The Navy Times is reporting that the second highest ranking official in the Navy was forced to resign today, after his conduct towards a female subordinate came under investigation. Here’s what we know about this budding scandal:
1. Martinage Was Serving In an Interim Capacity
Martinage has been serving as Acting Undersecretary of the Navy since April 21, 2013, after Obama’s first nominee to the post, Robert O. Work, left for a position with the D.C. think tank Center for a New American Security.
2. The Nominee For Martinage’s Job Is Viewed by Some as Soft on Rape
On January 9th of this year, Obama’s second term nominee Jo Ann Rooney was approved by a Senate committee, but has yet to be confirmed by the full Senate. That’s because New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand placed a hold on her nomination, objecting to Rooney’s stance that the prosecution of rape and sexual assault charges should remain within the military’s chain of command. Gillibrand has been leading the charge in the legislature to combat sexual assault in the military, and many women’s advocates believe that keeping the prosecution of sex crimes within the chain of command discourages women from reporting such offenses.
3. Martinage is a Longtime Military Analyst
According to Martinage’s official Navy bio, he had previously been Deputy Navy Undersecretary for plans, policy, oversight and integration. Before that he’d held a variety of positions within the Pentagon, serving as an analyst and war gamer for the Center of Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, where he specialized in special operations and irregular warfare.
In that capacity, Martinage wrote several significant analytic reports, among them a 2007 paper titled The Global War on Terrorism: An Assessment, which was labeled a “must read” by the Council on Foreign Relations.
4. A Replacement Has Already Been Named
Tom Hicks, deputy Navy undersecretary and deputy chief management officer, will take Martinage’s position until Rooney receives full confirmation.
5. Staff Were Surprised by His Sudden Resignation
The Navy Times reports that many in the Navy Department were surprised by the resignation, which came almost immediately after Martinage was confronted by investigatory evidence.