Navy commander demoted for hiring “female accompaniment” in the Philippines

Capt. Travis Zettel was relieved of his command in August.

Navy commander demoted for hiring “female accompaniment” in the Philippines

Navy Capt. Travis Zettel, demoted in August for what the Navy called a “loss of confidence,” was found to have hired “female accompaniment” while ported in the Philippines in March, the Kitsap Sun reported on Friday.

Following an investigation from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Zettel was removed from his command post on the submarine USS Bremerton in August, and reassigned as a staff member on Submarine Squadron 19 based at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.

The USS Bremerton was homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawai’i before returning to Bremerton to be decommissioned last year.

According to documents obtained via public records request recently, an incident occurred on March 1 while the submarine was ported in Subic Bay, the Philippines, on one of its final deployments.

A witness allegedly told investigators that Zettel said he “requested/ordered ten girls to arrive at the hotel,” according to the report. Later, the witness allegedly saw Zettel with around 10 “provocatively dressed females outside the front door of the hotel,” the Sun reported.

When questioned by the NCIS, Zettel admitted he was involved in paying for female accompaniment, the report said.

Zettel was reprimanded and relieved of his leadership position in August. The Navy cited a “loss of confidence in his ability to command” in reassigning him, a spokesperson said at the time.

The USS Bremerton stopped at Subic Bay on March 1 for a routine port visit, according to a Navy press release.

The Navy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Gabe Stutman is a reporter with the Kitsap News Group. Follow him on Twitter @kitsapgabe.

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