Head of Navy Medicine Operational Training Center Relieved of Command

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Capt. Theron Toole, Navy Medicine Operational Training Center (NMOTC) commanding officer, speaks at the 2019 NMOTC Leadership Development Symposium. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael J. Lieberknecht)
Capt. Theron Toole, Navy Medicine Operational Training Center (NMOTC) commanding officer, speaks at the 2019 NMOTC Leadership Development Symposium. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael J. Lieberknecht)

The commanding officer of the Florida-based Navy Medicine Operational Training Center (NMOTC) was removed from his job Tuesday following a loss of confidence in his ability to lead.

Capt. Theron Toole was relieved of command by Rear Adm. Tina Davidson, head of Navy Medicine Education, Training and Logistics Command (NMETLC). The relief was not prompted by an investigation, said Angela Steadman, a spokeswoman for Navy Medicine's bureau of medicine and surgery.

"It was Rear Adm. Davidson's recommendation based on working with him," Steadman said.

Toole could not immediately be reached for comment. He has been temporarily reassigned to NMETLC and will be placed in "an appropriate position" at a later date, Steadman said.

Capt. Tim Richardson, deputy commander of NMETLC, is serving as the NMOTC's interim leader until a permanent replacement is named, she added.

No additional details about the relief were immediately available.

Toole had served as NMOTC's commanding officer since July 2018. The training center has six detachments and 60 facilities across 15 locations in the U.S. It provides administrative, professional, technical and consultative services on medical matters to the fleet and Marine Corps.

That includes training on undersea, surface, aerospace, expeditionary and special operations medicine. The center also screens future Navy and Marine Corps aviators, according to its website.

Prior to serving as commanding officer of NMOTC, Toole deployed with Marines to Afghanistan and served on humanitarian missions in Haiti and the Philippines.

Toole was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Navy Reserve in 1989 after receiving his medical degree from Meharry Medical College in Nashville.

He was called to active duty for the Navy residency in aerospace medicine in 2004 after serving as a surgeon in the Marine Corps aviation community. He went on to serve as senior medical officer aboard the supercarrier Ronald Reagan, later deploying twice in support of the war in Afghanistan.

He was the department head of internal medicine at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton in California and was the executive officer of Naval Health Clinic Quantico in Virginia.

He is qualified as a Surface Warfare Medical Department Officer and Fleet Marine Force Warfare Officer, according to his official bio, and received the Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious conduct.

-- Gina Harkins can be reached at gina.harkins@military.com. Follow her on Twitter @ginaaharkins.

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