Navy fires EOD command master chief

navy-fires-eod-command-master-chief

The command master chief of the Guam-based Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 5 was fired in May, Navy officials confirmed this week.

The relief of Master Chief Explosive Ordnance Disposalman Michael Knudsen on May 21 was not announced by Big Navy.

Before last year, the Navy would regularly announce firings of command triad members, but for reasons that remain unknown, that policy has changed.

While reliefs of commanding officers are still announced, the service no longer publicizes firings of executive officers or command master chiefs.

A reader alerted Navy Times to Knudsen’s firing.

“XOs and CMCs play important leadership roles but they do not share the responsibility/authority of command with the commanding officer and so they are not held to the same standard,” Navy spokesman Cmdr. Clay Doss told Navy Times Wednesday. “I should point out that most services do not announce any reliefs.”

Doss added that, “if an entire triad were relieved, you would hear from us about it.”

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Why Knudsen was fired remains unclear, but Navy Expeditionary Combat Command spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Amber Lewis said it came about after higher-ups “lost confidence in (Knudsen’s) ability to effectively serve as command master chief of EOD Mobile Unit 5.”

Knudsen declined comment when contacted by Navy Times this week.

He has been temporarily reassigned to Joint Region Marianas and is facing no other disciplinary action, Lewis said.

A New York native, Knudsen enlisted in 1995 and made E-9 in 2017, according to service records.

He reported to EODMU 5 in 2016.

About

Geoff is a senior staff reporter for Military Times, focusing on the Navy. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was most recently a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at geoffz@militarytimes.com.

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