WaPo: Navy Fires Captain of USS Theodore Roosevelt, Scapegoated Over COVID Letter


Submitted to VT by the Washington Post

The Washington Post’s Dan Lamothe and Missy Ryan report: The Navy on Thursday removed the captain of an aircraft carrier crippled by the coronavirus, two days after a blunt letter the officer wrote warning the service of the need to get more sailors off the vessel created a furor.

Navy Capt. Brett Crozier, the commanding officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, was relieved of command at the direction of acting Navy secretary Thomas Modly.

The Navy had become increasingly convinced that Crozier was involved in leaking the letter to the news media to force the service to address his concerns over the outbreak on his ship, a defense official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Modly said that Crozier showed “poor judgment” by sending the letter by email to 20 or 30 people. He did not directly accuse Crozier of leaking the letter but noted that it appeared in Crozier’s hometown newspaper.

“I could reach no other conclusion than that Capt. Crozier had allowed the complexity of his challenge with the covid breakout on his ship to overwhelm his ability to act professionally, when acting professionally was what was needed most at the time,” Modly said at the Pentagon. “We do and we should expect more from the commanding officers of our aircraft carriers.”


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  1. The 7th fleet captains had a reminder of this in the past with the DON admins statements regarding the loss of life of sailors during the two ramming incidents. After a briefing in San Diego, the senior fleet (NOT admin) officers were shocked. They shouldn’t have been surprised. The attitude of the navy, and indeed all services, is that the crew is always considered expendable.

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