Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New deputy commander for MacDill commando HQ

Navy Vice Adm. Sean A. Pybus still must be confirmed.

Navy Vice Adm. Sean A. Pybus still must be confirmed.

TAMPA — A former Navy SEAL commander who said he was "embarrassed" by leaks in the ranks of the super-secret commandos has been nominated as deputy commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, the Defense Department said Tuesday.

The nomination of Navy Vice Adm. Sean A. Pybus by President Barack Obama must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. SOCom is based at MacDill Air Force Base.

He would serve under Adm. William McRaven, another SEAL alumnus.

Pybus, 56, who graduated from SEAL school in 1979 and has served about 35 years in the Navy, is currently commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Special Operations headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

He would replace SOCom's current deputy, Army Lt. Gen. John Mulholland, though no announcement has been made about Mulholland's future.

The appointment sets up Pybus as a leading contender for the top job at SOCom should McRaven retire this year. McRaven's third anniversary as commander comes in August, and command stints in the military are often three years.

According to Pybus' Navy biography, he graduated from the University of Rochester with a degree in economics before entering the Navy. He spent much of his youth in Oklahoma.

Pybus served at the Navy Special Warfare Command near San Diego, which oversees SEALs, taking over the headquarters not long after the SEAL raid that killed Osama Bin Laden in May 2011.

Pybus wrote a much-publicized message to special forces and support personnel around the world after leaks about the SEALs' secret work. SEAL stands for Sea, Air and Land.

"We do NOT advertise the nature of our work, NOR do we seek recognition for our actions," Pybus wrote.

"I am disappointed, embarrassed and concerned. Most of us have always thought that the privilege of working with some of our nation's toughest warriors on challenging missions would be enough to be proud of, with no further compensation or celebrity required.

"Today, we find former SEALs headlining positions in a presidential campaign; hawking details about a mission against Enemy Number 1; and generally selling other aspects of … training and operations. For an elite force that should be humble and disciplined for life, we are certainly not appearing to be so. We owe our chain of command much better than this."

In a 2012 interview with the Defense Media Network, Pybus said leaks posed a threat to future operations.

"I understand the importance of maintaining a well informed public, that's the reason we have military public affairs officers who work with the media and conduct community relations activities," Pybus said. "I support those kinds of efforts."

Pybus, who previously worked at SOCom from 2007 to 2009, is listed as co-owner of a home just north of Tampa, about a 40-minute drive from MacDill.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report. William R. Levesque can be reached at levesque@tampabay.com

New deputy commander for MacDill commando HQ 04/01/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 11:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa man crashes into parked cars, gate at the Islamic Society of Tampa Mosque

    Crime

    A Tampa man intentionally drove his pick-up truck into two parked vehicles before smashing through the locked gate of the Islamic Society of Tampa Mosque, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

    Shaun H. Urwiler, 42, was arrested July 16 for intentionally driving his pick-up truck into two parked vehicles before smashing through the locked gate of the Islamic Society of Tampa Mosque, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  2. USF hoops to play at Indiana in November

    Blogs

    The USF men's basketball team is set to get an early test from a Big Ten powerhouse in non-conference play next season.

  3. Last steel beam marks construction milestone for Tom and Mary James' museum

    Growth

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom and Mary James on Wednesday signed their names to the last steel beam framing the 105-ton stone mesa that will be built at the entrance of the museum that bears their name: the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art.

    The topping-out ceremony of the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art was held Wednesday morning in downtown St. Petersburg. Mary James (from left), husband Tom and Mayor Rick Kriseman signed the final beam before it was put into place. When finished, the $55 million museum at 100 Central Ave. will hold up to 500 pieces of the couple's 3,000-piece art collection. [Courtesy of James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art]
  4. Florida's school grades improve as educators get the hang of a new system

    Testing

    Following a trend, Florida's school grades showed strong gains in the third year after the state changed its grading formula and the standardized tests that students take every year.

    After finding out earlier Wednesday that her school went from a low C to an A,  Bear Creek Elementary principal Willette Houston celebrates with her students in the YMCA After School program at the school in St. Petersburg. Houston is giving a high five to rising fifth grader Jonaven Viera. Rising 4th grader Jonathan Cafaro is in foreground with his back to camera. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]
  5. Tampa Bay woman, 11-year-old boy had sex up to 20 times the year their baby was born, detectives say.

    Crime

    TAMPA — A woman sexually battered an 11-year-old Brandon boy, got pregnant and raised the baby for three years before a tip led to her arrest, Hillsborough County sheriff's officials said.

    Marissa Mowry, now 25,  had sex as many as 20 times in 2014 with a boy who was 11 when he impregnated her, Hillsborough County detectives allege. [Photo courtesy of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office]