GROTON, Conn. — A former submarine commander who faked his death to end an extramarital affair should be honorably discharged from the Navy, a panel of officers recommended Friday after a daylong hearing in which the officer said he accepted "full and total accountability" for his behavior.
Cmdr. Michael Ward, a married 43-year-old, sent his mistress in Virginia an email in July posing as a fictitious co-worker named Bob and saying Ward had died unexpectedly. Ward was relieved of his duties aboard the USS Pittsburgh in August, a week after he'd taken command. He has received a letter of reprimand for adultery and other military violations.
The three-officer board of inquiry recommended Ward retain his rank upon being discharged. Its decision goes to the secretary of the Navy for approval within 90 days.