The commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) who was fired for breaking the chain of command when coronavirus infected his ship could be restored to command of the carrier, but Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley wants a “full-blown investigation” first, according to a report.
Politico reports that Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday has recommended that Capt. Brett Crozier once again take command of the Roosevelt. Crozier was fired by then-acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly on April 2 for sending a letter to several Navy leaders outside the chain of command pleading for help due to a COVID-19 outbreak on the ship. The letter was leaked to the press on March 31.
Modly resigned following criticism both of how he handled the firing and of his comments to the crew of the Roosevelt afterward.
Despite Gilday’s recommendation, Milley wants a full investigation into the incident before making the move to reinstate Crozier, according to the report.
However, the report adds that Gilday and acting Navy Secretary James McPherson want to go ahead with putting Crozier back in command of the ship immediately, and the decision now lies with Defense Secretary Mark Esper. That decision could happen next week.
Guam (April 24, 2020) U.S. Sailors fold the American flag after evening colors on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) April 24, 2020. Upon arriving in Guam March 27, Theodore Roosevelt established an Emergency Command Center, initiated a roving and deep cleaning team, and continually educated the crew on social distancing and proper protective procedures and behaviors, to assist the crew in mitigating and controlling the spread of COVID. Theodore Roosevelt is in Guam for a scheduled port visit for resupply and crew rest during their scheduled deployment to the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Kaylianna Genier/Released)