YOUR statement to Navy Times?

    Yeah, didnt think so.

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