The Navy captain relieved of command after ringing alarm bells over the spread of COVID-19 on his ship got a hero’s farewell Thursday night from the hundreds of sailors previously under his command.
The acting secretary of the Navy announced Thursday that Captain Brett Crozier was being relieved of command due to showing “extremely poor judgement” in the form of a memo alerting Navy higher-ups to the dire COVID-19 infection rate on his ship.
Chants of “Captain Crozier!” rang through the USS Theodore Roosevelt as hundreds of sailors bid farewell to their erstwhile leader.
Crozier’s memo — which was subsequently obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle and others — asked permission to isolate much of his 5,000-member crew on shore in Guam to stem the spread of the virus aboard the Theodore Roosevelt. “Sailors do not need to die,” he wrote. More than 100 sailors aboard the ship had tested positive for the virus at that point.
The Navy did ultimately act, announcing the removal of 2,700 sailors from the ship.
Within a day, Crozier joined their ranks, disembarking the aircraft carrier to a waiting sedan after being relieved of command. In his wake, hundreds of sailors cheered the captain, according to several videos subsequently published on social media.
Captain Crozier! Captain Crozier! He was my XO on the GW and a great man and a great leader! I'm praying for him! pic.twitter.com/ovzJPtN5Qo
— Nikolai (@__LostGaijin__) April 3, 2020
Watch this video of the send off of Captain Crozier, commander of the aircraft carrier USS Roosevelt who was fired yesterday for sounding the alarm to protect his sailors. Tells you everything you need to know about the type of #leader he is. pic.twitter.com/z9q3pTJpgZ
— Amber Smith (@AmberSmithUSA) April 3, 2020