Fired US Navy captain leaves his ship to sailors applause
U.S. Navy Capt. Brett Crozier departed the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier to raucous cheers from his crew after being fired for raising the alarm on the spread of the coronavirus on the ship.
The vast outpouring of support for the dismissed captain was captured on video by those on or near the ship who recorded as the crew yelled his name in between unison claps.
A video posted by Dylan Castillo on Twitter showed Crozier's departure, behind him a packed scene with throngs of service members celebrating their captain in a scene that could have easily been plucked from the final moments of a Hollywood film.
"Wrongfully relieved of command but did right by the sailors," Castillo wrote.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said Thursday he chose to relieve Crozier of command after the captain wrote a letter to Navy leadership warning: "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."
The letter was leaked to the media and reported widely, with its authenticity being confirmed by multiple outlets before Modly announced his action.
Modly accused Crozier of demonstrating poor judgment in sending the letter, claiming it was sent via unsecured email and was sent to a "broad array of people," not just up the normal chain of command.
"It unnecessarily raised alarms with the families of our sailors and marines with no plan to address those concerns," he said. "And it undermined the chain of command who had been moving and adjusting as rapidly as possible to get
him the help he needed."
While Crozier will no longer command the USS Theodore Roosevelt, he will remain in the Navy.