When we look deeper into the reasons why decisions are sometimes made, people in high places mistakenly overlook the whole picture. The consequences can be overwhelming to those involved and to the entire world.
Captain Brett E. Crozier, who was the captain of the Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier, fired for allegedly making poor decisions. As the coronavirus spread all over the world, he was afraid it would find its way aboard his ship. Well, it did.
The reasons for Captain Crozier’s firing are a bit sketchy and not clear enough to justify any wrongdoing. With the situation he faced as a leader aboard the ship, he had some tough decisions to make because neither he nor his crew members were trained in the situation, which was about to unfold.
The Theodore Roosevelt carried almost 5,000 crew members, and for anyone who has ever been on one of those ships knows it can be like a bunch of sardines in a can at times. Social distancing is not a word in a situation where COVID-19 can spread so quickly.
Captain Crozier requested help from his superiors and followed the chain of command. However, somehow the media caught wind of what was happening on the Naval aircraft carrier when a four-page letter was sent out from the ship.
What started out as a mission turned out to be what may be the end of Captain Crozier’s career. For starters, the letter asking for help was sent unclassified. The letter was meant only for Crozier’s superior Admiral Michael M. Gilday. Other naval officers received the message, and it was then leaked out to the press.
Admiral Gilday, who is the chief of naval operations, pushed for the dismissal of Captain Crozier. But arguments arose from Navy Secretary Thomas B. Modly saying Crozier cracked under pressure. Now, the top brasses in the Navy are clashing with one another, trying to figure out what to do.
President Trump was upset with Crozier, and he let everyone know he was displeased. He never stated he wanted Crozier dismissed. The differences we have here are that President Trump is letting the world know we have everything under control with the spread of COVID-19 and getting a handle on the situation aboard the Theodore Roosevelt.
Somehow the messages were crossed with the letter from Captain Crozier and the help which was already on its way to the ship. When the media got a hold of the story, they did what they always do. They exploited the situation and painted it worse than what is really happening. They use anything to discredit President Trump.
Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper stated he supports the decision from Modley, and Navy officials stated there was tension between Captain Crozier and his boss Rear Admiral Stuart P. Baker. With the tensions growing, they feel this is what led to Cozier cracking and sending the letter, which is now leaked out to the world.
As of now, COVID-19 did sneak its way onto the Theodore Roosevelt, and Captain Crozier did contract the virus. He is currently under quarantine in Guam. The entire crew is now quarantined under heavy surveillance.
Those crew members who are confirmed negative for the virus are locked in rooms since they are considered carriers of the virus, whether they have the symptoms or not. As mentioned earlier, there is no way they can keep a safe distance from one another on a ship. There is now a skeleton crew cleaning and sterilizing the ship as everyone is quarantined.
Another aspect of what may have gotten Captain Crozier in so much trouble maybe the contents of the letter. He wrote, “We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset, our sailors.”
Modly was furious when he received news of the letter. He then informed everyone that the supplies were sent to the ship before the captain sent off the letter. The letter threw everyone in the Navy under the bus, and the media pushed the issue.
Modly told reporters Crozier was “overwhelmed” by the situation, and he was removed because there was a lack of confidence in his leadership.
He also made it clear it was not in retribution over the letter sent by the captain. Those who know the captain personally do not feel he did anything wrong, and many are angry over this.