USS Theodore Roosevelt Commander relieved of his duties
Defence Redefined
Published on 03/04/2020 at 13:34

The Commander of US aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt’s Captain Brett Crozier, was relieved of its duties because of “poor judgment” regarding COVID-19 cases on his ship, US Navy Secretary of State Thomas Montley announced.

“We are not at war. There is no reason for sailors to die,” the Captain said in a dramatic letter first published by the San Francisco Chronicle on Tuesday. “We may not be at war in the traditional sense of the word, but we are not in a time of complete peace,” Montley said during a press conference. “And we require our captains to show good judgment, maturity, leadership and temperance under pressure.”

Captain Crozier displayed a “very bad judgement” in a “state of emergency”, and did not demonstrate the necessary “professionalism” the acting Navy Secretary Montley noted. Crozier was replaced by his predecessor, Admiral Carlos Sardiello, who had handed over the management of Roosevelt’s nuclear-powered aircraft carrier last November.

Moreover, although the Secretary of the Navy did not explicitly accuse the captain of leaking his letter to the press, he implied that its large list of recipients made it easy to do so. About a hundred sailors out of the 4,000 plus, Roosevelt crew were infected by the coronavirus and  disembarked in Guam, in the Pacific Ocean.

The removal of the captain from the position of commander is a dramatic example of the challenges posed by the pandemic for US institutions. 

The decision may force many other US officials to silence on cases of coronavirus in their units. The Pentagon is reportedly demanding that officials do not publish such information.

With information from CNA/ Reuters




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