Our cover story this week focuses on how a hard-partying, hard-drinking commanding officer warped the morale and authority lines of the Bahrain-based task force he led. He attended a string of parties at a subordinate’s apartment over the summer of 2011, where heavy drinking frequently led to public indecency, a highly inappropriate spectacle in an Islamic country where modesty is the norm. Officers were afraid to warn him or report his behavior. And so it continued until he became the 19th CO of the 22 fired in 2011. Here’s a short intro to the story:
By nightfall June 3, what began as an officer’s move-in bash at her new apartment in Bahrain’s Floating Citywas getting out of hand. Partiers had been drinking all day Friday. And the party had spilled from her patio onto rafts in the canal alongside.
Then, something startled her guests, a mix of colleagues from her command, friends and neighbors: The host stripped off her bikini top.
The party — while not an official command function — included enlisted, junior officers, even the commanding officer of her 100-member logistics task force based in Bahrain. The sight of her topless changed the party’s dynamic. Men drew closer to leer. Another woman removed her top. And a man took off his pants, exposing himself. While guests stared, all three went skinny-dipping.
That’s when the commodore jumped in.
Capt. David Geisler, commodore of the logistics task force responsible for supplying all naval assets in 5th Fleet, who had spent the afternoon drinking and floating in an inner tube on the canal, removed his bathing suit and swam nude, witnesses said.
His participation in this and other such parties would lead to his firing later in the year, according to an investigation into his and others’ behavior in Bahrain.
For the rest of the story, pick up Navy Times on a newsstand this week. Click here to subscribe.