Navy Leaders Preliminary Investigation Recommends Reinstatement of Capt Brett Crozier
Navy leaders briefed Secretary of Defense Esper on their preliminary investigation into the incident regarding the USS Theodore Roosevelt that saw their Captain fired, and an Acting Secretary resign.
“Secretary Esper received a verbal update from the acting Secretary of the Navy [James McPherson] and the Chief of Naval Operations [Adm. Michael Gilday] on the Navy’s preliminary inquiry into the [coronavirus] outbreak on the USS Theodore Roosevelt. After the secretary receives a written copy of the completed inquiry, he intends to thoroughly review the report and will meet again with Navy leadership to discuss next steps..” Jonathan Hoffman, Pentagon spokesman
What began as a wormy mess became a total snarl. The Navy instituted an investigation of the situation aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt after Captain Crozier wrote a letter asking the Navy to evacuate the sailors dueto coronavirus after they stopped at a port in Vietnam. It was a letter that landed in the hands of the San Francisco Chronicle, which touched off a firestorm. Doing an end run around the chain of command is a huge no no in the military — if that’s how it actually happened.
It also torked off the Acting SecNav, Modly, who then booked himself a flight to Guam where he ranted and swore and acted like an idiot on board the ship to the sailors who loved their commander. Modly resigned after a not-so-sincere apology.
Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said Friday that former acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly’s decision to remove the aircraft carrier’s commander was “completely wrong,” likening it to the former Navy leader’s decision to fly to Guam and deliver his ill-advised address that ultimately cost him his job.
“While Captain Crozier’s actions at the outset of the health crisis aboard the TR were drastic and imperfect, it is clear he only took such steps to protect his crew,” Smith said in a statement. “Not only did Captain Crozier have the full support of his crew, he also attempted to work within his chain of command. During this time of crisis, Captain Crozier is exactly what our sailors need: a leader who inspires confidence.”
As of Friday, 856 sailors on the TR tested positive for coronavirus, with 4 hospitalized. One already died from complications from it.
SecDef Esper will read the investigation when it’s fully complete, and make his determination at that time.
Another US Navy ship, the Destroyer USS Kidd, which was conducting counter-drug activities had a recent outbreak as well. Eighteen sailors aboard have tested positive for COVID-19 and were removed to a medical facility in San Antonio. The rest of the crew is being removed for isolation at an undisclosed port.
Featured photo: USS Theodore Roosevelt -file