After calling his husband on the phone, Navy Lieutenant Eric Kutzler walks out of his kitchen. The power to his house goes out. After checking the fusebox outside, he turns around and is shot by man holding a gun with a silencer.
The team learns that the person who found Kutzler's body was his husband Vince Armstrong.
Hollis Mann joins the NCIS investigation because the DOD was vetting Kutzler for the Medal of Honor. He was being honored because of his bravery during his last tour, in which he had jumped on a live grenade, saving the lives of two of his men.
Kutzler would have been the first openly gay service member to receive the Medal of Honor. The team theorizes that this may have been a hate crime.
Down in the lab, Abby gets off the phone and informs Jimmy that Breena's at the hospital and is in labor. He freezes, saying nothing, until Gibbs slaps him upside the head.
Kutzler's husband Vince Armstrong was seen on tape, finding his body. Abby says that 911 recorded his call 20 minutes after he found the body.
Tony and McGee question Armstrong, who says that after finding Kutzler's body, he went inside and found drugs and syringes on the table. Knowing that his husband wasn't into drugs, he hid them in the garage. He didn't want Kutlzer being disqualified from receiving the Medal of Honor.
Abby confirms that Kutzler had no drugs in his system. The drugs they found in his garage were vials of morphine mixed with fentanyl.
Ducky is puzzled by the fact that there are no drugs at all in his body. He had suffered catastrophic wounds and was subscribed many drugs. He never filled any of the prescriptions, choosing instead to live with the intense pain.
The team learns that a week before the ambush Kuztler received a letter of reprimand for disorderly conduct, which was later retracted. The issuer was his commanding officer, Rear Admiral Xavier Meade.
Bishop and Gibbs interview Meade, who tells them he had written Kutzler up after a fight. Kutzler had been challenged about his homosexuality. Meade says that as Kuztler was an officer he was held to a higher standard, and that a written reprimand was standard protocol. He says he later retracted it because it didn't seem fair that Kutzler's career be limited because of the reprimand.
He says that the service man who'd had issues with Ketzler was Petty Officer Davis Riley.
Tony and Hollis Mann interview Davis Riley. When they tell him about Kutzler being killed, he's so horrified that he throws up. He tells them about how Kutzler saved his life, and that he had initiated the process to have him given the Medal of Honor. Hollis tells him there's no record of his submission.
The Secretary of Defence tells Vance that the media has learned about Kutzler and about the drugs that were found in his house. The DoD has informed Vance that the team has 48 hours to solve the case, or the submission for the Medal of Honor for Kutzler will be canceled.
Abby's pulls data off of Kutzler's GPS and found that he had paid a visit to the Berwyn Community Outreach Center on the night of his death.
Bishop, Tony and McGee go to the Center to ask Mat Jebson about Kuztler.
Jebson confirms that Ketzler regularly attends the nightly 9:30 Addictions Anonymous meetings. He tells Tony that he'd been in argument with another group member the night of his death.
Tony theorizes that Kutzler was selling drugs to recovering addicts. They stage a stakeout.
Hollis Mann confirms that the first submission for the Medal of Honor was submitted, but then buried - by Admiral Meade.
While interviewing Meade, Hollis tells him after investigating this missing file she discovered that Meade had graded sub-par fit-reps scores to every openly gay sailor who served under him.
Tony and McGee encounter Riley at the Addicts Anonymous meeting, who is looking drugged and groggy. McGee checks his backpack and finds drugs in it. As they begin to take him into custody, he falls to the grown. They notice that he's not breathing.
Hollis visits Gibbs at home where she learns that he is worried about putting her at risk because of Mishnev's vendetta against him.
Gibbs visits Riley at the hospital. Riley tells Gibbs about reliving the day of the ambush again and again. This is what he started using drugs - to forget.
Riley says Kutzler saw what was happening to him and he helped Riley by getting him into the Addicts Anonymous program. He tells Gibbs he relapsed three days ago. When he didn't show up for the meeting Kutzler came to his apartment and saw that he was high. He was angry and took his stash of drugs and left.
Gibbs asks him why Kutzler went back to the Center later. Riley tells him he must have told him who he got the drugs from, and that he probably went back to confront him.
Riley tells Gibbs that the man who was providing the drugs was Mat Jebson.
Tony and Bishop confront Jebson at the center. They tell him they found a makeshift lab at his apartment, plus a quantity of drugs. Tony tells him that he thinks that after Kutzler confronted him at the Center, Jebson followed him home and shot him.
When Jebson tries to open the trunk Tony shuts it and shows him the gun that he was going to pull out. Jebson is arrested and charged with Kutzler's murder.
The Medal of Honor is posthumously awarded to Lieutenant Kutzler.
Breena has her baby. She and Palmer name her Victoria Elizabeth Palmer - after Ducky's mother.