Navy fires commander of biomedical research lab

by Vern Evans

The Navy fired the commanding officer of a Lima, Peru, based biomedical research lab on Friday, less than a year after she assumed command.

Capt. Abigail Y. Marter was relieved as head of Naval Medical Research Unit South “due to a loss of confidence in her ability to command,” the Navy said in a statement.

Such boilerplate language is often used by the Navy when first announcing the relief of commanding officers and other senior personnel.

Officials did not immediately respond to follow-up questions from Navy Times regarding the reasons for Marter’s firing.

“Navy commanding officers are held to the highest standards of personal and professional conduct,” the Navy said. “They are expected to uphold the highest standards of responsibility, reliability, and leadership, and the Navy holds them accountable when they fall short of meeting these standards.”

Cmdr. Michael Prouty has assumed temporary command of the unit, and Marter has been temporarily reassigned to Naval Medical Research Command.

A family nurse practitioner, Marter took command of the unit in July.

Formerly known as Naval Medical Research Unit 6, the command monitors and researches infectious diseases in Central and South America.

Its main hub is on a Peruvian naval base, but the command also runs a satellite lab on an air base in Honduras.

Geoff is the editor of Navy Times, but he still loves writing stories. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at

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