Navy Gives “Cruel” CO an Honorable Discharge

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Time illustration by John Ritter

Captain Holly Graf

Two years after booting Navy Captain Holly Graf as commanding officer of the cruiser USS Cowpens for “cruelty and maltreatment” of her crew, the Navy decided Friday that she should be allowed to retire with an honorable discharge.

The decision – by Juan Garcia, the assistant Navy secretary for manpower and reserve affairs – overturned a recommendation by a panel of three admirals that she leave with a general discharge. Garcia said he took Graf’s 26 years of service into account when he over-ruled the admirals. Some sailors are not pleased, according to the comments appended to the Navy Times‘ account of the decision.