Captain Travis Zettel the commander of the nuclear-powered attack submarine USS Bremerton was relieved of command in August 2018 over issues of “inappropriate personal conduct” was investigated on allegations that he hired about 10 prostitutes while in port in the Philippines.
The Kitsap Sun first reported the revelation after receiving documents about the firing through a Freedom of Information Act request.
According to an investigation by the US Naval Criminal Investigative Service the captain told a fellow sailor he had “ordered ten girls to arrive at the hotel” while they were ashore in Subic Bay.
He was later seen with about 10 “provocatively dressed females outside the front door of the hotel,” according to a witness.
The IG tipster said that Zettel told he and another sailor that he’d “ordered ten girls to arrive at the hotel.” Investigators also talked to another sailor who said he saw Zettel walking around talking to other sailors in his command with “three local females holding onto his arm.”
The incident occurred in March 2018, while being ported in Subic Bay in the Philippines. The criminal investigation began in May.
NCIS agents reportedly confronted Zettel with the allegations. He admitted “culpability in the payment of female accompaniment,” according to the documents released to the publication.
The second accused sailor was interviewed, but he “did not participate in prostitution.” He wasn’t disciplined.
Zettel became the commander of Bremerton, the Navy’s oldest submarine before its recent decommission, in August 2016.
“Becoming the 15th commanding officer of the now 35-year-old ‘American classic’ is a proud moment for me and my family,” Zettel said in 2016 after taking control of the sub.
Following the investigation, he was reassigned to the staff of Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor-based Submarine Squadron 19, Navy officials told the Kitsap Sun.