Home Military Captain of COVID-19-Stricken US Aircraft Carrier – Hero or Danger?

Captain of COVID-19-Stricken US Aircraft Carrier – Hero or Danger?

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After his letter to superiors in Washington DC, pleading for help for his COVID-19-stricken ship was leaked, the captain of the Nimitz class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the USS Theodore Roosevelt, was removed from duty by the Acting Secretary of the Navy, Thomas Modly.

The supercarrier is now docked on the island of Guam in the Pacific where a bulk of the 4,000-person crew are being disembarked and quarantined. As of April 1, the Navy said that 93 sailors from the Theodore Roosevelt were confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 and another 86 were displaying symptoms.

In relieving the captain on April 2, Modly cited “lack of trust” in Captain Brett Crozier, for not following proper procedures and sending the letter to persons outside the chain of command.

According to The Drive, Modly also accused him of not sufficiently communicating the seriousness of the situation prior to sending his letter, but also disputed Crozier’s level of concern. Modly said the letter “misrepresented the facts,” created an undue panic among families, and offered a dangerous and inaccurate signal to America’s adversaries about the service’s readiness, reported The Drive.

In his letter, Crozier also argued that the US was “not at war,” provoking the Acting Navy Secretary to retort that “neither are we truly at peace.” According to a tweet from Kevin Baron, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, was more emphatic in his reply saying “we’re at war with 3 different ‘enemies’ … We’re at war with COVID-19. We are at war with the terrorists. And we are at war with the drug cartels, as well.”

Regardless of the merits of Crozier’s letter and how he sent it, much of the crew seemed genuinely unhappy with their Captain’s dismissal and were seen giving Crozier a hero’s sendoff as he left the ship. The videos below from crew members re-posted by The Drive show the thunderous applause, cheers, and chants from the crew for their departing Captain:

Meanwhile, this COVID-19 incident has much broader strategic implications. The War Zone warned last week that the spread of the virus onboard Roosevelt could be a “canary in the coal mine” warning for the entire Navy and all its ships. More specifically as The Drive noted:

Theodore Roosevelt‘s predicament increasingly looks to have upended carrier activities around the world. There are reports now that one of the two carriers present in the Middle East, the USS Harry S. Truman and the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, will be diverted to the Pacific. This has raised concerns that there could be a fight brewing for carriers between different U.S. regional commands.

Whether Captain Crozier was right in his actions and helped spare his crew from a deadly spreading disease, or he overreacted and projected vulnerability and weakness to our enemies in a time of crisis – or perhaps it was a bit of both – is yet to be seen.

What we do know is that COVID-19 is presenting the US Navy, and all our armed forces, a new, unseen threat to manage and mitigate. Biodefense needs to be fully incorporated into all aspects of fleet and military operations. This may be the future of warfare.

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robert
4 months ago

How is it “Possible ” that the crew of an Aircraft Carrier or Any other Ship that is basically on
” quarantine” – the crew have been there since deployment when it sailed out of port x Are there In-Transfers since then ????? Was the Infection an Inside Job ?? x The Covid -19 problem has been in the News since End of January ??? There are Doctors on board ??
So exactly how did the Infections blossom into the quantity that brought about the Captain’s
Letter of Alarm x So there should be Culpability on All Levels and the “Buck stops w/Whom” not the time to be Politically Correct or give the Left and the Biased Fake News MSMs additional fodder which is what is happening

Bernie Guy
Bernie Guy
4 months ago
Reply to  robert

The ship is routinely resupplied while at sea and it is quite possible that the virus could have come aboard at that time.

A. D Roberts
3 months ago
Reply to  Bernie Guy

Just how many cowards do we have leading the navy. The facts are that corona is not that bad for young people. The fact is that most people get over it since it is nothing but a very bad cold. Want to bet that this captain was a Democrat. Want to ask them how many are hospitalized or on ventilators? THAT is how you can tell how bad the situation is.
And for certain, NO ONE HAS DIED ON BOARD YET.
Pathetic.

pete kennedy
pete kennedy
4 months ago
Reply to  robert

overhead flights by China. Remember how close ? Also did they dock in Singapore, the Hon Kong, Pearl Harbor or as above resupply

James
James
4 months ago
Reply to  pete kennedy

I read that it docked in Vietnam as a liberty port. I do not think that was a good idea. I was a sailor and after a long time at sea was ready for a break but would have waited for Guam or San Diego.

zek
zek
4 months ago
Reply to  robert

Tey had a port of call in Veit Nam.

Bill
Bill
3 months ago
Reply to  robert

There is facts we don’t know, but when a highly contagious disease is affecting the crew of a nuclear aircraft carrier, it is cause for concern. I don’t know the date or how much info the captain or his medical officer had. The facts about the virus have changed frequently! When did he notify his superior and what was the response. If he was “stonewalled”, which seems likely; he probably put the safety of his crew and the vessel above his career. i applaud him for that. The action taken by by those in the ‘chain-of-command’ was unprofessional to say the least; that includes Gen. Milley, JCS Chair. The General is right in stating we are at war; he didn’t include, but perhaps should have, the Chinese Communist party who may be responsible for the release of the recombinant virus from the Wuhan bio lab. Available information suggests the virus was engineered to weaponize it.

R Bobsin
R Bobsin
4 months ago

I heard a report that they were let off the ship in Vietnam which is in close proximity to China and that’s where they may have picked up the virus. If so it seems like not the smartest move on the part of the Captain and crew.

R Bigelow
R Bigelow
4 months ago
Reply to  R Bobsin

It is not the Captain’s choice about port calls-that is the choice of Navy Dept. hand in glove with State Department. There id some talk that Viet Nam is talking about givin us Cam Rhan Bay back as a port to replace the ports lost now that China influence has ascended in the Phillipines.

Sirdirkfan
Sirdirkfan
4 months ago

Hero.
He was broadcasting May Day to us as a last resort it seems and shut down by his superiors.
Something’s afoot, not very good at all.

gene smith
gene smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Sirdirkfan

YES SIRDIRK>>>>Procedures be damned….his men were dying and he was trying to reduce the damage as quickly as possible….GOD BLESS HIM !
No Time for chain of command BULLSHIT….Lives were being lost and bunches of others endangered.
He was alerting the “Brass” and they eventually got the problem solved….fired???? NO, Given a medal would be far more appropriate.

Bob
Bob
3 months ago
Reply to  gene smith

Very immature statement, as well as, simply stupid. His men weren’t dying. He had some of his crew of 5,000 not 4,000 sick from a flu virus.. 18-25 year olds aren’t dying from this virus… unless they have some other medical history and, if that were, the case, they would be medically discharged if even allowed to be in the service to begin with. So you would rather that the crew who has been infected and some simply carriers of the virus to go ashore and infect thousands of others. That’s okay for you. You obviously don’t know a damn thing about aircraft carriers.. They are a floating city with many places to eat, different berthing areas, movies and entertainment areas, hospital facilities and a medical staff more than capable of handling a serious flu outbreak… Again, NO ONE DIED… You must be a reporter… Before every member of the 5,000 crew members got on board that ship for duty, they went through basic training… Part of that basic training was biological and chemical warfare.. They are trained how to deal with and take care of the sick and incapacitated crew members. The medical staff is as good as any hospital… They could have easily and safely, in my belief, stayed on board and been safe, as well as, recovered from the virus.. But NO, you’d rather we take these man AND women and put them ashore to mingle with civilians to infect thousands of others. The Captain of that ship was totally wrong in going above his chain of command, alerting the press and news media about his unsafe ship that could very well have become a target to terrorists, rogue armies and haters of America. I would suspect that those on here thinking the Captain was right have never been in the military, much less been on an aircraft carrier.

Howard Roark
Howard Roark
3 months ago
Reply to  Bob

Very true. There was a Commander on board, with higher rank, but did not go to him. I know the whole qorld prefers to go public with their complaints, but in the military, you have a chain of command. He should have been relieved of duty and punished, but not discharged from the Navy. Now the acting Secretary of the Navy has resigned over the affair. He should stand his ground, just like Truman did with MacArthur.

Camellia
Camellia
3 months ago
Reply to  Sirdirkfan

This man is a hero. Very disturbing to know that he acted accordingly for his love for his crew
He saved lives and where were all the other officers who kept quiet? Shame on the US Navy and their guidelines when other Navy seamen. airmen, etc. work and are abused by their superiors. I fully appreciate this man for what he did. The Navy gets such a bad reputation and it makes me sick. The Navy has so many wonderful men and women but plan on leaving just as soon as they can. Need to evaluate every man or woman who leaves after several years of endless, tiring, work with no gratitude granted and especially those dedicated to protecting our country. Thoroughly disgusted.

paul ruthfield
paul ruthfield
4 months ago

HERO!

HE WAS ATTEMPTING TO PROTECT HIS CREW WHICH IS ONE OF HIS PRIME DUTIES. NOT TO BE POLITICALLY CORRECT.

Daivd J. Webb Sr.
Daivd J. Webb Sr.
4 months ago

I served as an enlisted man in the US Air Force during the Vietnam Conflict. I was lucky. I ended up in South Korea instead of Vietnam.
That Captain put his career and his life on the line.
I would serve with him any time, any where, simply because he did not depend on the chain of command of desktop higher officials in D.C. Their first reaction is to take it out on the messenger. IF and WHEN he had went through the chain of command his message would have gotten lost in the machinery because those desktop people will never admit they have a problem at the top.
Acting Secretary? Not voted on by Congress yet?
Sounds awful familiar to me.
In the fictional serious about Mash in Korea Major Frank Burns is a fine example of what goes on in service. It is true to life.
I suggest they give him a medal for outstanding service under severe conditions and promote him at least one rank and put him back where he belongs in command of a ship.
As acting Secretary I suggest he be dismissed and put an actual man in charge that can use common sense as well as going by the book and knowing when the difference applies.
That Captain just saved a number of lives. That is the chain of command I recognize.

Ralph
Ralph
4 months ago

AMEN 👍🇺🇸

zek
zek
4 months ago

AMEN 👍🇺🇸

Winfred Pittman
Winfred Pittman
4 months ago

I agree and AMEN!!

Gerard
Gerard
4 months ago

If he didn’t send the letter through the proper chain of command then that’s why he is being disciplined. The military is not civilian life. They are under a whole different set of rules.
There is not enough info to make a judgement on what the Navy did good or bad.

The point of this article is that what effect this will have on our Navy and the rest of our Armed Forces is in doubt. This virus can make our Military Forces reduced to a level of readiness so we are unable to defend our Country. This was started by China, our biggest enemy. They deliberately lied to the world about this virus being transmitted between human to human contact and that delay caused this pandemic.

What they did was in effect an act of war and the USA and our Allies should look into what action should be taken against China. be it militarily or sanctions. They allowed their citizens to fly all over the world knowing the dangers.
Now our Military is in danger of having it’s fighting force reduced.

Robert
Robert
4 months ago
Reply to  Gerard

The fact is that the intelligence people from all the Countries relaayed back to their country what was hppening in China at least back in November, and everyone seemed to dismiss the information, that could have done something about it. Now the other important thing is that the virus was sent from the US to China, Australia and other countries for testing procedures, and wthe US had a CDC person in the labatory in Wuhan where virus is suppose to have come from, now two months befroe the out break, the US pulled that person out of the lab as Wuham, there should be some questions about that which is being dismissed.

Linda
Linda
4 months ago
Reply to  Robert

Oh BS.

bob
4 months ago
Reply to  Robert

Really ? It seem you have some Inside Info that is ” Top Secret ” and for the USA to be working with China on Virology ??? Not Credible unless you
have Inside Info ??? or Just Crazy Talk ???

James Gallagher
James Gallagher
4 months ago
Reply to  bob

Conspiracy theorist B. S.

Suzanne N.
4 months ago
Reply to  bob

Robert was making reference to a NYT’s report about a Sr. Harvard “official” who was associated with set-up of the Wuhan OPs functions and also profited handsomely from being connected to it. Harvard did not inform the FedGov as required by law and the NSA or similar intelligence agency later learned of the arrangement somewhat after the fact.

Sherry
Sherry
3 months ago
Reply to  Robert

Your comment IS NOT TRUE ROBERT!!!!!!!! you need to look for the TRUE facts BEFORE you write SHIT!!!!!!

Stephen Norman
Stephen Norman
4 months ago
Reply to  Gerard

This is from a friend in the South African Army
Date: Sat, Mar 28, 2020, 10:59 AM
Subject: The corona Virus travelled entire world from Wuhan but it did not…
To:

The corona Virus travelled entire world from Wuhan but it did not reach Beijing and Shanghai… can anybody put light?

Looks So Logical….After all Chinese Stock Market didn’t crash….American and European Markets did….

Destroy other markets and be ready to capture them in every way

How to dominate the world quickly?

THE GREAT CHINESE STAGE

1. Create a virus and the antidote.

2. Spread the virus.

3. A demonstration of efficiency, building hospitals in a few days. After all, you were already prepared, with the projects, ordering the equipment, hiring the labor, the water and sewage network, the prefabricated building materials and stocked in an impressive volume.

4. Cause chaos in the world, starting with Europe.

5. Quickly plaster the economy of dozens of countries.

6. Stop production lines in factories in other countries.

7. Cause stock markets to fall and buy companies at a bargain price.

8. Quickly control the epidemic in your country. After all, you were already prepared.

9. Lower the price of commodities, including the price of oil you buy on a large scale.

10. Get back to producing quickly while the world is at a standstill. Buy what you negotiated cheaply in the crisis and sell more expensive what is lacking in countries that have paralyzed their industries.

PS: Pl read the book by Chinese colonels Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui, from 1999, “Unrestricted Warfare: China’s master plan to destroy America”, on Amazon. It’s all there.

Worth pondering..
Just Think about this…

China will say that their drastic initial measures they took was very stern and Wuhan was locked down to contain the spread to other areas. I am sure they are using the Anti dode of the virus.

Why Beijing was not hit? Why only Wuhan? Kind of interesting to ponder upon.. right? Well ..Wuhan is open for business now. America and all the above mentioned countries are devastated financially. Soon American economy will collapse as planned by China. China knows it CANNOT defeat America militarily as USA is at present

THE MOST POWERFUL country in the world. So use the virus…to cripple the economy and paralyse the nation and its Defense capabilities. I’m sure Nancy Pelosi got a part in this. . to topple Trump. Lately President Trump was always telling of how GREAT American economy was improving in all fronts. The only way to destroy his vision of making AMERICA GREAT AGAIN is to create an economic havoc. Nancy Pelosi was unable to bring down Trump thru impeachment. ….so work along with China to destroy Trump by releasing a virus. Wuhan,s epidemic was a showcase. At the peak of the virus epidemic. ..

China’s President Xi Jinping…just wore a simple RM1 facemask to visit those effected areas. As President he should be covered from head to toe…..but it was not the case. He was already injected to resist any harm from the virus….that means a cure was already in place before the virus was released.

Some may ask….Bill Gates already predicted the outbreak in 2015…so the chinese agenda cannot be true. The answer is. ..YES…Bill Gates did predict. .but that prediction is based on a genuine virus outbreak. Now China is also telling that the virus was predicted well in advance. ….so that its agenda would play along well to match that prediction. China,s vision is to control the World economy by buying up stocks now from countries facing the brink of severe ECONOMIC COLLAPSE. Later China will announce that their Medical Researchers have found a cure to destroy the virus. Now China have other countries stocks in their arsenal and these countries will soon be slave to their master…CHINA.

Just Think about it …

The Doctor Who declared this virus was also Silenced by the Chinese Authorities…

Leonard
Leonard
4 months ago

When a high command acts without concern for its personnel, trouble brews like a pot of water coming to boil. It is obvious here that the firing of their boss has the crew in deep-seated anger. Shooting from the hip may cause the shooter some backfire he didn’t anticipate. I saw it happen some 53 years ago when a base commander had a commander’s call, advising the underling troops that they were not to contact Senator Rivers (a true friend of the enlisted man) inasmuch as their electric generators (for their base clubs) had been taken from the officers’ wives’ flower clubs back to where they belonged. He was obviously shaken by underling anger and power. lol.

WTOMA
WTOMA
4 months ago

The US Navy is not a democracy. The captain’s commander was posted on board ship right down the hall. The captain chose to violate military discipline and protocol. He may have been frustrated, or just grandstanding, but he was relieved for insubordination and adversely alarming the sailors’ families.

John Brown
John Brown
4 months ago

Relieving the captain on April 2 of the Theodore Roosevelt , Modly cited “lack of trust” in Captain Brett Crozier, IS A COVER UP.
The Commander of the Aircraft Carrier notified the Chief of Staff of the Navy, as required by the UCMJ. He requested input from His commanding officers and got none. He was faced with a illness that threatened the Health and wellbeing of his crew. Without a Healthy crew, he was not able to fulfill his mission as Commander of one of the largest military weapons of war in our arsenal.
Faced with the absence of instructions from his suppers, he exercised his duty and responsibility to maintain a healthy cure. To remove the sick personnel before the whole crew was infected.
Guam, although did not have sufficient ICU beds both at Big Navy and the civilian hospital. Guam has a abundance of available Military housing with Anderson AFB on the island. Required medical personnel and equipment could easily be flown into that air base. The Military has the ability to move and setup military hospitals around the world in 48 hr.’s or less. Anderson AFB would be the ideal location to isolate this semen without endangering the general population.
Captain Brett Crozier should be commended and the Chef of staff are the ones that have exhibited a lack of trust.

Linda
Linda
4 months ago

I’m only going to say the Captain should have followed the chain of command. I realize he thought he was trying to protect his crew but he would, in my opinion, better served his crew by doing his job and following the chain of command. Now it’s just stirring up a big hornet’s nest.

Bob
Bob
4 months ago

As a Naval Academy graduate I would bet the Captain knew exactly the risk. His mantra had to be: 1. Crew 2. Mission 3. Chain of Command. They should be congruous! If they weren’t you live the order! He did! I have done many Private equity turnarounds and used the same value stream. I would sail with him! Bob Ostendorf 1972 USNA

Ric Parks
Ric Parks
3 months ago
Reply to  Bob

I agree. If an officer doesn’t have primary concern for his/her people, they have no right to be commissioned. I served as enlisted for 14 years before being commissioned through AFOTS. The officers I always admired most as enlisted were prior service officers and/or those who were most concerned about the morale and wellbeing of their people. When I was commissioned I tried to remember the best means that I had observed to do right by those who were under my authority. This didn’t involve fraternization, which can quickly doom the career of a prior service officer, but observing, discussing and taking appropriate action for your people covers a multitude of sins. I side with Captain Crozier.

Adjunct George
Adjunct George
4 months ago

The ships captain did nothing wrong if he told his superiors of the problem. The person with the problem is the one who leaked the information. Find them and put them in jail.

James
James
4 months ago
Reply to  Adjunct George

I agree.

Sam G
Sam G
4 months ago

Modly served 7 years as a Navy helicopter pilot. He has no conception of what it is like to be responsible for the lives of a crew.
The Captain was trying to protect the lives of his crew and do what was best for his ship. It is a shame that he was punished for doing the right thing.

John
John
4 months ago

We now know a good candidate to be Secretary Of The Navy

Eugene rihl
Eugene rihl
4 months ago

If you don’t follow chain of command and leak to the press, you get fired. Best way to serve your crew is medical help and push through. You are a weapon!

Don
Don
4 months ago
Reply to  Eugene rihl

Great point! Sometimes you have to make the tough decisions. He is a captain for that very reason. I salute you Captain Crozier!

cynthia broiwn
4 months ago

He shouldn’t removed the ones at the desk should be removed and have to walk in his shoes
she was looking afterhis men which is his job. I salute you Captain Crozier. cynthia [email protected],

Tom
Tom
4 months ago

Handled properly thru chain of command – the BLABBERMOUTH media would NEVER hear of this. Now the whole communist world knows the ship’s status/weakness. Whoever is that @marla_miami needs an education on keeping yur trap shut!
USN Vietnam Vet.

Larry
3 months ago

For those upset with SECNAV about the dismissal of the CO of the Theodore Roosevelt, consider this:

SECNAV’s compliments about the CO past service and motivation are on point, but using the CO insecure comms that reflect order of battle (disposition and/or capability of forces, for non-military folks) justified removal from command. When you immediate chain of command is down the passageway AND available via secure comms, you choose to use non secure email???

Here is a link to SECNAV’s letter

https://www.dropbox.com/s/cjzqfbnsx38f1pg/NAVYCR.pdf?dl=0&fbclid=IwAR1Bm5TOnBkdN8caj5HxMIFUcA-K77RDV8399XSiOwBq9-5f31Nd2Bb3_yQ

Larry
Larry
3 months ago

No question about it — the Captain DESERVED to be ‘relieved’. You simply DO NOT compromise a military asset because “you” have a problem. He should have alerted his command superiors via “secure” means (which he had access to) and awaited ‘orders’.

Bill
Bill
3 months ago

As a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer I have to add my two-cents worth to this discussion. Captain Crozier, in attempting to get help for his crew in this situation, displayed sound leadership – up to a point. Had he confined his letter to those in his chain-of-command, there would have been nothing but praise for his actions. But, by communicating the problems he was encountering to outsiders, he violated a rule that restricts information to only those who have a need to know. By his actions, Captain Crozier showed disrespect to his seniors and that is intolerable.

Don
Don
3 months ago

It WAS his duty to report the issue and urgency but not to go overboard with his comments as he did.