About Face: Navy Secretary Apologizes to Fired Captain

Mish

Navy Secretary Thomas Modly is in deep trouble over the way he handled the firing of captain Brett Crozier.

Navy Secretary Thomas Modly fired Brett Crozier, captain of USS Theodore Roosevelt, in a tiff over the way Crozier pleaded for help from coronavirus issues.

The captain issued a memo, pleading for help as over 150 members of his crew were infected with the coronavirus. The press got a hold of the plea for help, and Modly fired Crozier.

My take is that Crozier is a hero for attempting to protect his crew.

Not happy with firing Crozier and leaving it at that, Modly rubbed it in. He went to the USS Theodore Roosevelt and belittled Crozier over loud speakers.

Modly Under Fire

Now Modly is under fire. The Wall Street Journal reports Acting Navy Secretary Apologizes for Berating Ousted Captain of Coronavirus-Hit USS Roosevelt.

In the address to the crew of the Roosevelt, Mr. Modly referred disparagingly to Capt. Crozier. “If he didn’t think, in my opinion, that this information wasn’t going to get out into the public, in this information age we live in, then he was either too naive or too stupid to be a commanding officer of a ship like this,” he said over the Roosevelt’s public address system.

The alternative is he did this on purpose, which is a serious violation” of military law, he said.

In an about-face, acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly apologized Monday night for his profanity-tinged remarks over the loudspeakers of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, in which he called the aircraft carrier’s former commander stupid or naive for writing and distributing a memo about a coronavirus outbreak.

In his apology, Mr. Modly revisited that point. “I believe, precisely because he is not naive and stupid, that he sent his alarming email with the intention of getting it into the public domain in an effort to draw public attention to the situation on his ship,” Mr. Modly said in the statement.

Apology?

I see no apology. This is how it reads to me.

  • Crozier is not stupid.
  • Rather, Crozier did this on purpose, a serious violation of military law.

What kind of apology is that?

How about none.

The crew could be heard jeering as Modly spoke, and rightfully so.

Two-Part Solution

  1. Fire Modly
  2. Reinstate Crozier

I do not expect number two but I expect Trump will indeed get rid of Modly.

If so, good riddance to a clear scumbag.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (42)
No. 1-23
PecuniaNonOlet
PecuniaNonOlet

It appears Modly was too stupid or naive to think there would not be any blowback from his actions. “The ironing is delicious.”.
-Bart Simpson.

davebarnes
davebarnes

When a Secretary of the Navy uses "shit" and "fucking" over the intercom whilst lecturing the crew, he deserves to be fired.

Sechel
Sechel

I view it differently Mish.

No way Crozier simlply decided to go over his immediate command. He's senior enough that he would have gone that route. Something broke down and he felt his men's lives were at risk. He wrote the memo knowing he was taking a risk but he put his men's lives first. There's simply no other motive that makes sense.

As far as Modly. There is reporting that Modly said Trump wants Crozier gone. Now Trump says he's getting involved? He was already involved . Trump's doing an about face because the incident has backfired. Remember Modly got his position after Trump pardoned the Navy Seal Gallagher and fired Richard Spencer after pushback.

I agree Modly is gone. He's lost the respect of the Navy , an all volunteer force. The men won't follow him. He's a joke now. Going to Guam and ridiculing Crozier is beyond unprofessional. He signed his resignation letter when he did that.

For Trump and the Navy this is a p.r nightmare. I'm sure there are many behind the scenes calls and discussions saying this must be fixed. Modly apologized because he was ordered too. It's not over.

Also clear that Trump has politicized the Navy chain of command.

njbr
njbr

What happens when a clown runs a circus?

You now know.

flubber
flubber

As of this moment, I feel that Crozier broke a big rule by going public and not following the chain of command. What we don't know is what assistance did he or did not attempt to obtain thru proper channels before going public. Was he stymied?? I don't know but I would like to know the full sequence of events.

The fact that our adversaries would know the limited capabilities of our ship's fighting capabilities would amount to a serious breech of conduct. On the other hand, the ship's fighting capabilities would be null & void if all of the sailors are in sick-bay.

Wall Street Journal had editorial by retired Navy man. Comments are pretty good.

Sechel
Sechel

This is what happened. Modly had his Scaramucchi moment. He clearly felt empowered by Donald Trump to act a certain way and took it too far.

MATHGAME
MATHGAME

Don't be too hard on Modly, he was probably just the stooge following orders and trying to channel the personality of the clown who gave him those orders ;>) Now he's going to find out what can happen to a hit-man who does what he's told to do but ends up causing trouble for the one ordering the hit because of the "sloppy" way he carried it out.

abend237-04
abend237-04

While we're all second-guessing, I'd like to call out the dumb shits that gave the nod to allowing the Theodore Roosevelt and escorts to anchor in Danang, Vietnam for five days liberty, starting March 3rd, the 43rd day of the WHO's daily situation report. It already had China with 80,304 confirmed cases of Covid-19 with 2,946 deaths, both probably under-reported by a factor of 40 or so.

However, having taken that incredibly risky, (in retrospect), course of action, I'm certain everyone thought through and planned thoroughly for the downside risk of runaway Covid-19 infection in the task force by ordering PPE gear, tests for the crews, etc., etc., and I'm certain I can find letters to every rank above him by Captain Crozier protesting such a risky plan's potential impact on his crew. If not, F**k him.

Mattix
Mattix

Mish,

I love you man, but sometimes you’re completely full of shit. This is one of those times. You should stick with stuff you know and pass on the stuff you know nothing of. As a retired Naval officer I can tell you the Captain had to be relieved of his command for two of the worst possible dereliction of duties: poor judgement and violating chain of command. The Navy Secretary is resigning because Trump wants something less than firing. I love Trump, unlike you, but he’s falling into the same trap you have. He doesn’t no shit about the military and how it functions. The Secretary had it dead right, the Captain was a dumb shit, and certainly lacks the judgement to command an aircraft carrier.

Sechel
Sechel

It can't be overstated how damaging Modly's comments and actions were. The men on aircraft carriers, battleships etc have to believe their commanding officers have their back. Modly greatly undermined that.
The enlisted Navy men will be discussing this for some time. If a resignation does not follow there will be a huge crisis of confidence.

thimk
thimk

the amount of inaction, denial, bureaucratic bungling , posturing , complacency is astounding . If you are not going to react in a timely manner (identify, test, isolate ), then have the support infrastructure in-place to accommodate the crisis. We have failed on both counts .

MATHGAME
MATHGAME

So was Modly naive or stupid for thinking that his attack on Crozier wouldn't be leaked to the public and cause problems or did he do it on purpose because ... he was told to?

How ironic ... chuckle ...

rob_abides
rob_abides

If Trump removes Modley, it will only be because the ratings. He DNGAF about anything except ratings.

Hawk1
Hawk1

If the Captain had stood up to those ordering him to Danang during a pandemic he would be a hero. He didn't. He did the expedient thing. He allowed them to intermix with the population.
He put his men at risk and basically lowered our national defense for months.

PecuniaNonOlet
PecuniaNonOlet

During WWII the Japanese carrier attack on Pearl made everyone realize battleships were obsolete. This virus is showing us that air craft carriers are quickly becoming obsolete. And wasnt Russia developing some type of supersonic missile no one could stop?

Why spend $500 billion on a carrier when you can spend a $5 on a bat in a wet market and bring the world to its knees. Dont think for a moment that world dictators, terrorists, environmentalists, etc arent paying attention.

kt44
kt44

I spent a long time in the Navy. The captain should have been relieved. The secretary needs to be fired. They both acted stupidly.

Sechel
Sechel

turns out the port call was coordinated for months by senior navy officials , was heavily coordinated between the u.s. and vietnam to counter chinese influence in the region .claims that crozier acteed foolishly by doing a port call are completely off base. the navy thought the risk was minimal based on intelligence but anyone saying crozier is responsible for the sailors getting sick doesn't know what they are talking about.

Captain Ahab
Captain Ahab

Captain Brett Crozier commanded one of the world's most powerful warships. Nearly 40 years old, CVN-71 is a Nimitz-class, nuclear powered warship with 90+/- aircraft. I assume it also carries nuclear weapons. Accordingly, it stands to reason that the Navy considers him not only fit for command, but at the top of his game. He is solely responsible for his ship and crew.

When covid-19 appeared onboard, Crozier was fired. As he departed, his crew gathered in protest. There was NO DISTANCING, and NO MASKS in the video that I watched. This lapse is the reason why covid-19 is raging through the ship. Modly was right; the captain was not competent to command.

At the time, CVN-71 was 'at war.' The President had clearly announced to the nation that it 'fighting an invisible enemy.' I do not pay taxes to have the nation's warships offline and at risk because of failures of commonsense. Modly, Crozier, and I suspect many more high-ranking Navy officers, lack basic critical thinking skills.

Captain Ahab
Captain Ahab

Yes, and the sheep followed. What it demonstrates is the failure of American education.

nobodynowhere
nobodynowhere

an asshole-licking globalist piece of shit does not need to apologize. just keep licking...

awc13
awc13

a lot of arm chair commanders commenting on something that we do not have all the information on.

facts we know:

  1. captain of the ship went way way around chain of command
  2. acting secnav's address to the crew was sophomoric and demeaning (at best).

what we don't know

  1. did the captain try the chain of command?
  2. if the captain did try the chain, what was the response?

for #2 the secnav needs to be fired, not just allowed to resign

all else is just conjecture and opinion until we know the missing details(but it is fun to do so)

oh, and what is up with the sec's phil spector hairdo?


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