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Navy won’t reinstate Crozier as Roosevelt commanding officer

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Navy photo shows Captain Brett Crozier addressing crew of USS Theodore Roosevelt in November 2019

The Navy is not going to reinstate Capt. Brett Crozier as the USS Theodore Roosevelt’s commanding officer and the promotion of Rear Adm. Stuart Baker for a second star has been delayed pending further examination.

Those are the results of a command investigation into the events surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). The outbreak got widespread media attention when video emerged showing Captain Crozier being cheered as he left the carrier after being relieved of command by then Acting Secretary of the Navy, Thomas Modly.


The release of the results of the Navy investigation will not likely mean that the story will now just go away.

Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said that the findings of the investigation “make it clear that the Navy did not respond the way they should have, or as quickly as they should have, to adequately address the outbreak.”

Chairman Smith said that the Armed Services Committee had launched its own investigation into the COVID-19 outbreak aboard the Roosevelt.

“Everyone up and down the chain of command had a role to play in the inadequate response – including then-Acting Secretary of the Navy Modly,” said Smith. “The Department’s civilian leadership portrayed Captain Crozier’s decision-making aboard the Roosevelt as the critical weakness in the Navy’s response, but the truth is that civilian leadership was also to blame”

“The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over,” he added. “The Navy and DoD will continue to grapple with the challenges presented by the pandemic for months to come. Civilian leadership at the Department of the Defense is crucial to our national security, and as such they must be held accountable as we move forward.”

  • You can read a transcript of the Pentagon press briefing on the command investigation HERE
  • You can download the consolidated results of the investigation HERE
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