In recent news we have seen an out pour of support for Navy Capt. Brett Crozier in response to his plea for help aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt.
A most recent video being passed around on Facebook and YouTube shows the crew applauding him for attempting to take care of his sailors by seeking assistance in lieu of the COVID-19 outbreak. Capt. Crozier stated that decisive action was needed and proceeded to send an email detailing concerns, copying 20-30 people.
While many blame the Trump administration for letting good leadership go, we must also look at the national security problems behind Capt. Crozier stepping outside of his chain of command. Looking at the facts surrounding the COVID-19 disease (originated in China, creates pandemic and shutdown of large infrastructures currently) and if it was manufactured as a bioweapon. If this were the case, given the USS Roosevelt’s proximity to China and hearing public news that a U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier is unable to perform its duties at sea, how could this potentially impact our military? Considering an aircraft carrier houses nearly 5,000+ sailors at any given time, many having specialized training, the impact could be devastating.
Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly shared a few choice words on the matter and the decision behind relieving the Commander of the Roosevelt yesterday during his briefing at the Pentagon. “When Capt Crozier decided to write his letter dated on the 30th of March 2020, that outlined his concern for his crew in midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, the department of the Navy had already mobilized significant resources for days in response for his previous requests.” It should be noted that carriers have direct lines of communication with the Secretary of the Navy and media outlets.
Capt. Crozier decided to send an unencrypted email to the entire chain of command and other non-essential personnel, instead of using secure lines of communication (which are not lacking in our fleet) to broadcast his message. Modly stated during his briefing that the email and message painted by the public, shows little to no help by the Navy at large, which had not been the case. Modly went on to say that although Capt. Crozier may have had the best at heart and mind, it had the opposite effect.
As we all admire strong leaders, and those who break the mold to do what is right in times of need, we must also consider our nation and the 330 million residents that count on our national defense measures that are in place.