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Readiness Chairman Garamendi’s Statement on Marine Corps Relieving Maj. Gen. Castellvi of his Duties

June 9, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Congressman John Garamendi, Chair of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, issued the statement below following the U.S. Marine Corps’ announcement that Maj. Gen. Robert Castellvi has been permanently relieved from his position. Maj. Gen. Castellvi was the Commanding General of 1st Marine Division and was found to have failed in his duties to properly train Marines and Sailors before a fatal assault amphibious vehicle (AAV) training accident last July off the coast of California that took the lives of eight Marines and a Navy Corpsman.

Garamendi has conducted extensive oversight into the recent spike in military training deaths as Chair of the Readiness Subcommittee.

“I am pleased to learn that the Marine Corps has held Maj. Gen. Castellvi accountable for his completely inadequate performance as Commanding General of the 1st Marine Division.  It is my view that his failures in ensuring the Marines under his charge were adequately trained prior to joining the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit were a direct and contributing factor to the tragic loss of eight Marines and one Navy Corpsman last July. While this accountability action is an important step, I will continue to work to ensure that the Marine Corps adopts a culture of safety and continues to remedy all of the failures that lead to that tragic day. This is the only way to ensure that dangerous training required to prepare our service members for combat is done as safely as possible,” Garamendi said.

Garamendi held a hearing on this incident in March as part of the Readiness Subcommittee’s ongoing inquiry into the precipitous rise in military training accidents.