Top Navy Admiral Fired After Wandering Florida Hotel Drunk and Naked

A two-star U.S. admiral has been reprimanded for an incident of public drunkenness and nudity at a Florida trade conference earlier this year.

The Navy announced today that Rear Adm. David Baucom had received non-judicial punishment from the commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command in the form of a punitive letter of reprimand permanently filed in his official record.

Baucom was found guilty of violations of conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman and disorderly conduct-drunkenness under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

“Baucom demonstrated poor judgment in his excessive use of alcohol and his resulting personal conduct was not up to the standard expected of all U. S. Navy Sailors,” said Rear Admiral Dawn Cutler, Navy Chief of Information. “The Navy is committed to holding personnel, regardless of rank or position, accountable for their actions and preserving good order and discipline.”

On the night of April 7, Baucom was in Pontevedra Beach, Florida, attending a trade conference in his role as the director, Strategy, Capabilities, Policy and Logistics, U.S. Transportation Command.

An investigation by the Navy’s Inspector General determined that following a welcoming dinner at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club, Baucom became so intoxicated that he was unable to stand. He hit his head on a barstool, appeared to have wet his pants and had to be helped to his hotel room by a staffer.

After awaking in the early morning hours, Baucom thought he had reached for the door of his bathroom, but had accidentally locked himself out of his room. A naked Baucom was spotted by some hotel guests wandering the hotel grounds in search of a towel with which to cover himself. He was eventually helped back to his hotel room by one of his co-workers, but not before the hotel guests had reported him to hotel security.

Baucom told investigators that prescription heart medications he was taking at the time exacerbated his drunken condition.

According to a copy of the Navy Inspector General’s investigation, investigators found that circumstance did not excuse his behavior: “We do not dispute that they may have made him dizzy or drowsy. We determined, however, that dizziness or drowsiness are not relevant to our analysis of whether RADM Baucom was drunk or disorderly.”

In a response to investigators, Baucom wrote, “This behavior is definitely out of character for me and I knew it immediately – I was shocked, concerned and worried.”

Baucom said that when he returned to his base he enrolled in the Air Force Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment program and has regularly attended counseling sessions. “The counselor determined that I do not have a propensity for an alcohol or drug disorder: I do not abuse alcohol or drugs and I am not addicted to alcohol or drugs,” he wrote.

“This is the only event of this nature since I became a midshipman 38 years ago,” he wrote. “I feel horrible. This event is both professionally and personally embarrassing and I sincerely apologize for my behavior.”

But investigators determined “that RADM Baucom’s level of intoxication and his public nudity are of such a nature that they dishonored or disgraced him personally and seriously compromised his standing as an officer.”

In October, Baucom was removed from his position at U.S. Transportation Command and is assigned to a job at the Pentagon.

1 reply
  1. Joe Levin
    Joe Levin says:

    A top Navy supply officer has been fired for an episode involving public drunkenness and nudity at a conference with defense contractors earlier this year, according to published reports.

    Navy Times reported Tuesday that Rear Admiral David Baucom had been removed from his job as director of Strategy, Policy, Capabilities, and Logistics at U.S. Transportation Command this past October. The news site reported that Baucom’s firing stemmed from an incident during an April conference in Ponte Vero Beach, Fla.

    A Navy investigation found that Baucom, 56, became so intoxicated during an April 7 dinner with approximately 70 other conference attendees that he could not stand up and had to be brought back to his room by a hotel employee. Later that evening, the admiral was discovered wandering naked through the hotel asking for a towel to cover himself up.

    Baucom blamed his behavior on mixing alcohol with prescription drugs for a heart problem in a statement provided to Navy times. The Washington Post also reported that Baucom had told a colleague in an e-mail that he did not pack pajamas for the trip to Florida because he was concerned about the weight of his luggage and “did not want to pay the extra $25 for a second bag.”

    “After extensive medical testing and diagnoses, four doctors have stated in writing that I most probably experienced an atrial fibrillation event … which caused lightheadedness, disorientation, dizziness and confusion,” Baucom said of the night in question. “I have served the Navy for more than 34 years and am proud of our institution. I deeply regret my actions caused discredit to the Navy I love.”

    However, an inspector general’s report found that Baucom’s “level of intoxication and his public nudity are of such a nature that they dishonored or disgraced him personally and seriously compromised his standing as an officer.”

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply