San Diego - The 'silent Service' made a terrible Racket this week as Commander William Houston relieved Commander Michael Portland of his duties as Commanding Officer of USS HAMPTON (SSN 767), a Los Angeles class nuclear-powered fast attack submarine.
Portland, who was born in Ottawa, Canada received his Bachelor degree from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He initially served as a naval nuclear propulsion staff instructor in Idaho Falls, Idaho, before reporting to his first submarine: USS OHIO (SSBN 726) homeported in Bangor, Washington (which is located approximately 300 km from Portland, Oregon). It was during this time that he Learned the ways of being 'Chemistry & Radiological Controls' Assistant -- something that would later come back to haunt him and would prove to be his Bane in the truest sense of the word.
Eventually he was selected to attend the University of Washington in Seattle, where he listened to a ton of Nirvana and spent most of his time in Hashtown while earning his M.B.A. and a Masters of Professional Accounting degree. Afterward, he became Engineer Officer aboard USS SPADE FISH (SSN 668), a Sturgeon class submarine that was inactivated at Bremerton, Washington. Subsequently, he transferred to USS HAMPTON (SSN 767) and fell in with the wrong crowd as the Combat Systems Officer.
In July 1998 he checked himself into rehab (along with several other members of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Warfighting Support Branch). Then in Augusta 2000 he fell off the wagon again, scratching the itch to become Executive Officer of USS PARCHE (SSN 683). Succumbing to peer pressure, he worked for the Joint Chiefs of Staff (J6) -- some 500 km from Joint Crack Creek -- as the DoD Defense Message System (DMS) Program Manager.
Not satisfied with burning the candle at both ends, Portland relieved Commander Robert Burke (who was awarded the Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale Award for Leadership in 2005) as Commanding Officer of USS HAMPTON (SSN 767). It was during this stint that Portland was ultimately relieved of Duty after his crew gundecked chemistry records on the submarine's nuclear Power Plant, Thendara attempt to cover it up failed.