Navy Secretary calls fired carrier captain ‘naive’ or ‘stupid’

Carla Harmon
April 7, 2020

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Speaking in Guam to the crew members of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, Modly said Capt. Brett Crozier was guilty of a "betrayal of trust" in choosing to express his concerns to a broad audience in an email that ultimately was leaked to the media, according to a recording of the speech obtained by NBC News. Sailors could be heard swearing and jeering as Modly said that Crozier was either "too naive, or too stupid to be a commanding officer of a ship like this" if he had not intentionally leaked his memo to the press in violation of military law.

The number of USS Theodore Roosevelt sailors testing positive for the coronavirus is now 173, according to new Navy figures released Monday, with 6% of the ship's crew of 4,800 having been tested. "The alternate is that he did it on goal, and that's a serious violation of the uniform code of military justice, which you are all familiar with".

"I want to apologize to the Navy for my recent comments to the crew of the TR", Modly said in the statement issued late Monday.

"The spoken words were from the heart, and meant for them", Modly said in the statement issued Monday. "I stand by every word I said, even, regrettably any profanity that may have been used for emphasis", he said.

"I no longer have confidence in acting Secretary Modly's leadership of the Navy and believe he should be removed from his position", the committee chairman added. "I ask, but don't expect, that people read them in their entirety".


The San Diego-based aircraft carrier is in port in Guam battling an outbreak of COVID-19 among its crew.

It had warned that the outbreak could kill sailors, saying that "if we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset - our sailors".

Crozier has since tested positive for the coronavirus and Democrats in Congress have called for an investigation into his dismissal.

Modly said the leaked memo exposed a potentially weakened USA posture in the Pacific, which has become an arena for the "great power competition" between the US and China, according to the transcript and an audio recording later posted by Task and goal.

He accused Crozier of doing something "very, very wrong at a moment when we expected him to be the calming force in a turbulent sea".

Acting U.S. Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, participates in a discussion on defense strategy, and key initiatives in the FY 2020 budget, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, on February 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. "If this ship was in combat and there were hypersonic missiles coming at you, you'd be pretty f*****g scared, too". And later, "T-R has to stand strong as warriors, not weak like victims".


Modly and President Donald Trump have both been criticised for the decision to relieve Crozier of command.

"I'm going to tell you something, all of you, there is no - no - situation where you go to the media", he said.

The backlash to Modly's decision to fire Crozier has been intense. And so they use it to divide us and use it to embarrass the Navy.

"The American people believe in you and they think that of all the people in the world who can keep their s-t together in something like this, it's the United States Navy and our sailors..." In the same way, when a mob boss says, "Rocco is becoming a problem", his underlings know what to do without the boss saying, "I am instructing you to rub out Rocco". "It's good that you love him, but you're not required to love him".

Modly never explicitly said Crozier leaked it to the media, but heavily implied that he sent it in a way that it would.


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