New details emerge in firing of former commander of Pearl Harbor-based sub
By Lance M. Bacon
An attack submarine commander fired Monday for “drunkenness” was attending an annual event for NROTC midshipmen at Cornell University in New York when the incident occurred, Navy Times has learned.
Cmdr. Jeff Cima, former skipper of the Pearl Harbor-based submarine Chicago, was relieved for “drunkenness” and “conduct unbecoming an officer,” a Navy spokesman said Tuesday. But officials have been tight-lipped about the specifics of the incident and where it occurred.
Capt. Larry Olsen, professor of naval science and commanding officer of the school’s NROTC unit, told Navy Times that Cima was visiting the school to talk to the midshipmen about the nuclear power program.
“Submarine Squadron 3 takes care of Cornell, and Commander Cima was here on a briefing tour as part of that relationship,” he said.
Around 7 p.m. March 10, Cima and an unidentified lieutenant junior grade who accompanied him joined a dozen midshipmen for dinner at a local pizza place, Olsen said. This was typical of the host unit, he added, as it offers a “less formal” environment where the midshipmen can talk about the Navy or the subject that was earlier briefed.
Olsen said alcohol was consumed at the event, and sometime after 11 p.m., the midshipmen were ready go back because “they have a busy week before spring and have tests coming up.” But by that time, Cima and the junior officer were drunk and the midshipmen didn’t know what to do, he said. They called a lieutenant from the NROTC unit, who took the pair back to their hotel.
The lieutenant reported the event to Olsen the next day, who turned the matter over to Submarine Squadron 3.