In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, a battle between the captain of one of the United States Navy’s Aircraft Carriers and the Acting Secretary of the Navy was put in full public view.
Captain Brett Crozier USS Theodore Roosevelt was relieved of his command after he sent out a widespread memo requesting immediate help for the numerous cases of coronavirus on his ship. This memo made its way to the press and that led to Crozier’s dismissal.
Following the dismissal, Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly traveled to Guam and addressed the crew of the Roosevelt calling Captain Crozier’s actions a betrayal and called the Captain “too naive or too stupid” to be in command. In one video of the address, a sailor aboard the ship can be heard shouting for Modly to “shut the f*** up”.
Crozier left the Roosevelt to cheers and applause from the entire crew (see video below).
“Let me be clear, I do not think Captain Brett Crozier is naive nor stupid. I think, and always believed him to be the opposite,” Modly said in a recent statement. “We pick our carrier commanding officers with great care. Captain Crozier is smart and passionate. I believe, precisely because he is not naive and stupid, that he sent his alarming email with the intention of getting it into the public domain in an effort to draw public attention to the situation on his ship. I apologize for any confusion this choice of words may have caused.”
Following the leak of the speech to the crew yesterday, Modly submitted his resignation today.