PortandTerminal.com, April 6, 2020
GUAM – It was never going to be an easy speech to deliver. Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly flew to Guam, where the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt is docked while 5,000 of its crew members get tested following a coronavirus outbreak on the vessel. More than 150 have tested positive already.
Modly’s mission was to explain to the crew why he fired their beloved leader, Captain Brett Crozier.
If his intention was to rally the troops, Modly failed spectacularly. His message badly misjudged how angry and raw feelings were amongst a crew who had just gathered in their hundreds cheering Captain Crozier as he left the ship he commanded for the last time.
Modly was highly critical of Captain Modly, calling him “too stupid or too naive to be a commanding officer of a ship like this,”.
After Modly called Crozier ‘naive,’ a person on the ship is heard shouting ‘what the f*** up,’ on an audio recording of the address.
Another sailor can be heard yelling, “He was trying to help us!” after Modly complained that Crozier’s actions had created controversy in Washington, D.C.
Modly criticized Crozier for the scathing memo he wrote to Navy officials, pleading to be able to take the Roosevelt to dock to try and contain the growing outbreak on the ship.
‘We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die,’ Crozier wrote in the four-page missive, which was leaked to the media and ignited a firestorm of controversy for the Navy.
Modly said he was incensed that Crozier wrote in his memo that the United States is not at war. In fact, China is to blame for the current coronavirus pandemic because it hid the scope of the problem, said Modly, who also accused the Chinese of not being as transparent as the Navy.
Modly also chastised the Theodore Roosevelt’s crew for cheering Crozier when he left the ship, claiming the former commanding officer’s memo caused concern among residents of Guam, where the ship is currently docked.
“So think about that when you cheer the man of the ship who exposed you to that,” Moldy said. “I understand you love the guy. It’s good that you love him. But you’re not required to love him.”
A sailor on board the ship told news agency Reuters that Modly’s speech only angered the crew.
“Nobody likes what he had to say… He made everyone more irritated,” said the sailor, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Multiple Democratic lawmakers have called for Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly to resign or be fired after a massive backlash to Modly’s decision to relieve Capt. Brett Crozier, commander of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, after the latter urged his superiors to evacuate the ship for fear of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading throughout his crew.
An audio recording of his full address, delivered over the vessel’s PA system can be listened to below.
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