The drama that ensued with the scandal over Captain Brett Crozier may be coming to an end. About three weeks ago, SOFREP published several articles about Capt. Crozier and his coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier, the USS Theodore Roosevelt. At the time, Capt. Crozier had just been relieved of his duties and Navy Secretary Modly had submitted his resignation.
No doubt, there were and are very strong opinions on this matter. The whole situation is a muddy mess and was handled terribly. I’m sure many military officials would agree with this sentiment.
After the completion of an investigation into Capt. Crozier’s actions, Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Mike Gilday met with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Tuesday and with the Defense Secretary, Mark Esper on Friday, to present the results of the investigation. Gilday’s recommendation: Reinstate Capt. Crozier as Captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt.
The Pentagon acknowledged that Esper had received the results of the Crozier investigation. They stated that Esper “intends to thoroughly review the report and will meet again with navy leadership to discuss next steps.”
A senior defense official, who requested to remain anonymous, made it clear that Esper wanted to thoroughly review the reports, thereby to ensure that his final decision regarding Capt. Crozier is fully-informed and will hold up to any and all potential criticism.
The removal and reinstatement of Capt. Crozier is not only a “tactical” decision but can also be easily construed as a political move, making Mark Esper’s task more difficult.
Since day one, Democrats have disagreed with Modly’s decision to remove Crozier and have demanded his reinstatement. All the while, President Trump had initially been very critical of Crozier, although his subsequent comments were more sympathetic to the situation.
At this time, three weeks after Crozier’s removal, the Roosevelt has 856 confirmed cases of Coronavirus, almost twice as many cases as there were two weeks ago. Four sailors are currently hospitalized, and one has passed away. This harsh reality seems to only support Crozier’s actions.
The Roosevelt is still moored in Guam, with only about 800 crew members remaining on the ship.
Healthcare providers in Guam are having a difficult time containing individuals with coronavirus. Sailors are properly quarantining and being released contingent on testing negative, only to begin exhibiting symptoms within days of being cleared.
To complicate the situation further, The USS Kidd, a destroyer operating in the Pacific, has reported 18 confirmed cases of coronavirus, sending more shock waves and concern through the military high-command.