U.S. General Stripped of Command After Death of 9 Marines

U.S. General Stripped of Command After Death of Trainees

(TheIndependentStar.com) – The death of a service member is always a tragic situation. But the loss of nine service members from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit in an assault amphibious vehicle (AAV) on July 30, 2020, was truly devastating. The craft sank during a routine exercise that was considered safe.

After investigations into the accident and inquiries from the families of the deceased service members about accountability, the Marine Corps announced it was relieving Major General Robert F. Castellvi, a two-star general, of his duties on Wednesday, June 9, 2021.

Castellvi was initially put under suspension in April 2021, when he was working as the Marine Corps inspector general. At the time of the incident, he was in charge of the AAV unit.

Investigations found mechanical errors resulting from improper maintenance were partially to blame for the event. Human error also played a significant role. Troops lacked adequate training, including on how to escape the AAV. Poor judgment from the commanders was also a contributing factor. The investigation placed partial blame directly on Castellvi.

Along with the Major General, the Marine Corps dismissed three other commanders, including the unit leader. Castellvi will not receive a reduction in rank, but this will go on his record and likely impact his future work in the Corps.

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