Vice Adm Scott A Stearney, above, (Photo credit: US Marine Corps), the US navy chief in the Middle East, was found dead on Saturday in his quarters in Bahrain in what defence officials call an “apparent suicide,” CBS News reports.
Stearney was commander of the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet based in the Gulf country.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Bahraini ministry of interior are investigating Stearney’s death. Officials ruled out foul play.
Rear Adm Paul Schlise, the deputy commander of fleet, has assumed command.
The navy, in a statement, described Stearney as a decorated naval warrior, a devoted husband and father and a good friend to all.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm John Richardson said the Stearney family, the 5th Fleet team and the Navy are devastated by the tragic news.
Stearney, a Chicago native, joined the Navy in 1982 and was designated naval aviator two years later.
He served in Afghanistan as chief of staff of joint task forces and as operations director for US Central Command before becoming commander of 5th Fleet in May this year.