Saturday, 06 June, 2020

Acting Navy head apologizes for calling fired captain "stupid"

Secretary of the Navy apologizes for calling Captain Crozier Navy Leader Attacks "Stupid" Captain Fired Over COVID-19
Adrian Cunningham | 07 April, 2020, 06:35

The acting secretary of the Navy is apologizing for his tough words to the crew of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, where he blasted their former captain as "either too naive or too stupid to command a ship" over his distribution of a letter, later leaked to the press, that requested stronger measures from the Navy to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus among his crew.

NPR has obtained an audio recording of Modly's remarks. 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 skipper's letter, published by the San Francisco Chronicle last week, has been seen by some as a self-sacrificial move to protect his crew. "The alternative is that he did this on goal".

Last week Crozier wrote a letter to his superiors urging them to allow more of the 4,800 sailors on his aircraft carrier to be removed for coronavirus testing; someone passed the letter to reporters and it appeared in public. "So I may look into it in great detail, in detail and I'll be able to figure it out very fast", he said.

Modly criticised the crew for cheering, saying that they should think of the people of Guam, who were concerned about being infected by sick sailors brought ashore. Because the media has an agenda and the agenda that they have depends on which side of the political aisle they sit and I'm sorry that's the way the country is now but it's the truth and so they use it to divide us and use it to embarrass the Navy.

"Based on the transcript I've read, Secretary Modly's comments were completely inappropriate and beneath the office of the Secretary of the Navy", Kaine said in a written statement. And let me tell ya something, if this ship was in combat and there were hypersonic missiles coming in at it, you'd be pretty fucking scared too. "But you do your jobs".

Modly also defended his decision, which he insists was his own, to remove Crozier from his command. Modly also said Crozier sent the email from an allegedly "non-secure, unclassified" email address. "But you're not required to love him".

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) agreed with Lieu and Gallego in the following statement: "I disagree strongly with the manner in which acting Secretary of the Navy Modly has handled the COVID-19 outbreak on the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt".

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"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..."

The Pentagon initially made no mention in its public advisories of Modly personally calling on the Roosevelt. He attacked the media, which he said was seeking to embarrass the navy, and accused Crozier of betrayal.

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.

I have not listened to a recording of my remarks since speaking to the crew so I can not verify if the transcript is accurate.

The apology follows an earlier statement where Modly said his words to the crew of the Roosevelt were "spoken from the heart and meant for them". "I apologize for any confusion this choice of words may have caused".

Newsweek has reached out to Lieu and Gallego for additional comments.

Democrats in Congress have called for an investigation by the Pentagon, while Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden said Modly "shot the messenger". More than 170 sailors have tested positive for the virus, the Navy said Monday.