Cashing Out

President Obama relieved Vice Adm. Tim Giardina of his post as deputy commander of US Strategic Command amid a Navy investigation into allegations that Giardina used $1,500 in counterfeit chips at a casino in Iowa. Obama made the decision on Oct. 3 based on recommendations from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and STRATCOM Commander Gen. Robert Kehler, reported ABC News. Giardina has been reassigned to the Navy staff while the Naval Criminal Investigative Service continues to investigate, reported the Des Moines Register. There have been no criminal charges filed against him at this point, according to the press reports. Kehler reportedly suspended Giardina on Sept. 3, but Giardina remained with the command until the President sacked him. Giardina has also lost one star, falling in rank to rear admiral, as a result of what has transpired. He had held STRATCOM’s No. 2 post since December 2011 and was scheduled to leave the command. Back in July, Obama nominated Lt. Gen. James Kowalski, who heads Air Force Global Strike Command, to replace Giardina. The Senate has not yet confirmed Kowalski’s nomination.