The man who was in command of the Naval Station Mayport-based USS Paul Ignatius has, according to the U.S. Navy, been relieved of command six months after his appointment.
Cmdr. Jeffrey Servello was removed from service on January 6 “due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command,” according to a brief naval statement.
Servello’s removal comes after a study of the ship’s performance during an exercise in 2021 in which the crew had made mistakes during an anti-air war exercise in the Atlantic, according to the US Naval Institute News.
Bagadm. Brendan McLane, commander of the Atlantic Naval Surface Force, said Cmdr. Eric Meyers will be temporarily appointed as commander until a permanent replacement is identified. Servello will be temporarily relocated to the staff of Naval Surface Squadron 14 based in Mayport.
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Servello called his time in command “the honor of my career,” according to his statement to the U.S. Naval Institute News.
“Although I am deeply disappointed with this decision, I understand that black money stops with me as commander, regardless of the circumstances or mitigating details,” he said. “I look forward to ending my time in the Navy and beginning a new chapter in civilian life.”
The USS Paul Ignatius is named after the Navy’s 59th Secretary and is the 67th Arleigh Burke class destroyer, according to the Navy. It was home-ported to Mayport after its commissioning in 2019.
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Servello, who is based in Hollywood, Md., Had served as commander-in-chief since June. As a graduate of the US Naval Academy in 2002, his career began as a surface war officer on the USS Porty Royal, then chief engineer on the USS Nitze and the USS Leyte Gulf, according to the Navy.
From mid-2013 to late 2014, he led the USS Squall in the Arabian Gulf, then he was the leading officer of the USS Paul Ignatius from late 2019 to April, the Navy said. His land service included time as an instructor at the Naval Academy and placement officer at the Navy Personnel Command in Tennessee.
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This article originally appeared in Florida Times-Union: Jeffrey Servello exempted from Jacksonville-based destroyer assignments