How the Navy tapped a jailed sex offender to be a department head

| June 26, 2019

ltjg mcneil
Lt. j.g. Michael D. McNeil is serving a 10-year prison term for attempted online enticement of a minor. Yet the Navy still tapped him to run a department. (Photo courtesy Clay County Sheriff’s Office)

Someone’s got some ‘splaining to do. How this deviant wound up on the Department Head list is anyone’s guess. Just embarrassing, Navy.

By Geoff Ziezulewicz ?
Lt. j.g. Michael Douglas McNeil recently joined dozens of other junior surface warfare officers in getting selected to be a future department head.

The list of those eligible for the afloat position was released Friday by Navy Personnel Command.

But whether news of this career milestone reached the 31-year-old in federal prison remains unknown.

McNeil is currently serving a bid for trying to arrange sex with a 12-year-old deaf girl and is locked up until 2027 at a low-security facility in Texarkana, Texas.

Still active duty and still listed as being assigned to the guided-missile destroyer Lassen, McNeil was sentenced to 10 years in March by a federal judge in Florida.

An eagle-eyed reader first alerted Navy Times to McNeil’s inclusion on the list, and Military Times brought it up with the Navy.

When asked why McNeil was tapped as a future department head, Navy officials said his record hadn’t been updated when the board convened.

UmmmKay. Perhaps records should be a bit more closely screened prior to being submitted for selection to positions of higher authority, or is that just me?

Read the rest of the article here: Navy Times

Category: "Teh Stoopid", Dick Stepping, Legal, Navy

Comments (14)

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  1. Comm Center Rat says:

    From the Navy Times article: “As part of his plea deal, he waived his right to a Navy board of inquiry and will receive an “other than honorable” discharge.”

    Apparently, this perv has not yet been administratively separated from the Navy. What’s taking so long and is he still collecting active pay and benefits while incarcerated?

    • Hondo says:

      Pretty sure that status IHCA (In Hands of Civil Authorities – e.g., in a civilian jail or prison) is “bad time” for which no pay and allowances accrue when it’s due to serving a sentence after conviction of a crime.

      Not sure why the Navy hasn’t separated him yet. Only thing that comes to mind is maybe they held off so his family would continue to have medical/commissary/quarters privileges.

      If that’s the case, IMO that was a huge mistake. Him screwing over any family he had via being a perv and committing a sex offense that landed him in Federal prison isn’t the Navy’s problem.

  2. Claw says:

    “currently serving a bid” WTF is that? Is that Navy-Speak for getting three hots and a cot and the ability to go to the head of the line at the BTJT Deli?

    Just asking./s

    • The Stranger says:

      Probably meant to write “bit”, however that is some old school prison lingo. In other words, some shit Humphrey Bogart or Jimmy Cagney would say in the movies.

    • Mason says:

      A bid is modern urban street slang for a prison sentence. If you’re not a part of the young urban troubadour set, you’ve probably not heard it.

  3. 5th/77th FA says:

    Sick bastard. Solicitation of a deaf 12 yo? Hope he is enjoying his manmeat sammiches at the deli. Some sympathy for the family…for him?…none at all.

    I’m wid Hondo. Why should the taxpayer have to support this perverts family?

  4. Lt. j.g. Michael Douglas McNeil recently joined dozens of other junior surface warfare officers in getting selected to be a future department head.

    The list of those eligible for the afloat position was released Friday by Navy Personnel Command.

    But whether news of this career milestone reached the 31-year-old in federal prison remains unknown.

    McNeil is currently serving a bid for trying to arrange sex with a 12-year-old deaf girl and is locked up until 2027 at a low-security facility in Texarkana, Texas.

    Still active duty and still listed as being assigned to the guided-missile destroyer Lassen, McNeil was sentenced to 10 years in March by a federal judge in Florida.

    Here’s what happened to the officer who tried to arrange sex with a deaf child
    Here’s what happened to the officer who tried to arrange sex with a deaf child
    The Navy officer thought he was texting with the girl’s uncle, but he was really communicating with law enforcement.

    By: Geoff Ziezulewicz
    An eagle-eyed reader first alerted Navy Times to McNeil’s inclusion on the list, and Military Times brought it up with the Navy.

    When asked why McNeil was tapped as a future department head, Navy officials said his record hadn’t been updated when the board convened.

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    The “civil action report” denoting that McNeil had been convicted had not made its way into his personnel file when the board met, according to Navy Personnel Command spokeswoman Cmdr. Krin Burzynski.

    “Only the information contained in a military record is considered at a selection board,” she said in an email Tuesday. “Any outside information that is not part of the official record cannot be considered or introduced. As such, Lt. j.g. McNeil was selected based on the available information at the time of the board.”

    The Navy is in the process of administratively separating McNeil, she said.

    McNeil likely won’t stay on the list because a future board “will review the records of all previously screened officers for any deviation from the ‘best and fully qualified’ standard,” according to Burzynski.

    “Officers are removed, or de-screened, from promotion and selection status depending on the decision of the board members after they have reviewed any newly introduced, adverse information in the officer’s official record,” she said. “The Navy reviews the records and status of all officers to ensure only the ‘best and fully qualified’ are selected.”

    McNeil pleaded guilty in December to one count of attempted online enticement of a minor.

    As part of his plea deal, he waived his right to a Navy board of inquiry and will receive an “other than honorable” discharge.

    The SWO department head board looks at officers with three to five years of commissioned service, and there are several years between selection and the beginning of a department head tour, Burzynski said.

  5. Martinjmpr says:

    As an officer, shouldn’t he have been dismissed from the service (IIRC that is the officer equivalent of a dishonorable discharge?) Or was he able to plea bargain something lesser?

    • David Pope says:

      When military personnel are convicted in civilian courts, it is fairly common to get a quick Other-Than-Honorable Discharge, and just get rid of the SOB. Otherwise, once they hit 30 days in prison, it’s technically considered desertion, and they can nail the guy in a General Court Martial. So, generally the trick is to get the guy an OTH before that 30-day point. Either way, he’s screwed anyway.

    • Hondo says:

      An officer can only be dismissed as the result of (1) presidential order during time of conflict, or (2) as the result of court-martial conviction. See 10 USC 1161.

      I doubt this case ever got to the POTUS’s desk (nor should it). He also hasn’t been court-martialed.

      The article says he agreed to accept an OTH discharge, apparently as part of a plea agreement. My guess would be that he agreed to resign for the good of the service, effective at some future date. I believe that comes with an OTH as “standard equipment”. (smile)

      Another possibility would be that he agreed to request discharge in lieu of court martial at the completion of his civilian sentence. Not sure, though – that option may not be open to officers since resignation for the good of the service is available.

  6. Mason says:

    It’s nice to see that being a convicted pedophile in today’s Navy won’t hold your career back.

  7. MSG Eric says:

    Soon to be the Head Department Head, in Cellblock A-86….