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Navy Fires Aircraft Carrier CO Who Penned Covid-19 Letter

 
 
Reply Fri 3 Apr, 2020 07:39 am
You might have seen the story about the outbreak of Covid 19 on the USS Theodore Roosevelt, an aircraft carrier with a crew of ~5,000. Unlike cruise ships, Navy ships pack the sailors into close quarters for living and eating and the virus was spreading rapidly to the crew. The captain got the Navy to pull the ship off patrol and into Guam (which is a big deal) but was frustrated that the Navy was not allowing most of the crew off the ship. He wrote a forceful letter, it leaked and now he is out of a job. I got to say, I figured his job was gone when the letter leaked. I wonder if he figured it was gone when he penned it. On the plus side, a lot of his crew is getting off the ship.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 10 • Views: 2,460 • Replies: 37

 
George
 
  7  
Reply Fri 3 Apr, 2020 08:56 am
@engineer,
It seems to me he was willing to take the consequences for the sake of his
crew. That's a real captain!
maxdancona
 
  -3  
Reply Fri 3 Apr, 2020 09:01 am
@engineer,
I think the question is whether he leaked it.

It seems unreasonable if they fired him because he wrote the letter and sent it up the chain of command.

It seems completely reasonable to me if they fired him because he went outside the chain of command directly to the press.

This guy was in command of a Naval aircraft carrier. I want the military to maintain discipline, especially with people in this position (and you do too).

0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  6  
Reply Fri 3 Apr, 2020 09:46 am
@George,
I agree completely. Even among a young, relatively healthy crew, the rate of death is 0.2%, so if the crew is 5,000, that is 1 death and probably 10 serious cases in an infirmary that is not set up to handle that kind of situation. I figure he knew he was toast when he wrote the letter regardless of whether it got out or not.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Fri 3 Apr, 2020 11:50 am
@engineer,
engineer wrote:
I figure he knew he was toast when he wrote the letter regardless of whether it got out or not.


Damned right--thou shalt not criticize der Führer . . . er, I mean President Plump, nor any aspect of his administration or policies.

I echo George's sentiment about Captain Crozier.

Quote:
Sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier cheered for Capt. Brett Crozier as he disembarked the ship for the last time, in an overwhelming show of support for their leader who was relieved of his command after issuing a stark warning about a coronavirus outbreak onboard.


Source at CNN: Sailors cheer for aircraft carrier commander who was removed after issuing coronavirus warning

There's a video there of the crew cheering him.
0 Replies
 
bobsal u1553115
 
  4  
Reply Sat 4 Apr, 2020 07:26 pm
About Capt Crozier ...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brett_Crozier

He grew up in Santa Rosa, California, graduating from Santa Rosa High School in 1988 prior to entering the U.S. Naval Academy.[7] After graduating in 1992, he became a Naval Aviator and was assigned as a SH-60B Seahawk pilot at Barbers Point, Hawaii.[8] He received his Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College in 2007, and completed Nuclear Power School in 2014.[9]

Career

In April 2014, Crozier completed the Naval Nuclear Power training program and was executive officer of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (Nuclear Aircraft Carrier). In June 2017, Crozier took command of USS Blue Ridge (amphious assault ship) in Yokosuka, Japan.

Decorations:

Legion of Merit w/ 1 gold service star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal w/ 1 silver oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal w/ 2 gold service stars, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal w/ 1 gold service star, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, Navy E Ribbon w/ 2 Battle E devices, National Defense Service Medal w/ 1 service star, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal Iraq Campaign Medal w/ 1 service star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon w/ 3 service stars Navy & Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon
NATO Medal, Navy Rifle Marksmanship Medal w/ "E" device Navy Pistol Marksmanship Medal w/ "E" device.

This is a seriously competent person.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2020 07:30 am
@engineer,
Id like to hear what George Ob can say about this(maybe, by oath, he cannot).
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2020 07:44 am
@farmerman,
George opined on another thread in support of the Navy firing him. I think it's on the Trump thread. I think we will never know the entire story here. My guess is the captain contacted the Navy and said he had a problem. The Navy pulled the carrier off station but was not willing to evacuate the sailors and the captain made a conscious decision to sacrifice his career. I was off by an order of magnitude above. A crew of 5,000 young people would expect ten deaths if everyone got the virus. Tough call by the captain but I think the right one.
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2020 07:45 am
Navy Captain Removed From Carrier Tests Positive for Covid-19

Capt. Brett E. Crozier, the Navy captain who was removed from command of the coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt, has tested positive for Covid-19, according to two Naval Academy classmates of Crozier’s who are close to him and his family.

The commander began exhibiting symptoms before he was removed from the warship on Thursday, two of his classmates said. Crozier was fired following a leak to The San Francisco Chronicle of a letter he had emailed to Navy leaders that detailed the failures on the service’s part to provide the necessary resources to swiftly move sailors off the carrier and disinfect areas on board as the virus spread through the ship.

Thomas B. Modly, the acting secretary of the Navy, said he had lost confidence in Crozier’s ability to command the ship effectively as it dealt with the evolving crisis after Crozier sent the letter on an unclassified email system to 20 to 30 people. Sending such a letter, Modly said, caused unnecessary alarm about the operational readiness of the ship and undermined the chain of command. “In sending it out pretty broadly, he did not take care to ensure that it couldn’t be leaked,” Modly said. “And that’s part of his responsibility.”

In a briefing Saturday, President Trump offered support for Modly’s decision. “He shouldn’t be talking that way in a letter,” the president said of Crozier. “I thought it was terrible what he did.”

Read more: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/navy-captain-removed-from-carrier-tests-positive-for-covid-19/ar-BB12c4ip?ocid=msedgdhp


Amazing how far he'll go to embarrass the "President" and the Sec of the Navy. <insert sarcasm emoticon here>
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2020 07:48 am
@engineer,
many courageous acts are in defiance of "Chain of Command"
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2020 08:00 am
@farmerman,
http://www.geekfore.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/last_great_act_of_defiance1.jpg
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2020 08:07 am
@farmerman,
George's response: https://able2know.org/topic/468987-888#post-6983440
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2020 08:20 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:

many courageous acts are in defiance of "Chain of Command"


Facts

1. We have a military.

2. This military has control of lethal weapons including nukes.

3. Our system of government puts the military under command of the president with oversight by congress. Civilian control of the military is a very important part of a modern democracy.

It is a very bad thing military officers defy the Chain of Command. I say this speaking as a civilian.

You may agree with the officer in this case. But who cares. If a military officer breaks military discipline... he should be fired. You don't want to live in a country where this isn't true.

I don't know what damage this commander has done. I don't see him as a hero.

bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2020 08:37 am
@engineer,
This ship is at Guam. Its plenty secure in the middle of one of the largest concentrations of US military forces in the world. Read up on it and you'll be able to inform your opinion.

How secure is a ship with a crew down with Covid19?

Were you in the military with Cadet Bonespurs?
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2020 08:40 am
@maxdancona,
we agree to disagree. Do you agree with what I said? I agree with the facts you posted but I return a so what?

I think Morale of the senior officer class is negatively affected by the
"protocol punishment the skipper suffered"
Sometimes, as I said before, breaking rules is the right thing.
SInce the carrier had its entire crew negatively affected, what use was thedamn boat anyway. It is even more of a dead in the water target than when I kid about the future irrelevance of carriers.

It is a bigass nucler carrying and powered anchor with its ntire crew compromised. He apparently asked for input and assistance and merely got (IMHO) Bullshit directives. If George ob straitens me out Ill accept and apologize gracefully. As is, I see no reason that his extreme call for help warrants anything but a"thanks Sir, you backed us honorably"

You forgot one thing in your list.
N. Captain has the responsible care of the souls on board. Next to MISSION, Id put that of equal weight
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2020 08:57 am
@farmerman,
Quote:
Sometimes, as I said before, breaking rules is the right thing.


From what I understand (and I think George has already confirmed this) he was fired because the letter was sent on insecure channels.

Questioning the orders of your commanding officer is one thing. Questioning the orders of your commanding offer in public is another. There is no way that this letter should have been leaked. It was.

This is an aircraft carrier, one of the deadliest weapons platforms on the planet. The decision wasn't his to make, and going to the public was simply wrong.



0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  3  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2020 09:22 am
The man was trying to save his crew. Even his detractors likely would have taken his action if they were in his shoes and on his boat.
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2020 09:26 am
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:

The man was trying to save his crew. Even his detractors likely would have taken his action if they were in his shoes and on his boat.


Nonsense. As George pointed out, there are lots of Navy captains who have not taken this action.

Military discipline is important.

Edit: And what "action" are we talking about anyway. He got his ass fired. The sailors are still on the boat. Now we have an outraged public (most of whom no nothing about military discipline) and demoralized sailors.

No one was "saved" (except for this captain.. who figured out how to get off the ship before his men, and get applauded for it).
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  3  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2020 09:32 am
Acting Navy secretary blasts ousted aircraft carrier captain as 'stupid' in address to ship's crew

Quote:
The Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly blasted the now ousted commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt as "stupid" in an address to the ship's crew Monday morning, in remarks obtained by CNN.

Modly told the crew that their former commander, Capt. Brett Crozier, was either "too naive or too stupid" to be in command or that he intentionally leaked to the media a memo in which he warned about coronavirus spreading aboard the aircraft carrier and urged action to save his sailors.

The acting secretary accused Crozier of committing a "betrayal" and creating a "big controversy" in Washington by disseminating the warning so widely.

"It was a betrayal. And I can tell you one other thing: because he did that he put it in the public's forum and it is now a big controversy in Washington, DC," Modly said, according to a transcript of remarks Modly made to the crew, copies of which have been provided to CNN by multiple Navy officials.

'Too naive or too stupid'

In remarks that were piped over the vessel's PA system, Modly suggested Crozier leaked the memo on purpose or was "too naive or too stupid" to be in command if he didn't think that sending it to over 20 people would not result in it getting out to the public.

"If he didn't think, in my opinion, that this information wasn't going to get out to the public, in this day and information age that we live in, then he was either A, too naïve or too stupid to be a commanding officer of a ship like this," Modly said. "The alternative is that he did this on purpose."

Modly went on to say it was a "betrayal of trust, with me, with his chain of command."

Crozier had written to Navy leadership to alert them to the challenges of trying to contain the disease aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt and to urgently request sailors be allowed to quarantine off the ship.

"We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset: our Sailors," Crozier wrote in a memo that three US defense officials confirmed to CNN.

When asked if Modly's personal attack on Crozier was appropriate, a senior defense official said Monday, "I don't know what to say."

Modly's use of the word "betrayal" is a loaded because saying an officer has betrayed the Navy is a court martial offense.

A defense official familiar with Modly's remarks offered his opinion of Modly's address, saying the acting secretary "should be fired. I don't know how he survives this day."

As of Monday, 173 of the ship's crew have now tested positive for coronavirus and 61% of the crew have been tested, according to a Navy official. Approximately 2,000 have been evacuated from the ship and moved ashore.

The Navy had set a goal of moving 2,700 sailors ashore in Guam by Friday evening and has fallen several days behind schedule.

Several senior military officials, including the Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Mike Gilday, recommended against Modly's decision to fire Crozier before an investigation into the matter was complete and in the midst of an evacuation, two US officials tell CNN.

Crozier's popularity with the ship's crew was on display in videos showing sailors giving him a warm and loud send off, clapping and chanting his name as he left the ship for the final time. Modly acknowledged Crozier's popularity with the crew in his remarks to the sailors. "I cannot control or attempt to change whatever anger you have with me for relieving your beloved CO," Modly said, using the slang for commanding officer. "I understand you may be angry with me for the rest of your lives."
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2020 09:59 am
If the crew gets ashore, into proper quarantine, then Captain Crozier probably feels that it has been worth it. The best military services are those in which the commissioned and non-commissioned officers look to their men's welfare, even before looking to their own.

Keep in mind that we don't know what efforts he had made for his crew before the infamous e-mail was sent. With this clown care of an administration, his pleas could well have gone unanswered until he felt the need to take this action.
 

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