24TH MEU commander fired following Walmart theft charge


Col. Robert G. Petit, commander of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit at Camp Lejeune, N.C., was relieved of command Saturday following his arrest a week ago in connection with a theft at Walmart in Jacksonville.

The decision by II Marine Expeditionary Force commander Lt. Gen. John M. Paxton to fire Petit “followed a Marine Corps inquiry into the facts relating to Petit’s Jan. 29, 2011 arrest by the Jacksonville Police Department for misdemeanor larceny,” according to a Saturday evening press release from Paxton’s office.

Petit was relieved “due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command,” the release said.

Petit, 50, who took command of the 24th MEU in September, was detained by Jacksonville police shortly after 5 p.m. Jan. 29, and charged with one count of misdemeanor larceny for allegedly stealing printer ink and STP fuel cleaner worth about $65, according to police and court documents.

He is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 22.

As a lieutenant colonel, Petit led Camp Lejeune’s 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, during combat deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq.

Petit is a native of New Orleans, according to a Marine Corps news release, which also notes that the MEU is scheduled to deploy in early 2012.


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  1. Really an unfortunate event. Probably 25 plus years of dedicated service. Probably an incident caused from stressers that are undefined . Just last night I was in a 3 hour fight just outside the wire at Khe Sahn Good Luck Colonel

  2. Undefined stressors? How compassionate of you. I can only wonder how many Marines he sent to courts-martial for petty theft, or for whom he signed off on BCDs and brig time without pondering for a second about their undefines stressors. Karma is a bitch.

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