Brett Crozier, captain of the U.S. aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, fighting the coronavirus outbreak, was released from command after the media leaked a letter in which he asked the fleet leadership for assistance. This was announced by Acting Secretary of the U.S. Navy Thomas Modley at a press conference Thursday, The Hill said.
“Under my leadership, the commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, Captain Brett Crozier, was relieved of his duties today,” Modley said at a Pentagon briefing. – I have no doubt that Captain Crozier wanted to do what he believed was in the interests of the safety and well-being of his crew. Unfortunately, he did the opposite. According to Modley, the captain panicked, making the families of the sailors on board nervous and gave information about the ship’s capabilities to the American adversaries.
“In my opinion, releasing him from the command is in the interests of the U.S. Navy and nation at a time when the fleet needs to be strong and confident in the face of adversity,” the admiral added. Medley said the White House did not put pressure on Crozier’s dismissal, noting that Defense Secretary Mark Esper supported the decision.
Pentagon Marine Chief Admiral Michael Guilday supported Modley’s decision. “Make no mistake that no one else allegedly cares about our sailors and those aboard Theodore Roosevelt,” said Guilday. – Our sailors deserve better guidance that we can provide.
Crozier wrote a letter to Navy leadership Tuesday, which was received and published in San Francisco Chronicle. In it, he warned of the grave consequences if most of the sailors from the Roosevelt were not evacuated. In his letter, Crozier strongly urged the evacuation of all but 10 percent of the crew from the aircraft carrier, stating that it was impossible to properly isolate the sailors to stop the growing coronavirus outbreak. “We are not at war. Sailors don’t need to die,” wrote Crozier. – If we don’t act now, we won’t be able to properly take care of our most reliable asset, our sailors.