The Navy has censured and will remove from active duty the former leader of its canine unit in Bahrain after reviewing a 2007 investigation into reports of hazing and abuse of a gay dog handler and other sailors.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/22/toussaint.navy.art.jpg caption="Senior Chief Michael Toussaint's enlistment extension has been canceled, which will force him to leave active duty and retire in January, 2010."]
Admiral Gary Roughead, the commander of Naval Operations, has canceled Senior Chief Michael Toussaint's enlistment extension, which will force him to leave active duty and retire in January, 2010. Although the previous Navy investigation found more than 90 alleged incidents of hazing and harassment, including forcing the gay sailor, Joseph Rocha, to simulate oral sex with another man, no one appeared to have been disciplined.
Toussaint was subsequently promoted to senior chief and assigned to work with the elite Navy SEALS. Wednesday’s announcement meant Toussaint will be stripped of his leadership position and assigned to administrative duties at the Navy Special Warfare Group 2 in Virginia. In addition, Toussaint's retirement pay will be reviewed.
"Admiral Roughhead found that the incidents were not in keeping with Navy values and standards and violated the Navy's longstanding prohibition against hazing," said Navy spokeswoman and Commander Elissa Smith. "Our sailors are to be treated with dignity and respect in a healthy and positive working environment."
Joe Rocha, the sailor who says he was tormented daily for more than two years when Toussaint suspected he was gay, told CNN he welcomed the news. “It gives me and a lot of people a lot of hope in that this is a great day for everyone, for our men, our women, heterosexual, lesbian, or gay, for everyone, this reestablishes what Navy leadership is, that anything less than leadership that meets the corp's values will be punished.” Watch Rocha react to the news
Rocha does regret, however, that Toussaint will apparently not face a court martial. CNN reached out to Senior Chief Toussaint for a comment on the Navy’s decision, but a Navy spokesman said Toussaint is not commenting to the press.