PortandTerminal.com, April 3, 2020
WASHINGTON – Hundreds of sailors chanted ‘Captain Crozier! Captain Crozier!’ as they gathered to say goodbye to their hero captain whom the Navy relieved of command after he raised concerns about the spreading coronavirus on his ship.
“That’s how you send out one of the greatest captains you ever had,” one can be heard saying on a video posted to social media showing hundreds gathered in the ship’s hanger in support of their captain.
Capt. Brett Crozier was relieved of his command of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt after he raised concerns about the spreading coronavirus on his ship in a letter that was leaked to the media.
He had warned the Pentagon that the outbreak aboard his ship was “accelerating” because crew members were living in confined spaces.
“We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die,” stated the four-page letter, dated 30 March.
Capt Crozier had called for “decisive action”, saying uninfected sailors had to be removed from the ship and isolated.
The letter was later published by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Why was Capt Crozier relieved of his command?
Acting US Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said Capt Crozier had “exercised extremely poor judgement” and was being fired for allegedly leaking the letter to the media.
He said the letter “created the impression the Navy was not responding to his questions”.
“It creates the perception the Navy is not on the job; the government is not on the job. That’s just not true.”
Loved and respected by his crew
Since Crozier’s dismissal was announced, the backlash online has been swift, with more than 73,000 people signing a Change.org petition calling for his reinstatement (we signed it).
A second, bittersweet video posted to Facebook shows Captain Crozier leaving the vessel he commanded, perhaps for the last time, to the cheers of his crew. Many of whom probably owe him their lives.
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