Captain Brett Crozier was relieved of his post in the US Navy after a letter he wrote begging the military branch’s leaders to act quickly and decisively in helping to treat those affected by the current health crisis as well as preventing further outbreaks. After sounding the alarm about the high level of infection among crew members on his ship, those same crew members gave him a hero’s send-off.
Here is Captain Crozier walking away from his ship while sailors chant his name after he was relieved from duty for blowing the whistle on a coronavirus contamination aboard the USS Roosevelt.
He sacrificed himself and it sounds like everyone knows it. pic.twitter.com/hwiu7Z1MVV
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) April 3, 2020
- Captain Crozier’s letter was leaked by the San Francisco Chronicle. While it’s unclear how the paper came to be in possession of the letter, it revealed that the ship holding more than 4,000 Navy officers had been docked for more than a week in Guam after an outbreak of the virus. “This will require a political solution but it is the right thing to do,” Crozier 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.”
- The crew members needed to deboard but the Navy was slow to act. The longer the crew members stayed aboard the ship, the more likely it was that those who were ill and required treatment could potentially die. Not only that, but being in close quarters meant that the infection was going to spread quickly and uncontrollably. “Due to a warship’s inherent limitations of space, we are not doing this,” the letter read. “The spread of the disease is ongoing and accelerating.”
- Captain Crozier was not happy with the lack of response he’d received. “Removing the majority of personnel from a deployed U.S. nuclear aircraft carrier and isolating them for two weeks may seem like an extraordinary measure. … This is a necessary risk,” Crozier wrote in the letter. “Keeping over 4,000 young men and women on board the TR is an unnecessary risk and breaks faith with those Sailors entrusted to our care.”
- The Navy did finally act to remove the crew from the ship, but they also fired Captain Crozier. The decision, which came down from the acting secretary of the Navy, Thomas Modly, was apparently not due to the letter being leaked but because he believed Crozier had shown “extremely poor judgment.” What a load of BS!
- Thankfully, his crew recognized Captain Crozier for the hero he is. The Navy officers on his crew cheered for him as he exited the ship, giving him the hero’s send-off he so clearly deserves.