Fired Navy Captain Could Be Reinstated

Investigation underway into treatment of Brett Crozier amid coronavirus outbreak
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2020 1:18 PM CDT
Fired Navy Captain Could Be Reinstated
Former US Navy Capt. Brett Crozier, then commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, addresses the crew in the Eastern Pacific Ocean on Nov. 15, 2019.   (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nicholas Huynh via AP)

The Navy captain removed from command this month after warning about a coronavirus outbreak on the USS Theodore Roosevelt might be able to rejoin his admiring crew. Adm. Michael Gilday is reviewing the results of a preliminary investigation into Capt. Brett Crozier's removal, and while no decision has been made, he's indicated Crozier could be reinstated, Defense Department officials tell the New York Times. Crozier was removed by then-acting Navy secretary Thomas Modly after alerting Navy personnel to the outbreak in an email leaked to the media. Modly, who accused Crozier of acting outside of the chain of command, resigned days later after traveling to Guam and belittling the ousted Crozier in an address to the ship's crew.

Crozier is likely to be reinstated if Gilday finds his superiors did not adequately respond to earlier requests for help, officials say. "I am taking no options off the table as I review that investigation," Gilday told reporters. "That is my responsibility." It's unclear if President Trump would interfere with any decision. He said he supported Crozier's removal. But he also said Crozier's "career prior to that was very good" and "I don't want to destroy somebody for having a bad day." Crozier ultimately tested positive for COVID-19, along with 615 crew members, more than 350 of whom are asymptomatic, per NBC News. Some 92% of the crew had been tested as of last week. (One sailor has died.)

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