USS Georgia Commander Relieved of Duty Amid Arrest, Citing ‘Loss of Confidence’

Captain Geoffry Patton was relieved of command by Rear Admiral Thomas “T.R.” Buchanan of the Blue Crew of the Guided Missile Submarine USS Georgia on Wednesday. Buchanan cited a “loss in confidence in his capability to command.”

In an official press release from Adm. Buchanan’s office, Buchanan stated:

USS Georgia’s command is Capt. Christopher Osborn is the commanding officer of the USS Georgia Gold Crew. No impact on operations.

Navy commanding officers are held to high personal and professional standards. The Navy holds commanding officers accountable for not upholding the highest standards in terms of leadership, responsibility, and reliability.

Although Capt. A search of the arrest records at the Camden County Sheriff’s Office where Kings Bay is situated shows that Patterson was arrested in the early morning hours of January 9, 2024. Patterson was charged with driving under the influence, and improper lane changes, and was released after posting a bail of more than $1,800.

No matter which branch of the US military is arresting the service member, all branches have a policy of “zero-tolerance” for alcohol-related crimes such as DUI. Every time a military member is arrested for DUI they are immediately punished. Enlisted receive what’s called “Non Judicial Punishment” or NJP. Each service uses a different term, but it is the same process. Enlisted members may be demoted a rank, sent to the barracks for some time, or restricted on ships, and have their pay docked. Officers are treated differently. Usually, they are relieved from their command pending an investigation into possible discipline.

Capt. Patterson was the commander of the “Blue Crew,” which is the secondary crew on the submarine. The “Gold Crew,” the primary crew, had a separate commanding officer. Two crews are assigned to all ballistic missile and guided missile subs of the US Navy. The US Navy does this to ensure a constant deployment cycle of the boats and crew safety between deployments. These types of subs are typically deployed for three to four-month periods, depending on Navy needs.

USS Georgia, an Ohio Class Submarine, entered service as a ballistic missile submarine in 1984. It carried 20 Trident C4 nuclear missiles with eight nuclear warheads of 100k Kilotons each. In 2004, the USS Georgia was renamed a guided-missile submarine, and her 20 Trident nuclear missiles were exchanged for 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles. She was retrofitted with a dive trunk, a piggyback attachment for a mini-sub, and guided missiles.

Captain Christopher Osborn, the “Gold Crew” commanding officer of the submarine, has taken over as captain. According to the Navy, Captain Christopher Osborn is now in command and the boat’s operations are continuing as usual.