Two-Star Fired After Failures in Deadly AAV Disaster



A Marine general’s career is effectively over after he was fired following a deadly amphibious vehicle incident last summer that killed nine troops. The Marine Corps announced the move Wednesday.

Maj. Gen. Robert Castellvi originally was suspended in May from his position as inspector general of the Marine Corps, a job that had him overseeing major investigations of wrongdoing in the service. It was his follow-on assignment after he served as commanding general of 1st Marine Division. He was in charge of the division when an AAV sank off San Diego’s coast last July.

Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. David Berger formally counseled Castellvi for “his failure to properly train Marines and sailors,” Capt. Andrew Wood, a Marine spokesman said in a statement Wednesday.

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“The commandant’s decision is part of Maj. Gen. Castellvi’s permanent record, and must be considered if he is evaluated for promotion, retention, or roles of responsibility,” Wood said. “This action typically prevents an officer from being promoted or serving in a role where he/she would be charged with the responsibility of caring for Marines and sailors.”

Wood added that Castellvi was not planning to make a statement at this time.

The AAV that sank was one of several vehicles assigned to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit found to be in a state of disrepair. Investigations showed that members Castellvi’s former division also lacked training for waterborne missions — even though they were assigned to a MEU, which deploys on Navy warships.

Assistant Commandant Gen. Gary Thomas told lawmakers last month that 11 Marines in all will be held responsible for their roles in the AAV accident.

“An individual’s rank neither obligates nor excuses them from accountability,” Thomas told members of the House Armed Services Committee.

Two officers were fired after the accident. Lt. Col. Michael Regner, commanding officer of Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, was relieved in October. Col. Christopher Bronzi, the 15th MEU’s commanding officer, was relieved in March while his unit was operating in the Middle East.

— Steve Beynon can be reached at Steve.Beynon@military.com. Follow him on Twitter @StevenBeynon.

Related: 2 Moms Whose Marine Sons Died in Sinking AAV Say Command Mistakes Were ‘Overwhelming’

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