Navy officials have officially recommended the Department of Defense reinstate Captain Brett Crozier as the commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt and return him to duty aboard the nuclear aircraft carrier after he was fired for writing a letter detailing the spread of coronavirus among the sailors onboard.
According to The New York Times, Defense Secretary Mark Esper wants more time to consider whether Crozier should return to the USS Roosevelt. There are also questions about why the defense secretary has been stalling the investigation.
Mr. Esper received the recommendation that Captain Crozier be reinstated from the chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Michael M. Gilday, and the acting Navy Secretary, James McPherson, on Friday. Defense Department officials said earlier that they expected to announce the results of the Navy’s investigation into the matter on Friday afternoon.
Mr. Esper’s decision to hold up the investigation has surprised Navy officials, who believed that the defense secretary would leave the process in the hands of the military chain of command.
As a reminder, Capt. Crozier was dismissed from his job as commander after a letter he sent to defense officials leaked to the San Francisco Chronicle with details of the lack of support the crew was getting from the Trump administration as an outbreak aboard the ship spread uncontrolled.
COVID-19 screening was recently completely for the ship and roughly 840 of the 4,845 soldiers aboard tested positive for coronavirus.
Another outbreak has been detected on the USS Kidd, where 18 of 90 sailors have tested positive for COVID-19 on the naval destroyer.
Let’s hope Defense Secretary Mark Esper does the right thing and reinstates Capt. Crozier to the USS Roosevelt. One can only imagine the raucous welcome home he would receive! After all, sailors can be heard cheering him as he left, shouting out that he was “one of greatest captains we ever had!”