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Photo by Jim Predmore

A former commanding officer of the Navy’s Blue Angels was relieved of duty as executive officer of the Naval Base Coronado on Friday for allowed, and in some cases encouraged, sexually explicit humor and inappropriate comments among members of the famed precision flying team, the U.S. Navy contended.
The service released some details of a complaint filed with the Navy’s inspector general against Capt. Gregory McWherter, who on Friday was relieved of duty as executive officer of Naval Base Coronado.

At the time, the Navy said only that it was investigating “inappropriate command climate” at the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron based at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla.

However, an ongoing investigation has indicated that McWherter, during his two stints as Blue Angels leader between 2008 and 2012, “tolerated an inappropriate work environment within the squadron which may have violated the Navy’s sexual harassment, hazing and equal opportunity policies,” a Navy statement said.

“The complaint alleges that lewd speech, inappropriate comments, and sexually explicit humor were allowed in the workplace and in some case encouraged by the commanding officer,” and that “pornographic images were displayed in the workplace and shared in electronic communications,” the statement said.

“All Navy leaders, whether assigned to a highly visible unit like the ‘Blues,’ or to our installations, squadrons, ships and submarines, are held to the highest standards,” Vice Admiral David Buss, commander of the Naval Air Forces, said in the statement. “The Navy expects everyone, from those officers in command positions to sailors on the waterfront, to provide principled and highly ethical leadership, stressing discipline, accountability, and the importance of treating shipmates with dignity and respect.”

The Blue Angels are continuing their training and there have been no changes to their performance schedule, the Navy added.

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